This is a People Magazine piece that I've re-jigged and is part of a chapter in my book.
Do you have something sexual you're unable to discuss with your partner? How do you deal with it? What do you do?
Fantasies and fetishes, we all have them, it’s just the way sex is. Everyone has that special little something that helps them reach total sexual fulfilment. If you’re lucky you find a partner who shares your fantasies, or one who at least allows you to indulge, and you never have to worry about unsatisfying sex ever again... But, of course, things are rarely that easy.
Because of the way mainstream society makes the general public think about any kind of sex that isn't straight, hetero, missionary style sex - as in it is dirty, wrong and shameful - people are forced to keep these things inside, quite often to the detriment of their health and happiness
When it comes to marriages and partnerships and commitments it never ceases to amaze me just how many people are afraid to tell the person they love just what it is they need and desire. I always thought one of the best things about being in a relationship with someone was the sharing. The getting to know them. The working out what makes them tick. But, when it comes to sex and fetish, so many people tend keep it to themselves and find alternative ways to satisfy themselves, usually meaning they end up lying, cheating and generally being deceptive to the person they're committed to.
Take Clint for example. He was a guy I used to see almost fortnightly, who absolutely loved it when I'd wear cowboy boots and sit on his back pulling his hair and slapping his arse. Okay sure, to some people that might seem silly (and to be honest it did feel a little silly to do) but it gave him a fantastic orgasm and sense of satisfaction and, when you think about it, it’s totally harmless.
Clint was so afraid his wife would think he was a freak that he kept it to himself and spent hundreds of dollars for me to do it instead. To be totally honest, I think his wife would be better off yanking on his thinning locks and shouting “Yee-Ha” every couple of weeks rather than discovering their hard-earned superannuation was paying my school fees… But hey, maybe that’s just me.
Actually, from the number of people I see who keep similar secrets from their partners, I know it pretty much is just me, and it’s sad to think there are so many people out there lying and sneaking around because their (supposed) soul mates don’t understand or refuse to accept them.
Yes, of course in some instances there will be that moment when someone’s secret, kinky desire swerves off the “normal” tie-me-to-the-bed-and-spank-me path, and there may well be a moment where you do a double take and have to put on your very best poker face, but I honestly don’t know if that’s worth ridicule, contempt and in some cases divorce. I mean sure, if it's really something you're not into yourself and cannot possibly see yourself doing, there are other options and, as part of a committed relationship, these sort of things should be discussed together and then a solution worked out. But I'm an idealist, and I know when it comes to sex, that is rare.
Gary had a greying moustache, a beer belly and lots of tattoos. He looked like he'd have been most comfortable on the back of a Hog, tearing up the country side with a bikie group and pictures of him around the place proved that he was. He was really friendly and chatty when I arrived, offering me a beer and making sure I was okay and, when I was, he asked me if I minded him slipping into something more comfortable.
Since he was in baggy trackies, Ugg boots and a t-shirt I didn’t think he looked uncomfortable but I just smiled and said “Of course not.”
I used the phone to sign on at the agency I was working for at the time and then went into the bedroom where he said he'd be waiting.
I found him reclining against a stack of brightly coloured pink and purple pillows, wearing a beautiful red lace teddy, thigh-high fishnet stockings and suspenders, and a pair of fabulous red heels.
“Great shoes,” I said, sitting next to him on the bed.
“Aren’t they?” he exclaimed, lifting his foot and turning it around to show me every angle.
That evening we spent about three hours together. We painted each other’s nails and watched Pretty Woman, which, at the end, had him sobbing, “That could so be you one day, Babe.”
He told me, as I brushed his hair, that his wife had left him after he’d confided in her and revealed his secret. He said it had been one of the hardest things he'd ever had to say but he felt he owed it to her. Felt they had been through enough. Felt that the time was right and together they could work through anything. Not so.
He had told her in the morning, had cried and confessed and begged her to understand. She said she needed some time to think so he had gone out to run some errands but when he'd come home a couple of hours later, she was gone. He had not seen her since and that had been two years ago.
She’d been the love of his life for nearly thirty years. They had seen the world together, raised a family and a bunch of dogs. They'd built their dream home together and had suffered through the loss of a child together. And then, after his confession, she’d gone, just like that. A lifetime of love and happiness demolished in the flutter of a false eyelash.
I couldn't help but wonder that perhaps if Gary (like Clint and so many other people I see) had snuck around, and lied, and cheated, he would still have the love, companionship and support of the woman he married for better or worse, in sickness and health… But apparently not in racy red heels.
Sad really. Just very, very sad.