We’ve been married for 16 years, and lately my husband has been wanting sex to be rough and painful. I don’t enjoy pain, but I also don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do? ~Selfless and Sore
Wanting to be sensitive to his feelings is very kind, especially if he’s not being sensitive to yours. If he’s already been increasing the roughness of the sex that you two are having, hopefully he’s been reading your body language, but apparently not well enough. So it’s time to open your mouth and talk about it.
Find a time to bring it up that isn’t during sex, but do bring it up. Tell him that it’s your impression that sex has been a little more rough lately and ask him why. It’s possible that he won’t be able to articulate why. Some people aren’t great at putting into words what their animal-brain is telling them. He may feel embarrassed or get defensive. If you don’t want him to shut down communications, you’ll need to be very gentle and genuinely invite him to expose his desires to you without you being judgmental. You should attempt to sincerely understand what’s driving this change even if it’s hard for you to hear.Once you get him to open up and you acknowledge his desires, you will have to convey to him that you two are having a mismatch in sexual interests: he wants sex to be painful and you don’t. But with a little more talking, hopefully you can find a way for both of you to achieve your desires. Maybe HE would like to be the recipient of pain, which would satisfy his desires while not causing you any pain. By talking about all of this, you two should be able to learn more about each other’s deepest desires, which not only improves your sex lives, but also improves your intimate relationship.