Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

I’m just not all that interested in sex.

Or

I’m just not the communicating type.

Choose your gender. Choose your excuse. Better have your divorce lawyer on speed dial.

I like to be cautious about making generalizations about women do this and men do that, because there are always exceptions. So in the generalization that I’m going to make today, if you are the opposite, the dynamic still applies. I’m not so concerned on the gender as the pattern.

Here’s an observation: In marriage wives tend to be strong on communication; husbands tend to be strong on initiating sex. We won’t have much of a marriage if we don’t have both communication and sex. If your spouse won’t talk to you, you won’t feel connected. If your spouse won’t be sexual with you won’t feel connected. This isn’t a matter of either/or. It’s a both/and.

So here’s a very curious thing: Sometimes wives tell me they just aren’t the sexual type, that sex doesn’t do anything for them, they don’t think about sex and frankly, if they had their preference they wouldn’t ever have sex again with anybody, not their spouse or anybody else. They wear this as a badge of pride. They also insinuate by saying this that since this is who they are, it would be cruel and downright dastardly if their husbands has the gall to suggest sex with them. Can’t you see this is who I am? Can’t you accept me for who I am? If this is who I am and you want sex with me then you must not love me!! Furthermore, these same women make it apparent to their horny-toad husbands that if their husbands want to be sexual with these wives that these wives find that burdensome. You are just being a pest. Leave me alone. All you think about is sex. Sex is just disgusting and so are you.

If you are the type that likes to sucker punch your husband, this is a surefire way to do it.

But they are hypocrites. These same wives would NEVER accept their husbands telling them that they are just not the communication type, they never grew up with talking, they don’t have much to say, they don’t have feelings either, and the last thing they want to do when they come home from work is talk.

There’s not a wife in the world that would accept that as an excuse and be Okay with it. So why should any husband anywhere be Okay with hearing his wife say that he’s some sort of perv because he wants to be sexual with his wife? Why is communication fine and dandy and sexuality is dirty, Merty?

Think about this: How women feel about communication with their husbands is the same way husbands feel about sex. WE NEED BOTH OF THESE THINGS. We are both bringing our strengths to the table.

We need regular times of sex and regular times of communication.

Imagine going weeks without talking? How close would a couple feel? Why go home, just to feel rejected? So what does she do? She starts nagging him. Getting on his case. How come you never talk to me? Don’t you love me? You just never express your feelings. You are all locked up. You need to tell me your feelings. How do you feel? What’s the matter with me? You are just like your father. I can’t go on like this. You never tell me anything that’s going on.

Can you see where this is heading?

Ladies: If you were a guy and your wife talked to you this way would you talk to her? Hello.

I’ve tried for years to get him to talk and he won’t so I’m just done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done. I’ll find someone who will talk to me.

If a couple does this on a regular basis, it won’t be long before she files for divorce.

Now, I don’t think she should file for divorce.Don’t get me wrong.I’m just saying I’ve heard a ton of wives use that an excuse.Sad, yes, but true.They are pretty stubborn about it, too, and will not be dissuaded:

Imagine going weeks (Months? Years?) without being sexual with your spouse? How close would a couple feel? If a couple has NO sex on a regular basis, it won’t be long before he files for divorce. Why go home, just to feel rejected? She won’t be sexual with me so she must not love me. So what does he do? He starts nagging her, getting on her case. How come you’ll never be sexual with me? Don’t you love me? You never express yourself sexually. You are all locked up. You need to show me that you are a sexual being. How come you’re not sexual? What’s the matter with me? You are just like your mother. I can’t go on like this. You never initiate sex.

Can you see where this is heading?

Men: If you were a gal and your husband talked to you this way, would you want to be sexual with him? Hello.

I’ve tried for years to initiate sex with her and all I do is get turned down. Over and over and over. I’m done initiating sex. Alright. I get it. She doesn’t love me. Why be married to someone who doesn’t love me? I know there is a wife out there who would be sexual with me, who would love me. I’m done, I’m done, I’m done.

Now I don’t think he should divorce over this. A better way to think would be to try to figure out what makes his wife tick, what he needs to do to bring this mystery out of her so she can ACTUALLY enjoy her WHOLE life, including this illusive sexual part. As the Song of Solomon says she’s a garden locked up. Where’s the key? That might be a cool thing to figure out. Maybe they could figure it out together?

All divorce does is institutionalize your personal pain and spread it around all of society, to stink up the rest of us.Okay, YOU’ve made it perfectly clear that YOU cannot be trifled with and if YOU don’t get YOUr way YOU will dump YOUr spouse and it’s YOUr spouse’s fault for not auntying up and doing everything the way that YOU wanted and if YOU don’t get what YOU want then YOU are going to withhold kindness, love, tenderness and anything meaningful because YOU don’t feel love anymore after all because I love you I’m just not in love with you and YOU are going to wallow in self-pity and forlornness and woeismeism and everyone can feel so sorry for YOU because YOU were married to a sex fiend or a creep that would never talk to you.

A wise wife knows her husband has a more difficult time sharing his inner thoughts than her. She’ll see this as a challenge. What can I do to bring this mysterious man out of his shell? She’ll discover that he will talk in certain circumstances, like when they are watching sports together or on a trip in the car together or when they go for a walk or after she teases him or encourages him or after the two of them are sexual! What? Sexual? He’ll talk to me after sex? It’s supposed to be the other way around. I want him to talk to me before sex!

Welcome to marriage: Give and take. Sometimes we have sex and then talk. Sometimes we talk and then have sex. Sometimes we just talk. Sometimes we just have sex.

This would be like, ahhh, normal.

