It was the beginning of our marriage. We had been sexually active for a while and a lot of boundaries already figured out. No kids, sex 2 to 4 times a day and masturbation in-between. To say we both had mighty sex drive would have been entirely accurate. It was fortunate really. We were still paycheck to paycheck at this time in our lives. While we consistently had enough to eat and to pay the rent, things like how many odometer points we accumulated had to be watched closely for the expensive car repair bills sure to come as a result. Video games, movies, Netflix, and a -lot- of enthusiastic sex kept other costs down. We actually did all of our big and small traveling post-kids. We get out of the house more, not less. COVID actually reminds me more of our financially insecure apartment life than the social ‘consequences’ of having a child…or three.
But one thing COVID hasn’t returned me to is those days where I would seek sexual gratification outside of my partner. Now, it’s easy to assume that’s the kids fault. Boy is that wrong. I have places I can go. I live in a semi-rural area next to the very rural area where I was born and I know many places where humans typically just don’t exist, and Emily and I have had sex in most of them. I feel no guilt about it. What I do feel is boredom.
At some stop along this sexual journey with Emily, what I estimate to have been roughly 3 to 4 years ago, I got to a point where sex with myself wasn’t interesting, entertaining, or satisfying. Sure, it’s pretty easy to provide a facsimile of good ole Penis-in-Vagina sex with the tools I was born with, and easier still if I can trick my brain with images of impossibly attractive women performing sex acts that are readily available on the internet. What I couldn’t replicate was the diversity of our sex repertoire or our ever growing emotional connection. I couldn’t replace the excitement of a solid half-hour of cunnilingus or using a sex toy to provide an emotionally uncomplicated double penetration experience. I couldn’t help Emily soak a towel or enjoy watching her conquer a new personal size record. Fisting? The internet couldn’t help me enjoy these sensations. I had always been a partner that made my wife’s enjoyment a critical part of my own, but after 7 years in, it seemed to have grown from critical to necessary. We’re now 4 years past that point, nearly 5.
I have reached a point in our marriage where I am wholly uninterested in going it alone. It’s not that I can’t, though it is more work than before. I just have no drive to do so. Perhaps I need to re-frame a little. Sex outside of my relationship with Emily didn’t get more boring, sex with Emily just continues to get more exciting and a week or even two of anticipating my next romantic encounter with Emily—don’t worry, we still typically don’t go more than a day, sometimes things just get busy—is viewed more these days as a pleasant tease than a deferment of gratification. Something taking care of it myself would ruin rather than help. I suppose a little bit of this might be tied up in the fact that we took a brief dip into the exhibition experience and at one point had our own ManyVids page. Maybe that’s blunted a bit of the pornographic illusion for me. Indeed, I am frequently pulled out of a scene with thoughts about how good the lighting is or wondering what LUT is being used and the actress(es) simply vanish to make room for my curiosity.
Now, this is a post about masturbation and I’ve largely spent it talking about how porn doesn’t do it for me anymore. You might be thinking, and rightly, that porn is completely unnecessary for masturbation. I’m an extraordinarily visual person. Aesthetic does a lot for me and it can lead to pretty uncomfortable situations or at the very least feelings in public. The aesthetic of my own single body just serves a reminder of the company I’m missing. I need a visual escape from that. So porn is naturally tied into masturbation routines. It doesn’t help that Emily is a damn fine woman. Encountering visuals that don’t meet my intimately familiar standards can also remind me of the company I’m missing. It’s a boner killer. That may sound a bit…I’m searching for a word…shallow. Perhaps it is. I do not judge womens’ aesthetic nearly as hard as they judge their own. When it comes to my peers my so-called n/10 scale starts lower and has a steeper slope than theirs. That is to say my eyes are less ‘picky’. Even if I were, women seem to turn mirrors into wicked objects that spit curses.
Emily is just, I’m gonna gush a minute. She immediately caught my attention when I first saw her. She has a body type I really like; wide hips, smaller chest(For those of you who don’t know, there’s quite a lot of us that don’t automatically prefer large chested women and for some of us that’s even a turn off. Don’t be hard on your body type). Triangle I guess that’s called. There was a lot more to that first encounter than body type. It was a transcendental experience in the Kantian context. Over a year later I was delightfully surprised by her heavenly looking vulva—again, a type-match situation—cute ass and my god does her beauty become even more transcendental in the cool moonlight.
Okay Henry now you’re just humble-bragging. Well it’s how I actually feel about her, and it’s also needed context to set up this next statement. Given the clearly emotionally charged paragraph above I want you to envision trying to get that same sort of feeling out of porn. Hell, my imagination has a tough time making the attempt.
Watching porn was something we used to do together. We still do enjoy it from time to time. But fapping to it? The thought rarely crosses my mind and I haven’t even made the attempt in over a year. I once reviewed Esther Perel’s book Mating In Captivity and boy did it avoid a very negative review with a single paragraph in the introduction. Why? Most of it is about a …world view? theory?.. that intimacy requires distance. That’s simply untrue for Emily and I, and were it not for the book acknowledging our existence and stating succinctly that the book didn’t apply to us from the get go well, hah, would have had much more critical things to say. Our closeness supercharged our intimacy to the point that sexual stimulation outside of that context is now boring rote need-fulfillment. Like an unsatisfying fast-food meal purchased simply because you aren’t otherwise getting lunch today, you know…something you may just decide to skip.