It’s probably about the time that I should be writing a festive post, but other than what I wrote about gifts, I don’t really have much to say about Christmas as far as sex and relationships are concerned. Probably because most of my Christmases are like this.
The only tenuous link I could think of between this post and Christmas is that it’s about making people’s wishes come true. Except, at Christmas it’s Santa who makes wishes come true (yes, I totally still believe!), and you probably wouldn’t want that to be the case with the kind of wishes that I’m going to write about here. But anyway, here’s why I’m a bad replacement for Santa:
A good while ago now, the boy brought up the subject of fulfilling each other’s fantasies – merely as a suggestion. I seem to remember feeling pretty vulnerable at the time and desperately craving vanilla and affectionate sex, so I told him I didn’t have any fantasies. He pulled me up on this, which was the right thing to do, because it’s clearly bullshit.
I have lots and lots of fantasies – they’re mainly centred around relinquishing control, letting someone else call the shots, and, when you get to the far end of the spectrum, being forced. But he knew this already, because in the bedroom we were always playing with aspects of my fantasies – he knew I liked being held down, bruised, told exactly what I wasn’t allowed to do. It was rare that this would become the main focus of the sex we were having, but it was always there.
Was the same true of his fantasies? Not so much. I don’t recall now whether we ever talked about his fantasies before I discovered, by accident, that he had a blog where he was writing about them (and even then I wasn’t 100% sure whether I’d stumbled upon his fantasies – he was writing fiction, and I fall whole-heartedly into the camp that says you can write stuff that you would’t necessarily want to do.) We’ve since had a couple of conversations about them, but I still get the feeling that talking about this stuff (with me, at least) makes him uneasy. And then the other day he said something about the fact that his fantasies ‘don’t interest me.’ Not in the sense that, y’know, I’m not interested in the stuff he likes, just in the sense that they’re not sexually interesting/arousing to me and therefore, are unlikely to get fulfilled.
That last part may well be true. Except that that part about not finding them a turn on is a little more complicated than it looks at first glance. I feel like a lot of what I’ve read about acting out fantasies focuses on women who don’t want to act out their partner’s fantasies because they’re in some way morally opposed to them. Even when they’re quite clear that it’s something they do want to try, as the question in this letter to the Telegraph suggests, the advice always seems to be ‘Are you absolutely sure it’s something you want to try?’ (I know, this could be my fault for trying to get my sex advice from a right-wing newspaper …)
Anyway, I digress. My point is that my reasons for not ‘being interested’ in his fantasies have nothing to do with my moral stance on them (no issues there), or being scared about acting them out changing the dynamics of what we have going on. The problem is that all my fantasies centre around giving up control of my body to someone else; while many of his centre around wanting a woman to take control and wanting to be the submissive one.
I’m crap at getting outside of my own headspace, my own fears. When he writes about something as simple as having his back stroked as being something that turns him on, my initial reaction is ‘Oh god, I’d be shit at that because I’m way too clumsy to ever do it well.’ Can you see, then, why stuff like pegging is way out of my comfort zone? Do I judge him for liking it? Not at all. Is my unwillingness to try it down to a moral objection? Nope, just down the fact that it means taking control of his body as well as my own, and, in my head, a massive risk that I’ll hurt him.
And yet, sometimes things take you by surprise. I thought I’d like being handcuffed, seeing as it also represents relinquishing control. The reality was that he cuffed me and I hated it. It threw my balance out, and meant relinquishing control over my body in a way that I hadn’t anticipated not liking. I might let him do it again one day, but only if he cuffed me to something, rather than cuffing my wrists together.
So, my point is that, in my opinion, if you are comfortable with the idea of acting out each other’s fantasies, do – don’t let The Telegraph make you believe that first you have to discuss it to the point of exhaustion and then, y’know, buy some erotica on the subject, just to be *absolutely sure* it turns you on.
On the other hand, if, like he and I, you haven’t really felt comfortable discussing it, then yeah, that probably is the place to start. Just don’t write somebody off as ‘not interested in something,’ without taking the time to find out why.