A wise husband knows his wife needs a little coaxing to be sexual. He discovers by trial and error that just being sexual isn’t enough. She’ll tell him she needs some face-to-face time, that she’ll need to chat, that it would be helpful if he’s helpful. If he’s wise he’ll take her cues and learn what makes her tick. She’s different from him after all. She’s a mystery to him, a garden locked up. He has to figure out how to unlock the garden. It isn’t easy. It takes at least 25 years just to get the hang of it. That’s when it starts getting fun. The average divorce is 7.2 years. In dog years, we’re hardly even to first base. Patience, people! It takes a lifetime to figure this out. If you are smart, YOU WILL EVEN ENJOY IT!!!

Here’s a sure-fire way to have hell on earth using the direct route. You won’t even have to use the side streets. Just go there directly: If your spouse won’t talk to you like you want (your needs are most important, right?), then go on strike and test your spouse and quit talking and see how long it’ll take for him to say anything! Nurse your resentments while you do this. Take the key to your heart and throw it away.

Or

If your spouse won’t be sexual with you enough or she never initiates? Put up the old test. Don’t pursue sex at all and see how long it takes her to try to get your motor running. Put a chip on your shoulder while you’re at it and just dare her to try. Be sure to not tell her she’s being tested.

And then the longer it goes without you getting the communication or sex you need, just feed those resentments. Build up that wall. Close off your heart. Shut down your love. That’s it. Then tell him or her you don’t love him or her anymore and make it clear that it is his or her fault.

And then tell yourself that you have done nothing wrong, that your spouse doesn’t love you and that you married the wrong person and life’s too short and you deserve to be married to someone who will talk to you or be sexual with you.

Tell yourself this and never learn a thing.

This whole man-women thing is a mystery, a challenge, a quest. Quit being so offended by it. Buck up. Take up the challenge. Don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes.

We’re a nation of wooses.No one has any patience.No one has any fortitude.Nor perseverance.No wooing.No courting after the I-dos.No flirting or gentle teasing.No rising to the occasion.No hanging in there, figuring things out, learning from our mistakes.If you aren’t what I want when I want it, then I’m done.That’s it.Done, done, done.

Your husband won’t talk to you? It must be his fault. Your wife won’t be sexual with you? You must have picked the wrong person. Too bad for you.

NOOOOOOOOO!

He won’t talk to you for a reason. She won’t be sexual with you for a reason. It’s your job to figure that out. Yelling and putdowns and anger and chastising and threats and pouting and being mean and demanding and needy and clingy and smothering and withdrawal and shutting down and testing are NOT the instruments used to warm hearts. These push spouses away. Way, way away. And for heaven sakes, it’s hard to want to talk to someone or be sexual with someone who is locked up in the bedroom or on the computer or in the garage or with the kids all the time or at work all the time or drinking yourself into a stupor or hanging out with your immature friends all the time because you are so frickin’ resentful that your spouse won’t be sexual or talk to you.

And the absolutely LEAST effective way to get your spouse to be sexual with you or to talk to you is to nag at him or her.Telling your spouse he or she doesn’t measure up will just make them feel worse.Feeling you don’t measure up isn’t going to help you open up or loosen your inhibitions.

You might try the Golden Rule. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. Generously. Graciously. Gratefully. Gleefully. It’s stood the test of time. It’s much easier to be sexual or conversational with a spouse who is NICE, FRIENDLY, APPROACHABLE AND ENGAGING!!!!!!

Here’s hoping if you treat your wife or husband like you are a 13-year old, instead of being mature about it, that he or she is not a 13-year old, also, and can rise to the occasion and infuse some maturity and perseverance and patience and creativity and inventiveness into the situation. Then, maybe, over time and through your thick skull, some of that wisdom can filter over into your brain.

Here’s hoping.

Otherwise, if you are both 13 in maturity, you will self-destruct.

Most marriages between 13 year olds, I would guess, end in divorce.

Thirteen year olds refuse to grow up.

Divorce stops your maturation and freezes your selfishness into an institution.

You’ll be in Junior High emotionally the rest of your life:A real party on wheels.

What a catch you’ll be.

Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

Part Six on Sexual Desire: Low Sexual Desire-High Sexual Desire: The Balancing Act

In this series of blogs on sexual desire, I’ve looked at the two extremes: A spouse who says they are not sexual at all and could care less if he or she ever is again (here and here) and a spouse who is so preoccupied with sex as to not have anything else on his mind…ever (porn here and swinging here and here). Thankfully, these two extremes are the exception. Today we’ll examine the normal pattern.

The normal pattern of sexual desire is one partner wants sexual contact more and one wants it less.

There you go. Normal.

Normal means that one of you will have some concern that the two of you are not sexual enough and one of you will be concerned that we’re too concerned about sex and we need to think about other things.

I have these clients who chide me and say, no, this isn’t normal.This disparity hurts too much to be normal.They tell me there must be someone out there who would be closer to where they are.I call this a “veiled threat,” meaning that if you don’t kick it up, I’m out of here and I’ll find someone that will WANT to be sexual with me.There must be someone out there.

This is a sure-fire way to make your spouse feel insecure and insecurity does NOT make the heart grow fonder. Insecure people protect themselves from the source of the threat. Sexuality thrives in the security of the certainty and predictability and dependability of marriage. This is why cohabiting couples struggle with sexuality. Cohabiting couples struggle with security issues because they don’t know if they’re coming or going. Married people have already figured that out. So don’t go calling your commitment into question. It’s sacred ground. Protect it: No threats to divorce over any issue. Period. We’re a done deal.

