And if you don't kink then you're no friend of mine.
February 20, 2013 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm kinky, but only sometimes. He's kinky, all the time, and more so than me. He also displays a focus on certain specific sex acts that I find worrying and is interfering with our sex life - not the things we do, but the things it seems he has to do to come or be happy. How do we deal with this? What do these desires of his mean? And if I'm not into the things he has to do, does it mean he's not into me? (Insecurities abound)

This is a long-term relationship problem - these are things that were fine initially but are starting to creep up.

For starters, I do like kinky sex and BDSM, but it's very much the cherry on top for me rather than the entire ice cream sundae. I can have relatively vanilla sex that is amazing, especially if I use a vibrator to help. My husband, however, really, really likes kinky sex - to the extent that he has severe difficulty coming when our sex is vanilla. Last night, I tried to initiate sex, and he was very obviously not into it once I asked him to do a slow build. If I ask for BDSM type sex, he's usually up for it, but he also I think feels like I am not as hardcore as him, and wishes I would be so.

He is also very focused on anal sex, and things related to it, in a way that I find really upsetting. When we have regular sex, he prefers to do it from behind so he can look at and feel my ass. He really likes to include anal toys for both of us - his preference would be to always include them. When we're having sex, if we start dirty-talking, he likes to talk about what it would be like if we were having anal sex. He is wildly enthusiastic about me wearing a strap-on, and I know wishes I would use it more.

I have not, including now, had anal sex. Initially when he started expressing an interest in this, I was willing to give it a good shot - I've enjoyed sex with anal toys before, and it was something he really wanted. We were going to be working on building me up to it slowly. But now the focus on it makes me really frustrated and almost not want to have it at all. I feel like the anal sex thing is taking over our sex life.

I am having a really hard time understanding what seems like a strange obsession to me. It really also increases my feelings of insecurity. For me, sex is fun and awesome but also indicative of the closeness of the relationship. When he seems to only want to have BDSM or anal sex with me, it feels like he doesn't love me unless I am doing exactly what he wants. I'm also starting to lose my enjoyment of sex from behind - which I love the physicality of - because it is making me feel like he doesn't want to see my face. When he can't come from vanilla sex, it makes me feel like he doesn't love me at all. Sometimes I also wonder if all the focus on anal sex means that he would prefer to have sex with men. I know he has had a strong attraction to pre-op trans ladies, which I know for some guys is the "I'm not gay, but" of our time. (I stress, it would be cool if he were into men, except that I am not a dude so that I think I would lose in this situation)

tl;dr: He wants all BDSM and all anal, all the time - and at this point, it's the only way he can come. WTF? Can we never have regular sex? And what does it all mean?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Have you talked to him about this?
posted by baby beluga at 7:17 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Okay, first of all, whether or not he likes anal sex has absolutely nothing to do with his sexuality. Nothing at all. He likes it because he feels good. There isn't a magical button up there that turns a straight guy into a gay guy when they take it up the butt. It's like saying that a woman who likes penetration must be straight. Stupid, right? Stop thinking like that. The only thing his fetish for anal sex means is that he likes anal sex. That's it.

Second: you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. If he is pressuring you into continuing with your anal sex regimen, you have every right to sit him down and tell him that it's making you uncomfortable and you would like to put it on hold.

Third: whatever happens, if you haven't already, you need to talk to him about this. Otherwise it's going to become this big wall of silent resentment between you and him and you're both going to suffer. Talk to him.
posted by fight or flight at 7:21 AM on February 20, 2013 [18 favorites]

What does it mean? It means that you have to sit down with your partner and tell him that you are feeling that your needs aren't being met. You appreciate that he loves butt stuff and you're open to exploring it with him...but it can't be everything about sex in your relationship because you need more. Tell him that even though he doesn't intend it to be taken this way, you feel like he doesn't want to see your face during sex and that you sometimes just need vanilla sex.

You have to be clear with him what you want and need. He's very clear what he wants and needs. Now you two have to meet in the middle for you to be satisfied as a couple.

Maybe he's gay, maybe he's bi, maybe he's straight, maybe he's something else...but what he isn't being is a great, loving, caring partner. If he can't or won't give you what you need, you need to move on.
posted by inturnaround at 7:21 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

you should definitely talk about this. I had a LTR and his preference for anal (which is something I actively don't enjoy the feeling of and don't really want to do) was a wedge in our sex life. I felt like since I didn't want to do that, and it seemed like that was ALL he wanted, we started to just have sex less and less until we didn't anymore hardly at all.

however, I think now that if we had communicated better we probably could have worked it out. maybe sometimes you can have the sex that turns you on, and the focus can be on you coming, and other times you can have the sex he wants, and the focus can be on him coming.

