General Response to Comments

Okay, that last statement on my last post was just sort of flipped out there. Count that as an unintentional troll. My condescending prickishness coming out, just to display it for the doubters who have wondered if I really could be one. I can and I am. A lot of the time, anyway. I’m still working on the list, and the objective of the whole discussion was to see how well they applied and to see if the two new additions were as applicable as the original set. And I’m even adding more.

Apparently, if a person is a truly LL, they will have most of those characteristics as opposed to just a few. Yes, they are similar and linked together and some might be consolodated. But they have stood up for several years so they’ll stay as is for the time being. The purpose of identification is a simple one: to help others avoid potential pitfalls if they are starting new relationships. If you are LL, it would be beneficial to pick someone who is like minded just as much as for the HL folks. Like depression, LL can be situation specific. If a loved one dies, grieving can look a lot like depression and is a healthy and natural thing. Depressed libido has a host of causes and signs, sometimes temporary and sometimes long term. I’m teasing out chronic, persistent signs that a person can look for. I’m looking at the red flags. Sex is not the only aspect of a relationship a person should consider in a potential partner, but for people who value an intimate sexual relationship it should be one consideration. Many of these characteristics could be known well before sexual involvement, such as the kissing, discussing sex and discussing fantasies. In fact, that was the major purpose of the original Top 10 exercise, to find things a person could look for before marriage that might indicate trouble.

One other reason to think about these things is to have talking points should you end up in the counselor’s office. If Hypoactive Sexual Disorder is a possibility, that is a useful thing to know, as many insurance companies will only pay for counseling and mental health services if there is some diagnosis.

Someone must have linked to me, because I got interesting and insightful replies from a host of new folks who had not previously commented on my blog. One of those being Emily, who wrote a fairly lengthy comment, basically telling of her experience on both sides of the issue. Her comment and others have given me cause for pause. There are a number of women who have seemingly spanned the spectrum of LL and HL over the course of their relationships. This is a sort of hopeful sign for those of us guys stuck in such relationships, because this indicates that things can and do change. (And Emily, dear, you have excellent material for your first blog post!LOL!)

One general trend of thought is that there might not be a predisposition towards a low libido at all, but it is circumstantial and based on mood, pressure or the appeal of the partner. But my list would indicate otherwise, i.e. that there are legitimate signs that a person might be naturally less than sexually charged. I might be willing to test this hypothesis on some of you, should you decide to participate. I might develop my own little survey and encourage a few of you to respond. From these responses, we might be able to determine the consistency of of the signs of LL and HL. For instance, if I ask Desirous to write about her favorite sexual fantasy it is going to look a lot different than something FTN’s Wife might post. In fact, I seriously doubt that she (FTN’S wife) would post such a thing at all, because a cardinal characteristic of a person who is LL is a lack of willingness to even discuss the topic of sex. This is opposed to Dewdrop who has issues with her husband but still finds hunky guys that she might fancy and think about.

Back to Emily’s post (apologies to Miss Manners), over the years I have gotten to a point where I can be more understanding and a lot less demanding. I’m not demanding sex every night or even every other night. In fact, I’ve actually gotten to a point where NOT having sex becomes its own sort of foreplay.

And since it came up earlier, yes there is some expectation that sex might occur eventually when wearing the cage. Only a truly LL person would react to that as overwhelming pressure where just the idea that sex might happen eventually becomes such an antecedent for anxiety and distress! The fact that they would have such control that is overtly acknowledged and agreed upon becomes too much for the LL mind to handle. They seem to prefer the covertly understood arrangement of control. I suppose the LL can fool themselves into believing that they will never have to have sex again as long as the arrangement is never explicit. Once it is spelled out or there is some sort of legitimate responsibility involved, then they feel manipulated and controlled. It becomes yet another chore.

One more point that is worth mentioning again and again is my general opposition to the idea of sex-on-demand. I believe that intimacy should be a daily part of a well-balanced life, but it does not mean that every intimate thing should culminate in an orgasm. In fact, I’m in favor of letting passions simmer and heat up over time. The LL person is against the idea of passions simmering, though. They don’t like sexual tension because it causes anxiety, worry and general discomfort. This is why LL individuals object to my use of the cage; it definitely raises some sensual heat. It does increase sexual tension. While I’m not trying to control Arwyn with it, she definitely senses it. Her holding the keys makes that tension even more real. Too real. And she has admitted to feeling a lot of discomfort with the whole issue.

Arwyn has gotten better about some things and I’ve gotten better about other things. We are each having to reach across a fairly wide gap. It is still frustrating and lonely to be in a relationship with someone who does not like sex. Or at least sex with me. She is working towards being more generally physically affectionate. We do kiss and touch more throughout the day or evenings we are together. Being caged up draws me closer to her, and a lot more open to her efforts. I can be a sexual person and feel like a sexual person without having to have sex all the time. Just holding hands or stroking her hair become a tremendously powerful and meaningful act of intimacy. Even that challenges Arwyn’s comfort level, sometimes. I try to not be too clingy and at the same time not too distant. I am sensitive to when she is short on sleep, or is feeling sick and stressed and I don’t put more demands on her. I still do most of the cooking. The boys are in school 5 days and she works half-days during two of them. And those two days of work stress her.