If you are making threats to divorce because you don’t “get” enough sex, if you are thinking this way, you need to chill. You could very well divorce, marry someone that wants sex all the time and after the newness wears off you start to think she doesn’t love you for anything else and what kind of deal is that, I’m just a sex object, and now you are the low desire partner! HA! Watch out. Sexual desire tends to ebb and flow over time. Wouldn’t that just be a kicker if you wanted to ebb and she wanted to flow? A little lesson in irony? Be careful what you wish for.

Or you marry your second wife (or husband) because she keeps ripping your clothes off and the sex is so hot and then two years latter she’s wearing sweats and pretending to be asleep so she doesn’t have to deal you’re your advances and you’re right back to where you were in your first marriage, only this time you are less patient, less understanding, less tolerant, less agreeable and more irritable, more frustrated, and more demanding because your divorce froze your maturity in time.These characteristics are not too becoming to a spouse wanting to be sexual, so the more angry you get about not being sexual the more unattractive you are as a sexual partner and you train your spouse to avoid you like the plague.Of course, you’ll blame her.

Maybe learning to cooperate would be good.Maybe learning a little patience and tenderness and the art of pursuing would be good.Demands and threats don’t make much of an aphrodisiac.

If you are the low desire partner, you need to be careful, too. Some are tempted to think that sexuality is this total burden and it would just be nice to not ever have to worry about it and by that they mean, never do it. We could just be married and not be sexual. That’d be fine. The only problem with this approach is that you won’t find a partner that will be willing to cooperate with that:

Wanted: A marital partner who is one in name only. We’ll put on a great show for all our relies and friends. No one will know that we’re never sexual. You and I will be great roommates and we’ll love each other. We’ll just not desire each other, long for each other, pine for each other. We’ll nod to each other in the hallway. Might as well not tease or flirt with each other either. What’s the point? Nodding. Yeah, I like nodding. Are the two of you ever sexual? No, but we nod.

Now there’s a relationship waiting to implode.

So…we can’t be sexual all the time and we can’t be not sexual all the time.

So…someone’s not going to get his or her way all the time.Hmm.Who’s it gonna be?

If you really try, both of you can be hurt and mad about it all the time! That’s not a plan.

The tension between the one that wants it more and the one that wants is less is normal. In marriage, we work together for the common good and we give and take and we sacrifice and and and we receive and we cut each other slack and we forgive and compromise and we, yes, we, us, our, yours and mine, we ebb and flow. And sometimes we’re sexual like rabbits and sometimes we chill and over time it feels ever so much like we’re in this together and that nobody’s “winning” because it’s NOT a competition.

If both of us are not sacrificing, something’s out of kilter here.

Some couples work this out in such a way that there is hurt whether they are sexual or not.Even if they are sexual there is something wrong about it; and if they aren’t sexual they need to be.This would, by definition, make you a sour puss, which, if you haven’t figured out, is NOT much of a turn on.Who wants to make love to the grade school principle with his grimace and furrowed brow and pursed lips and folded arms standing in judgment at the end of the hall?Yeah, that’ll get the blood flowing.

And who’d want to make love to someone standing there pounding his fists in frustration, making demands and guilt-tripping you into this or that? Isn’t sexuality supposed to be, like, you know…mutual?

But on the other hand, who can survive indifference? Who can survive being a burden? What’s it like to see your spouse, who, whenever you touch her, sighs a sigh of disgust? Who pushes you away or turns her head when you try to kiss her, or rolls her back to you, night after night after night after night afternightafternightafter. How many times can you be rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected until you just shut down, just give up, just withdraw into indifference yourself?

If you are indifferent to your spouse about sex and he pursues and pursues and pursues and you are indifferent, indifferent, indifferent, and all of a sudden he becomes indifferent, be very afraid. Be very, very afraid. If you are the husband who’s rejected your wife’s advances time and time again and she finally quits initiating? You need to be frickin’, monumentally afraid.

Hey, a little sacrificing here.Both.You and me.I give a little.You give a little.It’s no biggie.Nobody’s keeping score.

Mutuality.

Here’s a better plan. Both of us figure out how neither of us has to be hurt around sexuality. We find an equilibrium. The one who wants it all the time realizes that we can’t be sexual all the time and doesn’t have to be hurt about it if we are not sexual all the time. The one who wants it less realizes that we can’t go through married life and not be sexual and isn’t upset if we are and finds a way to be involved in the process when we are.

We’d get rid of both demanding and indifference.

We replace it with love and tenderness and compassion and we throw in a little flirting, some soft kissing now and again, maybe even spontaneously here and there and we surreptitiously pat the other’s butt once in a while and we don’t dress like the motel housekeeper or the Sam’s Club shopper and we look each other in the eye when we’re making love and we hold hands in the car and we laugh a little and have a private language and private jokes and we teach each other what feels good and we let the other know that there is longing and when love awakens we awake.

That’d be a better way.

Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

Part Five On Sexual Desire; Part Two on Swinging: Swinging is NOT Swinging: The Tragic Side Or ‘Til Lust Us Do Part

This blog is part of a longer series of blogs on sexual desire (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four) and Part Two on swingers and swinging. In the previous blog on swinging I suggested that swinging smacks of child sexual abuse for adults and that the spouse who talks the other spouse into doing swinging is the perpetrator, the one who gets talked into it is the victim. This is new language to describe swinging behavior, but you need this background to follow today’s comments.

