Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

From the Mailbag: “Men Don’t Own Women’s Bodies!!”

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Dear Wendy, You had a “Your Turn” column entitled “My Hot Wife Refuses to Dress Sexy.” Some of the responses were quite troublesome and irresponsible. I am the “wife” in a situation like this. My husband says I don’t dress up, I won’t have sex with other people while he watches, and I don’t care about his feelings, etc., etc. Which is all bull! What he means is I won’t do it every single night or on demand.

Women have a right over their own bodies. They have a right to say no and all this post did was highlight how many people out there believe that, once you are married, your body belongs to your husband to do what he wants with and that he has the right to complain and ask and beg for everything he wants, just like a three-year-old begging for lollies before dinner.

If you are a “professional” psychiatrist, then you are doing a disservice to your readers by allowing some of these “readers” to post misogynistic “rape culture” responses. Dangerous–very dangerous! — Not Giving In To His Lollies On Demand!

In the letter that you’re referencing, the husband was complaining that his wife, whom he considered a “hottie,” refused to EVER dress sexy. He said: “I DON’T expect her to be a sex bomb everyday, or even every week, but once every month or two would be nice.” He also shared some ways he’d love for his wife to help spice up their love life, like cooking naked in the kitchen; only wearing an apron to make things interesting for dinner; not wearing underwear when we go out for dinner at a restaurant; or even her wearing something hot to meet me at the door after work.” He wrote: “I’d settle for her just to do some of these things for me even just ONCE.” I’d hardly consider him making these requests acting like he owns his wife’s body or fostering “rape culture.” I don’t see how it’s any different than a wife suggesting her husband wear a certain outfit or cologne she likes or surprising her some time with a reservation at a nice restaurant.

Frankly, I fail to see how the situation in the original letter is like your situation. There’s a huge difference between requesting that your wife cook naked once and demanding that your wife have sex with other people while you watch whenever you want. If your husband actually IS doing that, you have a big problem on your hand and should leave the mother-clucker.

This should go without saying, but no woman should ever do anything with her body that she isn’t comfortable with. But when a woman loves her partner, it is NOT perpetuating rape culture to occasionally indulge in his or her fantasies if it doesn’t endanger her or demean her and is within — or at least not too far out of — her comfort zone.

Finally, I’m not a professional psychiatrist and have never claimed to be. I’m a 39-year-old wife and a mother of two who has been giving advice online for about a decade — advice that is based on nothing more than a very healthy dose of common sense, an interest in human nature, and a lot of time (pre-kids) spent in bars listening to people’s relationship problems.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

49 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Bcamber February 9, 2016, 8:43 am

    WTF?

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 February 9, 2016, 9:37 am

      Ditto

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      • avatar

        Sunshine Brite February 9, 2016, 9:52 am

        All in favor say ‘aye’

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        snoopy128 February 9, 2016, 11:07 am

        aye

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      • avatar

        GertietheDino February 9, 2016, 11:58 am

        Aye.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy February 9, 2016, 11:38 am

        Aye

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 February 9, 2016, 11:49 am

        The ayes have it, motion carries

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  • avatar

    RedRoverRedRover February 9, 2016, 8:48 am

    In a sexual relationship, it’s extremely uncommon for both people to be interested in all of the exact same things. This is why you sometimes do things you might not be crazy about… because you know it gives your partner pleasure. Some women don’t like doing BJs for example, and some men don’t like going down. But typically they will do it anyway because a) there should be some give and take in any kind of relationship, sexual or not, and b) if you love (or even like) the person, doing something to give them pleasure is usually worth it, even if you’re not all that into it.
    .
    What I said above goes for small things, like dressing sexy once in awhile. It doesn’t go for major things – sex with other people being one of those. If you’re not into it, that’s that.
    .
    There was nothing in the letter or the responses about the man “owning” the woman’s body, it was about reciprocation. Frankly it sounds like you’re extremely frustrated with your own situation, and you’re projecting on that letter. You have a right to be upset with your spouse. If your husband is pushing you to have sex with other people and you don’t want to, and he won’t let it go, then I agree with Wendy that you should consider leaving him. That’s messed up.

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  • avatar

    keyblade February 9, 2016, 8:53 am

    “My husband says I don’t dress up, I won’t have sex with other people while he watches, and I don’t care about his feelings, etc., etc. Which is all bull! What he means is I won’t do it every single night or on demand. ”

    This sounds like two people who are sexually incompatible. This can cause a lot of resentment on both sides. Neither side is “right”. I wouldn’t advise anyone to allow themselves to be pushed into crossing lines they know aren’t right for them. But sometimes we choose to indulge our partners in ways that are more selfless and painless because we care about their satisfaction in both sexual relations and in broader intimacy.
    I’ve chosen a monogamous relationship with my husband. I feel like he has trusted me enough to meet his needs to agree to a lifetime of this lifestyle. I take that trust, seriously. It doesn’t mean I don’t have deal-breakers. But I don’t want him to feel frustrated and like the terms of the marriage aren’t working for him, either.

