A friend of mine is in therapy for sex addiction at the request of his girlfriend. Well, actually request isn’t really the right word. She has, apparently, told him that if he doesn’t “get help soon” then she’s leaving him. (I have to add that although I have met the girlfriend on a few occasions I have never chatted this intimately with her so this is only his side of things.) According to the girlfriend, it is not normal to only want to climax when engaging in some type of kinky sex; he should be able to have a very satisfactory orgasm while making love because if he really loves her he shouldn’t need anything else.
When my friend told me this I was puzzled. I have never believed that there was anything wrong with adventurous sex as long as it is between consenting adults and all that. But I started to wonder where the line is between having fun in the bedroom and becoming dependent on external stimuli to have a good time.
There are dozens of online websites and forums dedicated to sex. Some of them feed the hunger that many of us have and some of them try and cure us of it. One article I found claims that sexual fantasies can be like junk food; the more you eat the more you want and the only really healthy thing to do is to try and wean yourself off it completely. They give the example of a man whose wife refused to have anal sex. He spent years fantasizing about having anal sex with other women and it made him more and more miserable until finally he gave up the fantasy completely and focused on what he already had. He was then a lot happier. That’s nice, and I would have to agree with this attitude had his fantasy been about bringing home 18 year old identical twins for a foursome with his wife. But anal sex? Is that really such an unreasonable request for a husband to make of his wife? If he was truly miserable for years and almost unfaithful twice, why couldn’t she just agree to at least try it? It opens up an interesting question about ‘spousal duties’ in the bedroom.
Ideally, of course, we find ourselves equally matched in the bedroom with a partner who is more or less into the same type of sexually activity as we are. But for those who have sexual fantasies that are not shared by their significant others, what are they expected to do? Should someone with a fetish try to ‘cure’ him or herself of it? Rather than looking for porn, role-play or erotica to feed the fantasy, should they concentrate on looking for ways to find vanilla sex completely fulfilling?
And perhaps sexual fantasies are always unhealthy. After all, even between a couple who share the same fantasy, they basically mean that the couple are aroused more by the fantasy than by each other. Maybe sexual fantasies are even dangerous. They make us feel so good that we seek out ever more dramatic, imaginative and extreme ways to fulfill the fantasies and get the high that they give us. We become addicted, and that can’t be healthy.
But does that mean we should all be striving to rid ourselves of these terrible sexual fantasy addictions? I think not, unless of course the fantasies lead to an illegal act or make the person’s life completely miserable. Otherwise, I really do not see why we shouldn’t indulge in and enjoy our perversions to the full!
I hope my friend find answers with his therapist. In the meantime, I think I will continue enjoying my fantasies in every way possible and if that’s terribly unhealthy and bad, awfully wrong and dangerous… then good. That just makes it all the more exciting!
Edit 2017: I wrote this article a few years ago and I am still friends with the man whose girlfriend told him to see a therapist. He told me that the therapy was going really well so I was shocked when, about six months later, he phoned me up to say that he’d made a huge mistake, didn’t know what to do, and how could he fix this mess because his girlfriend had just left him. The poor man was in tears! He went on to explain that he had been having an affair and was too embarrassed to tell me about it but his girlfriend had just found out and dumped him. It took him about six months to accept that he and his ex just weren’t compatible. At first he desperately wanted to win her back but, luckily for him, she wouldn’t give him a second chance. It was difficult for me to see him suffer but I was also sure that he’d be much happier with someone else.
We slowly drifted apart after that, seeing each other less often, and rarely speaking on the phone. But we’re friends on Facebook and I smiled each time I saw him post a pic of a new girl and I smiled even more broadly when I noticed that, after a while, it was always the same girl on the photos with him.
And a few days ago – which is what inspired me to update this page – I got a phone call from my friend asking me for advice on how to propose to his girlfriend! After congratulating him, I said he should propose in a way that would mean something special to both of them. I suggested thinking of something that, when they remembered the proposal in years to come, they would look at each other and feel a rush of happiness, sexiness and love. He laughed and said he knew exactly what that would be but wasn’t sure he dared do it. I asked him to tell me what he was thinking of doing but he wouldn’t. (The bastard! And if you’re reading this, please, please, please tell me what it is!!!) He just said that, if he did do it and his girlfriend became his fiancee and not his ex, then he’d invite me to the wedding and maybe, just maybe, he’d tell me then. So I guess I’ll just have to wait.
But in the meantime, I’m delighted that my friend proved it’s not a bad thing to have extreme sexual fantasies and it doesn’t mean a life of frustration in a vanilla relationship. If you find the right person to share your kinks with, you can explore and enjoy them together. And maybe fall in love and have an engagement story you won’t ever be able to tell your colleagues or parents-in-law!