Swingers don’t make very good marital therapy candidates. The one who wants to do it, the one who tries to talk the other into it, the one who advocates for it, chides about it, prods the other, grooms the other spouse, this person’s mind is so far removed from the protection and safety and sanctity and respect and dignity of marriage that the suggestion from a therapist like me that opening up the boundary of protection in marriage and driving a semi-truck of evil and selfishness and chaos and trouble through it isn’t a good idea, this client is only going to get mad: Frickin’, fundamentalist, legalistic, narrow-minded, unenlightened therapist. And I’m sorry, but I’m going to have a hard time helping you be a better couple while one of you advocates for swinging and one is devastated. You can’t use me to explain to your spouse that “Open Marriage” is just fine. And if you both tell me that you love swinging, but you have these other problems and we don’t want help with the swinging, the swinging is just fine, I’m not going to believe it. You’ll get irritated very quickly with my skepticism. This is one of those times I’d really have a hard time referring you out. We’ll probably just have to shake hands and say I’m sorry.

That’s not to say ALL perpetrator spouses in swinging couples are always unrepentant. Sometimes they are very sorry because the temptation that they’d feasted on in pornography for years – the doctor is doing it with the nurse, the nurse is doing it with the patient, the patient is doing it with the housekeeper, then they all do it together and everyone is so happy, happy, happy- turns out to be a nightmare instead and the perpetrator spouse wises up and realizes this ain’t the road to happiness after all.Crap.We gotta stop doin’ this.What am I gonna do with this stupid semi-truck?But then we end up with this sad irony.The victim spouse came into swinging kicking and screaming and protesting and against her will. In order to overcome the victim spouse’s objections, the perpetrator spouse had to convince and argue, sometimes for years, that the marriage boundary is only in their hearts and sexuality is only an amoral act.It does not matter who this act is done with.It only matters that you are having fun.We’ll protect the boundary of our marriage in our hearts by only truly loving each other, but we’ll use our bodies to express our latent sexual desire and enter nirvana through this secret gate.Comeonitllbefun.Don’t be such a prude.You never want to have any fun.

The victim spouse intuitively knows it’s wrong and evil and degenerate and out-there and freaky and wants nothing to do with it, but the perpetrator spouse is so convincing and such a salesman, goading and pounding it in and showing the victim porn and on and on and on and so the victim spouse finally relents.She’s been converted to the view that sex means nothing between them.It’s just an act.If sex means nothing between her and her swinging partner, then it means nothing between her and her husband.She can’t play mental games like this.Her sex with her husband hasn’t meant anything for some time now, because he’s told her it just an act:Dogs copulating in the field while staring off into space.That’s not what he said, but she wasn’t prepared to play the mental games he was suggesting she play.Sex either means something or it means nothing.It can’t mean something with her husband and nothing with everyone else.She’d dreamed as a child that sex was special.She even wore white at her wedding and got all dolled up to show it was worth the wait and that there is something unique about the wedding bed and all her friends and her mother cried when she walked down the isle.That was all a ruse?Now he’s telling her all her ideals were a sham. Over and over.Sweetie, you gotta loosen up.You are so uptight.Lose those inhibitions.They are binding you.Her dream.What happened to her dream?You mean it’s not making love and looking into each other’s eyes and heart and soul?Not connection in love?Not tenderness, mutuality, longings fulfilled, oneness?Nothing special about it all?Nothing worth protecting at all?Damsel in distress?Forget that.The prince will join the giant and let’s get the other soldiers in here, too, and any other damsels we can rustle up and we’ll all ravish the damsel.Group rape is fun.Why are you crying?Stop it.Just loosen up, already.

Well, after you’ve been preached at, hounded and scolded and manipulated and groomed by the perpetrator for so long, pretty soon it’s all going to take hold and the victim is no longer a victim, but a willing participant—sort of. Yeah. Now this is where it gets really weird.

The only way any sane victim can be victimized and not go crazy is to find a mental game to play. They have to leave the extreme hurtfulness of the situation.Victims of child sexual abuse talk about leaving their bodies.I’ve had clients tell me it was like they were on the ceiling looking down on their perpetrator violating their bodies.It’s sounds a little psychotic, but I think this type of coping is a God-given way to keep sexually abused children from going literally crazy.It’s hard enough witnessing your dignity stolen from a distance.

Another way they cope with it is to think of something else altogether, while the act is being forced upon them. Strippers and prostitutes do this in order to stay sane and stay at a distance from what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong. It still hurts like the dickens. You can only escape in your mind so far. This is why so many of them are on drugs or alcohol. They are only acting like they are enjoying it. That big smile you see on the stripper’s face? It’s part of the act to get you to give her your money. What they are thinking instead is that this guy or these men are pervs and I’m doing this because I hate them and I’m exploiting them (it’s really the other way around, remember?). Just because you “pay” a prostitute or a stripper, doesn’t mean you aren’t abusing her. She’s been abused all along by her daddy or Uncle Bob and those pervs unwittingly trained her years ago how to survive and not go crazy. The only way that she could go through Uncle Bob’s shenanigans is to hate his guts while he did his totally perv and unspeakable thing. Or they are paying their bills in their heads or reciting a poem or a favorite song, anything other than I am enjoying this and I’m really sexual and wow this is awesome. Those interviews with porn stars and strippers and prostitutes you see on TV where they say that they are just sexual and it’s just an act and they are actually self-actualized in their sexuality and she shouldn’t be discriminated against and women are sexual beings and she’s just exploring her sexuality and it’s a good job and look at all this money? Don’t believe any of it for a second. It’s all part of the act. She’s quoting Uncle Bob! She’s really just a broken little girl acting out a script she’s been brainwashed to do. She’s anything, but happy. It’s only a matter of time before she totally breaks. She’s aging before her eyes.

