My mind is off in a dozen directions today, so this blog may be a bit disjointed. I will attempt to weed out the blather and put down some coherent thoughts.
First, I read something just this morning (a quote from a book) that kind of irked me. I am not going to name the book or the author, because I don’t wish to appear that I’m going on a personal attack here. It’s the idea behind what I read that bothers me, not the book itself or its author.
The book is for women, and the subject is how to deal with a husband or boyfriend who has a sexual fetish. I haven’t read it; I just saw some excerpts, but even in those, the message I got was clear: it’s our responsibility to embrace these fetishes and fulfill the desires, if we love our men.
Here is a paragraph that particularly bothered me:
You have a choice: your husband or boyfriend can either be alone with his sexual fetish or you can learn to be the one who fulfills his every sexual need. Choose to reject and you will have a husband or boyfriend who will be secretive and stray. Choose to join in and you’ll have a husband or boyfriend who will be loyal and appreciative.
Is it just me, or is this overly black-and-white? A one-size-fits-all statement? I know from personal experience that this isn’t necessarily true for all. But what about the hundreds of women out there who will read this and feel like they have to do something that they don’t understand/mildly dislike/hate/etc. in order to please their man?
There are a gazillion fetishes out there, and some are more easily fulfilled than others. The author, with this statement, is completely bypassing the third alternative: let your man get his fetish needs met elsewhere, with your blessing.
Of course, the ideal is to learn to fulfill the fetish desires yourself, so your man can stay home and be happy. But life and relationships seldom run along the ideal continuum. I don’t think it’s healthy to send a message that mates (male or female) have to adapt to a partner’s fetish and fulfill it, if it goes against their grain. OK, you can experiment with ropes and blindfolds, with a bit of light spanking, etc. But what about the more hard-core fetishes?
I love John with all my heart. But he likes having things done to him that I couldn’t do in my dreams. Am I a bad girlfriend because I haven’t forced myself to do these things? Is he secretive and miserable? Yeah, yeah, I hear you guys out there. “Not all of us find playing with others outside the relationship acceptable.” OK. But if it’s such a selfish thing to be unable to fulfill your partner’s fetish, isn’t it also selfish to not consider allowing them to fulfill it elsewhere? If someone won’t do either, then that makes things a bit non-negotiable. But there is that third choice, and I don’t think it shouldn’t be ignored in an instructional manual for couples.
Maybe I’m taking this a bit too personally, because it hits close to home. What do you guys think?
EDIT: I do realize this is one lone paragraph, taken out of context. However, some of the surrounding copy seemed similar. And while I take issue with this particular concept, I’m not taking issue with the author. This person is well known and experienced. This is just my gut reaction to the concept that a mate should be expected to embrace and participate in his/her partner’s fetish.
In other news, I spent 5 1/2 hours with my former stepmother S yesterday. We talked and talked and talked, about everything imaginable. My parents. Her parents. Her marriage to my father. Her first husband, who just recently passed away. Show business (more Six Degrees of Hollywood: her ex-husband’s son is one of the directors of The Big Bang Theory, my favorite sitcom). Politics. Euthanasia (we are both staunch believers in it). She had two adorable little dogs (terrier mixes), both rescues, who scrambled all over me, brought me their toys and covered me with kisses.
A random memory I have from when my dad and S were married: They had a set of four sterling silver wine goblets, which they used every night. The glasses had some initials engraved at the bottom. When they split up, S took two of the glasses and left Dad the other two. I asked him what the initials stood for, but he refused to tell me. Soon after that, he got rid of his pair, because Vampira didn’t want him keeping anything that had to do with S. (rolling eyes)
Anyway, I mentioned these glasses to S last night, and she said she still had them! After all these years… I was surprised. She found them in the wet bar area — they were tarnished, but still beautiful. Finally found out what the initials stood for — I thought it was God knows what, the way my dad acted about it, but it turned out to be rather sweet. Then she said, “Would you like to have them?”
Oh. Would I. Kind of silly, I suppose. I don’t drink wine, and the initials on the glasses are from another time, another love. But I cherish them anyway.
As we said goodbye, she hugged and kissed me and said, “I love you.” I blurted, “I just adore you, and I’m so grateful you’re in my life.” I am, truly.
Once home, I found a silver-polishing cloth and spent several minutes buffing the tarnish off the glasses. They are gorgeous; elegant and classy.
Much like S. My beautiful stepmother, still lovely at nearly 81.