How I Fell Madly In Lust With My Husband

By YourTango

How I Fell Madly In Lust With My Husband
Good sex and marriage are not mutually exclusive.

This was a far cry from our lewd long-distance courtship, where I'd fly to L.A. in tight jeans, braless under my T-shirt, and he'd throw me to the carpet as soon as I walked into his apartment, or take me in the hot tub on his roof (where we once got caught by the building's manager). The West Coast earthquakes we lived through were an apt metaphor for how I'd initially felt fooling around with him, as in "Oh, baby, the earth moved." The first year he was aggressive, and I was happy to be tamed.

Of course, we couldn't maintain the thrill of our bi-coastal relationship forever. Eventually, we got engaged, married, and moved in together. At 35, I was pleasantly shocked that a strong, intense, career-driven woman like me could actually get a great husband. Soon paying off an expensive mortgage, dealing with infertility, and mourning the death of a few close relatives intruded on our fun escapades. So when the sexual status quo became less-than-hot-and-salacious, I cut us some slack. Take The Monotony Out Of Monogamy

 

While my mate was working late and away on business trips, I'd get my rocks off by imagining a mysterious naked couple acting out semi-violent fetishes. Once the aggressive male I was envisioning turned into the British film star Clive Own (around the time of Closer, where he stole every scene by playing an angry manipulative scoundrel). The disobedient French maid he was disciplining became the tennis player Anna Kournikova, whose cheesecake bikini pictures I'd seen in the National Inquirer. I'd also paged through Penthouse and surf porn sites on the web. When Aaron got home, I offered to enact any lascivious scenario that might appeal to him: a private wet T-shirt contest with me as the only contestant and him as the judge? Hand job with scented motion lotion? Trying it doggy style? Titty f**king? I even asked if he was interested in giving me a "pearl necklace." So he didn't think I wanted him to buy me jewelry, I explained I'd read online that the phrase was a euphemism for a man ejaculating onto a woman's neck. "Great, now I'm married to a porn addict," he said, going into his den to check email.

Mild, metrosexual men have never done it for me. Maybe it was because my father grew up a Lower East Side street kid who, my mother used to brag, would have been a gangster had she not put him through medical school in the Midwest. Her favorite photograph of him is when he was 16, wearing a black leather jacket, smoking an unfiltered cigarette and looking handsome and menacing. I wondered if she'd cursed me to a life of cads. Then there were my three big, tough brothers, known for yelling "switch to tackle" before landing on top of me in the middle of a touch football game on our lawn. Not surprisingly, I turned into a loudmouth tomboy unafraid to compete with the guys and stick up for myself. When I introduced my junior high best friend, Claire, to a sweet fellow student who'd asked me out, she whispered, "Are you kidding? You have more testosterone than he does."

At 15, I met David, a wife-beater-wearing, Marlboro-smoking, self-styled James Dean. He was obnoxious and aggressive—even anti-romantic—calling me an "old sea hag," with "violent eyes" and "breeder's hips." When we made out, he rubbed his hands all over me and said his father owned a meat-packing plant where he worked in the summertime, so he was used to slinging sides of beef. Bored by polite West Bloomfield boys who'd ask permission before kissing me, I was a goner. The fact that we were at a B'nai Brith camp convention where I was president of my chapter, and he was a straight A pre-med student from a well-off Ontario family, was incidental. He correctly surmised that since I was such a powerful type-A personality used to being in charge, I needed an arena where I could loosen up and let someone else call the shots. Six turbulent years later it ended in (predictable) disaster after he slept with not one but two of my close girlfriends.

Brad, my first gentile (and thus taboo) bedmate, was also virile and buff; he'd hold me down in bed, talk dirty, and take what he wanted. I assumed all girls went mad for he-men. After all, every bodice-ripping R-rated movie, soap opera and Harlequin romance showed a John Wayne action hero taming the shrew. I saw myself as a tough-talking, chain-smoking femme fatale, albeit from a tony Detroit suburb.