How do adults cope with sexual abuse by their spouses in the form of swinging, swapping, and same-sex experimentation? Swinging opens the door to every perversion. It’s just sex, remember? It doesn’t matter with whom. Gender don’t matter squat, either. The plumbing works. It’s meant to be utilized, right?

Every right thinking victim knows intuitively that it’s not just sex. It’s supposed to be special. It’s supposed to be about love and connection and tenderness. So in order to keep from going crazy, they fall in love with their partners. Male or female. It makes no difference. Pandora’s box has been opened. The marriage vow has been deflowered and debased and debunked. There must be some love here somewhere.

And then a swinging victim asks herself why would I want to be married any more to my perpetrator? Sex didn’t mean anything to my husband, right? Just an act and all that? But it meant something when she did it with this swinger guy or gal. Finally meant something, just like she thought it should. She’s been looking for love all along and she finally found it when she swung with this guy or gal. Imagine that. He was nice. He was gentle. She looked me in the eye and soothed me while I cried. Sort of a built in revenge deal against her perpetrator. It’s a cruel world.

If her perpetrator has groomed her this far and this well, she doesn’t make a very good marriage therapy client, either. Sadly, no. I gotta get out of this marriage to be protected. I gotta be safe somewhere. He just throws me to the wolves. My husband is a crazy sex perv and all he thinks about it himself. Getmeoutofhere!

Before leaving this subject, I must write about how some couples end up in this semi-truck load of evil seemingly unwittingly.I don’t really think that, because the naïve are still responsible for being in positions to be duped.They took the bait.Don’t take the bait.Don’t be in a position or situation where the bait even looks attractive.Be far, far away.These people are not your friends.It’s time to leave, Honey.

Sometimes you will meet a really outgoing and friendly couple.But you notice after a while, that they are just way-way too forward about sexuality.They talk about it with both of you there.They talk to you about it when your spouse isn’t there.It’s great fun.They brag about their sexual exploits.They make crude jokes.They look at each other in this knowing sort of way.They invite you to watch porn with them…as couples.They openly flirt with you.They talk about their sexual activities in front of you.They invite you over to their hot tub.Things happen.One of you enjoys it.The other is appalled.Maybe you are both appalled.But now we’re both in therapy because one of us thinks the other should have put a stop to it before it got this far.Or that one of you was too enthusiastic and if that’s what you want Okay fine, but my marriage means more to me than that.Yikes!

Okay.Look.There are perpetrator couples out there looking for innocent victim couples to exploit.Avoid friends like this like the plague.They are grooming you just like two child molesters might work in tandem.Team perpetrating.Run away.Run away.The only person you should be talking about your sex life with is with your spouse or your pastor or your therapist.

If any couple or single starts talking to you about sexuality in any provocative way, you need to get out of there and never go back.

Ever.

Forget polite.

Your soul and the protection of your spouse and your marriage and your integrity and your commitment are worth more than a hot tub and a semi-truck full of trouble.

Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

Part Four On Sexual Desire: Sexual Desire Run Amok: Swinging and Her Perverted Sisters

In recent blogs we’re been looking at different aspects of sexual desire in marriage. The first two looked at the one extreme of spouses who aren’t interested in sex at all (here and here) and the last one with spouses that think about sex way too much (here). Today we’re looking at another variation of spouses who think about sex way too much: Swingers.

By “swinging” I mean couples, who have affairs with either gender with their spouses’ full knowledge and tacit approval.Sometimes both partners are involved in the sexual activity.Sometimes the swinging spouse is the only one doing it, but seek, plead and beg for their spouse’s approval.In either case we’ve “opened” the door to relationship chaos and relationship problems are right behind.

There are some people who think an affair is only an affair if a spouse does it in secret. If I do it with my spouse’s full knowledge, participation and blessing, then it’s not an affair and we will avoid the pitfalls of an affair. My clinical experience has been just the opposite. The brazen, in your face, fist-shaking-at-God-and-all-convention nature of swinging creates even more chaos and relationship destruction than an affair. It’s a complete disaster.

It’s too bad I have to discuss this topic today.Unfortunately, I’ve had a rash of clients in recent months that have had some horrendous problems with swinging, swapping and some other creepy things, so I thought I’d better address it.I fear, like the teacher who has to explain a position that’s the total opposite point of view of the teacher whose student develops an interest in advocating for this opposite point of view even though the teacher was critiquing it.The student never even thought of that point of view until the teacher brought up the subject.Likewise, I fear that just by my bringing the subject up, there might be some unwitting reader, who sees me addressing this issue and then thinking that it must be Okay if Dr. Wall discusses it.He brought it up after all.So why can’t we?

Our society today is touting the merits of so-called “sexual openness”.If you’ll look you’ll find it preached in porn.If you don’t you find it preached on TV and in the magazines at the grocery store that your 14-year old daughter or son could easily buy and read.Sex is just sex.Sex is fun.Sex is recreational.The more sex, the more variety, the more partners, the better.A boundary around your marriage?How unenlightened is that?

It’s open marriage, baby. Open marriage?Who comes up with these terms that absolutely take away anything meaningful?The whole idea of “marriage” is that there IS a boundary around a husband and a wife.This boundary is sacred and to be protected.“Open” implies that there is no boundary.These people MIGHT say they have a boundary in their heart:We’ll do sex with others, but NOT love them.We’ll save our love for each other.We’re just shaking it up a little.“Open marriage” is an oxymoron: “An open-closed” relationship.These two are contradictory and will play with your brain.There’s no such thing as an open-closed relationship.It’s one or the other.If you introduce “open” into your boundary-protected “closed” marital relationship, you invite problems into your lives.The boundary of marriage is there to protect you, like a ship’s hull protects it from sinking.Smash a hole in the side of a ship and the ship sinks.Smash a hole in the boundary of emotional and spiritual protection in your marriage and your marriage and you and your spouse will sink.

