Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband Kept His Kinks A Secret Until After We Said ‘I Do'”

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I stumbled upon a column of yours where a woman had written about her husband wearing women’s underwear. I have a similar issue, but more complicated. My husband and I have been married for over two years and have two kids together. From the moment we started dating I was very open about my bisexuality. Recently, my husband has expressed a greater desire for female domination and would like me to wear a strap-on. He also wants to wear women’s underwear. The skimpier the better.

I try not to be a hypocrite. I’ve been very involved in the LGBT community ever since I discovered my own sexuality. But for some reason I cannot get over these fetishes he has introduced. It breaks my heart. I feel that he isn’t the man I married and like I can’t be sexually attracted to him if he wants to wear women’s underwear. Also, I’m bisexual, but I am far from being a Dom.

I don’t know what to do. I figure I can cut my losses and take my kids and get out. And then try to find a man who will protect and take care of us. But I love my husband. Any advice to help me accept him would be great. Or anything that would make me feel more comfortable with his choices. — Not a Dom

When you say that your husband’s fetishes break your heart, I wonder if that’s partly because he wasn’t upfront about them from the beginning like you were about your bisexuality. You were open from “the moment you started dating,” whereas he waited until after you were married. It’s completely understandable if you feel blindsided and resentful, but I wonder if you can separate those feelings from the physical part of your relationship. He should have been open with you from the beginning, no question. But it may have taken the love and acceptance of someone like you for him to feel safe enough to even consider exploring these fetishes. Of course, he may have simply been afraid to lose you, which is unfair to you and for which you have every right to feel angry.

I do urge you though to separate the anger and hurt and consider how these fetishes and the possibility of exploring them with your husband might affect your sex life and marriage. Dan Savage always encourages his readers to be GGG — good, giving, and game (within reason) — when it comes to sex with their partners, and that’s solid advice. Being GGG doesn’t mean being a sexual martyr, but it does mean stepping outside one’s comfort zone for a partner’s pleasure and, ultimately, the benefit of the relationship. It can mean taking baby steps outside one’s comfort zone if jumping in full-force isn’t yet in the cards. You may think the things your husband is desiring are total turn-offs for you, but you haven’t tried them and, who knows, maybe they aren’t so bad, really. Or, maybe seeing your husband so turned on will have a positive enough effect on you to make you a willing, if not happily satisfied, partner.

I would try at least to be GGG — to meet your husband halfway. Let him wear some women’s underwear while you take charge in the bedroom. Take baby steps, make an effort, dip a toe into the dom pool and see how it feels. In turn, communicate your desires and needs — let him know how he can be GGG to you, too. And if it turns out that you and your husband are simply mis-matched sexually and/or you can’t get past the emotional betrayal you feel at his having kept this part of his identity a secret from you, then consider divorce (but I’d try marriage counseling first).

As for needing a man to protect and take care of you and your kids, this is 2015 and you don’t need a man to take care of you. Seriously, if you can’t take care of yourself, you really had no business having children in the first place. What was your plan if anything ever happened to your husband? Was it to simply go find another man to step in? I hope not. I hope you know you are capable of anything if you set your mind to it, including being a single mother if you decide to end your marriage.

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

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

37 comments… add one
  • avatar

    jlyfsh October 2, 2015, 8:12 am

    I was sympathetic until your last paragraph. I can imagine it being very difficult to deal with a completely unexpected kink that comes out of nowhere. But, even if you do divorce he will still be your children’s father. I don’t like the idea that you feel the need to replace him at this point. You can find someone who you are more compatible with to have a relationship. What does needing a man to ‘protect and take care of us’even mean?
    *
    As far as ideas for accepting him I think Wendy has excellent advice. But, if you’re willing to ‘cut your losses’ and split your family up are you even open to them?

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  • avatar

    keyblade October 2, 2015, 8:39 am

    I don’t understand the mind frame. Why is the choice to do something sexual that you hate or get a divorce? Has he alluded to this being a non-negotiable? Is it because he has been willing to accept kinks and you can’t reciprocate? Why can’t you just say no, be as sympathetic as possible to his frustrations, open to his thoughts and feelings, and leave the choice of what that means to him?

