Dear Barb—Boudoir Bargaining

Dear Barb:

After reading The Voice a few weeks ago, I left my computer open to the article by Barbara Lehtiniemi, “More than a Mouthful.” My husband read the article and saw this as an opportunity for us to talk about a subject I’m fairly closed about.  Although I have done it simply to make him happy, it’s not something I would practice on a regular basis.  My husband tries to negotiate with me.  For example, if I do this, he will do that, but it’s not really working for me.  What do you and your readers feel about a husband who manipulates to get what they want? I personally would not want someone to do something for me that they didn’t want to do.  I do love my husband and want to make him happy, but this might be asking too much.  Thanks Christine.

Hey Christine:

I read the article too, very interesting! I believe sexual acts between adults are a personal preference.  I don’t believe that your husband is manipulating you, but rather he is trying to come to a compromise, so you get what you want and he gets what he wants.  If you really don’t want to participate in this act, then you shouldn’t have to, however if you and your husband were able to “come” to some other agreement, then possibly everybody would be happy.  Hopefully some readers will respond with their comments.  Thanks, Christine.

Dear Barb:

My girlfriend and I are both students at AU.  We just read the article “More than a Mouthful” and it generated some interesting communication between us, but we kind of danced around the real issue.  This is something I think about a lot, but have always been reluctant to talk to my girlfriend about.  Do you have any suggestions on how I could bring this topic up without making us both feel uncomfortable?  She has never given any indication that this is something she wants to do.  Thanks for your help, Wayne.

Hey Wayne:

Thanks for writing.  As I always say communication and open discussion is the only way to develop a healthy partnership.  While you were both reading that article it would have been the perfect time to discuss this topic with your girlfriend.  Simply asking how she feels about this while reading the article, will elicit a response and from there the conversation can go anywhere.  Perhaps you could find a similar article or movie and read or watch it together.  Then ask what her thought are.  There is no other way than to come right out and ask.  However if she says “eww that’s gross” then you have to leave it at that, or perhaps find ways that would make it less “ewwie” for her.  Anyway this is a starting point, where you both go from here is totally up to you.