Fear of Fucking

AA_VonBayros-01

Franz Von Bayros, TALES FROM THE DRESSING TABLE: THE FETISHIST, 1908

HER: If opening up your relationship is a fantasy you hope to make a reality, you might imagine that having sex with other people is all fun and easy. Just mix three or more horny people together and let the carnal geometry unfold.

HIM: If only! That certainly hasn’t been the case for me. In fact, I feel badly if we have contributed to that misperception. Because the truth is, I have had erection struggles since the very beginning of our journey, and that has shaped my entire experience of the lifestyle.

HER: You are not alone. Many of our male friends have struggled at one point or another to get or stay hard, at least when they’re playing with me. It seems like a common issue.

HIM: That’s true, but I think part of what makes it frustrating is that, while lots of men clearly have the same challenge, others never seem to struggle with erections. Our good friend Jay, from the podcast That Couple Next Door, had to do a special investigative report the one time he had a problem. One time!

HER: Yes, but he’s younger than you.

HIM: True, but if you remember that episode, Mr. Jones of We Gotta Thing — who is about the same age as me — declared that he had never had a problem, not even one time!

HER: How did that make you feel?

HIM: For one thing, it made me feel happy for them. They are two kind, intelligent individuals, and I’m big fans of them both. But their lifestyle experiences have not been mine. To hear them talk about the ease they’ve had makes me more than a little jealous. I sometimes imagine what it would be like to freely use my natural athleticism and creativity in every sexual situation, but instead I often end up in this psychological bubble trying to will an erection into existence. Not my best self.

HER: In Real Talks: Sex and Drugs, we talked at length about the physiological and pharmaceutical side of this, but I have always maintained that your problem is not a physical one. Your cock works just fine with me, every time. We’ve also talked about the role anxiety and depression can play in sexual desire in When life gets in the way: Anxiety and Sex, but you’ve largely resolved those issues with your new diet. So that leaves us with the million dollar question: what is in your way?

HIM: You mean, aside from generalized existential malaise? I guesss you could say I’ve learned a very specific kind of pessimism. I expect to have difficulty achieving an erection, because I always have in lifestyle situations. If I do get hard, I assume it won’t survive the application of a condom.

It’s funny — if a woman I was attracted to told me I would have to do a hundred push-ups to get her off, I could probably gut it out even though I’ve never done that many in my life. I’m a pleaser by nature: I would make it happen through sheer will power. But I can’t apply sheer will power to having an erection. The blood chemistry and bio-hydraulics are not under my conscious control. I know a few things that will make an erection more likely, but if a kind-hearted partner asks the dreaded question, “is there anything I can do for you?” — which means, I’ll do whatever it takes to turn you on — I just don’t have a guaranteed answer. Which makes me feel even worse.

HER: But that’s not it either. It isn’t a lack of external stimulus or blood chemistry. It isn’t some magical thing someone else can do to or for you. It’s internal. You assume you’ll be hard when we’re together, and you always are. You obviously have a block, and I feel  desperate to get to the bottom of it. An experience we had last spring highlighted this for me better than anything we’ve ever done together.

After dinner out with long-time friends Dominic and Maria, we went back to their place close by. On the way there, we talked enthusiastically about how this would be the perfect situation for you to be successful. All the things you’ve ever said you need to feel confident sexually were in place: we’re very comfortable with them; you know that I enjoy playing with Dominic, so you don’t need to worry about my pleasure or safety; and there is no question that Maria is attracted to you physically and socially. Yet in all the time we’ve known them, you’d never actually had penetrative sex with her. Something always seemed to get in the way, but that night, it felt like all the stars were aligning for your success. I was rooting for you.

HIM: And everything went just the way we had envisioned it. It wasn’t too long after we got to their apartment that the clothes started falling away. The four of us were standing in a gropey huddle in the middle of their living room and gradually separated into pairs. Dominic led you to the bed around the corner, leaving me and Maria with the sectional sofa.

I was feeling good. Maria is a beautiful woman with the most easy-going approach to sex imaginable. She’s literally up for anything. Around the corner I could see your feet, and then Dominic’s feet, and then all four of your feet in suggestive combinations.

HER: Dominic was, as usual, showing me a good time. I squirted twice, which is still a slightly strange experience for me. It’s got all the components of orgasm — an intense building sensation and release — without the pleasure of clit involvement. I’m not really sure if it’s worth the clean up. Anyway, that notwithstanding, everything else was good. But I was a little distracted. I kept listening for clues to how you and Maria were doing around the corner.

HIM: We were doing just fine. By the time you and Dominic came back into the living room, Maria and I were just finishing up. I felt things had gone extremely well between the two of us.

HER: I would probably have agreed with you until you told me in the car that you hadn’t actually had sex with her.

HIM: What can I say: I was just following her signs, and none of those signs ever said ‘Fuck Me Now!’.

HER: See, this is where I get frustrated. We never fight, but this was one of those rare times we had a pretty intense disagreement. I think it’s safe to say that when you’re with a full-swap couple, whose male component I have had sex with several times, that fucking is a given. Every straight woman wants a hard cock in her at some point, and there is no question in my mind that Maria wanted yours.

HIM: Are you kidding? We’ve met so many women who say that they are just happy to establish a connection with a man who is respectful and attentive.

HER: Sure, but you had given Maria all the “respectful and attentive” she could handle. It was time to fuck the woman! I think, like so often happens, you found an excuse not to do it. I couldn’t believe that you so misdirected the issue. You kept saying that she seemed satisfied. But the issue wasn’t her contentment. It was your fear.

HIM: I’ll freely admit that fear was a part of it.

