Open Up or Break Up

I’m Alexander Cheves, a writer, author, and sex educator. My nickname is Beastly. I give adult advice on this blog — no question is off-limits. To ask me something, email AskBeastly@gmail.com or send a message via the Ask Beastly contact form.

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A dom/sub switch into fisting, and an oral bottom who prefers anonymity and sensory deprivation meet in a bar. How do they make a relationship work?

Context is, my husband and I have been together for 32 years and this past month I found out he has been cheating on me with anonymous ‘blow-n-go’ hookups over the prior 9 months.

This has been a total devastation to find out given we had a monogamous relationship all this time. This was also a sexual surprise given my sexual appetite and range are much greater than his. I typically have an orgasm daily, and my ‘range’ covers many aspects of leather, latex, ff, ws, and dom/sub play.

He doesn’t initiate frequently at all. We could go 6 months without him initiating. One thing that isn’t on my list is being an oral top. I just find it very difficult to make it or get into the right headspace. I just feel like there is too much pressure to perform and quickly make it, thereby fulfilling the bottom fantasy.

I’m really at the precipice here Beastly. On one hand, there is the long loving relationship we have, friends, family, house, kid, pets, great memories…. On the other, there is the sudden new chasm that is sexual activity based. I don’t know how to reconcile this.

My ask of you is, what do you make of this situation based on what you have read from others?

Hey friend,

You’re in a very common situation, and there are only two courses to take: 1) you could break up, or 2) you could open up the relationship. I recommend the latter.

Because the issue is sex, not love, you have an easy framework from which to broach the subject of non-monogamy, and this is a great opportunity to develop a happy, honest, non-monogamous relationship. It sounds like you love your husband, but your sexual needs aren’t being met, and his clearly aren’t either — he’s seeking sex elsewhere. This is not because of any failing of yours or anything you’re doing wrong. Sometimes we need sex with people who aren’t our partners simply because they’re not our partners. Sex in all relationships cools eventually — it’s hard for anyone to be entertained forever by one person — so his actions are completely understandable.

You need to accept that his “blow-n-go” hookups are not an indictment of your sexual ability or sexiness — they actually have nothing to do with you. He’s not doing “blow-n-go” hookups because you don’t like oral. He’s doing them because he needs some diversity in his sex life, because monogamy is so often, in the long term, dissatisfying for everyone involved, and I do not consider monogamy a healthy or even natural way for humans to bond. Monogamy is just a fiction, a cultural rule standardized by religion and bronze-age myths, one we still bizarrely allow to mandate our loves in a modern world. No one can satisfy all of someone else, all the time. He has sexual needs and he’s meeting them — dishonestly and unethically.

There’s an honest, ethical way to go about this that you both need to talk about. If you want to stay in this relationship — and it sounds like you’ve developed a long and loving partnership with each other — you need to sit down with him and honestly talk about opening up. Decide on what freedoms and permissions you both want, what boundaries you both are willing to respect. Consider polyamory. You can still be each others’ primary relationship while pursuing other relationships. Since you’re a BDSM switch, why don’t you pursue a kinky switch who initiates and loves FF and satisfies that side of you? That way, you can get your sex needs met with him and your relationship needs met with your husband of many years.

I don’t think your relationship can survive as a monogamous one. If you can’t bear the idea of polyamory or being sexually open, you should break up, divorce, split, whatever. And honestly, monogamy was never a great idea to begin with. A dom/sub switch into fisting who does not like oral sex and an oral sub who prefers anonymous play do not appear to be a sexually compatible, satisfying pairing, so I’m impressed that he made it 30 years without cheating. You can’t blame him for cheating over the last nine months, as he’s been deprived of the kind of sex he likes for longer than I’ve been alive.

If you need help becoming sexually open — and you will need help — read The Ethical Slut. This book will help with things like managing jealousy, communicating limits and boundaries, and forming the kind of open relationship structure that is satisfying for both of you.

Love, Beastly

Your blog finally crossed my eyes after years of knowing about you but never having the bandwidth to absorb your work. My life is at a crossroads so it’s apropos that I finally stumbled in. I’ve known subconsciously for many years that my husband and I have extremely different styles of intimacy. We’ve been together for 8 years and we are so good at connecting in everything else in our relationship but sex has always felt incongruent. We rarely want to have sex at the same times, we get off in extremely different ways, I’m much more intrigued by kink play and my sex drive is MUCH stronger than his, he will only top and prefers jerking off to penetration and I want to be penetrated A LOT and yet thats a part of my body he tends to overlook no matter how often I communicate it’s what I enjoy the most.

We still love each other so deeply and we love sharing our lives together but it feels like this one thing is keeping us from true intimacy. We’ve explored opening the relationship with a few bumps as well but we’re working them out for the most part. It still doesn’t address our sexual distance. So I suppose my question is whether there is hope for us. How can we get closer when we are so different but each somehow still experience awesome and fulfilling sex?

Thank you so much and keep up much needed amazing work. ❤️

Hi bud,

The best part of having a sexually open relationship is this: Once you let go of any need to change the person you love and force them to fit your needs, you become free to love them as they are. Right now, you’re trying to force your partner to fit your sexual needs. The sex you enjoy with each other is not being appreciated fully, because you’re trying to change it to fit your specific desires — you’re trying to change him.

That doesn’t work. Accept him as he is. He likes what he likes, and so do you. The sex you have with each other is complete and beautiful, but it doesn’t sound like the sex you have with him will satisfy your need to have your ass explored, fucked, filled, and played with, so you need to satisfy that need with someone else. It sounds like the sex you have with him won’t satisfy your kinky desires, so you need to explore those desires with someone else. None of this makes sex with him undesirable or unsatisfying — each person offers a complete sexual experience, especially when you give up the need to force them into the box of your fantasies.

It’s okay to have different styles of intimacy — I think it’s possible to have a great relationship with someone who has very different needs and intimacy styles from your own — but you cannot have a monogamous relationship with such a person. Take the advice I gave your comrade above. Open up, or break up.

Love, Beastly

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