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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday musings

My mind is off in a dozen directions today, so this blog may be a bit disjointed. I will attempt to weed out the blather and put down some coherent thoughts.

First, I read something just this morning (a quote from a book) that kind of irked me. I am not going to name the book or the author, because I don't wish to appear that I'm going on a personal attack here. It's the idea behind what I read that bothers me, not the book itself or its author.

The book is for women, and the subject is how to deal with a husband or boyfriend who has a sexual fetish. I haven't read it; I just saw some excerpts, but even in those, the message I got was clear: it's our responsibility to embrace these fetishes and fulfill the desires, if we love our men.

Here is a paragraph that particularly bothered me:

You have a choice: your husband or boyfriend can either be alone with his sexual fetish or you can learn to be the one who fulfills his every sexual need. Choose to reject and you will have a husband or boyfriend who will be secretive and stray. Choose to join in and you'll have a husband or boyfriend who will be loyal and appreciative.

Is it just me, or is this overly black-and-white? A one-size-fits-all statement? I know from personal experience that this isn't necessarily true for all. But what about the hundreds of women out there who will read this and feel like they have to do something that they don't understand/mildly dislike/hate/etc. in order to please their man?

There are a gazillion fetishes out there, and some are more easily fulfilled than others. The author, with this statement, is completely bypassing the third alternative: let your man get his fetish needs met elsewhere, with your blessing.

Of course, the ideal is to learn to fulfill the fetish desires yourself, so your man can stay home and be happy. But life and relationships seldom run along the ideal continuum. I don't think it's healthy to send a message that mates (male or female) have to adapt to a partner's fetish and fulfill it, if it goes against their grain. OK, you can experiment with ropes and blindfolds, with a bit of light spanking, etc. But what about the more hard-core fetishes?

I love John with all my heart. But he likes having things done to him that I couldn't do in my dreams. Am I a bad girlfriend because I haven't forced myself to do these things? Is he secretive and miserable? Yeah, yeah, I hear you guys out there. "Not all of us find playing with others outside the relationship acceptable." OK. But if it's such a selfish thing to be unable to fulfill your partner's fetish, isn't it also selfish to not consider allowing them to fulfill it elsewhere? If someone won't do either, then that makes things a bit non-negotiable. But there is that third choice, and I don't think it shouldn't be ignored in an instructional manual for couples.

Maybe I'm taking this a bit too personally, because it hits close to home. What do you guys think?

EDIT: I do realize this is one lone paragraph, taken out of context. However, some of the surrounding copy seemed similar. And while I take issue with this particular concept, I'm not taking issue with the author. This person is well known and experienced. This is just my gut reaction to the concept that a mate should be expected to embrace and participate in his/her partner's fetish.

In other news, I spent 5 1/2 hours with my former stepmother S yesterday. We talked and talked and talked, about everything imaginable. My parents. Her parents. Her marriage to my father. Her first husband, who just recently passed away. Show business (more Six Degrees of Hollywood: her ex-husband's son is one of the directors of The Big Bang Theory, my favorite sitcom). Politics. Euthanasia (we are both staunch believers in it). She had two adorable little dogs (terrier mixes), both rescues, who scrambled all over me, brought me their toys and covered me with kisses.

A random memory I have from when my dad and S were married: They had a set of four sterling silver wine goblets, which they used every night. The glasses had some initials engraved at the bottom. When they split up, S took two of the glasses and left Dad the other two. I asked him what the initials stood for, but he refused to tell me. Soon after that, he got rid of his pair, because Vampira didn't want him keeping anything that had to do with S. (rolling eyes)

Anyway, I mentioned these glasses to S last night, and she said she still had them! After all these years... I was surprised. She found them in the wet bar area -- they were tarnished, but still beautiful. Finally found out what the initials stood for -- I thought it was God knows what, the way my dad acted about it, but it turned out to be rather sweet. Then she said, "Would you like to have them?"

Oh. Would I. Kind of silly, I suppose. I don't drink wine, and the initials on the glasses are from another time, another love. But I cherish them anyway.

As we said goodbye, she hugged and kissed me and said, "I love you." I blurted, "I just adore you, and I'm so grateful you're in my life." I am, truly.

Once home, I found a silver-polishing cloth and spent several minutes buffing the tarnish off the glasses. They are gorgeous; elegant and classy.

Much like S. My beautiful stepmother, still lovely at nearly 81.


  1. I can see this both ways. I can see wanting to please your partner, so if, it's in you- you adapt your own desires and stretch as far as you can. If it is not within you, and have a stable loving relationship, with everything else, being fine. I think it is a gift, to allow your partner to find their kink elsewhere.