Open marriage?It used to be called perverted.You can call it what you will.It doesn’t clean it up at all.

I hope this subject doesn’t even come up as a lifestyle option in your marriage.Just the suggestion of it as a possibility can create havoc on you and your spouse’s psyche.It’ll cause her to wonder what other perverted crap is rattling around in your brain and if that’s how you really think about sex, then why would I want to be married to someone like that?

Unfortunately, way too many people, both male and female, are training their brains about sexuality in porn and in porn there are no boundaries around sexuality and anything goes.You don’t have to get into porn much before sexual with anyone and anyhow and any time is the norm.But it’s NOT normal for marriage.Successful marriages anyway.If you feast you mind on perversion and splash around in the gutter, something’s gonna get dirty, and it ain’t just your brain.Pretty soon you’ll be like the 2-year old toddler wanting to do everything daddy or mommy are doing.This isn’t the road to blessing, folks.

Remember when you said, “having thee only till death us do part”? Remember that? Did you mean that? Really? Cuz, ah, I’ve heard waaaaaay too many times where one partner says some of the following and it sure doesn’t sound like a spouse is committed for the long haul to just their husband or wife when he or she starts throwing these doubts into the mix. I also know how difficult it is to admit to these things to a therapist and I’m guessing that a lot more clients have done them, or said them, than have admitted them to me. Sadly, nearly all the folk, who I’ve heard say these things, are men highly steeped in the unrealistic and emotionally damaging world of pornography. The women, who I’ve heard say these things, were often sexually abused as youngsters. I wouldn’t think that neither porn nor sexual abuse would be models for marital bliss. The following are samples of the language of this degenerate life-style:

-You don’t seem to have much sexual desire. Maybe if we swapped partners with another couple, the variety would get your sexual juices jumped started again.

-(Husband to wife) You don’t seem to have much sexual desire. Maybe if you did it with another woman you’d awaken your sexual self. Bring her in. I can watch. Or we’ll all do it together. Cool. You’ll like it. It’d be fun.

-Open marriage is fine. Lot’s of people do it and they are all fine with it. Look at this web site. See. These are normal married couples. See how happy they look.

-It’s just sex. You don’t love them. No, it’s just sex. WE love each OTHER. WE BOTH know that WE LOVE each other. We won’t love our swinging partners. We’ll both know that neither of us is emotionally involved with them. We’ll save our real love for each other. It’s just recreational sex. We’re doing it for variety. Sex is fun. Let’s have fun. Shake it up a little.

-He’s gay. It means nothing. As long as he’s not straight it’s Okay. He doesn’t even like sex with women. I could see why you’d be upset if he’s straight. But he’s not. We both know that.

-You don’t seem to have much desire for me. Maybe you are gay. You should check that out.

-It was a gay bar. As long as it’s not heterosexual it’s fine. You should only be jealous if I was dinking around with someone of the opposite sex who is actually interested.

-Just because I’m attracted to the same-sex doesn’t mean I don’t love you. You shouldn’t be jealous. It’s not the opposite sex. Don’t you know it’s only an affair if it’s the opposite sex? If it’s same-sex it’s totally fine. I can love you and still do same-sex things. It’s just sex and says nothing about our relationship. I can to both and still love you.

-If you don’t approve of me doing this (any of the above), this means you are a control freak and that you don’t accept me for who I am.You are mean and judgmental.You are the problem.I’m the one trying to improve our life here.

-I told you.It’s NOT in secret.It shouldn’t be a trust issue.I haven’t lied.I’ve been up front about it.You are such a fuddy-duddy.You are sooooo boring.We need to shake up our sexual life.I’ve had these fantasies for years and for you to deny them to me is for you to be casting judgment on me.

Hey, folks.I don’t care your moral stance.The above is the language of abuse.Sexual and emotional abuse.Yes, you can sexually abuse your spouse.Throw your spouse to the wolves and smile?That’s what you are doing.

Having thee only meant having thee only. You didn’t get a free pass to explore other avenues as long as your spouse KNOWS about it! What’s up with that? These people think that if both of them know, if they are “open” about it, that will take the guilt away, that will make it Okay, that will take the “wrongness” of it go away. If we both agree on a wrong thing being right, then our agreeing that it’s not wrong makes it not wrong. Wrongness is only socially constructed. There is no absolute evil. It’s only evil in your mind. If we both agree it’s not wrong, it’s not wrong.

Tell that to Bonnie and Clyde.

The language of a spouse who tries to talk his wife (or vice versa) into any variations on this theme of sharing his or her or both their bodies with anyone else, male or female, is the language of a sexual predator.Here, look at these pictures.See.All the people have their clothes off.See their happy faces.That’s what you should do.You’ll be happy, too.You’ll make daddy so happy.You like making daddy happy, don’t you?

But, of course, the child is not happy. Something cries out inside of the sexual abuse victim that all is not well, that something is wrong, that what daddy is doing is wrong, that daddy is a crazy person to be avoided at all costs and now I have these terrible secrets I dare not share with anyone. Now I feel like I’m going crazy. I hated every minute of it. I wanted to kill him. It felt good. It felt horrible. It felt wrong. I was scared. It felt good. There must be something the matter with me. I have no control over my body. I’m just here to make him happy. I am invisible. I feel so exposed. Sex is dirty. It makes me feel dirty. Everyone can see how dirty I am. I can’t look anyone in the eye anymore. They might see inside me. Hide. Hide. Hide. Secrets are the way to peace. Peace. That’s all I want. Peace. What is peace? I barely remember peace.

