Great (and Unrealistic) Expectations

I had plenty of sex as a teenager. I loved it, I had fun, I played safely, and I got to experience some really fun things. When I got married I kind of automatically expected to have same kind of effortless sex life that I had as a teenager who spend several years fucking around with a lot of different people.

Turns out that being single and having a sex life and being married and monogamous and having a sex life were two very, very different things. I went into my marriage expecting that my husband and I would be sexually compatible and we would be on the same page about new experiences and sexual escapades. I didn’t realize just how much work and communication that would take, nor did I find out til a good year into things that we didn’t have the solid base for communication that we needed AND we weren’t quite so sexually compatible as I think we both assumed that we would be.

And I think our inability to communicate led to a LOT of problems, although I don’t think that our lack of communication led to the abuse I suffered at his hands. That was just him being a fucking asshole. Now that I’ve made that clear, moving on.

So, we were a total mismatch in terms of our expectations and we didn’t communicate. I don’t think that this is a problem that was unique to my ex and I, to our marriage. I think this may be common to a lot of people in a lot of relationships, no matter their gender or type of relationship. If you don’t talk about your wants and needs you can’t expect your partner to successfully read your mind ad give you those things.

But, how do you bring up something in your relationship that can be so charged as your sex life and whether or not you’re satisfied by it? For some couples, this is really easy because they have excellent communication skills. And I mean really excellent. You know, the couples who make it look easy. It only looks easy though. It is a lot of work to open yourself up and to be vulnerable. To talk about things that some people might call shameful or taboo.

The reality is that sex isn’t shameful or taboo and talking about it is healthy and normal and fine. And in many relationships expected. That doesn’t magically make it easier though, nor does it make you feel less vulnerable. For me, I have to process years of abuse as I work my way back into being the sex positive, size positive (this is really hard and will probably get its own post), bad ass beauty that I used to be. That means I have to talk about scary and triggering things in order to deal with them. That means I have to trust my partner enough to be exposed in my thoughts and words.

And that last bit is one of the keys to good communication. Being willing and able to say that something isn’t right or needs to change or having the transparency to be able to say wait, let me rephrase that are both incredibly important things. They aren’t everything though. Because you also have to get past any cultural, religious, familial, past relationship, and general bias one might have on any given subject before it can be discussed. And this goes for all the partners in the relationship.

If you’re scared or nervous, think about how you can broach the topic gently or in a non-threatening way. For me, it tends to be writing so sometimes my partner gets emails from me. I will also research something obsessively so I know lots about the topic I am going to be bringing up. It means that when when the questions start coming, I can try to answer them instead of getting flustered and skittish and starting to stumble and stutter.

If you don’t know how you might go about bringing up a sensitive topic, think about it for a bit; see what feels like it might work. Then go from there. Communicating your expectations can make the go from greatly unrealistic to just plain great.

If you have a certain style of communicating that works for you and your partner(s), feel free to leave me a comment or contact me to share. I’m always trying to improve my own relationship both in and out of the bedroom.

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3 thoughts on “Great (and Unrealistic) Expectations

  1. Wow! You have mentioned profound points.

    Here’s my story:

    I approached a coworker about hanging out. We had been bantering off and on at work. I am a lot more outgoing at work. Key reason being that I have not worked in about 3 yrs. The best way to describe myself is flirtatious with the men and sexual references with the women I know would laugh at my somewhat lewd comments (blushing in a sorry, not sorry kind of way) 😉

    I was in a chipper mood the day I approached him. I wrote my contact info down. I planned on giving it to him next. This is not my usual style AT ALL. I tend to wait to be approached by men. Basically be shy or coy. Yet I felt compelled enough to ask him to join my friend, her boyfriend and me to a local band concert.

    Apparently he noticed my flirtations with other coworkers. His response was completely unexpected…why are you asking me? Why aren’t you asking _____? Before saying that I was flabbergasted about him not giving me a direct yes or no. I felt judged, shocked and surprised all at the same time.

    Instead of defending myself, I chose to walk away while replying,”Don’t worry, I’ll take that as a no.” Resuming work, I realized that I was actually upset over his response. I was holding back tears. WTF?

    He was aware of my feelings and came up to me to say,”I’m sorry. I would love to go out with you.” His apology made me look at him seriously. What man would say that after basically giving an asinine response at a request to hang out?

    Needless to say I was still highly pissed. I was very short with him. I let him know that he should think about it first before making a decision. He became more aware of just how upset I was over his response. He said a few more things to dig himself out of the deep gaping chasm he dug himself in a matter of a couple of seconds. I wouldn’t budge so he walked away.

    So what ensued?

    I left work then went home. Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t given him my number. So, completely uncharacteristically of me, I return to work to give that man my number. Why? The only reasoning I can explain is a curiousity as to who he is…his response was so different from other men I come into contact with. His initial response, his approach towards me later and even the way we interacted before I decided to embark on an outside relationship with a coworker.

    I gave him my number and Fb profile name. I mentioned exchanging with him. He wasn’t forthcoming so I didn’t request it again. I wasn’t going to pressure him into doing anything he didn’t want to do. He had no obligations. While I wrote the info down he said that he was thinking about asking for it so we could get to know each other before going to the concert. I said that was what my intentions were too. His initial reply let me see he uncomfortable or wary….of what?…that was what I was willing to find out.

    Surprisingly he did call. So we began talking, not bantering. It was quite an interesting first, real conversation. After saying good night, I knew. We had spoken for hours about things off the top of our heads. We were comfortable mentioning topics that we never would have openly said to other coworkers. It seemed that we trusted each other enough to speak our mind openly and honestly. Were we testing each other? Were we trying to scare each other off? Who knows. I can’t recall the topics but do know that we were interested. We agreed to meet at his place to talk more.

    Instead of writing every detail, the next evening involved talking, body movements and a bit of akwardness. Now, get your mind out of the gutter! The depth of conversation was just as natural as it was the night before. Words flowed out of us. It was as if we were talking with a long time friend. Glimpses of his muscular biceps as he slide his hand through his hair. The way I tried to not notice my heart quickening or moisture growing. I never commented on the sexual scenes of the movie that didn’t help prevent my arousal. The intellectual stimulation alone had me squeezing my thighs together to feel stimulation!

    WTF??? It was late! I exited with words I have NEVER uttered. Never thought myself capable or needing to say,”I would ask to stay but I don’t trust myself.” I believe it was his turn to be in shock. Serves him right! I was torturing myself for over an hour to not jump his ass while keeping as composed as possible because I knew.

    …I was drawn to him…

    Needless to say, we are still pursuing more knowledge about each other.
    Is it a picture perfect dream since our first phone call or date night? Umm…no. Are we still completely comfortable, honest and transparent? There are uncomfortable moments due to making ourselves vulnerable to each other. The transparency is visible after occassional hesitation. The honesty is there. I need to be honest because I am not willing to spend years of my life with someone that cannot accept, understand or respect me. I want to be honest because I am looking for someone to share in commonalities, willing to grow together and will help make me the best I can be.

    I don’t want or need perfection. I’m living life. It is far from perfect. I am human. Humans are flawed. I seek more. More knowledge. More understanding. I want someone that wants that too. Make me feel needed. I am strong. I can handle harsh words. Let me comfort. I have old wounds that can reopen. See yourself. There is light buried beneath the darkness. Help me. Potential ends when one gives up. I know….

    We are drawn together…for a reason…so we will walk it together to see where it leads us…

    Like

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