Eventually, I wound up in Manhattan in grad school, where I hung out with a crowd of left-wing, liberal, independent career women. I feared that confessing my craving for being dominated by macho men in bed would mean I'd have to revoke my credentials as a serious, intellectual feminist, so I simply decided to keep quiet about my sexual predilections. Advice: My Wife Won't Tell Me Her Fantasies

I'd broken off with macho David and Brad because of their insensitivity and infidelity, and I was starting to worry that the Lotharios who stimulated me most in the sack were bound to make me sick when we put our clothes back on. By my thirties, I seriously suspected that there were only two types of men to choose from: bullies who'd bewitch my body, then try to seduce my best gal pals when I wasn't looking, or sensitive souls who'd take me on nice dinner dates but put me to sleep under the sheets.

Then I met Tommy, a kind, good-looking lawyer who treated me well but was also up for a little deviant dance in the dark. Once, after my roommate Emily, a radical documentary filmmaker, overheard some minor smacking and tickling in the bedroom, she asked if Tommy was abusing me. Of course, not. We were just having fun, I reassured her. She eyed me skeptically, as if I was exhibiting signs of battered woman syndrome. But as a big-boned, 5-foot-7-inch gutter-mouthed girl with a decent right hook, I knew for certain that if any guy ever really tried to hit or touch me against my will, I would have beat the hell out of him.

Still, as more years passed, I felt increasingly ready to make a trade-off: rambunctious lovers into lying, head games and cheating for an honest, caring spouse I respected. So, at thirty-five, I wound up with a mensch who walked me down the aisle and swore he'd be faithful. That he also happened to be a big, hot, hairy, sardonic sports-obsessed man's man who easily returned my father's and brothers' male-punch hellos made the decision fairly easy.

Yet only a few years into our blessed union, my spouse seemed to find me too warm-blooded. On Saturday nights he preferred work to body wrestling me to the floor and taking me where I wanted to go. If I tried to bring it up, he'd get defensive, as if I was insulting him. But I felt too young and frisky to forfeit my physical fervor. I wasn't self-conscious about pleasing myself, but it felt sad not to be sharing my pleasure with the partner I adored.

"You have to insist that your husband fulfill your sexual fantasies," instructed my therapist, who happened to be tall, dashing and happily married himself. "Try asking him again." The Truth About Acting Out Your Fantasies

"I tried, and he can't act them out," I said. "It makes him uncomfortable. Which makes me uncomfortable."

"What's wrong with a little discomfort? Fight through it," he advised.

"It's too weird and awkward," I admitted.

"Well, your alternative is to give up. So, do you plan to cheat on Aaron or just be sexually unsatisfied for the rest of your life?" he asked.

"But he's just not into it," I muttered, embarrassed enough that I'd spilled my steamiest X-rated fantasies to my therapist, who actually looked embarrassed hearing them. (Ironically my dreams about Dr. Winters involved being gently embraced by him, not man-handled. Let's analyze that.)

But I took his suggestion, raising the issue of my carnal cravings again. This time, my husband flat-out refused me, leaving me feeling totally, humiliatingly rejected. Deflated, I slunk back to my shrink and tried my old theory on him. "Isn't this the typical marriage compromise—you give up some sizzle for consistency, social acceptance and security?" I asked.

"No! That's ridiculous!" he countered. "According to the Torah, a man is obligated to please his wife sexually or he is not a good husband."

This from a WASP who was using my tribe's customs to argue with me. I went home and looked it up. He was right! A Jewish husband was mandated to make his wife feel fulfilled when she so desired. "Her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage relations he shall not diminish." (Shmot 21:9). How funny—a reform Jewess who'd always resented rabbis and all forms of religious authority found the biggest champion of my libido in my own people's ancient laws. If they'd taught me about this in Hebrew school—instead of the Holocaust—I might have kept the Sabbath and learned to cook a brisket.