    Also, never trust the opinion of a psychiatrist who would claim to give professional advice on an entertainment site. Of course, the commenters are here for their own edification and amusement. What kind of “responsibility” do you think internet commentators owe anonymous advice-seekers and columns?

    I’m off to a cold day. Sigh.

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    • avatar

      keyblade February 9, 2016, 8:59 am

      edit: I feel like he has trusted me enough to meet his needs. He has trusted me enough to commit to me for our lifetime.
      edit: I take that trust seriously

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie February 9, 2016, 9:14 am

    Everything we do is framed within our own perspectives; we see the world through our own eyes and bring our experience to help us understand events around us. However, this reader seems to have missed the point. Not only missed the point, but driven 250 miles beyond the point off a pier and into a body of water.

    Oy – read the words. Twice. Three times.

    LW – if you are being bullied and are uncomfortable with how you’re being treated or what is asked of you – then say so. Get into therapy. Leave. Don’t assume a husband who wants his wife to throw on a dress and style her hair is gearing up to ask her to have threesomes, public sex and squish small creatures with her feet. Your husband’s peccadilloes are his own.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh February 9, 2016, 9:15 am

    I’m kind of glad she wrote in because I went back to the original letter and realized the LW responded at some point! I wonder if he’ll see this and give an update. I hope that something changed between them and they are happier, but I’m going to guess I’m being too optimistic :/

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    • avatar

      keyblade February 9, 2016, 9:39 am

      Thanks for pointing that out. That thread got so long that I never would have dug that deep.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo February 9, 2016, 9:43 am

    Dear Wendy, It’s dangerous! very dangerous! for you to allow people to post their own personal opinions on a column in which it is “their turn” to post what are acknowledged to be their personal opinions. People who ask about and indulge aspects of sexuality with which i am not personally comfortable are also very dangerous! Having internet strangers encourage other people I don’t even know to do these vile, naughty things is inciting RAPE! ANYONE could read this column and get ideas that are NOT WHOLESOME! This is free speech and free choice and we all know that leads not only to teen pregnancy but gay marriage. In summary, Wendy, it’s because of people like you that the TERRORISTS ARE WINNING!

    PS – I like to type in all caps.

    Dear LW, I have been married for a long time to a very lazy woman who hasn’t found the necessary motivation to leave me and marry a more moral man. and I definitely do feel it is my INALIENABLE RIGHT as a husband to “to complain and ask and beg for everything want, just like a three-year-old begging for lollies before dinner.” Just the other night, I was begging my wife, “Please, PLEASE can’t we have kinky sex, PLEEAASSEE!!!” I could tell she felt pressured by rape culture, because she got a resigned, glazed look in her eyes, and then she… and then she… actually I don’t want to go on with this story.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover February 9, 2016, 9:48 am

      Hahahahah love it!

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    • Diablo

      Diablo February 9, 2016, 10:08 am

      Oh, one more thing. Why does she refer to us as “readers” in quotation marks? Is she “implying” that “we” are not “really” reading the “column”?

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie February 9, 2016, 10:22 am

        Well given that the LW didn’t really read the original letter and leapt to all sorts of conclusions and projected her own issues on to the original LW – I’d say that “reader” is yet another projection.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph February 9, 2016, 10:23 am

        Maybe in addition to assuming that we all think her husband owns her, she thinks we are all a representation of Wendy’s many personalities having a conversation with each other?

        Gee, who would make multiple fake online accounts and engage in conversations between them in a public online message board? Nope… can’t think of anyone.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 9, 2016, 10:26 am

        Haha!

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      • Cassie

        Cassie February 9, 2016, 1:21 pm

        …Wait a minute. Wasn’t there that one poster in the forums not too long ago that made dozens of posts and then replied to herself with her various user names?

        I feel this deserves an “I am Spartacus!” response.

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      • Cassie

        Cassie February 9, 2016, 1:17 pm

        I was really “confused” by this as well.

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  • kare

    kare February 9, 2016, 9:49 am

    Dressing sexy, cuckolding, same thing.

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 9, 2016, 10:07 am

    I was reading some through some of the old letter. Damn. There were a lot of people who don’t comment regularly anymore. Or have changed their names. And then there were a lot of us who still do.

