I have been married many years. Early in our marriage my husband asked if he could tie my wrists or gag me during intercourse. Because he knew of my past childhood sex abuse he made it clear that we could stop at any time and that there wouldn't be any violence. Not thinking much of it I agreed to try it a few times. I was never beaten/restrained as a child nor was there full intercourse. Regardless, the lack of control seemed to bring up negative feelings. I didn't want negative feelings associated with our sex life. Many years went by and dressing in sexy lingerie seemed to do the trick but over time we had less sex. One night while searching Google for something on our computer I found a number of sites that had been visited showing pictures of women fully clothed but tied up. Random pics from action movies and such. No porn or anything like that. Still I confronted my spouse. He immediately confessed to viewing the sites and admitted this desire since he could remember. He verbalized embarrassment and sadness. He revealed memories of tying up his sisters dolls when quite young and not knowing why. He shared the desire to tie me up for a few minutes to kiss me and become aroused but did not want anything violent or more. He said he didn’t ask because he knew my past made it uncomfortable. We tried it again a couple of times but I was uncomfortable. I am still torn about this. He is a wonderful husband. I want him to be happy and both of us satisfied sexually. My past definitely plays a huge role in this and I need to address my sexual discomfort so we can try this again but have other concerns. Many people who have an interest in bondage have much more intense and sometimes dysfunctional needs. I am concerned that if I participate and basically encourage this behavior that his taste may increase for something more dysfunctional...any thoughts out there?
First, you're basing your opinions on mythology unsupported by facts. You state: "Many people who have an interest in bondage have much more intense and sometimes dysfunctional needs." This is untrue. "Dysfunctional" is a judgmental word and usually indicates a misunderstanding of someone else's needs. Don't forget it wasn't long ago that anyone who wasn't turned on by heterosexual penis-vagina sex in the missionary position in the dark for the purpose of having children was considered "dysfunctional."
Having said that, I understand that you're scared and concerned about what lies ahead because of your past. The fact that you are both good communicators is a positive sign. It's time for you to sit down and discuss what's ahead. And a good first step for you would be to explode some of those myths. I recommend looking at some educational bondage sites for more information. Then, perhaps you can decide what feels OK for you to explore together and what's beyond your boundaries. You need to get an agreement from him to fo slowly--a little at a time and see how it feels to build up trust. And it's important that you decide on a "safe" word that you use with your husband when you're getting close to the end of your comfort level and wanting him to stop. This should be a word that isn't sexy--like popcorn or cucumber--and wouldn't happen in a fantasy scenario. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
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