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Old 08-29-2015, 09:41 AM   #1
wistfulwench
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Sexual Passion and Monogamy (warning: long post)

Iíve been thinking for some time about the general fading of sexual passion in long-term relationships, the importance of sexual satisfaction to the individual, and what this means for monogamy.

Perhaps itís just my way of justifying some of the things Iíve done in my life.

These are certainly not novel thoughts, and Iím sure Iíve read some of these general ideas in various places. But Iíd love to have some intelligent and sincere discussion of this general topic from people with experience who have opened their minds and not lived with blindfolds on or their religious and societal expectations unquestioned.

Sexual passion in long-term relationships generally evolves. In a healthy and normal relationship, the couple becomes deeply attached to each other in an emotional and spiritual way. The sexual passion from the beginning of the relationship simultaneously evolves to becoming a comfortable and regular part of the relationship. Ideally, there is mutual availability and willingness to do go through the physical mechanics of sex (even if both partners may fantasize of others during the act or one partner is indulging the other out of love), and both are satisfied. The immense hunger of passion for each other that was present in the early relationship has passed, and in this phase, mutual needs are met, and the deep emotional connection between the two keeps the couple happy and satisfied.

If there are problems in the emotional nature of the relationship, ironically, the sexual passion may flare up at times and bring the couple together again.

If there is a mismatch in the ability of an emotionally content couple to each have their sexual needs met in the mechanical, physical sense, due to interference from life (children, work, schedules, etc., or even basal desire), the person not getting their needs met can choose to accept that and repress those needs. However, that can cause other problems, including an overall lessening in the quality of the relationship or depression, I think.

An option for the unsatisfied partner is to seek out outlets to have those needs met. Online porn, writing erotica, masturbatory fantasies, etc. may be justified as safe. Further along the spectrum, having online flirtations, phone sex, etc. may occur and may be justified as being within the constraints of monogamy. Depending on the personís degree of risk, an online or real-life affair may develop. These outlets can greatly improve the quality of life for the person having the affair, and may even give that person more energy and positivity to bring to their primary relationship. However, in our current world, affairs can also lead to considerable guilt and terrible consequences for all parties.

The secondary relationship may quickly flare out. Alternatively, it may also evolve in the same way as the primary relationship and become a deep emotional connection with concomitant loss of passionate physical desire for that person. That can lead to the end of the affair or conversion to a platonic friendship. However, that transition may occur more slowly because of the relatively slow pace of the affair due to the constraints of real life. Uncertainty, danger, and conflict may be more likely given the nature of an affair, and may heighten the sexual passion. It may give the person in the affair the mistaken impression that the sexual passion is stronger and more durable in the affair than in the primary relationship. This can lead to questioning the primary relationship or replacing it with the secondary relationship.

Would the world be different if sexual passion were viewed as something not essential to life partnership throughout its duration? If we were allowed or even encouraged to fulfill sexual passion outside of a primary relationship? Or would jealousy be an insurmountable problem?
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
ChattyAnnie
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Wow! Your epistle has captured so many of the themes that haunt me. I have a wonderful husband... smart, kind, successful... but he has always been uncomfortable with sex. I knew that when I married him. I encouraged him to experiment and expand his horizons when we were dating and then married. He was a good sport and indulged me but it became obvious that he was uncomfortable with anything but normal copulation. Even that has tapered off considerably. I finally accepted what he was and figured I could meet my own needs through masturbation, but I was fooling myself. I was pretty wild when I was younger and I began to miss the crazy sex from those days. A few years ago I cheated on my husband for the first time. I felt guilty and vowed to never let it happen again but it did - more than once. Now I find myself online all the time looking at porn and hanging out here which I guess is also a form of cheating.
I can't say that I support the notion of separating love and sex. I also think cheating is wrong and yet here I am doing it to meet my sexual cravings. I guess each person has to deal with it in their own way.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
betabrad
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I'm curious to know if women can love a man who doesn't satisfy them in bed.

I do believe that we expect too much out of a relationship and also place too much emphasis on sex in a relationship. I think a lot of couples would be better off if they thought of sex as more like a massage, or good exercise. A man probably wouldn't mind if his wife got a massage from another man or played tennis with another man, especially if he didn't know how to give a massage or didn't like to play tennis. In each case the man wouldn't feel guilty if he couldn't do something his wife liked to do and found another man to do it with. I hope there is more to a relationship than just sex. Most of our time isn't spent in bed after all. It seems to me that there are more hours in the day that a couple just needs to be able to enjoy each others company.

I also believe that a lot of couples sexual appetites probably just don't match exactly and the relationship could be better if the other spouse was allowed to seek satisfaction outside of the relationship without the other feeling jealous or hurt. As long as the one who seeks outside recreation doesn't neglect the partner and makes sure the partner still feels loved and special.

Also after age 40 , it seems the sexual drive of men often starts to decrease , but the sexual drive of women often tends to increase. I think that the relationships of a lot of couples could improve if the woman felt free to have a younger lover that better matched her sexual appetite. I think that older women probably do often need at least 2 men - 1 man as her life companion to love , talk to and just share life with and another man just for sexual fun. It seems to me that often 1 man cant satisfy a woman in bother areas. That's why I don't think it works out when an older woman gets in a relationship with a younger man. Sure the younger man may be great in bed, but I wonder if out of bed the woman still finds the younger man very interesting.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
betabrad
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Yes, I've thought a lot about this myself.

