I get a lot of questions about the sexless void in our marriage. A. Lot. Of. Questions. Every once in a while I try to shed a little light on some aspect of that period of time, and I try to deal with it with humor and grace. It's all part of the "honestly" part of the blog's subtitle. I don't think this one will be humorous or graceful, but it will be honest. It definitely won't top the pedicure and bikini wax post for guffaws.
Recently someone asked me the following: Did you ever consider doing sexual things for D during your non-sex times, like bj's or handjobs, or even holding him while he masturbated?
Yes, I considered it. For about a minute. A few times. And no, I really didn't do it. But not because I was a bad wife. In all the other areas that count I was (and am) a very good partner. D probably outranks me, but we make a good team. Together we've made it through all the major sorts of life changes you can imagine, with the exception of having a child. Sure, we disagreed and even yelled from time to time, but we worked through it all together.
So why couldn't we work together on this? This is from another post from several months ago, but it explains things to some degree:
Every so often we would "try again" to bring sexual intimacy back into our lives. It was almost always very awkward, and filled with "you don't have to do anything you don't want to" sorts of statements. Well, I didn't want to have sex. I didn't want to be naked in bed. I didn't want to do any of it. But I would try.
One night we got beyond the laying in bed naked together bit and actually proceeded to the sex bit. Chronic pain was a big limiter for me, and I was having it that night. And he takes a long time to come. And he wouldn't come and I was in misery and overall it just sucked. I shut it down.
We tried to talk about it, but I was so upset all I could do was sob. I was upset that I'd done more than I wanted to, that I was in pain, and it felt like no matter what I did I wasn't going to be able to satisfy him. Despite saying over and over that I didn't have to worry about not getting him off, I felt like a complete failure. I hate failing, so why would I continue to put myself in situations where I couldn't succeed?
I'm not certain, but I think that was the last time we attempted fucking until a good 5-6 years later.
That's why I couldn't do the things the questioner asks about.
Because the few times we tried to have sex it was like that.
Because I didn't want to call any sexual attention to myself. I actively worked to hide my body from D.
Because between the chronic pain and the libido-suppressing meds I had enough excuses to last a lifetime.
Because if I did any of the things the questioner mentioned I'd be opening myself up to having conversations I just didn't want to have.
I got into what a recent commenter called "the cycle of dread," and as long as I was fogged with pain and meds I had no desire to find a way out of it.
That's a very long way of saying no, I didn't do any of those things. Then. I didn't do them then. Now is different. Now is what matters. Now is 180 degrees from then.