The rise and fall of eyebrows

This post may signal one of the most important moments in both my marriage and this blog. It is therefore not going to be short, Dear Reader. Indeed, it feels almost like a transcription of an entire 70min counselling session AND a whole load of analysis and back story. As we’re all in lock-down, I’ll assume you have time to read it … but you might want to pour yourself a very large glass of wine first.
Right, here we go …

My latest individual counselling session with Kirsty started with a bit of a recap from Our last joint session. Which was OK. Some stuff for me to reflect on. Some behaviour for me to be aware of. I’m cool with that. I’ve never meant to lay all Our problems at my Wife’s feet.

We opened by exploring how, even though I was pleased that Kirsty was actively moving the conversation to sex, which is what I’ve wanted all along, that I had felt obliged to reiterate that for Me this is all about everything else AND sex. Kirsty had noticed my Wife’s withdrawal, as I had, when the monster of sex talk had reared its ugly head at the end of our last joint session, and agreed that I’d made the right decision to not immediately arrange an individual sex-talk session. No point in rubbing my Wife’s nose in it if She was feeling uncomfortable at the prospect.

As parenting is a common area that highlights our communication difficulties, I was please to have acknowledgement from Kirsty that, as the primary parent for over a decade, I inevitably have a more developed respective skillset. [Ed: It is also inevitable that, especially as an ardent feminist who has built a successful career, whilst simultaneously having an apparent yearning to be the perfect earth-mother, being the less “qualified” parent must be profoundly difficult to accept for my Wife.]

There was stuff about communication, identity, labels, and double standards, which took us to the question of what if there is no conversation about sex? For Me that’s simple – the marriage is over. It’s not a threat or ultimatum, but rather evidence that my Wife is not prepared to regard My needs as equal to Hers. And without parity, there is no marriage. And I’m out, because that’s not fair.
Kirsty raised her eyebrows and nodded in agreement, saying that she thought it was a reasonable stance from me to take. And that, even if my Wife and I are not working towards reparation, resolving whether We could talk about sex is very much part of us moving forward. Together or apart.

And so we got to sex.

Kirsty: Are there any problems with erections or ejaculating?
Me: No problems at all with erections. No problems with ejaculating per se – I can cum easily enough for myself, though I’ve not always cum with my Wife and condoms. I could imagine that that is as much to do with me getting too used to my own hand, and the feedback loop of masturbation. [Ed: Interestingly the question of how often AM jerks off didn’t arise.] Sometimes I don’t cum when I masturbate, but that’s as much because I lose my way – I enjoy wanking, and I’m fine with enjoying it, but it’s not uncommon for me to end up, mid-wank, distracted by the fact that wanking is all I’ve got. Masturbation scratches the itch, but it doesn’t fill the void.
Kirsty: Do you use porn?
Me: Yes. It’s always been part of my life.
Kirsty: How often do you use porn?
Me: It varies. Anywhere between 2 or 3 consecutive days to a couple of weeks apart. Often when I masturbate, but not always.
Kirsty: What sort of porn? Is it straight or gay? Is it legal?
[Ed: An odd question, is it legal? Why, without any indications, would anyone need to query whether illegal porn is a subset of any individuals porn of choice?]
Me: Yes, it’s all legal. No animals. All (apparently) consensual. It’s overwhelmingly straight. If there’s anyone who looks even remotely young [Ed: which for AM realistically these days means early 20s, if not early under 30] then I’ll pass on by. I have a latex fetish, but not the sort that’s typically associated with heavy rubber or bondage.
Kirsty: Have you watched porn with girlfriends?
Me: Yes. Watched, and made. And I like drawing porn [1] [2].
At this last, Kirsty raised an eyebrow, and the corner of her mouth just started to tuck up into a hint of a smile.
Kirsty: Have you watched porn with your Wife?
I laughed.
Me: No! No, no. For my Wife, porn is synonymous with objectification of women. About the only porn I imagine my Wife would condone would be gay male porn made for gay men by women. I doubt She’s ever really seen porn.

There were questions of how many sexual partners I’d had, how we met, how many were long term, why they had ended, and what the sex was like.

Kirsty: Did previous partners have problems with sex?
I couldn’t really see the point of this question, but was happy to answer it nonetheless.
Me: Not really. One had been date-raped before I knew her, and sometimes, not particularly in sexual situations, I’d been aware that I needed to be extra sensitive, but the sex was fine. Paradoxically, another partner had confessed to having a rape fantasy – she obviously didn’t want to be raped, but she got off on the fantasy, and although it felt unsettling in some respects for me, it had been a game in which I willingly participated. I don’t mind handcuffs and the occasional riding crop – a bit of tie’n’tease – but anything remotely Ds is definitely switch.

Kirsty: Do you like yourself?

Me: I don’t think I’m a bad catch. I probably had an inability to see that others might think so for a long time, as I was really bad at spotting when women were flirting with me,
I related the story of Geri a d Kirsty’s pact [Ed: A completely different Kirsry – an immigration office, not the sex therapist I was revealing all to now.] in which, unbeknown to me, whichever dance floor I chose decided which of them could have me. And how, 7yrs later, after we split up, it was other friends that had to point out to me that Geri was flirting with me like a thing possessed at a party, with a dress that barely covered her arse and a thong visibly bisecting it.) But I can appreciate now that I might be physically attractive, and even sexually attractive. [Ed: On behalf of AM, we at AM Towers would like to publicly thank all his Fabulous Readers who have gone out of their way to tell AM that He is sexually attractive. He is incredibly grateful and deeply flattered.]
Me: I think I’m a nice enough person, and enough people like me. [Ed: Some people have concluded that AM is a bit of an arsehole … but on average, we’ll give Him the benefit of the doubt. He’s not a complete arsehole.] And I can look at myself naked in the mirror and think yeah, I’m in ok shape for my age. I’m comfortable with who I am … even if I am not comfortable with being comfortable with myself.