But I wondered how a woman fashioned her man into a passionate brute. You couldn't force your guy to be forceful, could you? My therapist requested some appointments alone with my husband. "Okay, let's try what you want," my mate announced when he came home from a psychotherapy session one night. I knew he was trying to compromise because he loved me. But I could tell he felt uncomfortable, even horrified that his perverted vixen of a wife had strong-armed a shrink into insisting he strong-arm me. Still, I wasn't giving up on my desires and I didn't want to look for sexual fulfillment elsewhere. Plus, I had an apparently Torah-given right to receive pleasure from my partner. So I led Aaron into our bedroom and told him what I wanted. Again. He acquiesced, passively, cracking jokes about castration and decapitation, taking me totally out of the mood.

"Shut up, don't make me laugh," I begged, explaining that he needed to deride me and take me against my will. After several minutes of orchestrating both the physical movements and the dialogue ("I want you to f**k me harder, Tarzan." and "Stop calling me beautiful, you idiot.") the whole thing began to feel too phony to get me off to anywhere. "Let's just forget it," I said, getting out of bed.

"No. Don't you dare leave! Get over here," Aaron snapped, grabbing my arm and throwing me back on the bed. He stopped joking and roared, "Okay, you stupid b*tch, now you're going to get it." He sounded enraged. I didn't know if he was genuinely pissed off or simply playing the role. But when he ripped off my jeans and slapped me, something happened. I felt nervous. Tingly. Excited. Transported. Rubbing against him, I had a major orgasm before he was even inside me. It was more intense than any "little death" I remembered with those bad boy idiots I'd gone for in my teens and twenties. Who knew you could be so erotically enraptured by your own spouse?

I was so gratified and grateful afterward that all I wanted to do was please Aaron. So, for our second act, we went all the way, the way I knew he preferred—gentle strokes, sweet nothings whispered in his ear, plenty of "I love you, babys." I wasn't bored this time. I felt so close to my husband, I didn't mind running this half of the show.

Both of us were restless sleepers who usually crashed far apart on our California King bed, but the next morning, I woke with my arms around him, kissing his warm back. Our tryst was so memorable that I made myself come in the middle of the day just thinking about it. Then I sent him an email—"Last night was so hot!"—and when he got home, we did it again! The last time we'd done it twice in twenty-four hours was back when we'd had sex for the first time. Seeing how delighted I was, and how being sexually satisfied changed our whole dynamic, he became more willing and open.

Five years after taking our wedding vows, I was shocked to fall madly, passionately in lust with my husband. I'd thought marriage meant making a choice between adoration and ardor, but it turned out both were possible in one package. Okay, it took therapy with a perceptive shrink, figuring out what rang my bell, and asking for it blatantly—several (dozen) times. But when I stopped expecting my mate to read my mind and body, and clearly verbalized what I wanted—exactly the way I wanted it—I got it.

After celebrating our 12th anniversary, Aaron and I still score several times a week. Nowadays he gets into being the dominating bully and stays in character for as long as I want him to. He was recently annoyed with me for throwing out an old ripped T-shirt. He wanted to rip it to shreds himself, he told me, with me still wearing it (I was happy to offer another with a small hole he could go to town on). A friend who plays out more brazen bedroom games with her lover told me we needed a safe word—in case it ever gets out of hand. So far "Stop it" works just fine and I only used it once—when my leg was getting a cramp. Meanwhile I've come every single time my husband and I have gone for it for the last six years, which seems quite unbelievable and astounding.

"That's way too much pressure. Stop saying it or you'll jinx it" he warns, and I happily disobey.

Susan Shapiro is the author of "Five Men Who Broke My Heart" and "Lighting Up." This essay will be published as "Fantasy Man" in the forthcoming anthology Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It.

"Hold me down harder, so you're overpowering me and I can't move. Like this," I showed Aaron, trying to pin my hands under his arms as he lay awkwardly on top of me.

"It's uncomfortable," he complained.

"Oh, come on. Now rip off my shirt!" I ordered him. "Can you be more aggressive?"

"Can you be more castrating?" he asked, slipping off my sweater so gently you'd think I was a china doll about to break.

"Now grab my breasts and say something mean," I instructed.

"You're a controlling shrew," he said calmly, obeying me so half-heartedly I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe friends who'd called me a control freak were right. It appeared that I was now 100 percent in control of my own sexual domination. Why Strong Women Fantasize About Being Dominated

My husband refused to act like he was raping me. Nor would he want to tie me up, restrain me, spank me, or force me into any form of submission, except to pick up his dry cleaning, which I was always forgetting.