If you’ve ever worked with sexual abuse victims, then you’ll know what it sounds like to talk to someone whose spouse has used those earlier excuses I shared above.It doesn’t make it right for your victim to be 10 or 20 years older or that your victim is your spouse.You are sexually abusing your spouse and dressing it up with guilt and manipulation and control and making your spouse the problem if he or she doesn’t cooperate with you.It’s all about you.

If you tell these things to her you will plant seeds of doubt in her head about your integrity and the veracity of your marriage.

If you do these things or insist or persuade her to do them with you, you will convince her beyond all doubt that you are a selfish perv, out to throw her away to the dogs.

The number one complain I hear from clients whose spouses have insisted they try any variation of the swinging lifestyle is:

Why wouldn’t he protect me?Why would he throw the integrity of our marriage away?Why is his selfish desire more important than my emotional well-being and the dignity of our marriage?Why?Why?Why?Why won’t he protect me?Why won’t he protect me?I must not mean anything to him.

It’s pretty hard to be married to your perpetrator. There ain’t many people that are going to sit around and be Okay with that. Maybe if your spouse was sexually abused as a child she could tolerate it for a while, but only because some other abuser got there first and conditioned her to swallow her opinion or her conscience or her dignity and to just be the object of her abuser’s pleasure and she has no life and no say and her feelings don’t matter and that her job is to make you happy and do what you want. She’s been taught, maybe for years, that she needs to just roll over and die. She doesn’t exist.

I hope, instead, a little lightbulb goes on in her head that says, “this is the same thing that daddy told me when I was 10-years old! My frickin’ husband is doing the same thing! This is NUTS!”

I thought sex between a husband and wife was supposed to be special?I thought it was supposed to be protected.I thought it was supposed to be holy.I thought it was supposed to be about just us two?Nobody else.Tender.Longings fulfilled.Vulnerable.Naked and not ashamed.Looking into each other’s eyes.The connection of our souls.The joining of our spirits.The reminder of our oneness and our vows and our commitment.The germination of the next generation.

You mean sex means NOTHING?AT ALL?JUST A RAW ACT?With anyone?You tell me this over and over and over and over.You believe this?You mean I’m nothing to you?There’s nothing special about me?Why are we married, then?

If she tells you it’s Okay to swing?If she tells you she even enjoyed it?If she tells you let’s do it again?

Be careful.You’ve just taught her to lie, remember?She’s supposed to make you happy, even though her inner core is screaming in protest.She’s just supposed to be sexual with these people and NOT feel anything.You are teaching her to lie to herself.It doesn’t feel right to her and she does it anyway.You were so happy.You thought she was enjoying it, too!HA!So what’s going to keep her from lying to you?She’s already lying to you when she says it’s fine.You told her it’s fine.She knows better, but says it’s fine anyway?

Wow.Now we got a mess.Now you can’t trust her?She enjoyed sex with that guy?She fell in love with that woman?More than with me?You liked him?You weren’t supposed to like her.We were just going to have some fun.Sex is fun.Recreation.You love him?You aren’t supposed to love her.How can I ever trust you again?

Dr. Wall, she was just supposed to be sexual with him.She fell in love with her.I feel so violated.Tell her she done wrong by falling in love with the guy (or gal, as the case may be).

Welcome to chaos. Welcome to relationship Hades. Welcome to an emotional wasteland. Welcome to fear and dread and worry and anxiety and loneliness and feeling lost. Welcome.

It’s just sex, right?It doesn’t mean anything.

Tell that to your shrink. You’re going to need one.

Part Seven On Sexual Desire: Using Sex and Communication As Clubs

Part Three On Sexual Desire: I’m Just A Sexual Person

The last couple of blogs I’ve discussed wives who are proud of the fact that they don’t want sex (here and here) can’t be dissuaded or influenced, and accuse their husbands of being sex fiends if their husbands are the least bit miffed at not having any say in the matter. I try not to pick on genders in this blog, because, so often, as soon as you make a statement about a one gender, there’s a person of the opposite sex that feels the same way. Now maybe there are husbands out there who take the same position, where they could care less if they are ever sexual with their wives again for the rest of their lives, maybe there is. I just haven’t met them. Guys don’t wear a lack of sexual desire as a badge of pride. The one’s I’ve met are sad about it. I’m thinking the women who have no sexual desire and are haughty about it, even feeling superior, could use a little humility, because maybe there could be some progress in the right direction if they had a little humility, but so far I’ve not figured out how to be successful with someone who’s right all the time. There’s no therapy for indifference, either.

Since I made a generalization about some women in these last two blogs, in fairness, I’m going to make some generalizations about some men today.I apologize ahead of time for taking these pot shots, because I haven’t met every person in the world and I’m sure, out there somewhere, there’s a woman who feels just like the guys I’m going to talk about today.

There are a few guys, thankfully, not too many, who are totally self-absorbed when it comes to sex.It’s like they are bound and determined to stay 14 forever.They interpret everything through sexual lenses and if they are not doing it, they are thinking about it and if they are thinking about it they are wanting it and if they aren’t getting it they are upset about it and mad about it and put out about it and they make sure their wives are privy and up to date on the state of their displeasure on not being sexual at this moment or the moment before or any unsexually stimulated moments in the future and they’ve even figured out how to be hurt in the future right now because by now they’ve figured out that their wives aren’t going to be sexual with them near the amount that these guys need, want, and demand and so even though their wives haven’t turned them down in the future yet, these guys are already resentful about it.

