Sex Q&A: Build Respect in Your Relationship

Kelly from Raleigh, North Carolina asks:

My boyfriend has asked me for a long time to be more open sexually, and he gave me a few ideas of things he would like to explore more—like bringing in another person. I agreed, though we never went through with it. He later started calling me awful names after we began looking for the right person to bring into our sexual relationship. He told me that only a _____ would do that kind of thing. You can only imagine what goes in the blank. Ever since, I feel like a part of me is gone for ever. We are still together, but I no longer look at him as I did before. I feel empty and lonely. I’m very detached and distant like I don’t know him at all. It has been a year since that had happened, and I still feel this way. I don’t know what to do.

Liam’s Response:

Greetings, Kelly. It’s evident from your narrative that you have been deeply and badly affected by this matter. And indeed the journey we must share for me to try to give any kind of answer will require a visit to even more vulnerable regions of your soul. You have a big decision to make about this fellow, and the wrong move now could essentially destroy you in years to come. Pair bonding is a complex dance… It can be playful. It can be sexy, steamy and fun. But actually committing oneself to another person on a deep emotional level is serious business. Before you go any further with this relationship, I want you to stop and take a clear, hard look at it.

To be fair, your fellow is not unlike a lot of males in our strange culture of contrasts and romanticized ideology. Contradiction within the internal dialogue of the Self is a perfectly natural thing. But when someone fails (or refuses) to recognize their own inner conflicts, they often become judgmental and abusive. The sad fact is your man has a real problem with women; with any kind of female sexual power. I sense that his early life was heavily influenced by hard patriarchal imagery and a belief system where women were very disempowered and degraded. Subconsciously he harbors a deep need to worship a divine feminine power, and that need expresses itself in his sexual fantasies. He developed a deep, haunting desire to explore you as a symbol of that power… to see you engaged with other lovers. As I have said before, this is not at all an uncommon desire enacted in many a bedroom in many a relationship every day. Unfortunately, as the two of you moved to make fantasy reality, your fellow experienced a sudden rush of rage, released in a misogynistic tantrum straight up from the brimming well of his old puritanical inner child. Old perceptions often die hard, and that reaction might have been forgiven if this man was truly a lover and respecter of women; if he had chosen to take a step back and discuss the issue honestly. He didn’t pick that path because he doesn’t respect you. Not as a woman. Not as a partner. Not as an equal. Though part of him does seek to understand your inner Goddess, the lion’s share of his private heart hates you for being a woman in the first place. Because according to it women are unclean, and inferior to men.

This man’s problems don’t need to be yours, nor should they be allowed to degrade you as a human being. I feel you really did want to be open. I think the experiment turned you on after he suggested it, and your agreement to pursue it was not given just to please him. So, why, just because he reacted badly, did it get scraped? Why were there no sit downs to talk things through? Where are your needs and feelings in all this? I’ll tell you where; they’re in the garbage because his are all that matter. You are left on your own, falling out of love with a man who cannot give you what you need. I say, keep falling and make a play for your own emotional survival. You don’t owe him anything. You owe yourself a future. If you stay with him, this man will ruin any chance you have for true sexual expression, because his own issues will always come first. Something inside is trying to tell you to move on. Not all men are like this. There is a kind, sophisticated and open minded lover out there for you. One who won’t need to put you down to keep himself up. He’s waiting. When you’re ready, it will happen.


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