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He Likes Her In Garter Belts

Robert Stokes
Robert Stokes

Dear Robert,

I have been married for five years to a man who has a strong desire for sex play that includes spiked heels, garters, and G-strings, and I don't like this stuff at all and would much rather stick to no-frills sex, but I'm afraid his sexual needs will not be met. What should I do?

L. H., Savannah


Dear L. H.,

Each of us carries around images that have the power to excite us sexually. The ones you mention generally appeal to images associated with sex in this culture. When you wear these things, your partner may feel that you are a woman who desires sex, and this may turn him on or make him feel safe from being rejected sexually. Regardless of the cause, these visuals have the power to excite him, and part of what makes a long-term sexual relationship successful is learning about what fosters exciting sex for each other.

On the other hand, you don't want to do anything that is not comfortable for you. The next question, therefore, is why you find dressing up in these ways offensive. Is it because you don't think it's "normal"?

Once you figure out why you feel negatively, see if anything would make you more willing to enter his world. Maybe you need to be assured that if you try something, you won't be obligated to repeat it or to experiment further than your comfort level permits. No one should feel that they must do something that is distasteful or painful in order to preserve a relationship. You might ask him to incorporate additional acts into the lovemaking that would make you feel loved rather than treated as a sex object. It may be helpful for you to know that normal sexuality spans an enormous range, and dressing up plays a role for many people.

However, it is very important that the two of you communicate your feelings and thoughts. Discuss your feelings about his desires somewhere other than the bedroom and some time other than bedtime. If two people can work together, each expanding somewhat in the other's direction, they can develop a sexual relationship that makes them closer, more trusting, and more sexually fulfilled. Good luck.

Robert Stokes


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Personal Advice is a question and answer column that answers a wide range of reader-submitted questions. Personal Advice is solely an educational feature and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician, attorney, and/or marriage counselor.