I am looking for an erotic lover on the side

Added: Dene Wirtz - Date: 10.10.2021 23:06 - Views: 13104 - Clicks: 5109

A few years ago, I attended a presentation at a national conference, demonstrating work with a couple who had come to therapy in part because of a sharp decline in their sexual activity. ly, the couple had engaged in light sado-masochism; now, following the birth of their second child, the wife wanted more conventional sex. But the husband was attached to their old style of lovemaking, so they were stuck. The presenter took the approach that resolving the couple's sexual difficulty first required working through the emotional dynamics of their marriage and new status as parents.

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But the discussion afterward indicated that the audience was far less interested in the couple's overall relationship than in the issue of sado-masochistic sex. What pathology, several questioners wanted to know, might underlie the man's need to sexually objectify his wife and her desire for bondage in the first place? Perhaps, some people speculated, motherhood had restored her sense of dignity, so that now she refused to be so demeaned.

Some suggested the impasse reflected long-standing gender differences: men tended to pursue separateness, power, and control, while women yearned for loving affiliation and connection. Still others were certain that couples like this needed more empathic connection to counteract their tendency to engage in an implicitly abusive, power-driven relationship. After two hours of talking about sex, the group had not once mentioned the words pleasure or eroticism I am looking for an erotic lover on the side, so I finally spoke up. Was I alone in my surprise at this omission? I asked.

Their form of sex had been entirely consensual, after all. Maybe the woman no longer wanted to be tied up by her husband because she now had a baby constantly attached to her breasts, binding her more effectively than ropes ever could. Didn't people in the audience have their own sexual preferences, preferences they didn't feel the need to interpret or justify? Why automatically assume that there had to be something degrading and pathological about this couple's sex play? Was it too threatening to conceive of a strong, secure woman enjoying acting out sexual fantasies of submission?

Perhaps conference participants were afraid that if women did reveal such desires, they'd somehow sanction male dominance everywhere—in business, professional life, politics, economics? Maybe, in this era, the very ideas of sexual dominance and submission, conquest and subjugation, aggression and surrender regardless of which partner plays which part couldn't be squared with the ideals of fairness, compromise, and equality that undergird American marital therapy today. As an outsider to American society—I grew up in Europe and have lived and worked in many countries--I wondered if the attitudes I saw in this meeting reflected deep cultural differences.

I couldn't help wondering whether the clinicians in the room believed that the couple's sexual preferences—even though consensual and completely nonviolent—were too wild and "kinky," therefore inappropriate and irresponsible, for the ponderously serious business of maintaining a marriage and raising a family. After the conference, I engaged in many intense conversations with other European friends and therapists, as well as Brazilian and Israeli colleagues who'd been at the meeting.

We realized that we all felt somewhat out of step with the sexual attitudes of our American colleagues. From these conversations, it became clear that putting our finger on what was culturally different wasn't easy. On a subject as laden with taboos as the expression of sexuality, each of us is inevitably thrown back on our own experiences. What struck most of the non-Americans I talked with was that America, in matters of sex as in much else, was a goal-oriented society that preferred explicit meanings, candor, and "plain speech" to ambiguity and allusion.

Growing up in Belgium, a traditionally Roman Catholic society that carries a mixture of Germanic and Latin traditions and influences, I gravitated toward the warmth and spontaneity of the Latin features of the culture. I came here to further my education, and never used my return ticket.

Ironically, some of America's best features—the belief in democracy, equality, consensus-building, compromise, fairness, and mutual tolerance—can, when carried too punctiliously into the bedroom, result in very boring sex. Sexual desire doesn't play by the same rules of good citizenship that maintain peace and contentment in the social relations between partners. Sexual excitement is politically incorrect, often thriving on power plays, role reversals, unfair advantages, imperious demands, seductive manipulations, and subtle cruelties.

American couples therapists, shaped by the legacy of egalitarian ideals, often find themselves challenged by these contradictions. What I'd characterize as a European emphasis on complementarity—the appeal of difference—rather than strict gender equality has, it seems to me, made women on the other side of the Atlantic feel less conflict between being smart and being sexy. In Europe, to sexualize a woman doesn't mean to denigrate her intelligence or competence or authority. Women, therefore, can enjoy expressing their sexuality and being objects of desire, can enjoy their sexual power, even in the workplace, without feeling they're forfeiting their right to be taken seriously as professionals and workers.

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Susanna, for example, is a Spanish patient who has a high-level position with an international company in New York. She sees no contradiction between her job and her desire to express her sexual power--even among her colleagues. As she puts it, "I expect to be complimented on my looks and my efforts to look good.

If compliments are given graciously, they don't offend, but make clear that we're still men and women who are attracted to one another, and not worker-robots. If a man indicates he likes the way I look, I don't feel he thinks anything less of my professional abilities because of it, any more than I think less of him because I find him handsome. Of course, American feminists achieved momentous improvements in all aspects of women's lives. Yet without denigrating those historically ificant achievements, I do believe that the emphasis on egalitarian and respectful sex--purged of any expressions of power, aggression, and transgression—is antithetical to erotic desire, for men and women alike.