I know it's sort of unromantic to structure your sex life, but I think a guideline like "we can have hardcore BDSM sex that you like once a week and we will also have some nice vanilla sex once a week for me" might take some of the pressure and worry off.

for the record, though I'm a girl I still think it's valid, I don't come every time I have sex, and still enjoy it thoroughly. it's not always the destination, it's the journey ;)

also, he's having sex with you (a lady) and married with to you (a lady) and obviously pretty comfy with his kinks, it doesn't sound like he's gay to me. just kinky.
posted by euphoria066 at 7:26 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't know about other people, but in my experience, it's rare for both people to come at the same time (though I've seen plenty of people fake it). First I get my partner off by doing something she likes, then she gets me off by doing something I like, and we switch off this way. This also takes a lot of the pressure off to have the "perfect" sexual experience.

Is your husband successfully getting off when he has sex with you? If so, then you are entitled to make requests to ensure that your needs are met. If not, then consider meeting his needs first, and then ask him to meet yours.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

He's obsessed with putting it in your bum because he hasn't done that and it's taken up a mythical status in his head. Tell him that the pressure and focus and frustration are huge turnoffs to you: if sex isn't fun, you're not interested. This needs to be a fun, chill thing that you maybe try together. The way he's acting now is pretty much guaranteeing that he'll never get to do it.

Basically, he needs to scale it back a little. The big issue happening here is that your sex life is entirely about his wants. It's fine if you're both doing what you're into, but if you want vanilla sex and he's not so into it, that's a problem - there's no compromise. There's no meeting in the middle of your respective desires. There needs to be.

So how do you do that?

Well, I'm guessing that he's jerking off a lot, and he needs to do less of that. Hs fantasy life looms so large in his head because he's spending more time there than with you. Not only that, but when he actually gets around to being with you, there isn't much left in the tank, so the only things that really get his motor running are the old standby fantasies that work for him every time, the huge turnons. He just needs to re-tune himself and get back to reality. In short: Spend time building intimacy with you in nonsexual ways that include a lot of touch, and tactfully suggest that he think about dialing back the amount of whacking off he does. He might balk at this, but again, remind him that your head needs to be into this if it's going to work.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:41 AM on February 20, 2013 [8 favorites]

Sexual incompatibility can be a large issue in any relationship. As the 'kinkier' one in most of my relationships, I am always wary about this exact situation coming up. Because what is happening is typical.. One partner wants 'more' of something(s), the other is less enthusiastic for whatever reason, and then things start going downhill. He'll keep pressing, you'll keep pulling back, and in the end, you'll both be unhappy and resentful.

Communication is important, but keep in mind that it's going to be a lot harder (impossible?) for him to come down to your level than it may be for you to ascend to his. YMMV of course.
posted by eas98 at 7:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


And what does it all mean?

It means he's into butts, the way some people are into feet or armpits or I don't know, whatever. It doesn't necessarily mean he's gay or even bi. The same is true for being into pre-op transwomen - they're not, like, a gateway drug to gayness.

None of this means he doesn't love you. It sounds like he's sort of taking you for granted, a bit, but that's not the end of the world if it stops. Have you tried bringing these concerns up to him?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

Tell him to cut out the porn.
posted by ead at 7:55 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

If you don't like doing something, just tell him. Then presumably he'll stop asking or trying to do that with you. He'll only continue with certain fantasies with you if he thinks you might go along with it.
posted by Dansaman at 8:02 AM on February 20, 2013

When he can't come from vanilla sex, it makes me feel like he doesn't love me at all.

I don't know about other guys, but for me getting to the point of orgasm is a very biological thing. Getting myself to come entails figuring out how to stimulate my body and mind in a way that elicts that particular response. When I have difficulty doing that, I don't think it has anything to do with my feelings for the person I'm with, but rather with my inability to provide the right stimulus. I get the impression that some other guys feel the same.
posted by MrOlenCanter at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2013

Invite him into the bathroom for long conversations while you have a poo. Unless he is extremely kinky, you stand a reasonable chance of replacing his image of what your butt is for with a less appetising one.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you told him you'd be willing to give it a shot and haven't yet, he might (wrongly) think that all this focus will encourage it to happen sooner. I would be very clear with him that it is having a strong opposite effect.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:27 AM on February 20, 2013 [11 favorites]

I have much more to say, but for now I'll just point out that him not coming from vanilla sex doesn't mean he doesn't love you. If you turn it around to "if she can't come from anal sex she doesn't love me" you can see that it's not fair.