Kirsty: You’ve talked about how others are more important than yourself. How does that tie in with sex? Receiving pleasure is something we need to accept with in a relationship.
Me: Sure. I get that. When my Wife and I have fucked, if She cums first (which is easy to ensure) She has frequently gone down on Me and/or tugged me off, but She apparently takes no inherent pleasure form that, so there’s little pleasure in it for Me. My partner’s orgasms are more important than mine, but that’s not to say I don’t want to have orgasms – I enjoy orgasms, and I want my partner to make me cum, but it’s the journey rather than the destination that’s important.
Kirsty’s eyebrows raised and she nodded in agreement.
Me: Equally, sometimes I want to be someone’s fuck toy – if they’re had a rough day or are stressed, I want to them to be able to use Me to fuck that away. And I want that to be reciprocal. I want give and take and share.

Kirsty: Why have you stuck with the relationship?
Me: Optimism. I realised sex was a new thing for my Wife when We started dating. When we eventually started having sex the sex was alright, and there seemed to be an upward trajectory. I can accept that my Wife felt different about sex after child birth, but the chronology She presents does not match my recollection of the sequence.

Which brought us to the example of lingerie.
– That I had made my Wife a pair of tiger skin and red silk knickers, (again there was that eyebrow and smile from Kirsty) which have never been mentioned. Not even once (and now Kirsty’s eyebrows took on a puzzled inflection.)
– There was the first lingerie I bought for my Wife (with the help of a female colleague) not long after I had moved in with Her. When we were having sex. Very sheer, purple lace panties and bra, which were worn regularly till they wore out.
– There was the Rigby & Peller three piece set my Wife had bought for Our wedding and how, that night, She bemoaned that I had not made a similar effort with My underwear.
– There was the Infamous Red Bra, Basque, Panties, Thong and Stockings which, 3 or 4 years after child birth, were received well. On returning a couple of items to exchange sizes, My wife expressed an inclination to patronise the boutique in the future – a positive reaction, Kirsty noted, with a positive raising of eyebrows – and then We had several months of some of the best sex We’ve had. Followed by 6 or 7 months with absolutely nothing.
– So a year on, in the wake of previous success, I tried again. And a classy blue set was rejected because of the objectification of women. Kirsty furrowed her brow.

I described how, only a couple of days previously, when I’d related to the whole family how, aged something like 8 or 10yrs old, I’d sat at my dad’s office desk drawing Triumph TR7s, and apropos of nothing I recalled his secretaries name. At which my Wife had griped that those were the days when men had secretaries. Again Kirsty”s brow furrowed and we seemed to agree that 40yrs ago, PAs were called secretaries, and people had secretaries, albeit that, due to different typical gender rolls, the people with secretaries tended to be men. So it was not entirely representative that men had secretaries. and irrelevant to My anecdote.
Kirsty: The use of gender politics shuts down conversation and means you are prevented from having any come-back. Gender politics is entirely valid but it’s obviously seeded throughout a lot of this.
At last, recognition that there maybe a problem here. And it may not be me.
Me: My Wife has mentioned objectification often enough, that I have felt it necessary to choose not to think of Her sexually. It’s something I shouldn’t do. But I find myself thinking She should count Herself lucky, because no one has objectified Me in the best part of 20yrs, and I miss that!
And I faltered at saying that out loud.

All this had eaten up more than my allocated hour [Ed: Most of AM’s individual sessions seem to have over-run by 10-15min … just as this post has over-run by about 1000 words] and there was still more of my sexual history that Kirsty wanted to explore. So my homework is to think about my earliest sexual experiences, and intimacy as a child. [Ed: Even before the ink is dry on this post, AM already has a substantial list of suitable recollections.]

Wrapping up, Kirsty enquired whether Our next scheduled session would be joint, or just my Wife. I didn’t know. I don’t imagine I’ll know until the 11½th hour. Which brought us back to the expectation that my Wife will be reluctant to talk about sex. I had already related to Kirsty how, when We first saw a relationship counsellor my Wife had said to me “I’m not sure I can talk to a stranger about sex.” Kirsty said she would invite my Wife to have an individual session, but I sense neither of us expect that to be willingly accepted.

With the Skype window closed, I suddenly had a though. A genuine Oh fuck! moment. And I hastily rattled off an email to Kirsty.

Just a moment of panic from me, though I’m sure it’s entirely unwarranted. I know I’ve previously said you’re free to share with my Wife anything I’ve said in an individual session, but there is some of what was discussed today that I would rather was confidential. Specifically my use of porn, my latex fetish, and any comments I made about either lingerie or gender politics.
I hope that doesn’t create problems for you.
Thank you for your understanding.

Thankfully Kirsry was fine with that.
Even if She suspects it, having my use of porn confirmed, when it is something She finds fundamentally problematic, will not ease any sense that We may not share common values.
Outing myself as a rubberist is not going to help my Wife feel comfortable about the sexual distance between us.
Having Her narrative challenged with the lingerie chronology will likely make Her integrity is challenged.
And as for being asked to consider how Her identity politics may have impacted negatively on Her marriage … well Dear Reader, I’ll leave you to guess how well that’s likely to be received.

It was a long, in depth conversion about Me and sex.
Whether there is a reciprocal conversation with my Wife, or what the outcome of that may be, remains to be seen.
Maybe We are coming to a massive turning point
Maybe We are coming to an end.

2 Responses to “The rise and fall of eyebrows”

  1. Positive!! Even negative thoughts are positive steps forward. SO Happy to see you gaining ground, no matter the ending.

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