Is Your Relationship Tied-Up With Phone Sex?
Continuing our discussion of fantasy phone sex (part one, part two), we discuss the topic of phone sex in relationships. I asked a real-life married couple to talk about how his paying for professional phone sex services affects their relationship.
The Mr. runs Roue Ataraxia and the Mrs. runs Silent Porn Star. (Those of us familiar with the woman behind Silent Porn Star know the sex history blogger to be quite private about herself, so this is quite a rare event.) While this exclusive interview began with a discussion of phone sex, you’ll see there’s a whole lot more to discover than that!
Roue, let’s start with when and where your use of phone sex began.
Roue: It began about five or sex years ago, when our individual job schedules began to take a toll on our relationship. It wasn’t so much just the travel, but the hours we kept. We rarely saw each other, and when we did it was family time — family meals and the like, not what you’d call “quality couple time.” We both knew this was affecting us sexually –
SPS: We both knew that there was a whole lot of solo masturbation going on –
Roue: And we didn’t want that to lead to problems with intimacy.
Roue: Well, we knew that our intimate connection was being tested. We knew that we weren’t getting the sexual satisfaction — or romance — from one another, and we didn’t want that to lead to some sort of emotional disconnect.
SPS: We figured that while we each understood the other was getting at least some of their needs met by masturbating, there could be some issues of guilt or even jealousy as a result of that. We’ve both been married before this marriage; we’d been together a decade at this point; we knew we had to discuss it.
Guilt and jealousy over masturbating?!
SPS: I don’t know if you recall this particular embarrassment of being a young woman, but a lot of young women feel insecure about their men masturbating. I know I did when I was in my early 20s. I’m not proud of it; but I do know it’s a relatively common thing.
Somehow our value to our partners seems diminished if we aren’t the sole-receptacle of his ejaculation. Seed spilled in a hand, not our bush, is seen as cheating, as a threat. In part because we’ve been taught that if we don’t please our man, someone will. And, because we know he has to be masturbating to something (and it may not be us!), there’s this feeling that we aren’t safe in our relationship, that we can be (or are about to be) replaced. I suppose this also has something to do with the differences in sex drives too… A young woman isn’t driven to sexual distraction as much as a young man is, so we women, not being able to relate to that high of a sex drive, figure that his wanting or needing sex more is somehow a statement on or judgement about our inability to satisfy him. We fear his masturbation is a failure on our part — and one that threatens our relationship.
Roue: And a lot of men — of all ages, I might add — feel that if their woman is masturbating, they are missing an opportunity. An opportunity to get laid, first of all. But also the opportunity to please their partner. Even in this world that’s focused on male pleasure, men are taught that good lovers don’t leave their women wanting.
SPS: Of course, time and experience teaches a mentally healthy person to get over such absurdities about a partner’s masturbation. It’s as silly as worrying when she reads romance novels or watches chick-flicks. Choices in entertainment options don’t have to equal relationship problems. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that these feelings can occur, especially when you are feeling the anxiety and loneliness of separation as we were.
This sounds more like a reason for a wife not to be comfortable with her husband’s phone sex habit.
SPS: I suppose it does. But that’s what started the conversation. We knew we had to talk about the situation or put our relationship at risk. There were steps in the process.
Roue: It certainly wasn’t all “Honey, I need phone sex to improve our relationship” at the start of this talk!
SPS: LOL Yeah, that certainly wouldn’t have gone over well!
So how did you get to that point?
SPS: First, we began to awkwardly discuss the situation — and it was awkward. No matter how cool and wise we might seem (at any point in this conversation), starting such a conversation was difficult. Especially as I was desperate to avoid the “Honey, we need to talk…” thing. Starting that way, or with that tone, rarely goes well!
Roue: As I recall, you did start that way –
SPS: OMG, that’s all you men hear!
Roue: I honestly don’t recall how it began.
SPS: Sure, you would say that on the record. LOL
But, as wise females typically do, I laid the groundwork before we had the “real talk”.