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    • avatar

      L.G.J October 2, 2015, 8:56 am

      I thought it was a strange mindset too, does she see no middle ground? from the sounds of it she hasn’t even tried to work this out with her husband and has jumped right to considering divorce

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      • avatar

        Sunshine Brite October 2, 2015, 9:11 am

        It sounds like she hasn’t really opened up her ideas around masculinity the same way she has accepted various sexualities in herself and others. Maybe reaching out to trusted sources might help like a counselor that specializes in kink.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 October 2, 2015, 10:45 am

      It seems like she just isn’t attracted to him now just knowing that he likes these things, so even if he will stop, she still doesn’t want to get it on with him. She actually sounds like she is grossed out by him for some reason. She also sounds like a D***** B**. She is just going to take his kids away from him, and replace him with the next guy that comes a long that can protect them. Like he can’t protect them anymore because he wears lady panties, and she can’t protect herself, because she is just a lady. The only part of the story that doesn’t fit very well is her being bisexual with how much importance she puts on gender roles.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh October 2, 2015, 10:51 am

        Yeah I have a hard time understanding how the parent’s relationship has to do with his ability to parent. I can sympathize with her no longer being sexually attracted to him. But, she lost me once she started talking about needing to be ‘protected’ and ‘taken care of’.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 10:56 am

        I think she will find that you can’t just take his kids away from him. He will still be the father and still have parental rights and responsibilities.

        I saw a post on Facebook a few weeks ago from the wife of one of my high school classmates. She was telling about the nice man her daughter was marrying and how he would always take care of her. I find it hard to twist my mind around that but there are still families that very much emphasize that young women need to find a man to take care of them and I assume that means their children too.

        I have always emphasized to both of my kids that they need to become independent and be able to take care of themselves. We take care of each other and have each others back but we also realize we have to be able to be self-supporting and able to live an independent life.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 2, 2015, 11:04 am

        Yeah I think you just have to take the “always take care of her” in context. I will always take care of my wife, just like she will always take care of me (I hope) it has nothing to do with making money, buying her things, and fighting off bears with my bare hands. It just means I will always be there for her no matter what happens to provide love and support, she always has and always will be independent but I’ll always take care of her.

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    • avatar

      fyodor October 2, 2015, 11:06 am

      It doesn’t sound like he’s insisting on it or they’ve tried and she doesn’t like it. It seems like she just isn’t attracted to him because of his newly revealed interest.

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  • avatar

    PumpkinSpice October 2, 2015, 9:05 am

    Jlyfsh I think the LW is saying that she
    ” needs a man to take care, etc” is because, due to his fetishes for women’s underwear, and want to be submissive, she believes he will no longer be/ or she doesn’t see him as the man of the house anymore. To me, a man is a man. Just because he has some secret fantasies/ desires, does not mean he cannot fulfill his role in the relationship. But besides that, LW, listen to Wendy. She gave you some really great advice. Try couples counseling with someone who specializes in sex issues. Maybe they can help you both discover what you are comfortable with.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 2, 2015, 9:15 am

      Yeah, I’m sure that’s what she meant. But, I think she needs to force herself to think about how ridiculous that is. His kink in the bedroom doesn’t affect his ability to be a good parent. And the fact that she needs someone to ‘protect and take care of us’ like Wendy mentioned what was her plan if something happened to her husband and he died?

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 9:23 am

      She may also be wondering if he is gay or trans. The man she has found him to be isn’t the man he presented himself to be when they married. She may be afraid that he will reveal more secrets.

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  • avatar

    laurahope October 2, 2015, 9:06 am

    I’m with you, LW. Our sexuality is a huge part of our identity and you actually married someone else. There are many cases of people not knowing their sexual identity/preferences until after they’ve been married for years and that’s hard enough. But your husband knew and withheld that information from you. So what are left with? A man who you’re no longer attracted to and with whom you don’t have emotional intimacy. Yeah, I’d cut my losses.