I would love the naked date idea! I don’t know if I would do so well unless I was caged up, though. I’m just afraid that nakedness is always associated with sex and sexual tension for me.

D.

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8 Responses to General Response to Comments

  1. Emily says:

    Dear Digger

    First of all, I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog. You are very honest, and your situation is very difficult, and I am impressed by the integrity you have displayed and how hard you try to understand your wife’s POV.

    Plus, I felt quite nervous about my first post, and am quite honoured to have been cited by name by you and others!

    That being said, I feel that you are somewhat on the wrong track with this control theme. I can appreciate that it might apply in Arwen’s case, you know her and we don’t after all. However, I don’t often hear women who are not into sex in general talking about control as the issue, and women can be very frank with one another about sex, as you know.

    In all honesty, my impression is that for a lot of LL people, it is not that they want to control their partners. They just don’t enjoy the sex or do enjoy it but don’t want it very often themselves, don’t understand their partner’s level of preoccupation with it, and get exasperated by it being such an issue.

    And in a lot of cases, a CL problem for couples isn’t just caused by the LL. Its contributed to by both parties.

    An LL person can be moved by love and sympathy for their partners to make a serious effort. But even having regular sex, which can be a big and often emotionally costly effort for an LL, doesn’t always resolve the problem. I hope you won’t feel that what I am about to say is too harsh, but I think you mentioned before that at one stage you were having sex every week, and it was fantastic, but you found yourself pushing for more. As a person who also has a massive backlog of unmet sexual need herself, I understand why, but I wonder if that was critical for Arwen. She may have given the issue her best shot, and found it still wasn’t enough, and basically given up.

    I know with my HL partner, if I had sex with him every week, he wanted it every day. If I had sex with him every day, he wanted it more times a day. If I watched an erotic video with him, he wanted to watch a more hard-core one next time. If we had oral sex, he wanted anal. There was nothing wrong with any of this. I didn’t judge him for it. He always asked nicely and was willing to be put off for a while. We both had a good sense of humour about the whole thing. But it just gave me the impression that he was inexhaustible, nothing I could give him was enough, and if he is going to be dissatisfied anyway, he might as well be dissatisfied with a level of activity I was actually comfortable with and could handle. Plus, he scared me a bit. After all, what would be next on the agenda???

    Plus, I think there is another issue that is much harder than the actual level of activity. The thing is that those of us with LL partners don’t just want them to have sex with us more often. We want them to desire us the way we desire them. We want them to enjoy it and for the enjoyment to be shared. We don’t just want them to act differently, we want them to FEEL differently. And people feel what they feel, they can’t necessarily change their feelings just because they SHOULD feel differently or WANT to feel differently.

    In my case, I could probably get my partner to have sex with me more often. Possibly. But I find that when we go that route, I don’t enjoy it much, because nobody is truly gratified by a mercy fuck. Better a twice yearly experience that is genuinely satisfying and fun and intimate than 52 experiences of undignified begging and/or emotional blackmail followed by teeth-gritting pity and guilt fucking!

    Emily

  2. Digger Jones says:

    I agree with most of what you said, especially the substance of it, which is that we want to be wanted and desired. Control is not an explicit need of a LL person, but it becomes a very big part of the topography of the behavior. Ever met a LL person who would agree to be tied up for some fun? Surrender is probably a better term than control, although my experience and observations indicate that “control” can extend equally to outside the bedroom. Read Desperate Husband and Walter’s blogs and you see what I’m talking about it classic terms.

    But you have given me a good thought to chew on and ruminate over: namely HL issues. We do have them, you know. There might be a pattern of feelings and behaviors that WE have that make things more difficult on ourselves and our partners than they have to be.

    You write well, and have quite a lot to say; I think you might consider setting up your own place. Not that I mind the extra traffic I’m eventually going to get from people coming over here to read your comments!LOL!
    D.

  3. Rob says:

    “There might be a pattern of feelings and behaviors that WE have that make things more difficult on ourselves and our partners than they have to be.”

    One of the biggest failings that all of us can fall into is to not be aware enough as to the impression(s) that we leave on others by our words, actions, and even omissions. Here again the key to resolving many of life’s problems is frank and open, no-holds-barred, mutual communication. The problem being that many are not willing to accept what they will learn from it.


  4. Ever met a LL person who would agree to be tied up for some fun? Surrender is probably a better term than control,

    But you know, I think this ties back to what Emily is saying.

    If the LL person feels — and fears (note her phrase “He scared me a bit, what would be next on the agenda”) that the ultimate desires of his/her partner are more than s/he could handle, then how can she trust enough to be tied up? The whole dynamic of “If I say yes to X, you ALWAYS try for X+1 while you’re at it,” would lead to an atmosphere of being afraid of what might be done against their will.