    Doesn't it all come down in the end to respect and trust. Even more then just love? If the freedom they find in the release of energy and emotion is transforming to them, then all you do is stifle them by denying them.

    I also think, its up to the other party, to not betray that trust and behave responsible. I think men and women, can have immense attraction ,respect, love and deep lust for each other and still behave. Still be the very best of friends. I know this to be true in my life. BUT, you have to work for it. Keep it above board. One of Suitor's Mates is a close friend of mine. We used to boat together when Suitor was abroad. Alone, sometimes even overnight. When he acquired his present girlfriend, she called me up and told me it would no longer be appropriate for me to sail alone with my friend(her man without the company of a third party. What am I 5? It's all about trust in the end. And having some sort of inner morality to know right or wrong.

    Oh sweet baby Jesus, ran my trap again. Shutemupem now.
    Hugs signed Newt Suit

  2. Newt -- I do agree, IF it is within you to fulfill those desires, then absolutely, do so. But that's a mighty big IF and I don't think anyone should be told that they have to do it, period.

    How silly and insecure of your friend's girlfriend. That kind of stuff really ticks me off. :-(

  3. Interesting; I read that quote today too. I read a recommendation of the book somewhere, and I was considering downloading it onto my Kindle before I came across the bit you've just used.

    While I can appreciate the intent behind what she says, it is too black and white; basically it places all of the responsibility for change on one partner, whilst I always believed that every successful partnership is about compromise.

    And my wife only tolerates my kink, but I love her; I have no desire to leave her to look for someone more amenable.

    All the best


  4. Tim -- the author is well known and respected, and I have no doubt the book contains some valuable information. And I'm quoting one paragraph out of hundreds of pages. Still, that one paragraph profoundly disturbed me because of its implication. Human beings are far too individual and complicated for a broad spectrum statement like that.

  5. But of course, men are the gatekeepers of the thing women most want: sexual exclusivity (which determines emotional exclusivity, BTW). In order to obtain it, a woman must reluctantly allow the slavering beast of a man access to the sexual practices she, in turn, holds under lock and key.

    Open relationships? Dialogue? Compromise? What are those strange modern concepts?

  6. Adele -- I do love it when you stop by. :-) Well stated food for thought.

  7. I think we have to be very careful of paragraphs taken out of context. I happen to know the individual rather well who wrote it and I have considered reading the entire book to see what she says. I'm not sure she is saying you absolutley have to do what the paragraph by itself seems to imply. I think she is talking about possibilities. Besides that, could it have been said about one particular fetish, or all fetishes?

    I know of another book where some of what is said sounds very good; until you read the context. Then it is really not so nice. So it is a good idea to get the context and then you can understand it better.

  8. As long as satisfying his kink outside of our relationship didn't create a health/safety risk for me, I would not have a problem with it. In fact, I would encourage him to do so. So for some of us there is option #3.

  9. Erica, Descartes the French philospher once wrote. "I think, therefore I am". That's what I like about you Erica. Your 'kepple' (head), thinks. For I agree 100% with you on your most recent article.

  10. I, for one, want to know what's behind that third door. My life is best described as shades of twilight--there is very little that is black and white to me.

    I'm so glad you got to spend some quality time with S! Have you told her about your book? Probably not, but I'm sure it must be a temptation.

  11. It's hard to tell without context, but I think the paragraph presented is overly black and white. There are degrees. One can try to fulfill aspects of a fetish, or grant a partner the right to go elsewhere or ask a specific fetch not be indulged in... there is a whole spectrum. Still, I suspect the author was making the point that a person with a strong fetish probably will get it fulfilled, either inside the relationship or outside it. And the more vanilla partner should be aware of that.

  12. This strikes very close to home for me. Before we were married I swear that my wife would literally jump me. I did not mind that a bit. After we were married however she changed and I still haven't a clue as to why. Maybe she was excited because she did not believe in premarital sex and it was forbidden. I still feel that when you do get married its supposed to be forever, and I am looking for an alternate solution.


  13. When a couple cannot face a difference head on, and cannot discuss their interests together to work things out as a team, that's when problems arise. It's up to both (or more, depending on how you roll) parties to make things work. When one partner feels the burden is all on that person and that person alone, there are more important issues at hand than, say, sexual gratification. With proper communication, with a good give-and-take dialogue about every day issues, most issues can be worked out to a point where both people can get at least part of what they want. Sometimes, just having one's needs aknowleged goes a long way toward feeling fullfilled, even when your need is still not fully met.