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    • avatar

      Vathena October 2, 2015, 10:38 am

      I mean…really? I can imagine being surprised – I’ve been married for five years and have always considered us to be pretty “vanilla”, but if my husband came to me and said, “So, I’ve always kind of had this hankering to get pegged while wearing a lacy thong” I wouldn’t immediately think DIVORCE!!! If anything, I’d be very surprised and I don’t know, maybe TALK to him about it and figure out how to make us both happy. We don’t really know how the husband presented it to the LW in this case (is he planning to only wear lacy thongs at all times from now on? Is that grounds for divorce? Was it a demand that she wear a strap-on each and every time they have sex?) but I mean, this seems like something you could work through to save a marriage to a person you love, especially the father to your children.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 9:14 am

    The LW doesn’t say that she hasn’t tried any of his kinks. She says he’s introduced the fetishes and she can’t get over them. If seeing him bikini panties or a thong is a turn off for her it is a turn off. Maybe she’s already seen him that way and found that it didn’t work. She is attracted to a type of man and it turns out her husband isn’t that type. I think they should try marriage counseling. If she can’t be happy with his kinks can he be happy without them? She must also be wondering what other secrets he hasn’t shared. At this point she is feeling like she is married to a stranger.

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    • avatar

      LT October 2, 2015, 5:13 pm

      I can see that, but the “take the kids” part is what got me. Like, divorce, sure, but the kids are getting split time with their dad, because he’s still their dad.

      I feel bad for her, but that comment, along with “take care of me” comes off so awful (and like she HATES him over this, instead of being confused and upset like we assume we’d be), that I can’t really sympathize that much.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 2, 2015, 9:20 am

    I have the same reaction of some of the others. I can get on board with being upset that he kept this from you. Regardless of the reason, both partners need to have the opportunity to make a decision about whether they are sexually compatible with someone before making a long-term commitment. Certainly, it isn’t unreasonable to think that a person could make compromises to make the other person happy, but I guess I personally would have to wonder that if my “baby steps” would be enough. Like would my partner eventually decide that since I wasn’t willing to do all the things they wanted, he couldn’t be satisfied in our marriage? Who knows? And if someone withholds so much of themselves, how do you figure out that their answer is truthful?

    But I can’t get on board with this weird implication that he’s not fit to be a father or can’t fulfill the roles that you perceive to be his duty as a man — protector, etc. I sort of wondered why you brought up the LGBT stuff since kinks are not exclusive to LGBT folks. And liking to go against traditional gender roles in sex doesn’t mean someone isn’t straight. You pulled the whole “I’m bisexual so I am not being prejudiced.” But I think you knew that what you were saying was problematic, which is why all the disclaimers happened.

    I hope that in real life you aren’t this blase about ending your relationship. It seems like a fast jump you made to that decision. If you really feel that you can’t be married to him, don’t pull some crap where you act like he needs to be replaced by a “manly man.”

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana October 2, 2015, 9:27 am

    Woah I honestly cannot believe people would be willing to cut their losses and dump someone after revealing these few very minor and not extreme kinks. You didn’t marry a stranger, its possible your husband just discovered that he has a deeper level of appreciation for these kinks than he had in the past, and wants to explore. Maybe he thought you were GGG and that he had a safe space to explore and communicate about his sexual needs in your relationship–these are huge things, please try to reframe your ideas about that within this view. Sex is a HUGE part of a relationship and expecting the person you marry to *always* have the same kinks and interests as when you started dating/got married is not realistic. I think LW you could do a little research about this and definitely listen to some of Dan Savage’s podcast, just to get a different perspective on some of this stuff- maybe you will never come around, or be in to it, but there is a level of acceptance and a price of admission you pay to be with someone– maybe this is it for your husband. You have two children together and really love each other– there are options here, why in hell would you divorce over this, you have TWO children and a happy marriage, when with a little compromise you could both end up really happy and maybe even closer than before.
    .
    Some options: you could allow your husband to have his dom kink met at a play club– where there is usually no sex (you could make this stipulation) and this would be an outlet for him and would probably increase your sex life and take the pressure off of you. As to the women’s underwear– can’t he just do that and you not really know? I mean he isn’t asking to parade around in front of you wearing it? Lots of men have this kink and it can be met pretty easily. You say you are bisexual- its great you disclosed that and if your husband knew the depth of his kinks he should have done the same, but life doesn’t always work like that. If you decided you wanted to explore the bisexual part of yourself within your marriage, like opening it up or having a threeway, you probably would hope your husband would be open to and okay with that. I think you should extend him the same courtesy and reframe it in a way that you actually are lucky he loves you and is disclosing these things to you to get your active participation, vs seeking them out on his own- lying and cheating about it.
    .
    Also I think you have a fear this means your husband may be gay– I mean him wanting to be anally penetrated. Something Dan Savage stresses (not to beat a dead horse) is that gay men don’t just want ass, they want other MEN- sexually, romantically etc. Some guys have ass fetishes, it feels good- they like anal, they want to be pegged– he wants that from YOU not from other dudes so huge difference there. If he was like, I want a threesome and a dude to penetrate me-then maybe it would be different. But a man who identifies and is straight expressing an interest in anything ass-related doesn’t automatically mean OMG what if he is gay. Just no, not how that works.

