Man’s sex issue with ‘wonderful’ wife
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred. This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a husband worried about his wife's past sexual encounters, a man wanting to last longer in the bedroom and if our tastes in porn are ever a cause for concern.
SHOULD MY WIFE'S SEXUAL HISTORY WORRY ME?
QUESTION: My wife and I have been married for 11 years. In that time we've overcome infertility and a breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy to have two lovely kids. We have a wonderful marriage, but I cling to the fact that - before we met - she had a one-night stand with a complete misogynist I knew. I was always a very sensitive and timid guy who only slept with five people before I met her. She slept with about 20 (as is her right) but she seems to think they were mostly b**tards. I don't know why she would sleep with them, and I don't know what that says about me if her standards are so low. It's a recurring thought. I'd appreciate your views.
ANSWER: We sleep with people - and have relationships with people for various reasons. Not all because they're great people.
We may have attraction and chemistry with someone for reasons that don't necessarily lead to healthy long-term relationships.
We can be influenced by being drunk, by someone seeming charismatic or presenting a certain image to the world.
There are also many unconscious reasons we form attraction to someone.
If someone has been raised in a household where they had a misogynistic father, that's going to seem normal. If they were raised in a household where they were abused in some way, they'll often attract that in a relationship. They've often formed an underlying belief that they don't deserve better which can take some time to work through.
Then there's a certain attraction to the 'bad boy' that many women have - and then get over as they realise it's not really the relationship they want.
We certainly don't always look back on our exes or people that we slept with in the same light we saw them in while we were together. It's also not unusual to think of the negative aspects of someone you were with in the past. After all, there's a reason it didn't work out. So we might not speak as kindly of someone we previously dated as we did when we were seeing them.
It sounds like your wife finally came to her senses and was willing to be with a great guy.
Why are you clinging to this?
I'm wondering what insecurities you have about yourself or what fears you have in your relationship that are being reflected.
This actually has nothing to do with you. Be grateful that your wife finally realised what the best choice for her was. Unless there are things going on in your relationship that you haven't mentioned, this sounds like it's on you to rectify your feelings about this. If you can't do that, I suggest going to speak to a therapist who can help you work through this within yourself.
HELP! HOW CAN I LAST LONGER IN THE BEDROOM?
QUESTION: I have erectile dysfunction - after 15 minutes, I lose my erection. What can I do to make sure I last longer?
ANSWER: There's a little bit more I'd like to clarify about this before I make suggestions.
When you say you're losing your erection after 15 minutes - is that after 15 minutes of intercourse? If you're able to have intercourse for 15 minutes, but then lose your erection, that doesn't sound like erectile dysfunction, it sounds normal.
If however, you mean that you lose your erection after a short period of foreplay and maybe intercourse, is it that something happens in your mind that triggers some kind of anxiety? I suggest working on strategies to calm your mind and help you stay relaxed.
Booking a session with a sexologist may be able to give you more clarity.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED IF I'M INTO 'REALLY WEIRD' PORN?
QUESTION: What kind of porn is normal? I've found myself watching some really weird things lately and I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me.
ANSWER: I want to start by saying there's nothing wrong with you. I hear the shame you feel about your turn-ons and porn use. That's a common experience for many people. It doesn't mean you have anything to be ashamed of.
There's an incredibly wide range of what turns people on sexually. That's why there's an incredibly large range of porn out there. If you've found it in porn, it's because there are other people who have the same turn-on as you.
Whatever your turn-ons are, that's OK (as long as it's legal and consensual).
Just be aware that pornography impacts our sexuality and turn-ons. If your porn use isn't impacting your ability to function on a daily basis, connect with potential partners or enjoy yourself sexually in other ways, don't worry. If it is, seek help.
Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sex therapist and sexologist. For more expert advice follow her on Instagram.
Originally published as Man's sex issue with 'wonderful' wife