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I'm well aware of the widespread sexual abuse of women and children. I don't mean to offer the faintest sanction to any coercive behavior.

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Everything I suggest here depends on receiving clear consent and respecting the other's humanity. The writer Daphne Merkin writes: "No bill of sexual rights can hold its own against the lawless, untamable landscape of the erotic imagination. Many in our field assume that the intense fantasy life that shapes the early stages of erotically charged romantic love is a form of temporary insanity, destined to fade under the rigors of marriage. Might not fantasy, though, and particularly sexual fantasy, actually enhance and animate the reality of married life? Clinicians often interpret the lust for sexual adventure and the desire to cross traditional sexual boundaries—ranging from simple flirting to infatuation, from maintaining contact with lovers to cross-dressing, threesomes, and fetishes—as fears of commitment and infantile fantasies.

Sexual fantasies about one's partner, particularly if they involve intense role-playing or scenarios of dominance and submission, are often regarded as symptoms of neuroses or immaturity, erotically tinged romantic idealization that blinds one to a partner's true identity.

Our therapeutic culture "solves" the conflict between the drabness of the familiar and the excitement of the unknown by advising patients to renounce their fantasies in favor of more rational and "adult" sexual agendas. Therapists typically encourage patients to "really get to know'' their partners. But I often tell my patients that "knowing isn't everything.

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Terry had been in therapy for a year, trying to come to terms with the shock he'd experienced in the transition from a two- to a four-person household, from being one half of a couple involved erotically to being one quarter of a family with two children and no eroticism at all. He began one session by announcing: "All right, you want to hear a real midlife story? You're going to get one. My wife and I recently hired this young German au pair to work for us during vacation.

It's ended up that every morning, she and I take care of my daughters together. She's lovely—so natural, full of vitality and youth—and I've developed this amazing crush on her. You know how I've been talking about this feeling of deadness, my energy dropping, my body getting heavier? Well, her energy has wakened me up. I want to sleep with her and I wonder why I don't. I'm scared to do it and scared not to.

I feel foolish, guilty, and I can't stop thinking about her. As I listened to him, I thought that what was happening to him was an awakening of his dormant senses. The question was how could he relish this experience without allowing the momentary and exhilarating intoxication to endanger his marriage? I didn't discourage Terry from his "immature" wishes or lecture him. I didn't try to talk reason into him. I didn't try to "explore" the emotional dynamics beneath this presumably "adolescent" desire. I simply valued his experience.

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He was looking at something beautiful; he was fantasizing. I marveled with him at the allure and beauty of the fantasy, while also calling it by its true name: a fantasy. And you know that you can never compare this state of inebriation with life at home, because home is about something else. Home is safe.

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Here, you're trembling, you're on shaky ground. You like it, but you're also afraid that it can take you too far away from home. I think that you probably don't let your wife evoke such tremors in you. A few days later, he was having lunch in a restaurant with his wife and she was telling him of her boyfriend. Normally, I don't like hearing these stories of hers--they make me jealous and irritated.

But this time, I just let myself listen and found myself getting very turned on. So did she. In fact, we were so excited we had to look for a bathroom where we could be alone. I suggested that perhaps the experience of listening to a fresh young woman was what enabled him now to listen to his wife differently—as a sexual woman in possession of her desirability. He was viewing his familiar wife from a new distance. I invited Terry to permit himself the erotic intensity of the illicit with his wife: "This could be a beginning of bringing lust home," I said.

It always amazes me how much people are willing to experiment sexually outside their relationships, yet how tame and puritanical they are at home with their partners. Many of my patients have, by their owndomestic sex lives devoid of excitement and eroticism, yet are consumed and aroused by a richly imaginative sexual life beyond domesticity—affairs, pornography, prostitutes, cybersex, or feverish daydreams.

Having denied themselves freedom and freedom of imagination in their relationships, they go outside, to reimagine themselves with dangerous strangers. Yet the commodification of sex—the enormous sex industry—actually hinders our potentially infinite capacity for fantasy, restraining and contaminating our sexual imagination. The explicitness of sexual products undermines the power of mystery, the voyeuristic pleasures of the hidden. Where nothing is forbidden, nothing is erotic. Furthermore, pornography and cybersex are ultimately isolating, disconnected from relations with a real, live, other person.

A fundamental conundrum in marriage, it seems to me, is that we seek a steady, reliable anchor in our partner, and a transcendent experience that allows us to soar beyond the boundaries and limitations of our ordinary lives. The challenge, then, for couples and therapists, is to reconcile the need for what's safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring.

That challenge is further complicated when the partners are on opposite sides of this divide.

I am looking for an erotic lover on the side

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