Aaron was tall, handsome, brilliant, funny—everything I wanted in a lover except reckless. Indeed, the kinkiest thing about him was his luxuriant Jewish boy's 'fro; I loved to run my fingers through his curls. He was raised to be a suburban gentleman in the conservative 1950's and went to college in the liberated 70's—which may explain why he wasn't bitch-slapping me while pretending he was a pimp and I was his hooker, or playing the principal punishing the naughty schoolgirl sent to his office, or acting like a kidnapper tying up his naked, quivering victim. Instead, he put his ardor into his work while making sweet, calm, comfortable love to his wife once every week or two. Or three. Okay, a few years into our marriage, we sometimes went an entire month without even a quickie.

This was a far cry from our lewd long-distance courtship, where I'd fly to L.A. in tight jeans, braless under my T-shirt, and he'd throw me to the carpet as soon as I walked into his apartment, or take me in the hot tub on his roof (where we once got caught by the building's manager). The West Coast earthquakes we lived through were an apt metaphor for how I'd initially felt fooling around with him, as in "Oh, baby, the earth moved." The first year he was aggressive, and I was happy to be tamed.

Of course, we couldn't maintain the thrill of our bi-coastal relationship forever. Eventually, we got engaged, married, and moved in together. At 35, I was pleasantly shocked that a strong, intense, career-driven woman like me could actually get a great husband. Soon paying off an expensive mortgage, dealing with infertility, and mourning the death of a few close relatives intruded on our fun escapades. So when the sexual status quo became less-than-hot-and-salacious, I cut us some slack. Take The Monotony Out Of Monogamy

While my mate was working late and away on business trips, I'd get my rocks off by imagining a mysterious naked couple acting out semi-violent fetishes. Once the aggressive male I was envisioning turned into the British film star Clive Owen (around the time of Closer, where he stole every scene by playing an angry manipulative scoundrel). The disobedient French maid he was disciplining became the tennis player Anna Kournikova, whose cheesecake bikini pictures I'd seen in the National Inquirer. I'd also paged through Penthouse and surf porn sites on the web. When Aaron got home, I offered to enact any lascivious scenario that might appeal to him: a private wet T-shirt contest with me as the only contestant and him as the judge? Hand job with scented motion lotion? Trying it doggy style? Titty f**king? I even asked if he was interested in giving me a "pearl necklace." So he didn't think I wanted him to buy me jewelry, I explained I'd read online that the phrase was a euphemism for a man ejaculating onto a woman's neck. "Great, now I'm married to a porn addict," he said, going into his den to check email.

Mild, metrosexual men have never done it for me. Maybe it was because my father grew up a Lower East Side street kid who, my mother used to brag, would have been a gangster had she not put him through medical school in the Midwest. Her favorite photograph of him is when he was 16, wearing a black leather jacket, smoking an unfiltered cigarette and looking handsome and menacing. I wondered if she'd cursed me to a life of cads. Then there were my three big, tough brothers, known for yelling "switch to tackle" before landing on top of me in the middle of a touch football game on our lawn. Not surprisingly, I turned into a loudmouth tomboy unafraid to compete with the guys and stick up for myself. When I introduced my junior high best friend, Claire, to a sweet fellow student who'd asked me out, she whispered, "Are you kidding? You have more testosterone than he does."

At 15, I met David, a wife-beater-wearing, Marlboro-smoking, self-styled James Dean. He was obnoxious and aggressive—even anti-romantic—calling me an "old sea hag," with "violent eyes" and "breeder's hips." When we made out, he rubbed his hands all over me and said his father owned a meat-packing plant where he worked in the summertime, so he was used to slinging sides of beef. Bored by polite West Bloomfield boys who'd ask permission before kissing me, I was a goner. The fact that we were at a B'nai Brith camp convention where I was president of my chapter, and he was a straight A pre-med student from a well-off Ontario family, was incidental. He correctly surmised that since I was such a powerful type-A personality used to being in charge, I needed an arena where I could loosen up and let someone else call the shots. Six turbulent years later it ended in (predictable) disaster after he slept with not one but two of my close girlfriends.