He can't force himself to like something just because he loves you. Of course the same is true for you; you can't force yourself to be happy without the things that feel intimate and loving to you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:34 AM on February 20, 2013 [7 favorites]

Have you talked to him about it? People on the internet can try to extrapolate what he's thinking, but we don't know -- and he needs to know what you're thinking and feeling.

I would sit him down and have a direct, gentle, non-accusatory conversation about it.

"Hey sweetie, I want to talk to you about the way our sex life has been feeling lately. You know I like BDSM and anal toys, but lately our sex life has been focused on them to an extent that isn't comfortable for me. For me it's like if, instead of having an ice cream sundae, I just had a big bowlful of maraschino cherries -- after a while I begin both to miss ice cream and to lose my taste for cherries."

Tell him the way that you feel insecure and tell him about the sex that you do want. Take it from there.
posted by feets at 8:49 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

It turns out that I'm a friend of the OP, and she asked me to post the following addendum. (Disclaimer: Not having Mod powers, I take no responsibility for verifying anonymous poster's identities.)


It's absolutely not that I can't enjoy non-vanilla sex - I absolutely can and do. I even often prefer kink sex. The problem I am having is in understanding why someone could come /only/ from a specific type of sex.

For me, having BDSM/kink type sex is /exhausting/, though - sometimes physically, sometimes mentally. When I've had a hard or rough day, I often don't want to deal with that level of effort - and when I do, because I'm starting out in a bad place, it is painful and upsetting, not fun. So when I say sometimes I want vanilla sex, it's not because that's the kind of sex I need for emotional closeness - I just don't like that it's "kink or I'm barely into it."

The "strangeness of the obsession" is absolutely NOT "why would someone enjoy anal/hard kink sex." I totally get that. I do absolutely enjoy a lot of what he focuses on. This isn't about "sex his way/sex my way." I'm just having trouble understanding why someone would /only/ enjoy hard kink/ anal or anal-related sex." In other words, what would /prevent/ them from enjoying other stuff."

posted by wolfdreams01 at 8:55 AM on February 20, 2013

it is painful and upsetting, not fun

OP, this is exactly why you need to sit down and talk to your husband about this stuff (if you haven't already). Do you tell him, in the moment, that you aren't in the right headspace for kinky sex? Or do you just grin and bear it? How does he respond? With love and kindness? Or is he resentful? You should not have to put up with something that upsets you in order to please him or maintain your "kink cred". Communication is an essential part of all BDSM play (and should be for any sexual activity, imo) for this reason.

what would /prevent/ them from enjoying other stuff.

Maybe your husband just really, really likes his fetish. Maybe he had an amazing experience in his past and he's hung up on trying to recreate it. Maybe he likes the "taboo" angle, or the "hardcore dominance" angle. Maybe lots of things. Have you asked him what he likes about it in particular? Perhaps some aspects of it could be incorporated into stuff you might also enjoy (the physicality of it and so on).
posted by fight or flight at 9:06 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

1) he needs to retrain his stimulation threshholds. This is very possible for men. No death grip masturbation. Use a fleshlight instead and lots of lube. Less or no masturbation for him for a long period of time can help.

2) try a mirror for the doggy style, then you can both see each other's faces and read each other's reactions.

3) conditioning and reward. Give him strap on play as a reward for things you like!

If he is not willing to change or negotiate on these matters he is being a selfish asshole; this is a relationship matter, not a sex matter. If he tries out changes over a period of months and they do not work, you two may indeed be incompatible sexually. Opening up, compromise and companionate marriage can be options here.

I have a vast array of resources and information on these matters, please PM or email if you have questions and I am happy to answer.
posted by Mistress at 9:12 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

He is also very focused on anal sex, and things related to it, in a way that I find really upsetting.

I don't see how your sex life can stay gratifying for very long if this is the case. It doesn't matter that it's anal. Have a frank conversation about this -- the fact that sex is becoming an upsetting experience for you.