My hope is that a woman can love a man who doesn't satisfy her in bed as long as they love each other in other ways and the woman feels free to satisfy her sexual needs with other partners and the man is secure enough to not feel jealous. Also as long as the woman still makes sure her man feels loved.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:03 AM   #5
davenjenn
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Open

I have been in an open relationship with my husband since we got married, slightly less than a decade ago. We didn't choose this way of life because of some ideological reason, but more because we had both been ridiculously promiscuous before we met and didn't want to give that up, but we also wanted to live together.

Has it spiced up our marriage and made it more passionate -- absolutely and it has allowed us to do all sorts of things that go a long way to making both of us very sexual satisfied.

I can't say that I actually recommend it though. Neither of us are jealous types and I think if either of us were we would have never have lasted. And I don't know how to make a jealous person less jealous. Also, if you come home from work exhausted, sex isn't going to be much fun with anyone; even the most gorgeous lover.

Also, I think that any long-term relationship, even one like ours becomes comfortable, which almost implies less passionate. So I wouldn't say that my relationship with my husband is passionate; we just have a built-in way of finding passion with others, which means we aren't frustrated.

I occasionally have one night stands, which I find really exciting. But I have a number of long term lovers who I feel quite a lot for, but not the love I feel for my husband.

Jennifer
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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I have felt the same way, and done the same things, and am now divorced.
I cheated, said i wouldn't do it again , but did . Tried to hide it, couldn't really. Fell in love with a girl i was in an affair with. My wife had enough and divorced me. Had i known divorce was going to be so wonderful I would have done it a few years ago. I am great friends with my ex. I live on the same property in a studio apartment behind the house. We both co parent well together and live our own lives. It is now the way it should have been.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:09 PM   #7
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Very good topic, and it captures many thoughts that have run through my head so many times. I do believe, as I have seen from the previous posts, that probably everyone is going through something different.

I am online, but my wife does not know. My experience online has seemed to enhance things in my marriage and I will never let my wandering venture into real life. Still, I have the conflict in my head about doing it behind her back. Because she disapproves of it does that mean it's bad? I'm not being truthful, and enjoying myself, does that mean I'm doing something bad?

I have tried and tried and I have no answers for these questions. I just don't know if I'm above the bias in my own brain to know for sure. It's boiled down to one rule for me, if it takes away from my family life or marriage, I will stop. That's about the only thing I can be certain of.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastSpartan View Post
It's boiled down to one rule for me, if it takes away from my family life or marriage, I will stop. That's about the only thing I can be certain of.
I think this is an excellent rule to live by.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:23 PM   #9
quietlylooking
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betabrad View Post
I'm curious to know if women can love a man who doesn't satisfy them in bed.
Yes. I think this is definitely possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davenjenn View Post
I have been in an open relationship with my husband since we got married, slightly less than a decade ago. (material deleted)

I can't say that I actually recommend it though.
It sounds like it has worked well for you; any more advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiTodd View Post
I have felt the same way, and done the same things, and am now divorced.
I cheated, said i wouldn't do it again , but did . Tried to hide it, couldn't really. Fell in love with a girl i was in an affair with. My wife had enough and divorced me. Had i known divorce was going to be so wonderful I would have done it a few years ago. I am great friends with my ex. I live on the same property in a studio apartment behind the house. We both co parent well together and live our own lives. It is now the way it should have been.
I'm really happy to hear this. Do you think there is any way you could have made this work and stay married formally? Maybe what I really am questioning is what a marriage really should be about: sex, deep friendship, and/or partnership.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:59 AM   #10
BareBackRider2
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I think the answer is quite simple.

Sex and love are not the same thing.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:35 PM   #11
betabrad
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Check this out. This is a very interesting clip ( not porn ) about how humans are really not designed to be monogamous.

http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher...xual_omnivores
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:27 PM   #12
BiTodd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betabrad View Post
Check this out. This is a very interesting clip ( not porn ) about how humans are really not designed to be monogamous.

http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher...xual_omnivores
Funny how opinions and ideas are proported as fact.... that is an irresponsible way to broadcast a theory. At least he says a few times that they argue it. Meaning he knows it isn't factual.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by quietlylooking View Post
Yes. I think this is definitely possible.



It sounds like it has worked well for you; any more advice?



I'm really happy to hear this. Do you think there is any way you could have made this work and stay married formally? Maybe what I really am questioning is what a marriage really should be about: sex, deep friendship, and/or partnership.
Ultimately ,i do not think that an open relationship would have worked for us. We are both of the mind set that when married monogamy is the goal. We were not compatible sexually, some people are some people aren't. Sexual compatibility was important to both of us. I wanted wild ,adventurous, uninhibited sex. And she wanted me once in a while on her terms. It didn't work. And i might not ever re marry. I am having too much fun now.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by quietlylooking View Post
It sounds like it has worked well for you; any more advice?.
I you think a polyamorous relationship might work for you, start slowly and don't force anything. Just be aware of the possibilities if something comes along -- and it probably will if you are open to it.
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