Now thinking about sex 24/7 is pretty normal for a 14-year old, but if you are 45 and still doing this, I would suggest that you get a life. There are 168 hours in a week. Let’s say, that, maybe, you are sexually involved with your wife an hour or two a week. Let’s add a few hours of cuddling and canoodling. That leaves 162 hours to do and think and plan and hope and ponder and desire and learn and reason about something else. I hope you’ve figured this out. The LORD gave you more sexual energy than you can possibly ever channel toward your wife and His intent was that you’d take that excess sexual, creative energy and use it for the greater good to be a blessing to the rest of humanity. If, instead, you take all that left over sexual energy and channel it toward your navel and further south, you will be taking this wonderful gift God has given you and flushing it into the sewer.

How do some guys become so adolescence locked into this sexual zone and can’t think about anything else? Again, I’m sure there are exceptions, and, other than God, no one will ever know for sure, but the guys I’ve met who sound like this, talk like this, convey that they think like this, are honing their thinking and expanding their horizons and channeling their creativity and inventiveness and talents and abilities into porn and squandering their lives in the sewer. If you spend your life in a cesspool, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that everything you touch, every person you influence, every thought you have stinks. I’d say stink to high heaven, but I don’t think God will let those thought up that far and for sure God won’t let it stink up in heaven. For sure.

Some guys (Please, Wives: Not all men do this!!!!) take their left over sexual energy and instead of channeling it toward creativity, inventiveness, problem solving, family times, work, hobbies, and fun, they invest (waste their life away) in pornography. Increasingly, more and more women are doing this. In any case, it’s a plague on our houses and on ALL of your loved ones, and particularly your soul, if you allow this poison to seep into the private recesses of your integrity and let it rob you of your dignity. It will make your wife feel you are having an affair with inanimate objects.  Eeeuuuw!  If you do this, the following math formula applies to you:

Porn = Selfish prick training.

Or what others might view as a perv.

A perv.

I really hope you can find something else to think about, because your manliness can only handle so much stimulation before it finally just loses it and then you’ll be sitting there with no tools and a brain that can’t shift into any other gear.Won’t that be a kicker?Did I mix metaphors?Hello!Are you listening?

I mean this literally. I’ve met men in their twenties, that otherwise are perfectly healthy, but because they’ve masturbated to their own navel for so long and so often they have no sexual energy for their wives AT ALL and they are sitting there with erectile dysfunction!! You are kidding right? You’re just more sexual? Right. Look at you. You’ve created your own idol out of your own hands and it’s powerless. It’d be funny if it weren’t pathetic.

Porn is selfishness training.

Porn locks your maturity up and throws away the key.It stunts your growth.This isn’t some myth like you used to hear about caffeine when you were a kid.This is the real deal.You want to stay immature?You want to be easily angered?Fidget a lot?No patience?No ability to see things from your spouse’s point of view?No self-confidence?Constant chaos?Always in a hurry, because you just wasted all those hours with your mind swimming in putrid scum and now you are trying to pretend everything is fine as you talk to your boss or your client or even your little girl, but your mind is engulfed in it’s own oil spill the just mucks up every thought, every gesture with boobs and vaginas?So much for looking someone in the eye and being confident.How are you supposed to hold your head high when you mind is drenched in filth?You, putting on an act, like you care?You can’t care when your mind is racing with that stuff and you know it.Your creativity just disappears.Your resilience is gone.You are angry way too much, because instead of nurturing self-control and character you are developing the skill of getting what you want when you want it how you want it and you want it now. You want that?Just do porn.

Porn will make you bored with your wife.How is she supposed to compete with 20-year olds?Thousands of them?Why would she even want to?!  You’ll make demands on her that she try this or that.You always have to do something new.  You’ll want her to do perverted stuff she doesn’t want to do and rather than enhance your lovemaking will just make her feel dirty.  Your wife won’t seem that pretty to you.You’ll obsess on her weight, even though, in the larger scheme of things, you’ve gained way more than her in your years together.What’s fair about that?You aren’t interested in fair, right?You are interested in you.You don’t want to be close to her.You want to have sex. And if you don’t, you’ll be mad, or pout or withdraw or get downright nasty.You’ll be so self-absorbed you won’t realize that this isn’t a very good way to enhance your wife’s libido.You can only induce your wife into sex through guilt and pressure and whining for so long before you train her that sex means nothing and the last thing she’ll want to do is spend intimate moments with you:Because it isn’t intimacy!It’s “releasing sexual energy.”AHHHHH!Like, you are a dog?What’s that make your wife?

Here’s another formula: The more you channel your sexual energies to porn, the less interested your wife will be in being sexually intimate with you. So much for you being more sexual! HA! The more you do porn the less REAL sexual contact you have with a flesh and blood person who loves and cherishes you, or at least did cherish you. It’s hard to cherish a perv. If you aren’t careful you’ll train her to hate both sex AND YOU!!!

Porn freezes your sexual desire into 18-22-year old girl zone or earlier, if you let yourself be really creepy, when your sexual desire for your wife is SUPPOSED to mature along with you two as you age.You are SUPPOSED to channel your sexual energy to your wife, and anything left over is SUPPOSED to go into creative juices to be a blessing to the world.SUPPOSED.Can I say supposed?Can I make a moral statement?

But these guys are very, very stubborn, as all 14-year olds are. And they are very, very miffed and put out that their wives won’t put out.

Which leads us to the crux of the matter: Porn teaches you that sex is about you, for you and that you neeeeeeeeed IT. I need, I need, I need, I need (quoting What About Bob)