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  • avatar

    Juliecatharine February 9, 2016, 10:14 am

    Lol nothing like someone screaming RAPE CULTURE to brighten up your morning! Jesus LW, project much? Your issue is with your husband and yourself-I recommend dealing with that.

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  • avatar

    Ginger February 9, 2016, 10:22 am

    That’s some pretty fantastic imaginary subtext the lw has come up with.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph February 9, 2016, 10:32 am

    Yeah this LW clearly has some deep sexual incompatibilities with her husband, who is into some next level sex fantasy stuff. It’s ok for him to have these fantasies, but if he wants to see them acted out and you are not willing to do so… well, then I think you are in for either a short marriage or an unhappy one.

    I do not think it endorses rape culture to suggest that in a mutually respectful and loving relationship, people should go a LITTLE (emphasis on LITTLE…) out of their way to fulfill each others fantasies and keep the sex interesting. I don’t really see a difference between what the other LW asked for– his wife to dress sexy in the bedroom on occasion– and the numerous other little considerations that married people give each other every day. I wear socks in the winter because my husband likes the house cold. My husband loads the dishwasher my way. When we do laundry, I fold his tshirts in quarters because he prefers them that way and he folds my underwear (even though he thinks its silly to fold underwear) because I prefer them that way. He leaves me the last slice of pie. I let him choose which leftovers he wants for lunch and I eat the other, less preferred one. Marriage is an endless stream of compromises and putting the other person first and indulging them a little. I wholeheartedly think a little lacy number or going commando for dinner is approximately the same level of small consideration/indulgence for someone you love.
    I do not think that having sex with someone else while your husband watches is a similarly small indulgence.

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 9, 2016, 10:38 am

    “My husband says I don’t dress up, I won’t have sex with other people while he watches, and I don’t care about his feelings, etc., etc.”

    Snuck that middle one in there…

    Not be all pearl-clutching, but is this a thing now? 1 and 3 seem like somewhat standard marital complaints.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo February 9, 2016, 11:25 am

      Yeah, talk about burying the lede. I would imagine lots of GGG spouses, including pervy ol’ me and the missus, don’t quite get to having sex with others while our partner watches. I mean, we tried it that one night, but i must have asked 50 women in that bar to have sex with me while my wife watched and, nope, no takers.

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      • avatar

        Taylor February 10, 2016, 6:08 pm

        Heh =)

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  • avatar

    artsygirl February 9, 2016, 10:40 am

    Was anyone else shocked by the 0 to 90 mph comment: …I don’t dress up, I won’t have sex with other people while he watches… I just sat at my computer and mentally said ‘well that escalated quickly.’

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    • Portia

      Portia February 9, 2016, 11:18 am

      Haha, yep, that was my reaction too.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 9, 2016, 11:26 am

      Haha. That was my exact reaction: “How did we get from dressing sexy to having sex with other dudes while he watches????” Wut.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros February 9, 2016, 11:52 am

    I feel like the LW is trying to blame Wendy for her own frustration and unhappiness in her relationship. If you are having problems with your husband, then you need to directly address them. It’s reasonable that in a happy and healthy relationship, a person would want to make their partner happy and compromise. This can be done even while having boundaries. If a person has no interest in trying to do things that their partner likes ever, then I imagine there are bigger problems there in relation to compatibility or unresolved conflict, etc. You can’t judge Wendy’s advice to someone else with different problems based on the application to your own problems.

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    • avatar

      Vathena February 9, 2016, 12:01 pm

      My guess is that this LW found Wendy’s column by googling about her own situation. But “My husband asks me to dress up” is just a tad different from “my husband wants me to have sex with other men while he watches”.

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  • Portia

    Portia February 9, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Dear Wendy,
    My husband was complaining that I didn’t dress sexy for him or wear slinky undergarments. I find this column of yours and read the advice for another letter writer. I decided I might as well try even if it’s a little outside my comfort zone, so I got all this pricey lingerie. But Wendy, you were so off the mark! Because afterwards he told me what he really wanted was to watch me have sex with other men, which I like way better than wearing some uncomfortable lingerie, and is much less expensive. So now he watches me with other guys, but following your advice got me all this lingerie I can’t return. Now my question is, how do I get my money back?

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    • othy

      othy February 9, 2016, 3:05 pm

      Well, Portia, I don’t think you can return the used lingerie to the store. However, you can sell it on Craigslist. For more money than you bought it for. Particularly if you don’t wash it after wearing it.