HER: Really? Because you weren’t able to admit it that night, which is why I was so frustrated. Swinging really doesn’t seem to be working for you. I sometimes wonder if we should even be in the lifestyle at all.

HIM: I think that’s an over reaction. First of all, the lifestyle clearly works well for you, and making you happy is important to me. Second of all, I’ve had lots of fantastic experiences in the lifestyle, and there have been times when I have had sex with a woman without a problem. I’ve proven it can be done, I just don’t know why it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. So recently I started thinking a lot about my best experiences, and what the common ingredients might have been. It turns out there are a few patterns that I hadn’t really put together before.

HER: Like what?

HIM: The biggest factor, by far, seems to be seeing you with another man who I think is worthy of you. Let me give you a case study. Think of last year at the country retreat in the hot tub with Laurie. I was rock hard for half an hour. Why? Because you were jerking off Colin (who is really handsome) and Ben (who has a fantastic cock) and making them come under the water right by your pussy. It was such a turn-on. But just a month ago I was kissing and touching Laurie — same woman, different hot tub — and I didn’t even get close to achieving liftoff. If you remember that night, you spent the whole time fooling around with Samantha. I have a great connection with Laurie, and find her very attractive, but without the combination of you and an attractive man close by, it just didn’t work.

HER: Ok, but why didn’t it work with Maria and Dominic in the situation we described earlier? You know I find him attractive.

HIM: Think about it. You and Dominic were around the corner from Maria and I. I couldn’t see what was going on. Yet this summer in Italy, when Maria and I were standing right beside you and Dominic having sex on an elevated bed at a sex club, I fucked her like a champ. Apparently I have to see what’s going on for it to work.

HER: So that should be pretty easy then. I’m happy to fuck all the attractive men it takes for you to be your best self in a sexual situation.

HIM: Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to orchestrate. Do you remember just two weeks ago when we had Julie and Marcus over? Marcus was on top of you, and his unprotected cock appeared to be very close to your pussy. I knew you weren’t about to let him do you bareback, but the possibility was making me very hard. However, vantage point is an important part of my little formula, and I couldn’t watch you for very long without it looking like I was ignoring Julie. She had been blowing me for a while, and now it was time to return the favour. Giving her my full attention, which she definitely deserved, meant I could no longer watch you and Marcus. The resulting deflation was, it now appears, inevitable.

HER: Ok, this is where I get upset. You’re pointing at all these external factors and refusing to look inside. When you were watching me with Marcus that night, and Julie was blowing you, you were completely hard. You could have fucked her right there. The same was true with Maria in our other example. Instead, in both situations, you chose to go down on the women: something that has never, ever turned you on. It was like you had everything lined up for success, then you deliberately veered off course rather than follow through. It seems to me that you’re letting a negative thought pattern derail your natural ability to perform. I think if you acknowledge that, maybe we can get to the root of the problem. Why won’t you look internally for an answer?

HIM: Because I bring the same brain and the same emotional make-up with me to every sexual encounter. When the results vary as much as they do, I automatically look at what is different externally.

HER: But you said at the outset of this conversation that you have struggled since the beginning. That’s the constant. It’s your negative expectations — call it insecurity, self-doubt, or fear — that are the enemy. They control the outcome, not whether or not you can see me clearly while someone else is fucking me. I know it’s hard, but you have to realize that you have all the power here. You’re not passive, being acted upon solely by circumstance. If you can just believe in your proven sexual abilities, your body will do what it’s programmed to do.

HIM: You make it sound simple. It bugs me, too, that I have to try so hard at something that comes naturally to other men, but ultimately I see this as a very complex puzzle that doesn’t have a simple answer. Perhaps the most interesting question of all, however, is why do my struggles make you so upset?

HER: Because I am so invested in your happiness. I want you to be successful and to experience all the affirming feelings the lifestyle has given me. I know what a great lover you are — what a perfect cock you have — and I want other women to experience and appreciate that. Most of all, I feel protective of you. If someone else was making you feel this badly about yourself, I’d want to punch them. Unfortunately, I’m convinced that the thing in your way is your own expectations. And I can’t punch your expectations.

I also feel guilty every time I have fun and you don’t. I can’t fully enjoy myself when I’m worried that you’re feeling defeated. I don’t want to do this if it hurts you. So, I feel like our joint success in the swinging world rests on you getting this figured out. And when I hear you deflecting, blaming your lack of arousal on all these external, circumstantial things, I worry we’ll never solve it, because you’re looking in the wrong place. I don’t want to put a band-aid on the disease; I want to cure it.

HIM: Baby, if I haven’t already made this clear, I will do whatever it takes to succeed in this area. I’m not ruling out any solution, internal or external. I get why you’re frustrated. My ex-wife never had an orgasm with me in 26 years, yet she had all sorts of restrictions in place. She wouldn’t let me try oral with her, for example, even though that is one of the most common ways for a woman to come. I’m not like that. I will do whatever it takes — psychologically, circumstantially, metaphysically, intergallactically — to succeed. I don’t care about being right. I’m just as invested in our joint success as you are. I will figure this out.

About Him and Her

We are a married couple, very much in love, writing about our sexual explorations.
This entry was posted in Consensual Non-Monogamy, Perspectives, Relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Fear of Fucking

  1. VictorCharlie says:

    Truly a powerful and vulnerable conversation to have and even more so make public. Thanks for sharing and I very much look forward to seeing where this conversation goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Him and Her says:

      Thank you so much! We really try to keep it real here, and this whole adventure certainly presents us with some unique opportunities for growth. Can you imagine any other world where a wife would get irritated with her husband for not having sex with someone else?! It’s a crazy life!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great article!!! Thanks for sharing🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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