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Old 01-22-2010, 02:12 AM
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Question How do I heal a psychological disconnect between sex and emotional bonding?

Background: I have *always* been an extremely sensitive, emotionally intuitive person. I have always reserved sexual interaction for individuals with whom I feel a deep attraction and "chemistry" with and with whom I have developed a preliminary bond. I also prefer to have developed (or at least forsee developing) a meaningful bond with them.

My husband (Stewy on the board) and I have been married a little over 8 years now and known each other for 9. About 4 years ago we began discussing the idea of involving other people in our sex life. I advised him then that I am "not capable" of having sex with someone that I don't feel that attraction, chemistry and preliminary emotional bond with. I placed that as a requirement on me participating in any sexual encounters with others, male or female.

Given that boundary, there shouldn't have been an issue. However, as I mentioned in my introductory post, Stewy's criteria of attraction are far wider than mine and, although he is not into "casual" sex with people he doesn't care anything for, he is capable of developing a preliminary bond much faster with a far larger demographic of individuals.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that I'm submissive by nature. It is my driving force to wish to please others and to take pleasure in the process of them getting their needs met, my husband and my children being those people who's needs are most important to me, to the point of being paramount to my own. As we began to explore the idea of widening our sexual horizons together, we also encountered the dominant/submissive concept and were naturally drawn to it. Of COURSE, I ended up finding the role of submissive to fit my personality and sexual needs best.

Unfortunately, neither of us did much research into D/S at that point. When my husband became attracted to individuals that I did NOT, and time began to drag on with no potential partners meeting my "high standards" he began to get frustrated. He put pressure on me to lower my standards and stop being so "picky." As my "Dom" he gave me instructions that if I had an "opportunity" or we had an "opportunity" to have an encounter with someone I felt "comfortable" with, to take it.

Wanting to please him, wanting him to be fulfilled, I crossed a threshold I never should have crossed with people with whom I was NOT attracted to, did NOT have chemistry with and had NO bond with whatsoever. That was a couple of years ago and since then, I have crossed that threshold repeatedly. The result being that the connection between sex and emotional bonding was severed for me... however I was not fully AWARE of the disconnect until this week. When I realized the full extent of it, I was devastated.

To make matters worse, it became clear to me that the disconnect wasn't compartmentalized... it had carried over into the sexual and emotional aspects of my marriage as well. I have no clue where to begin to try and repair the damage, or whether it's even repairable. He and I have been discussing finding permanent polyamorous partners up until this point, and now we're completely confused about whether that would help or hurt the situation.

Up until now, neither of us have had any long-term secondary sexual partners that we've had a deep bond with. I have formed emotional bonds to other non-sexual partners, and I have FWB's that have been primarily sexual but they are both FRIENDS with whom I at least feel *some* connection.

So, the crux of the debate is... the Disconnect (as I call it) happened not within the context of one-on-one sex with my husband and I. It happened in the context of non-monogamy. So, if we "close" our marriage to the possibility of polyamory and exclude possible sexual interaction with others that I have a deep bond with, would it still be possible to reconnect the association between sex and emotional bonding for me?

Also, there's clearly a trust issue that now needs to be resolved because I entrusted Stewy with considering my emotional needs and psychological well-being as my Dom and was let down... repeatedly (even tho I reiterrated my needs to him frequently.)

My instinct is that I need to address the problem where it began... outside of our marriage. That I need to find at least one other partner and for sex with that person to ONLY be associated with a deep, emotional connection. It would probably help if sex between my husband and I ONLY happened when there is a simultaneous emotional connection between us. That *sometimes* happens now, but it is more the exception than the rule since the Disconnect. I see that as being hard to accomplish given that he has a much higher sex drive than me and my nature being to want to please him and give him what he needs, even if it's to my own detriment.

He fears that if I have lost that association with him, and I find it with another person, that it will prevent me from being able to repair my bond with him. He fears further damage to our marriage and losing each other altogether.

We're seeking input, feedback, thoughts from anyone and everyone who may have ideas as to what to do from here. Especially anyone who may have personal experience in the matter.

Whew... hope you aren't all asleep after reading my lengthy post!!! Even if no one has any ideas, thanks for listening.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:30 AM
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Well.
I have LOADS of experience with it.
But I'm loathe to respond since I'm also not an "unknown poster"....

I fear that anything I say will be percieved as "taking sides" and I don't think THAT will help anything.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:46 AM
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Well, LR... I should qualify my post by saying that the one thing we both agree on is that repairing the bond between us is the priority. We have spent the better part of the last 24 hours contemplating the "what if's..."

What if it can only be repaired outside our marriage?
What if it can't be repaired?
What if it can be repaired within our marriage but additional relationships would neither hurt nor help?
What if repairing it outside our marriage makes him feel insecure? Who's needs do we prioritize?

I discussed your concern w/Stewy and he responded that the purpose of posting for input was exactly for that... input. That we need, and will value ALL input. Especially yours.