I've experienced something like this with a partner before (re: a kink, not anal sex) and I found that if sex comes to be associated with feelings of distress for either partner (because they're consenting for the sake of the relationship to something they viscerally do not want to do), it can be a major libido killer and ultimately a cause for resentment. Sometimes a good relationship really helps both people to grow more into who they were already becoming. And sometimes that growth reveals you're not as compatible as you initially thought. Perhaps he has grown to realize how important this kink actually is to him. He might not have thought it was going to be such a big deal early on in the relationship, but now that he has a partner he's comfortable expressing himself with, the sexual necessity has finally been able to reveal itself.

what would /prevent/ them from enjoying other stuff.

This might just be the way he's wired. Just as how, in my experiences, I'm wired to enjoy sex differently than my past partners. Is not being to casually enjoy this kink with you eventually going to become a dealbreaker for him? Is never feeling like your passion is reciprocated in a way that is meaningful for you eventually going to become a dealbreaker for you? Is your guys' sexual compatibility something that needs to be reassessed? I know my advice is leaning towards probably dealbreakers here, but keep this in mind: He can find someone who enjoys getting busted in her ass, just as I'm very confident you can find someone who will glow with delight at how gratified you become "just from vanilla"/relatively mild kinks. Is it worth it to have your guys' good feelings for each other contaminated with resentment (not to mention your sexual identities contaminated with shame) over incompatible sexual appetites that neither of you have much control over?
posted by human ecologist at 9:19 AM on February 20, 2013 [6 favorites]

I've been in this exact position with someone I was really really into emotionally. It really hurt my self esteem over time that my lover just wasn't that into my most intimate female organ. It felt over time like a rejection of me.

Yes, you should talk to your husband about this.

In my case, the man was bi (which I knew) but most important.... He turned out to be pretty selfish and narcissistic. His style in bed (all me! me! me!) translated into other relationship areas, too.

I have extensive experience with BDSM, so no judgements from me on that! Yes sometimes kinky sex can be exhausting. Your feelings there are normal, it gets talked about in kink communities all the time!

That said... I would never ever again date anyone that only truly enjoyed fucking me in the ass and only performed PIV sex with me as a favor, and rarely if ever to completion for him. Being fucked like that hurt me very deeply emotionally, like, to the point that I can't enjoy anal sex anymore because I equate it with being used.

Talk to your husband. He might prove to be accommodating, loving, and awesome about keeping things in the bedroom feeling good for both of you.

I hope this is how it turns out. See a therapist or sex therapist together if the conversation proves too difficult to accomplish alone. It's OK to get help.

Looking back, all of the men I was with that preferred anal sex above all else shared certain traits - namely that they were selfish and insecure, and they held a certain amount of disrespect for women.

I'm sure my personal experience is not the rule for every man, but this was my experience. YMMV.
posted by jbenben at 9:40 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

The problem I am having is in understanding why someone could come /only/ from a specific type of sex.

Because that is the very definition of a fetish. Some people are just wired that way and it literally has zero to do with you - that's their fetish and they'll be oriented to that with every partner.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:56 AM on February 20, 2013 [7 favorites]

Most women can only come with clitoral stimulation. Does that make most women weird or wrong because they can't come in other ways, ways that men could understand better? I think not. Why is that so hard to understand? People like different things. I think that some partners are very willing to enthusiastically take part in certain sexual acts that don't do much physically for them, but are emotionally satisfying because they enjoy giving their partner pleasure - like partners giving each other oral sex.

I think it's pretty unfair for you to say "he wants all anal all the time, can't we ever have normal sex?" when you've never had anal sex with him. It's something he clearly would love to do and is really excited about, and you won't do it. You're awfully suspicious of his motivations - isn't it more likely that he prefers doggystyle because he loves looking at your ass, not because he doesn't want to look at your face?? Let's think positively here.

To me, the fact that he's sticking with this relationship, despite the fact that you're not giving him something in bed that he really seems to need/want a lot, is strong evidence that he cares greatly for you and is willing to make compromises to stay together. By the way, I know Savage Love is pretty standard cliche advice around here, but he addresses the issues of partners with kinks quite frequently and I think you should take a look through his archives for some potentially very useful advice...
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:09 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

He sounds incredibly selfish, while you sound like you're being as GGG as you are comfortable with. Like other posters, I'm wondering if you've had a serious, in-depth talk with him about this. Does he know how unhappy and uncomfortable you are?
posted by Specklet at 10:17 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I know several monogamous, long-term, straight couples for whom anal sex is a standard part of their repertoire, and in each case, my understanding is that it was something the man requested and the woman was willing to try. (I've never talked about pegging with these couples, so my examples are exclusively about his penis in her ass.) Across the board, these couples have anal sex on the regular because the man blows the woman's mind in other ways, in bed, on the regular.

