Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So Near and Yet So Far

In case anyone was wondering, yes, we did have sex last night. So I should be happier, right? And I sort of am. But I'm sort of sadder, too.

Last night, we went to bed as promised. As you may have noticed, our sex life is mainly (in fact, lately almost entirely) oral sex. Oral sex is easier for the Big Dude because it requires less energy that he hasn't got, doesn't put strain on his bad back, etc etc and I enjoy it, too. One of the great charms for me of our recent sex life is that, after years of giving and receiving oral sex at a ratio of about 10:1, suddenly the ratio is very much "in my favour".

But the fact is that our new sex life, for me, is largely missing two main ingredients: penetration, which I love, and mutuality, which I also love. Of course, it is also missing other things like passion and lust and spontaneity, but perhaps the less I think about that, the better. Because, while I think I can reasonably ask the Big Dude to behave a little differently in order to get at least some of my needs met, it seems to be impossible to get him to feel differently. I have tried for years, but, while there have been occasional momentary successes, there has never been any long term change in that respect. There is a limit to how long even I will keep flogging a dead horse.

Anyway, last night we were doing particularly well, despite the fact that the Little Dude decided to wake up and start crying just as we were getting started. We got the Little Dude back to sleep and got back to where we were. And it was good. There was a lot of kissing. And I noticed that the Big Dude was actually responding a bit more than usual and seemed to be enjoying it more than usual. As you can imagine, I was pretty happy about that. And he did have an erection, which I was also happy about. I didn't, at that stage, have any plan for that erection. It was just nice to know it was there, if you know what I mean.

But the Big Dude still saw what was happening as business as usual. He was still assuming a servicing/non mutual/oral sex arrangement. But when we started, it was clear to me that it wasn't going to work all that well. The fact was that, while I was enjoying what he was doing, it wasn't what I wanted, either physically or emotionally. What I wanted was penetration - both the stimulation of it and the intimacy of it. So I asked for that, telling him it was okay if he didn't want to, and he said "I can try" and that's what I got.

And for a while there, it was so good. So pleasurable that it brought little tears of joy to my eyes. I came very, very hard. But I was so aroused by this point that I wanted more. And I usually do get more than one orgasm. I mean, generally we both regard the first one as practically a warm up rather than the end point.

But the Big Dude was really struggling physically. He was wearing out, his back hurt and he really couldn't keep going. Which, you know, I totally understand. A person can only do what they're physically capable of.

But what I would have liked was for him either to keep going in some other, easier way so that I could be fully satisfied or at least to stay and snuggle up for a while as I came down from that peak of arousal. I mean, I was feeling quite worked up at this point, both physically and emotionally. What I got was an announcement that he needed to lie down. I asked him to lie down with me in my bed, and he did. But it was obvious that he couldn't wait to leave. He was just humouring me. And a short time afterwards, he did leave.

And tears came to my eyes again. But they were not tears of joy and pleasure. They were tears of sadness. I felt confused and sad and alone. Alone in my sexual joy, which he apparently couldn't share, and alone in my physical and emotional frustration afterwards. I felt lonely.

And now I feel confused and discombobulated. I mean, he gave more than he usually does, he really tried, so shouldn't I be all happy and appreciative? And at some level, I am.

But if you get so close to what you want, but then you don't get what you want, are you more or less frustrated? Are you better off or worse off?

I don't even know, myself.

So near and yet so far.


Blogger Fiona said...

Emily, I know that lonely feeling only too well. That feeling of being left alone after intimacy, even failed intimacy.

There's no lonelier place in the world. Until recently, every partner I'd had (oh gosh all 4 of them!!) did that to me. Just got up and walked away, no hugging, no cuddling, no arms and legs to be held by. Less than a month ago, I was held after we made love and it was the first time I'd had that.

I know that people often say just be thankful for what you are getting....but there's still a need to be held...and it's one of the strongest needs there is.

Babies can fail to thrive if not held. I think relationships can too.

Wrapping you up in a big hug. Not quite what you are talking about but it's a sign of caring.

4:56 PM  
Blogger LePhare said...

I always thought that the holding and caressing afterwards was just as important as the sexual act itself. I'm sure I used to do that..... if my memory is correct. I miss a stand up cuddle the most.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

*stands up and cuddles Ian*

5:32 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

The afterglow period of sex, when cuddling up together should happen, is very important. When it doesn't happen then it's sad, I know, and I wish that I had a good answer for you Emily. But I don't. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak, eh?

