For the record

Noah has invited me into masturbation three times recently and it went really well. It was fun and sweet. Last night we had a date at the Citadel and it went really well. We had a lovely two hour scene that was full of talking and emotional power exchange and a light spanking and a little bit of manual genital contact… It was a really fun scene.

It’s not that we can’t have successful play or sex.

I don’t feel I have done al the work and Noah hasn’t done work. I feel like both of us have worked on major areas of ourselves for our marriage. For one thing: Noah shows up and is consistent for me and the kids in a way that is frankly kind of miraculous given where he started out in the executive functioning department. When I met him he was not capable of getting all his bills paid on time. Things have changed.

Being regular for me is a huge cost for him. I do understand that. Showing up every single day and cheerfully providing multiple meals and doing a job that supports us all in a kind of luxury that is barely conceivable in the scope of human history…

Noah does a lot for us and I don’t want to make it sound like I think Noah doesn’t try. Noah tries very hard all the time.

But I think that Noah hasn’t put a lot of work into dealing independently with his sexual shame. I think being able to say that there is an area where he hasn’t done a lot of work is different than saying he hasn’t done a lot of work. One is overly broad and one is specifically pointing out that no one can get to fucking everything.

But we have to work on this one. Or rather… he has to work on it and I have to help make space for that work. I can’t do the work. I can’t fix it. But I can try to create an atmosphere where he feels safe addressing it.

We talked last night about how a fair characterization of our first 10 years of marriage is we have both spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to read one another’s body language and respond to the non-verbal cues as much or more than the verbal cues and they seriously don’t align.

Like… Noah has said many times over the years that masturbating with me might be an acceptable alternative to sex. While never initiating such contact and being surly when I bring it up.

So that’s complicated.

Just like he responds to me saying one thing with my body language and something else with my words. It’s a hard situation. We both do it. We both want to be doing what the other really wants and we both treat one another’s words like lies compared to the unspoken stuff.

That makes communication kind of suck. Because we both spend a lot of time feeling lied to and a lot of time being angry that the other person isn’t fucking believing what we say. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

do not believe that I’m the one trying and Noah just doesn’t care. I am instead frustrated that we can both try this hard and still not solve our problems.

I feel like maybe we are starting to get somewhere on talking about how and why my body reacts to a bunch of stuff. I feel like I’m starting to find language for stuff that I have struggled to articulate for years. It feels frustrating and demoralizing because I don’t want to keep trying. I want to quit. I want to declare this problem too hard. I can’t be fixed. Fuck it.

It is hard continuing to show up and try. But we are both doing it because we really don’t want a different future than the one we are making together. This is what we want. But is it good for us?