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    • avatar

      Vathena October 2, 2015, 10:51 am

      THANK you. This is just what I was thinking.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ October 2, 2015, 9:28 am

    I think marital counseling with someone who deals with sexual incompatibility is a great idea.

    Also, LOL that the Amazon affiliate ad links showing up on this article are for strap ons, complete with a model.

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    • avatar

      Wendy's sister October 2, 2015, 10:19 am

      That is funny about the amazon ad you’re seeing. I see a book ad.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja October 2, 2015, 9:30 am

    “I figure I can cut my losses and take my kids and get out” what? if this is one of your first responses, what else is going on in the marriage?

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 9:43 am

      I was thinking the same thing. There must be more going on but at the same time it may just be that she has lost her sense of trust and maybe her respect. If he didn’t tell her before marriage he must have known at some level she wouldn’t like it and there was a good chance she would break up so he waited until they are married and have two kids. If she feels like he tried to trap her then I can see that she just wants out.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana October 2, 2015, 9:50 am

        What if he didn’t “know” and just spring this upon her willy-nilly. People sometimes take a long while to come in to their kinks and maybe its something he has felt or thought for awhile, but never thought to explore or realized he was really in to. Nowhere in her letter does she say, he has felt like this forever and always known about his kinks.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 10:50 am

        That is something to explore with a counselor. I think she doesn’t trust him now and trust is so essential that without it there is no relationship. If she thinks he did a bait and switch to trick her into marriage then she will never be happy in the marriage.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros October 2, 2015, 1:02 pm

        I guess I’m wondering where the line is drawn though. Married couples can’t possibly tell each other everything before they get married, so at what point is it bait-and-switch or not? Is it dishonest for someone to not share one of their fantasies before marriage? I’m not directing this at you, just in general. I just wonder at what point it goes from just having different sexual interests and turns into being an issue of trust/honesty.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 2, 2015, 2:37 pm

        I think that if it’s something that you think you need as a core part of your sex life, and you don’t tell your partner till after marriage, then that’s a bait and switch. That’s a lot different than having a fantasy that you want to try out once.
        .
        Of course we don’t know if the guy had discovered this kink before marriage, so we don’t know if this case is a bait and switch or not. But if he did know before marriage, I do think he was dishonest. This isn’t “honey can we role play that you’re a teacher and I’m a naughty student” that you do once. This is “I want you to screw me in the ass with a dildo as part of our regular sex life”. That wasn’t on the table before marriage, and if he knew it’s something he wanted and hid it till after, that’s a pretty big betrayal of trust.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar October 2, 2015, 10:56 am

        I’m with you. Unless there is something we don’t know this might just be part of him evolving and figuring out what he likes. Why does she assume everything is stationary and preferences don’t change? I understand it’s unexpected but how is divorce the go to option? There are so many other potential solutions. Especially since kids are in the mix. And I think the whole find a man to protect us and look after us thing is shameful. Put on your fucking big girl panties. Your job is to protect and look after your children. Yours. Yours and their father’s. And it’s no one job to protect and look after you. You’re an adult. Ffs.

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  • avatar

    Wendy's Sister October 2, 2015, 10:18 am

    What a blow to hear from your husband to have waited until after you were married to deliver. However, I agree with Wendy that he probably was worried about losing you until you were married and with muchacha that he may not have realized his kinks until recently.

    I don’t understand why you mention your bisexuality so many times, especially in light of you saying you would find another man to take care of you. I understand that you were open about it, and you are contrasting your openness with his lack of openness, but it really shouldn’t matter that you are bisexual. Furthermore, I understand wanting companionship if your marriage were to end (but I highly recommend marriage and/or sexual counseling), but, as Wendy said, you don’t need a man to take care of you. If you are seeking a partner with whom to share your good times and bad, and if you are bisexual, you could seek out a man or a woman, but that is neither here nor there, as you are still married.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 2, 2015, 10:48 am

      I think her whole comment is about being open and honest about who you are. She was and she thought he was but now she thinks he wasn’t. This is about honesty in a relationship.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor October 2, 2015, 11:07 am

    “I don’t know what to do. I figure I can cut my losses and take my kids and get out. And then try to find a man who will protect and take care of us.”