5:44 PM  
Blogger trueself said...

Emily, your post brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me too much of all I've been through. The big difference though between the Big Dude and W is that the Big Dude TRIES. He may not always get it just right, but he tries. He makes the effort. You have a gem, maybe not perfectly polished, but a gem nonetheless.

6:14 PM  
Blogger O272 said...

You've chosen *pity sex* (oral or otherwise) over no sex. It sucks, but it is what it is. I don't foresee BD getting better as you've said he's only gotten worse over the years and from what I know of his illness, it's unlikely. If he's truly in too much pain to participate any further, why would you want him to?

I know you're just venting and that you love BD and miss being intimate with him. Did you foresee this happening? Is it something you had to take into consideration when you opted to spend your life with him? I know you said his illness has gotten progressively worse, but I wonder if things have turned out as you had planned. Did you think you could handle it back then or did you not see it coming at all? (Yeah, I just asked the same question four different ways...LOL!)

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

Skin starved, that how I think of the need to hold each other and talk gently, quietly with each other. Prolonging the lovely warmth and glow. o272 asked a interesting question if sometime you would like to share your thoughts.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Fiona - I don't know, possibly I just overreacted. I'm not sure why I felt so sad, when in fact the Big Dude has ALWAYS leapt up straight after sex, it wasn't particular to last night.

*Stands up and cuddles Ian, also*

Rob - I did appreciate that his mind was willing.

Trueself- Yes, I really see that. I do appreciate all the good things I have, all the good things he does, and I don't take them for granted. There are a lot of good reasons we are still together, despite the sex problem.

O272 and Rosie - I started to reply to you, but it got so long I had better make it a post.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Satan said...

It sounds like he did everything he possibly could for you, but his physical ailments got in the way. It wasn't that he didn't want to cuddle you, he probably just hurt too much.

Poor Em and poor BD. You guys both need a hug or two.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Mu Ling said...

"But if you get so close to what you want, but then you don't get what you want, are you more or less frustrated? Are you better off or worse off?"

I ask myself this all the time, and the only answer I can find is that it's my choice. I can cry for the moon, or I can be a grownup and be happy with what I've got.

Cold comfort, I know. As I think you yourself have pointed out, being a grownup sucks.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I'm afraid I'm going to do a very 'guy' thing, Emily. You probably just want some sympathy, understanding and compassion, and I do have all those things for you, but I'm going to wade in with a question aimed at 'dealing with the problem'. Please don't hold it against me, it's just how guys say we care.

When you do penetration, is he on top, or are you? Being on the bottom is a fair bit less strenuous; would that help?

Or am I just cluelessly missing the point?

8:43 AM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

emily...I had the same question as Desmond.

I am in kind of the same waxes and wanes. Perhaps not as bad as you and BD but it's a similar dynamic.

Obviously as Desmond points out...there are some positions that are less strenuous.....

3:18 PM  
Blogger freebird said...

It brought tears to my eyes too, Emily. But funnily enough, DJ & LS's question did cross my mind as well. One thing you can be very thankful for though is your ability to orgasm easily through penetration - not everybody's got it, you know! (Yes, I appreciate the irony as you don't often get penetration, but you know what I mean.)
Group cuddle, everyone?

2:35 AM  
Blogger kissmekate said...

Emily, I am often faced with similar issues to you, although mine pertains to thehours that both my husband and I work.

It gets bloody lonely! And even my husband has worked out that we have less 'relationship issues' if we are having sex.

The intimacy of sex is second to nothing, and part of the intimacy is the hugs afterward. There is nothing like falling asleep being spoon hugged by your partner.


2:36 AM  
Blogger DH said...

I know I'm the LAST person who should be counseling other people on their married sex lives, BUT given his back issues and your desire for penetration, would he (and you) be open to him using a dildo or vibrator on you once he reaches that point of being unable to continue?

9:34 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Okay, my goal for this comment is to not be pouty and thinking of myself, but to focus on you...

I had the same question as some others. Isn't it possible for him to be on the bottom? To let you do most of the work, if you know what I mean? Sometimes that can be quite enjoyable for both people, I believe. Also, I should point out that your ability to have multiple orgasms is quite special -- regardless of what you might read on the average blog, not very many women do that. So the fact that you can orgasm easily is a good thing, right?

Yes, overall, it still kind of sucks, because we want what we want. It's understandable to be sad about how things ended. But don't forget about all the good things that happened. I hope you can talk to him about it later.

9:57 AM  

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