Brad, my first gentile (and thus taboo) bedmate, was also virile and buff; he'd hold me down in bed, talk dirty, and take what he wanted. I assumed all girls went mad for he-men. After all, every bodice-ripping R-rated movie, soap opera and Harlequin romance showed a John Wayne action hero taming the shrew. I saw myself as a tough-talking, chain-smoking femme fatale, albeit from a tony Detroit suburb.

Eventually, I wound up in Manhattan in grad school, where I hung out with a crowd of left-wing, liberal, independent career women. I feared that confessing my craving for being dominated by macho men in bed would mean I'd have to revoke my credentials as a serious, intellectual feminist, so I simply decided to keep quiet about my sexual predilections. Advice: My Wife Won't Tell Me Her Fantasies

I'd broken off with macho David and Brad because of their insensitivity and infidelity, and I was starting to worry that the Lotharios who stimulated me most in the sack were bound to make me sick when we put our clothes back on. By my thirties, I seriously suspected that there were only two types of men to choose from: bullies who'd bewitch my body, then try to seduce my best gal pals when I wasn't looking, or sensitive souls who'd take me on nice dinner dates but put me to sleep under the sheets.

Then I met Tommy, a kind, good-looking lawyer who treated me well but was also up for a little deviant dance in the dark. Once, after my roommate Emily, a radical documentary filmmaker, overheard some minor smacking and tickling in the bedroom, she asked if Tommy was abusing me. Of course, not. We were just having fun, I reassured her. She eyed me skeptically, as if I was exhibiting signs of battered woman syndrome. But as a big-boned, 5-foot-7-inch gutter-mouthed girl with a decent right hook, I knew for certain that if any guy ever really tried to hit or touch me against my will, I would have beat the hell out of him.

Still, as more years passed, I felt increasingly ready to make a trade-off: rambunctious lovers into lying, head games and cheating for an honest, caring spouse I respected. So, at thirty-five, I wound up with a mensch who walked me down the aisle and swore he'd be faithful. That he also happened to be a big, hot, hairy, sardonic sports-obsessed man's man who easily returned my father's and brothers' male-punch hellos made the decision fairly easy.

Yet only a few years into our blessed union, my spouse seemed to find me too warm-blooded. On Saturday nights he preferred work to body wrestling me to the floor and taking me where I wanted to go. If I tried to bring it up, he'd get defensive, as if I was insulting him. But I felt too young and frisky to forfeit my physical fervor. I wasn't self-conscious about pleasing myself, but it felt sad not to be sharing my pleasure with the partner I adored.

"You have to insist that your husband fulfill your sexual fantasies," instructed my therapist, who happened to be tall, dashing and happily married himself. "Try asking him again." The Truth About Acting Out Your Fantasies

"I tried, and he can't act them out," I said. "It makes him uncomfortable. Which makes me uncomfortable."

"What's wrong with a little discomfort? Fight through it," he advised.

"It's too weird and awkward," I admitted.

"Well, your alternative is to give up. So, do you plan to cheat on Aaron or just be sexually unsatisfied for the rest of your life?" he asked.

"But he's just not into it," I muttered, embarrassed enough that I'd spilled my steamiest X-rated fantasies to my therapist, who actually looked embarrassed hearing them. (Ironically my dreams about Dr. Winters involved being gently embraced by him, not man-handled. Let's analyze that.)

But I took his suggestion, raising the issue of my carnal cravings again. This time, my husband flat-out refused me, leaving me feeling totally, humiliatingly rejected. Deflated, I slunk back to my shrink and tried my old theory on him. "Isn't this the typical marriage compromise—you give up some sizzle for consistency, social acceptance and security?" I asked.

"No! That's ridiculous!" he countered. "According to the Torah, a man is obligated to please his wife sexually or he is not a good husband."