    That paragraph reminds me of some fundamentalist religious marriage help book excerpt I read a looooong time ago, about how it's up to you to make your half of the marriage 100% better and then things will feel better or some BS. It is not just the woman's job, or just the man's job, to maintain the relationship, it's everyone's job to contribute.

  14. The thing about that book quote is it just regales the spouse to a subservient participant with no heeding of their own needs or even whether they WANT to participate in said sexual fetish. It's like, "he wants it so you'd better give it to him!" Really? Is that how it works? Frustrating to think people (and published people, no less) think this way.

  15. Hi Erica.I agree with you about the paragraph :-)I also think that trust and being responsible has a lot to do with it as well.I am happy that you got to spend some time with S and how WONDERFUL that she gave you the goblet's :-)She sound's VERY sweet and loving and caring :-)Much Love and hug's to you from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  16. Bobbie Jo -- your point is well taken, which is why I just posted a little edit to my blog. It's not the author or the book that is sticking in my craw; it's that particular concept.

    SnP -- I know option #3 is considered unacceptable by many. But it still IS an option.

    Six -- with me, it's more like "I bitch, therefore I am." :-)

    Dana -- no, she knows nothing of Erica Scott. I just can't do it.

    Anonymous -- you could be right, regarding your final point.

    Emanuele -- I'm sorry about that. From your description, that does seem to be a bit of bait-and-switch. :-(

  17. Greeneyez -- I think what bothered me most of all was the book title, which implies that if you love your mate, you would do (whatever) for him. I love my mate, but goddammit, I'm not beating him and you can't make me.

    Craig -- yeah. I am about shades of gray with these things. Ironically, John himself is also a black-and-white thinker. It's the engineer in him.

    Jade -- S is wonderful. And still the most beautiful woman I've ever met.

  18. I have a similar gut feeling as you have, Erica, concerning that advice. Of course I am open to try new things if I know that my partner is into them. And I guess there are always certain fetishes which are closer to the heart of one partner but are shared by the other one because the knowledge to make a loved one happy is motivation enough.

    But I know that they are certain wishes that would be outside my boundaries. If I forced myself to fulfil them, it would me feel like I violated my own limits – and that definitely wouldn't be good for the relationship. Since I long for a very exclusive and monogamous relationship, having my partner fulfil his sexual fantasies with another woman wouldn't work for me, either.

    Which means, if we were in such a situation, my partner and I might have to choose option number four: Setting each other free and giving us both the chance to look for someone whose sexual fantasies fit ours. In my opinion this is a legitimate option as well.

    I am lucky in that Ludwig's and my fetishes fit together well enough. Of course there isn't a 100 per cent match, but there are very few things which one of us longs for but which are outside the other's boundaries. And in those cases we have always found a good compromise that works well for both of us.

    You wrote: "[...] if it's such a selfish thing to be unable to fulfill your partner's fetish, isn't it also selfish to not consider allowing them to fulfill it elsewhere?" Actually, I don't think that either of the two is selfish. As well as it isn't selfish to have certain fetishes in the first place. In my opinion it is all about personal preferences, personal dreams and personal boundaries. For me (like others have already said as well) the key is open and honest communication – it is the way to find an individual solution that suits the preferences, the needs and the boundaries of the particular couple in question.

  19. Erica, how lovely that you were finally let in on the secret of the goblets (sounds like a good title for the next Harry Potter book) and that you and S had such a wonderful time. She sounds like a very special lady.

    As for door number three, I'm afraid that's not for me, but I can understand why it's the best solution for both you and John.


  20. Kaelah -- thank you for your thoughtful reply. I hadn't even considered option #4 -- it's such a sad option. But I guess sometimes, it's for the best. (sigh)

    I can't speak for everyone, of course. But I do know from my own personal experience that forcing myself to adapt to my lover's fetish isn't possible. And yet, I have not lost him. We've struggled mightily at times, but we're still together and adore each other.

    Hermione -- Ha! I like that -- "Secret of the Goblets." She is indeed very special. :-)

  21. I don't think relationships can be that black and white either. Being able to share your needs with your partner so you don't have to hide your deepest desires? Great. Expecting the other to fulfill all of them? Unrealistic. I don't see anything wrong with door number 3, or whatever else people may work out for themselves. To each their own. I'm very happy with J but I have a lot of other play partners and get different things from each of them as it's a totally different dynamic. I'm glad that J is comfortable in letting me explore that.

  22. Lea -- you're lucky that way, as am I.

  23. @ Erica:
    To me it seems like you and John have found a way that suits the needs and the limits which the two of you have very well! I assume that no love relationship is always easy and that in every relationship there is the occasional struggle, but with a great partner it is definitely worth it, right?! :-)

  24. Kaelah -- oh yes, indeed it is. :-)