Our goal is that the bond be repaired, HOW it gets repaired is of secondary importance. So, we BOTH welcome any and all perspectives.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:56 AM
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K, so to both of you-Maca and I have a class from 6-9 tonight. I HAVE to get the hell out of here before I end up being late.
I'll work on how to reply BEST. There ARE answers.

One more thing-you are both in HYPER ADD mode.
(at least it sounds that way).
The whole
"this way or that way" when in truth there are as many possible solutions as there are colors in that little button on the computer that lets you create your own font color....

Don't focus on "well it's all or nothing".

As I said to Stewy in December-just because something won't work in THIS moment-doesn't mean it will NEVER work-it means you have to find a CREATIVE ADAPTIVE solution... (yes that term IS from the book you ordered MS and you need to READ it).

As a favor-I sent an email to a wide range of posters, and asked that they feel free to pass it on to other posters that they know (pm's often will go to a persons email and they will see it even if they aren't logged in here-and God knows how many of you have your email forwarded to your phone)to come answer and give their thoughts. Hopefully a few will reply tonight.

Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:02 AM
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Thank you!!!! Have a good class.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:06 AM
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My wife and I have a few ideas that may just help put you on the road back where you want to go but we are still getting our thoughts in order.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
My instinct is that I need to address the problem where it began... outside of our marriage.
Ok, I failed. BUT I am limiting my comments AT LEAST until others start posting, to this short one.

I beg to differ on this sentence and I think you need to REALLY be a bit more introspective about it.

This problem DID begin INSIDE of your marriage.
It wasn't a problem with ANY of the people you slept with, it was a problem with respect/trust/communication in one form or another-WITHIN your marriage between yourself and your husband.

Polyamory really hasn't anything to do with the ACTUAL problem. The ACTUAL problem created HUGE symptoms when you opened your marriage. But an open marriage wasn't the problem. You may cure the symptom by going back to a closed marriage-but you still need to cure the ACTUAL problem-which is a respect/trust/communication/boundary? issue between yourself and your husband.

No outside person can create OR TAKE AWAY your "connection" to your husband but you and he. No matter HOW many connections you make, that won't take away from or give to him any more or less connection with you.

Ok-that's it on my experience. AS I said-I DO have a LOT of experience on the topic (personal experience not training). But unless Stewy posts a request for me to share it-I think it's best I keep my mouth shut....
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:53 AM
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LOL! Yeah, but at least you managed to make it for a few minutes!! So, you succeeded for awhile. You're right, it did start within the marriage. That's an excellent point. Why that didn't occur to me is beyond me... I guess that's why we needed to post it here. Too close to it to see what's in front of our faces.
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Last edited by midnightsun; 01-22-2010 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:09 AM
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It sounds like you made it clear from the beginning that you have certain criteria for having sexual relationships with people. Whether or not your husband is good at "developing a preliminary bond much faster" has no bearing on that, or shouldn't in my opinion. You should of done some research into D/s before hand. Anyone starting out should. If you wanted to know how to belly dance you would go and take a class, sure you can shimmy your hips around, but if you do that too much you can hurt your back... the same goes for BDSM, only it can damage you psychologically, as you have found out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
When my husband became attracted to individuals that I did NOT, and time began to drag on with no potential partners meeting my "high standards" he began to get frustrated. He put pressure on me to lower my standards and stop being so "picky." As my "Dom" he gave me instructions that if I had an "opportunity" or we had an "opportunity" to have an encounter with someone I felt "comfortable" with, to take it.
Wanting to please him, wanting him to be fulfilled, I crossed a threshold I never should have crossed with people with whom I was NOT attracted to, did NOT have chemistry with and had NO bond with whatsoever. That was a couple of years ago and since then, I have crossed that threshold repeatedly. The result being that the connection between sex and emotional bonding was severed for me... however I was not fully AWARE of the disconnect until this week. When I realized the full extent of it, I was devastated.
there's clearly a trust issue that now needs to be resolved because I entrusted Stewy with considering my emotional needs and psychological well-being as my Dom and was let down... repeatedly (even tho I reiterrated my needs to him frequently.)
High standards mean you are taking care of yourself sexually, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't. Your body and mind were telling you something with those "high standards" and that is that it wasn't good for you to get into what was being offered... because it would be damaging. You didn't listen to yourself first, but chose to listen to your husband. Any sub will tell you that the bottom line is that you have to be okay with what is going on... the point is to be energetically charged and excited about being submissive, not damaged. You were not being "picky" you were listening to your self at that point and that deserved some respect. He didn't respect that. He disrespected you. He didn't cherish your safety, he abused his authority over you. He should never of dictated that you should take any "opportunity" that comes along if you were telling him you weren't comfortable. There should of been a change in your relationship if he was frustrated. It should of been talked out so that you both had your needs met and were safe and the boundaries were clear.

