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I wish to know an an­swer that baf­fles my mind. My wife and I love the idea of a three­some, act it out and talk about it. But when I’m not horny, I find it of­fen­sive to think I want some other guy near my wife. I go through this ev­ery time we talk and role play this idea.

What is wrong with me? There’s noth­ing wrong with you. Many highly arous­ing sex­ual fan­tasies do not hold their ap­peal in re­al­ity and can gen­er­ate shame and guilt af­ter­wards. It’s great that you are emo­tion­ally aware enough to know how you feel about the prospect of act­ing on your fan­tasy as your emo­tions can guide you to make wise choices.

Will your wife mind if a three­some re­mains role play only? Any cou­ple who does strike dif­fer­ences in their sex­ual pref­er­ences needs to be will­ing and able to lis­ten with their eyes, ears and heart to what their part­ner yearns for and what mat­ters to them about that. Then the other needs to ex­plore their re­luc­tance and share what that is about, un­til the cou­ple can find mid­dle ground.

Fan­tasies – ei­ther scripted sce­nar­ios like the plot in a movie or sen­sory ones that fo­cus on im­ages or sen­sa­tions – can add va­ri­ety and ex­cite­ment to your sex­ual reper­toire, help you both avoid dis­trac­tion and own your plea­sure dur­ing your love­mak­ing. They may trans­form fear into ex­cite­ment and power. There may also be use­ful learn­ing for any­one to re­flect on what their sex­ual fan­tasies tell them about them­selves.

Any­one fix­ated on a par­tic­u­lar sex­ual fan­tasy needs to un­der­stand what it is about the fan­tasy that re­ally ex­cites them. This may give rise to the need to tackle some­thing about your­self. It’s per­fectly fine to use fan­tasy dur­ing sex to turn a past dis­tress­ing event where you’ve felt pow­er­less into ex­cite­ment and a sense of power, if you both are happy about that. But if the fan­tasy be­comes an ob­ses­sion, then the is­sue needs to be worked through out­side of your sex life. I’d en­cour­age you to keep valu­ing your imag­i­na­tion and your ca­pac­ity to be real as well. Then you’ve got the best of both worlds.

Robyn Sal­is­bury is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. Email ques­tions to MrsSal­is­bury@sex­ther­apy.co.nz

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