This from a WASP who was using my tribe's customs to argue with me. I went home and looked it up. He was right! A Jewish husband was mandated to make his wife feel fulfilled when she so desired. "Her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage relations he shall not diminish." (Shmot 21:9). How funny—a reform Jewess who'd always resented rabbis and all forms of religious authority found the biggest champion of my libido in my own people's ancient laws. If they'd taught me about this in Hebrew school—instead of the Holocaust—I might have kept the Sabbath and learned to cook a brisket.

But I wondered how a woman fashioned her man into a passionate brute. You couldn't force your guy to be forceful, could you? My therapist requested some appointments alone with my husband. "Okay, let's try what you want," my mate announced when he came home from a psychotherapy session one night. I knew he was trying to compromise because he loved me. But I could tell he felt uncomfortable, even horrified that his perverted vixen of a wife had strong-armed a shrink into insisting he strong-arm me. Still, I wasn't giving up on my desires and I didn't want to look for sexual fulfillment elsewhere. Plus, I had an apparently Torah-given right to receive pleasure from my partner. So I led Aaron into our bedroom and told him what I wanted. Again. He acquiesced, passively, cracking jokes about castration and decapitation, taking me totally out of the mood.

"Shut up, don't make me laugh," I begged, explaining that he needed to deride me and take me against my will. After several minutes of orchestrating both the physical movements and the dialogue ("I want you to f**k me harder, Tarzan." and "Stop calling me beautiful, you idiot.") the whole thing began to feel too phony to get me off to anywhere. "Let's just forget it," I said, getting out of bed.

"No. Don't you dare leave! Get over here," Aaron snapped, grabbing my arm and throwing me back on the bed. He stopped joking and roared, "Okay, you stupid b*tch, now you're going to get it." He sounded enraged. I didn't know if he was genuinely pissed off or simply playing the role. But when he ripped off my jeans and slapped me, something happened. I felt nervous. Tingly. Excited. Transported. Rubbing against him, I had a major orgasm before he was even inside me. It was more intense than any "little death" I remembered with those bad boy idiots I'd gone for in my teens and twenties. Who knew you could be so erotically enraptured by your own spouse?

I was so gratified and grateful afterward that all I wanted to do was please Aaron. So, for our second act, we went all the way, the way I knew he preferred—gentle strokes, sweet nothings whispered in his ear, plenty of "I love you, babys." I wasn't bored this time. I felt so close to my husband, I didn't mind running this half of the show.

Both of us were restless sleepers who usually crashed far apart on our California King bed, but the next morning, I woke with my arms around him, kissing his warm back. Our tryst was so memorable that I made myself come in the middle of the day just thinking about it. Then I sent him an email—"Last night was so hot!"—and when he got home, we did it again! The last time we'd done it twice in twenty-four hours was back when we'd had sex for the first time. Seeing how delighted I was, and how being sexually satisfied changed our whole dynamic, he became more willing and open.

Five years after taking our wedding vows, I was shocked to fall madly, passionately in lust with my husband. I'd thought marriage meant making a choice between adoration and ardor, but it turned out both were possible in one package. Okay, it took therapy with a perceptive shrink, figuring out what rang my bell, and asking for it blatantly—several (dozen) times. But when I stopped expecting my mate to read my mind and body, and clearly verbalized what I wanted—exactly the way I wanted it—I got it.

After celebrating our 12th anniversary, Aaron and I still score several times a week. Nowadays he gets into being the dominating bully and stays in character for as long as I want him to. He was recently annoyed with me for throwing out an old ripped T-shirt. He wanted to rip it to shreds himself, he told me, with me still wearing it (I was happy to offer another with a small hole he could go to town on). A friend who plays out more brazen bedroom games with her lover told me we needed a safe word—in case it ever gets out of hand. So far "Stop it" works just fine and I only used it once—when my leg was getting a cramp. Meanwhile I've come every single time my husband and I have gone for it for the last six years, which seems quite unbelievable and astounding.

"That's way too much pressure. Stop saying it or you'll jinx it" he warns, and I happily disobey.

Susan Shapiro is the author of "Five Men Who Broke My Heart" and "Lighting Up." This essay will be published as "Fantasy Man" in the forthcoming anthology Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It.

 
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