    That last paragraph is badly screwed up.

    What if you’d revealed some sort of sexual kink or fantasy and he decided that someone who had those types of preferences couldn’t be a good or nurturing mother to his children?

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  • Astronomer

    Astronomer October 2, 2015, 11:46 am

    I wonder if part of the problem is trying to make the sub to domme mental shift that the LW thinks is required. That can be a real obstacle. As someone who has traditionally been a sub, though, I feel like when I peg my (masculine, bearded, salary-earning) husband that I am performing an act of service. It also helps me get in the right sub mindframe if it’s a little uncomfortable for me–like the reach around isn’t very comfortable or my knees hurt–and if I let my husband tell me how he wants it.

    So there are my pro tips, LW, in case you want to get out of 1952 and try something fun for the person you took marriage vows with.

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  • avatar

    _s_ October 2, 2015, 11:50 am

    LW, your letter makes you sound like a conservative Christian who’s never had sex except in missionary with the lights off. I could understand if that woman’s husband wanted to be pegged and she immediately filed for divorce to ‘find a man to protect and take care of us.’ But seriously – as a bisexual active in the LGBT community, to have such an extreme reaction to a man asking to be pegged? It make no sense whatsoever. I mean, seriously???? I can understand it being a surprise to you, and taking some time to get used to the idea, and I can even understand if you were to be GGG and try to accommodate him and eventually determine you are just not sexually compatible. But to jump straight to divorce plus this “male protector” garbage?? It’s bullshit. What’s your concern here – that it means he’s gay? You should know better. That it means he’s somehow “less of a man” (whatever that bullshit means anyway)?? Again, you should know better. Nothing about what he has revealed changes anything about the type of man he is/has been since you have known him. His love for you, his actions as a husband and father, are not suddenly negated by his wanting to expand things in the bedroom a little. I can only surmise, like others, that there must be other problems in your marriage or with his parenting ability that you did not outline here, which made his ‘revelation’ the last straw. Otherwise, your letter makes no sense whatsoever.

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    • avatar

      Kaluu October 2, 2015, 2:29 pm

      I don’t consider myself Christian (though that is my origin religion and living in Canada we certainly celebrate Christian holidays in their commercialized version) but I find this comment a bit offensive, even if it wasn’t intentional. She could just be conservative, or conservative of another religion. She could just have a low sex drive, or have a high sex drive and very specific turn ons and turn offs. Also she’s bisexual and open about it, statistically a person like this may be Christian but probably not “conservative Christian.” Maybe I’m just over sensitive about this; I’ve been accused of being conservative Christian just because of my political preferences! I’m sure there are many nice conservative Christians but I have no intent on exploring that religion at this time, and I didn’t like being pigeon holed

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  • avatar

    SasLinna October 2, 2015, 12:55 pm

    Haven’t read all the comments, but unfortunately it can happen that somebody’s kinks will be a real turn off to their partner. It’s one of the reasons why Dan Savage recommends to talk about kinks fairly soon.
    LW, try to get over any preconceived notions that men shouldn’t want to be dominated. But if you just can’t engage some of your husband’s kinks I think you’ll have to be true to yourself and honest with him.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 2, 2015, 7:49 pm

    Honestly? If I was dating a guy and he wanted that stuff even I would be turned off. Just not my thing. He pulled a rather deliberate bait and switch here. Do what you need to, LW. He left you with no choice in my eyes. I could not get it up for a dude in panties… No way. No day.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy October 4, 2015, 11:49 am

    I agree with many others; your last comment is fucked up. You are a huge hypocrite, and clearly aren’t as open minded as you claim. If Monkeysdad wanted to get pegged or wear panties, I might raise my eyebrows, but I would be game to roll with it once and see. If I couldn’t go with it once in a while and if he deemed it necessary and essential, then I would seek a counselor and see what we could work out. If it can’t be worked out, sure, get a divorce. But after your last comment? May you be blessed with a future full of silky panty wearing men!

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