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      • othy

        othy February 9, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Ooh, better yet? Sell it to the other men you’re having sex with, so it’s like two birds with one stone.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 9, 2016, 4:25 pm

        Ooo, good call! Lol

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  • avatar

    Ron February 9, 2016, 3:10 pm

    It’s strange to write in and rant about responses to a letter which is more than two years old. The ‘real psychiatrist’ comment is even stranger, since the blog isn’t headed ‘Dr. Wendy’. Does this LW think all advice columnists/bloggers are psychiatrists practicing over the internet?

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    • othy

      othy February 9, 2016, 3:16 pm

      I blame “Dr” Phil.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 February 9, 2016, 3:55 pm

    In a relationship, sometimes you do things you don’t want to do but don’t mind too much. Like, maybe my SO doesn’t like to run or hike or go ballroom dancing, but maybe he’ll do one of those things every once in a while. And I don’t like action movies but maybe I’ll watch one every now and then. And of course, some things may be totally off limits for some people, but those things can’t be everything under the sun. For example, if SO loathes running like it’s pulling teeth, that’s ok, we won’t run. But if he hated all running and hiking and dancing and yoga and walks in the park, refusing to do any of those things ever in a million years, then that’s a bit much.
    .
    How this translates:
    – “I’d love if you could dress up and meet me at the door once a month, or if that doesn’t work for you maybe we could cook dinner together in lingerie.” <– not rapey
    – "I want to watch you have sex with other men every night or I'll throw a tantrum." <– rapey

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom February 9, 2016, 4:10 pm

      I went back and reread his additional comment. They had a child and he was wanting his wife to cook naked. I was wondering how he thought that would work. How does the kid not notice that mom is wearing nothing. He also had to ask his wife if she had ever had an orgasm so he was clueless enough that he couldn’t tell and I doubt she was faking it. He seemed really clueless in both situations.

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      • avatar

        Cleopatra Jones February 10, 2016, 10:52 am

        I think you and BGM were spot on.
        Either his wife was ridiculously selfish or she was not sexually interested in him. Seriously, who doesn’t like to get their sexy on for their SO? Or for that matter, themselves? There was something fundamentally wrong in the relationship, and I hope they sought counseling to fix it or moved on to better relationships.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom February 10, 2016, 11:37 am

        I’m guessing that they were both virgins when they got married. They’ve had sex for the length of their marriage that never pleasured her. Whether she ever had any expectation that she would get pleasure from sex we don’t know. At this point we know she isn’t interested. All of his statements were about him and his wants. He sat her down and talked to her telling her what he wants. There was no we in his statements. He has a wife who is a hottie. He has things he wants her to do that she doesn’t want to do. It was very much about him without any we to it. I have a sense of a patriarchal family structure where he is the boss and she is the submissive wife except she isn’t pleasing him in this situation and he’s about had it. He’s been married for 11 years and wanting to know how to change his wife. The answer is you can ask for change but you can’t force it. You marry the person as they are and accept them for who and what they are. He married a woman who wasn’t sexually adventurous and was sexual repressed. Now he doesn’t like that but I have to wonder why he expected her to be different than who she actually is.
        .
        If he did leave her I think he would be in for a shock when having sex with other women who expected that he give as much pleasure as he received.

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        wobster109 February 10, 2016, 12:54 pm

        That would explain a lot, the sexual repression part. It’s really sad actually. If his wife grew up thinking of sex as something shameful, then those thoughts become a habit, and they won’t suddenly flip just because she got married. Dr. Samantha Rodman says that wanting a wife who didn’t have (much) sex before marriage but who has a lot of sex once married is like wanting to marry a foodie who didn’t like food until her wedding day.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph February 10, 2016, 1:43 pm

        Hah that’s a good one. It is something many from abstinence cultures struggle with– you have to flip the switch from “sex is dirty and wrong and should not be done” during your adolescence and young adulthood to “sex is great and should be done all the time” on your wedding day. After years of being taught to repress any and all arousal/sexuality/interest in the opposite sex, the fear of experience them doesn’t just magically disappear when the ring is on your finger.

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  • avatar

    Martin February 10, 2016, 2:18 pm

    ‘a lot of time spent in bars..’ Guess that’s why you think this creep’s ‘requests’ (which are clearly making his wife very uncomfortable) are normal.
    Best way for the Missis to spice up her life (including sex life) will be to dump this bum hole.
    Re. your ‘advice’ in general, Ms Wendy, blaming the victim is never the way to go.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 10, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Hah — that was a WILD thread. Fun to read all those old comments. And — surprise, surprise — I stand by everything I said… I remain baffled by how many people are such prudes or have such bizarre hang ups about sex… Just yikes. YIKES!

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