    In other words, are we looking at a trust issue more than a control issue?

  5. O272 says:

    **But I find that when we go that route, I don’t enjoy it much, because nobody is truly gratified by a mercy fuck.**

    Well said, Emily!

    Good conversation, D!

  6. Square1 says:

    Even a step beyond this comes into play the attitudes towards sex from both parties, D. You and Arwyn are both avoiders. This is a pattern I’ve noticed here, and let me see if I can articulate this well, because it’s going to be a challenge to do so.

    This is an issue you have fought over. This is an issue you have discussed. This is an issue of conflict. The pressure is immense for both of you.

    Not only maybe is Arwyn afraid that if she gives in to more frequent vanilla sex that you may start pushing for more, but that when you do it will lead to conflict.

    Whenever you talk about your sexual encounters here D. you always seem so dissatisfied with them, in sort of a “Well this was all I got… but at least I got that much.” I wonder if that attitude comes across to her? I’m sure that it does. It must be very discouraging for her to step out of her comfort zone to accomodate you (which I know is not entirely gratifying for you, but none-the-less) and to sort of have it glossed over. It’s like asking someone to go out of their way to do something to help you, and then completely and utterly tearing them down for it because they didn’t do it in a way you liked. If sex is not something she enjoys, feels pressured to do, and then is criticized for… then I don’t see her having much of a sex drive ever.

    I’m having a problem with Cubed of a similar but different variety. Communication is as big a part of intimacy as sex is. Our communication is lousy. I feel (and he probably feels much the same) that he coaxes me to be more open with him, and then get ridiculed and brow beaten when I express something he disagrees with… yeah… there’s encouragement to open my heart and mind to him. Exposing myself to those I love is already a difficult thing for me to do, because of my past. Opening up to strangers is much easier for me than to open up to him most of the time. Strangers can’t hurt me. I don’t care enough about them for them to be able to. So I close off. I protect myself. I don’t speak on anything terribly important passed, “Hi honey, how was your day?”

    Perhaps Arwyn is afraid of criticism. Perhaps your attitudes and behaviors have damaged her in ways you haven’t thought of… and as the years have passed you’ve retreated to your corner because out of her withdrawal she has hurt and rejected you.

    It’s all hypothetical of course, but worth mulling over. But what I do see D. is that here, and in the conversations you have with her that you relay here… all seem to have you standing over her pointing your accusing finger, and lording over her the efforts you’re making. You seem to villainize her when these discussions come up. There seems no room for you to humbly admit that in any way you can contribute or be wrong, and that she’s the bad guy in all of this. That’s none too encouraging for her to be intimate with you either.
    You can’t control or change her. You can only work on you. And if upon consideration you find any of what I’ve said here applies… an apology is always a good way to pave the road to breaking down walls and bridging gaps. A meaningful apology, at least to me as a woman, softens my heart so quickly, and drops my defenses. Humility… humility in my husband, when he does display it… I don’t know how to describe it… it’s as if when he actually slays his pride and gives me a humble meaningful apology, I feel as if I am the most cherished thing in the world to him, above himself, and my own pride and stubborness melt away in a flash.

    Anyway… this was longer than I intended. Let me know what you think.

  7. Digger Jones says:

    I’m working on something that might shift some of the heat off of the finger pointing at LL folks (I’ll always have a bias) and try to get a bit more introspective. So while honest communication is a key, Rob, I’m thinking honesty with ourselves is even more crucial. As Square1 says, we can’t really change the other person but we can change the environment by changing ourselves which will create a place where the other person might change in order to adjust.

    Yes,
    Broccolieater, you have a very valid point with the x+1 argument. This is a very common complaint amongst the those who feel pressured by sex. Like they can never do enough, and then they feel objectified or something. Over the years, I’ve had to live with x-1, which sparks a different sort of objectification.

    Much of what you say is accurate, Square, and I’m looking into it. If I get something once a week, why can’t I be okay with that? Why do I need to push for more?

    I also have experienced a bit of what you have; expressing anything less that satisfaction results in me getting squashed and cut down emotionally. Of course, I can dish out my own punishment and retaliatory remarks. It’s been a huge battle to give up the sarcasm as a legitimate communication tool. I’ve confessed and apologized many times. I recognize my many, many mistakes over the years and I’m going to continue to muck things up. The alternative is to stop trying altogether. And I’m not there, yet.
    D.

  8. FTN says:

    With all of these lengthy comments, I can’t even remember exactly what the original post was. I guess we’ll just talk about the comments instead.

    Emily mentioned that “We want them to desire us the way we desire them.” That’s exactly what I want. More than frequency or certain other things, I want my wife to desire me. It’s that simple. But it isn’t, because she can’t just flip a switch. BroccoliEater mentioned the x+1 argument, and my wife has complained that she feels like she can “never do enough.” I try to remedy this by never bringing up what we didn’t do after sex. I try not to analyze it. But even then, an HL spouse needs to be able to honestly communicate his/her desires at some point (without somehow causing that pressure).

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