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Joined: Oct 2000
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Wilma Offline OP
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"The name's have been changed to protect the innocent". Me and my wonderful husband need help!

Background. I've been married between 20-25 years. 2 1/2 years ago I had a several month affair with a MM, tried to halt it and it resumed several times until my husband found out. Then it stopped. The affair was mainly online. We never had intercourse, no oral stimulation of any type, never reached climax except thru masturbation while online several times, and lastly on the phone once with breathing (no vocal gymnastics--was too embarrassed) at the end of an online erotic chat my husband later found. I apologize for the ugliness of it all as I refer to it. My way of thinking was if we did those things "in the flesh" it would have made it a "literal affair/adultery". So due to my weak conscience we didn't "go all the way" physically. I am now very thankful that we did not! In person it was petting under clothing due to the public locations, I was too embarrassed to touch "his". (I'd insisted on only public places fearing things would go further if in private). About 2 months before the affair came out I stopped the once-every-few-weeks-meetings due to my guilt. It was still an affair and very wrong to do to my husband. I apologize and don't want to hurt others here with these specifics. I'm being detailed because my own brain says, "Sexual dysfunction has to be due to sexual guilt." I know for myself there was guilt about it should have never happened, limited as the physical stuff was.

Prior to the affair, I'd have o's 8 out of 10 times probably and I'd even become multi-o sometimes. It usually took about 15-30 minutes of foreplay. Maybe 1-2 times a month we would use a "battery supplement" just for change.

After the affair it was like I totally lost the ability to o for several weeks, then only with "battery help". Sexually I felt very ashamed of myself--shame, shame, shame that I'd masturbated to technically avoid an overt affair. Reestablishing our marriage we'd use "battery help" half the time, and with 60 minutes work, I'd eventually "get there". Now it's down to 25-45 minutes. I think I've only o'ed without "battery help" 3 times since the affair ended. For obvious reasons we've used "battery help" more and more until now it's every time. So my question, "Does battery help ultimately reduce a wife's responsiveness"?

Does my body/brain need to relearn this skill or what? The obvious challenge is we don't want me to be o-less for weeks or months while trying to work it out. My husband feels he's being respectful to help me feel sexually satisfied even if it has to be battery-powered. He and I both want to regain the ability to o without being battery-dependent. Have we made a bad situation worse by creating a dependency?

Respectful thoughts, please.

Wilma


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[ February 08, 2005, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: hanora ]

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Wilma Offline OP
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Well, you're right. Being O-less for weeks or months wouldn't be the end of the world. But it has carried GREAT significance since the affair. We've neither one wanted to shelf O's during our rebuilding. We've wanted to continue some semblance of a sex life. Problem is, my seeming growing dependence/confidence on batteries over time is now eroding him. It appears that I am only capable of responding when it's "not him". At least that's how he states it.

I've sought to be attentive to his needs, sex being high on the list. However, he feels selfish when I sexually "do things" for him and feels compelled to "return the favor".

It's becoming a lousy "fix", really. Thanks for your thoughts.

Wilma


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Wilma,

My free advice is also worth what it costs you, but here goes:

You may be experiencing some degree of guilt associated with what you were doing, which can obviously hinder you sexually. Relax. You're putting to much pressure on yourself to "O" and take care of your husbands needs, like a female "performance anxiety." If you and your H have openly discussed the situation of the online encounter, it may be helpful to let him know exactly how you feel about yourself. If you feel guilty, ashamed, and that you've let him down, tell him. When you are able to forgive yourself, and when you are comfortable that he's forgiven you, the emotional feelings of love will start to re-appear and things will go back to normal.

------------------
I am in this situation for a very good reason, it just took time to get over my own self-pity and understand why.


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My opinion is that "battery help" DOES NOT hinder responsiveness. I think the issue isn't the battery help, but your emotional state of being. If I am not mentally "there", it's not going to happen unless it is forced. We have biological responses to stimulus and if you hit it right, it's eventually going to respond. But if you have to work it yourself and your heart is not in it, you probably won't do what it takes to get there.

What I am trying to say is, I think you should just relax and let things happen in their own time. Intimacy is a great restorer of affection, closeness, and good satisfying sex. You may be trying to rush what you are not emotionally ready for. I understand you wanting things to be good and "normal", but there are probably issues about the affair that are still unresolved. There may be some insecurities. Once those are out of the way, I am sure things will be better.

And "battery help" doesn't have to be a bad thing. If both your attitudes are of adventure and playfulness, why not go for it?


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Wilma,

True and open emotional intimacy is the basis and foundation of pleasure and "performance" in physical intimacy. A VERY good book which discusses how this works in many aspects, is Davd Schnarch's "Passionate Marriage" - I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I've had troubel finding it at Borders or Barnes and Noble, but have found it at Walden Books and you can order it through Amazon.com. Very recommended.

Regards,

Jon


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Wilma,

Strictly on the physical side, if you want some help with "responsiveness" skip the battery oeprated toy and try an electric "massager" (elbow, elbow, wink, wink). Then be prepared to explain all that noise to the neighbors!


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Wilma Offline OP
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Thank-you, each.

Hanora, Still Praying, Popeye, JonMarsh, 2sad4words,

I think we'd be perfectly fine with me having no O's. After my past affair, however, I think my husband would rather me have 'em. Also, he feels it's selfish for him to enjoy sex more often than me. I've not figured out how to explain to him that this in not high on my list of needs, right now. When my confidence and response grows, it will likely move up higher on my list of needs. At this stage I just feel often inept--not a good feeling to associate with sex.

We continue to focus on emotional intimacy. We endeavor to spend one-on-one time together through out the week. We are feeling like friends again. I will order the book "Passionate Marriage" suggested, too.

Something that seems to hold some hope for us is from "A Celebration Of Sex" by Rosenau, a Christian sex therapist. Since I can have O's, it may just be a matter of learning to have them when and how I'd like. He speaks of "Building and switching", building right up to an O then switching to another type of stimulation to achieve it. This has worked when we've tried it recently. Then he refers to "Conditioning or pairing", where you pair something that already arouses along with something you'd like to more readily associate as arousing. I find my husband attractive, exciting and look forward to sex with him. I simply have NO confidence in me, sexually. At this stage, I almost need something that can "do it for me". I have confidence in IT (batteries), NOT in me.

All of it reminds me of Pavlov's dogs and conditioned response. It's as though I'm having to stop associating performance anxiety, work and failure-consciousness with sex. I need to regain confidence and perhaps this will allow me to do so, using what works and pairing it with what we WANT to work.

Thank you each for your kind and respectful thoughts.

Wilma


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quote:
Originally posted by Wilma:
At this stage, I almost need something that can "do it for me". I have confidence in IT (batteries), NOT in me.

Wilma,

This is PRECISELY why I suggested a "power tool"!

A) It produces such strong stimulation that you'd have to be dead for it not to "do it for you.

B) Your positive response to this will make your husband happy (trust me on this!)

C) The novelty of the new toy, and the sort of "forced" but powerful success it brings may help you break the awkward stalemate you are in now.



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