If his desire is about domination and power, there's little hotter than, "oh baby after what you just did, you can do whatever the fuck you want to me [within the good ol' reasonable, trusty boundaries we've already established and discussed and with whatever safe words/signals I need to feel good about it, etc.]"

You need to talk to your partner. And if what he wants is anal sex, then I think he owes it to you to approach it in the most positive, safe, satisfying, loving way possible. If what you need is sweet vanilla lovemaking to get there, then that's on him to help you achieve. But you gotta talk to him. And if he's not willing, then your problems are bigger than this specific fetish anyway.
posted by juliplease at 11:10 AM on February 20, 2013

Based on what you're saying, he really likes people who have penises (pre-op trans ladies, but still these are folks with penises), likes pretend penises to penetrate him, and likes to put his penis in other people's anal cavity -- yes, he could be gay. Or straight with a preference for people who have penises, which is not much of a difference when you are worried that your penis must be belted on instead of just being attached, right? I think it's worth asking him about all of this.

However, "I have not, including now, had anal sex" makes me think he's not quite as obsessed with (and unable to enjoy sex without) anal sex. In fact, that sentence is kinda strange with the rest of your post. Maybe even negates some of your concerns, right?
posted by Houstonian at 11:41 AM on February 20, 2013

Just for some insight not yet provided:

I am a late 30s female. I rarely come from PIV sex, I come a lot from clitoral stimulation.

I didn't discuss it with the first partner who gently worked his way into my ass 18 years ago, I just let him. I was traumatized and unhappy that we hadn't discussed it and we had a huge fight and I told him never to do it to me again.

The next day I jumped him, shoved his cock up my ass, and came like a screaming banshee. (Apparently I like to be in control.)

Ever since, I have anal orgasms, nearly every time, often multiple times, during anal sex. Anal is a regular part of our sex life because I love it, not just because my partner wants it. (of course my current partner loves it too.)

I love it, but it's also traumatic and stressful and everything has to be *just right* internally and externally and mentally for me to want it. Otherwise it's very unpleasant both physically and mentally.

Communicate with each other.
posted by thrasher at 1:02 PM on February 20, 2013

I hate anal sex. Good Giving and Game should not mean that people who feel horrifically awful enduring certain sex acts have to learn to endure it to be good people. For me, it's a dealbreaker. I also think it's fine for other people to have the opposite deal breaker, they NEED anal sex for the relationship to be satisfying. Which is totally cool.

Situations like this that come up after getting married seems like a really tough situation because I personally can understand both of your dilemmas and I think it's ultimately ok if you find this is a dealbreaker. I totally support your right to just, not want to do this, ever. Even if it ends your marriage.

I don't think getting married obligates you to provide sex with your partner that makes you feel horrible inside. OR stay married to them while they have that kind of sex with other people. By that same token, he might never feel good about vanilla missionary style sex and I totally respect his feelings if that just feels awkward and unpleasant for him.

Sometimes when you try to compromise you find you can. But you do need to communicate about this. I would never be happy with someone who never wanted to share missionary style sex with me, I too would be devastated. I'm kinky but not into anal.

Has he never really like missionary or is this new? I respect what you and he decide, but if you aren't going to be happy with the same things, you're not.

You're both better off getting that in the open and deciding to either both miss out on things you feel are important needs, do some kind of compromise, or separate and look for sexual compatibility elsewhere.

I can remember being used for anal sex by someone unloving and I felt what you describe, like the whole point was to not have to see my face or really acknowledge I even exist. I tried to explain I didn't like it but that was a dealbreaker thing for him so I let it happen a few more times of hell before I just never talked to him again. (Which was good in this situation because he was horrible.) I guess what I mean is, while you COULD be wrong about what his fetish signifies, you could also be right, that the emotional connection you're seeking isn't there and he isn't really all that into loving you during sex. I'm not sure what you can do about it because it seems like a very fundamental compatibility issue. I'm so sorry you are faced with this. I hope if you communicate about this it turns out you can find a solution.
posted by xarnop at 2:16 PM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

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