Essentially he has prostituted you out so that he can get off in women he thinks are sexy... I'm assuming he didn't have sex with the men in these circumstances... perhaps he got off in them too or visa-versa. whatever...he essentially sold you to people in exchange for masturbating into people he thought were hot. Not only that but you were violated by others because of him. Other men masturbated into you without caring who you are, just because you were there and they were horny and your husband told you to please them. Sad, very sad..... sad and frankly disgusting. I really do want to vomit. That is no way to treat a woman you love. I would wonder if he even loves you, or knows how to love. That is no way to treat anyone... even the people you had sex with disgust me for taking part...

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
To make matters worse, it became clear to me that the disconnect wasn't compartmentalized... it had carried over into the sexual and emotional aspects of my marriage as well.
well of course it would, because you went against what everything in your body said was wrong.... you weren't seeing yourself as a thing of beauty, that needed to be preserved for special moments of bonding and connection that make you feel cherished, adored, admired for who you are. You lost your integrity and sense of being a mystery to others that should be guarded and the secret given to those you respect and who respect you. Your specialness was taken away from you. Why would you feel special to your husband if he has treated you this way. To me it would be like being obliged to sleep with my abuser... because that is how I see him, as an abuser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
So, if we "close" our marriage to the possibility of polyamory and exclude possible sexual interaction with others that I have a deep bond with, would it still be possible to reconnect the association between sex and emotional bonding for me?
I think that this is the only way to regain what you have lost... that and some therapy with a therapist that is familiar to poly relationships. I agree with Mono on this point. I think your husband should stop his dominant role in your life entirely and you should start taking a hold of your own life in order to regain some feelings of autonomy from him. It seems you are in way over your head with it and need to do a lot of educating yourselves before getting back to it. I think that you need to stop having sex and pursuing any sexual relationships with anyone else at this point and forget working on poly in this way until this is sorted out. There is no way in hell that I think either of you are ready for the amount of work and stability that a poly relationship takes frankly. Anyone that comes into your lives in such a way right now will not stay around I would think as you have some major issues to work out. Not only that they could become entwined in your dynamic and could also get hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
My instinct is that I need to address the problem where it began... outside of our marriage. That I need to find at least one other partner and for sex with that person to ONLY be associated with a deep, emotional connection. It would probably help if sex between my husband and I ONLY happened when there is a simultaneous emotional connection between us. That *sometimes* happens now, but it is more the exception than the rule since the Disconnect. I see that as being hard to accomplish given that he has a much higher sex drive than me and my nature being to want to please him and give him what he needs, even if it's to my own detriment.

He fears that if I have lost that association with him, and I find it with another person, that it will prevent me from being able to repair my bond with him. He fears further damage to our marriage and losing each other altogether.
This is a really bad idea... to be honest it sounds like you want another primary partner because you have completely lost your connection with your husband and either don't want to fix it because of who he is or you don't think it is fixable and rightly so... if it were me I'd be booting the abusive bastard out on his ass... but then that's just me.

yup, safe to say that I really think you have a lot of work to do. My concern at this point is that you won't be able to do it and will break up or worse don't bother and teach your kids that the way their dad treats you is okay... that women are meant to be treated as he treats you. I would not at all be surprised if this attitude has carried to your everyday life in some way. I think your husband must completely have a warped sense of what women are about at this point. Women who are subs in a D/s relationships are admired, taken care of, nurtured... anyone deserves that in a sub role. He seems to think that they are to boss around, disrespect, think little of in terms of their emotions and psychological needs and generally prostitute out and abuse his power with. That has got to of fucked with his brain at this point.

And you dear lady, in my opinion have to think about getting a back bone. Get a hold of your life for your self and show your kids that you deserve respect, just as you would expect they would also deserve. Just because you are submissive does not mean that you should not be listening to important messages you yourself are giving you. Listen to yourself! Demand as your right as a sub to be taken care of properly. Otherwise leave and find someone that will.

This all makes me so angry. I am speaking from my own experiences with having been taken advantage of. I choice to put myself in the situations I was in to determined if they suited me. They didn't and I have been damaged by the experience also. I have not become disconnected thankfully, to me that would mean I have experienced a psychotic break and that I may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (something to think about and ask a trained therapist of psychiatrist about). I don't think that is the case because I am working my way through it and see everything differently now. It can be done and I am telling you, the grass is greener on the other side, now that I see it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:07 PM
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I have to echo what redpepper said - just because you are a sub doesn't give anyone the right to violate your own boundaries.

Based on what you have said, you set out boundaries for opening your marriage and he rode rough-shod over them because of his impatience to "get on with it". He betrayed your trust and showed you little to no respect.

I agree that right now you shouldn't be concerning yourself with anyone else outside of your marriage - find out whether you can get back to a feeling of stability and trust with your current partner. I strongly believe that a relationship has to have solid trust as a foundation and that an open relationship needs it even more. It doesn't sound like you have that right now, and that is what you need to find out whether you can get back or not - and that is between you are your partner.

A question - now that you have realised what was going on, and have presumably explained it to him, how does he feel about this?
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