What did you do?
Roue: Yeah, what did you do? I want to know when I’m being manipulated the next time. LOL
SPS: I could get kicked-out of the woman’s club for this!
I will argue on your behalf, I swear. Dish!
SPS: Well, we both have adult blogs — and we know about each others blogs. Sometimes we are in the same room each blogging porn and erotica. (We even send one another links to things we think the other would like.) So it should be no surprise that we find ourselves discussing fantasy sex stuff.
One night, I called him in his hotel room — you were in Illinois, remember? And I casually mentioned something I had been blogging about. That led to him sharing what he had been looking at… That all led to some phone sex of our own. (Gads, this is making me blush!) Anyway, I made a mental note to use that conversation as a doorway into how we were entertaining ourselves on our own… And the rest is history.
So he confessed to paying for phone sex then?
Roue: No. I wasn’t using phone sex then.
SPS: But we started talking matter-of-factually about our personal entertainment habits — first in terms of turning one another on on the phone, then later in a more pragmatic sense.
SPS: Yeah, about what we were using –
Roue: And about what we were buying. We agreed that independent use of adult materials had increased and was going to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we made a budget for it.
You made a porn budget?
Roue: Yes. We agreed to monthly stipends for each of us that came out of our household’s entertainment budget — equal amounts for each of us. We aren’t wealthy, but we are practical. The reality of our schedules, the reality that we both had needs, meant realizing that we had to account for spending.
SPS: Meeting those needs (via website memberships, magazines, books, etc.) wasn’t free, but articulating them gave us freedom. There was no longer any need to feel any anxiety about being adults with sexual needs.
Roue: But I still wasn’t using phone sex.
When did that start then?
Roue: It was a combination of things. First, no matter what some folks will swear, man does not live by visual stimulation alone. At least this man doesn’t. Sometimes you, your hand, and a photo isn’t enough. …Well, it may be enough; but it isn’t good enough. It still leaves you lonely. Or bored. Both, sometimes. But I still wouldn’t have thought of paying for phone sex as an option though, if it weren’t for the wife.
Through her website and work, she had some female friends who were PSOs. Sometimes they would share stories with her and she, in turn, would share them with me.
SPS: Knowing what he likes, if I heard a good story, or read a good blog post, from one of them, I would share them with him. Eventually, I caught on that he was interested in calling one of the girls — but that he was afraid to ask about it.
Roue: I wasn’t afraid! It never occurred to me until you mentioned it!
SPS: Sure, sure, honey. LOL
You didn’t seem shocked when I just happened to mention that you should call her.
Roue: Since I was really enjoying the phone sex with you talking about the PSO stories, it just seemed to make sense. Especially as our schedules made those phone calls few and far between.
SPS: However naive you you want to make yourself sound, babe…
They never do admit to their own subtle manipulations, do they? lol
Roue: I am out-numbered here! Halp!
SPS: There you go again, asking for a lady to give you a hand! LOL
So, SPS, you were the one to suggest your husband pay for phone sex?
SPS: Yes. It just seemed to make sense. We can’t be together enough; he has certain fantasies; she delivers those fantasies; why not?
And it didn’t bother you at all?
SPS: No, it didn’t. Not then, not now, not ever. To me it’s no different than any other form of erotic entertainment. I don’t worry about him at strip clubs –
Roue: Like I go there without you — you’re the one who feels the need to go there!
SPS: My girlfriends and I do love the strip clubs!
However, as I was saying, I don’t worry about “losing” him at strip clubs or to a model at a website or a porn actress, so why would phone sex bother me?
Some could argue that phone sex is far more intimate… It’s one-on-one, and those conversations can be pretty personal…
SPS: I guess maybe if I didn’t know PSOs, if I didn’t know from them that it is work, that they aren’t falling in love with callers or whatever, maybe I could have worried. At the very least, I wouldn’t have been sharing their stories with him and maybe phone sex never would have come up, who knows? But I have no issues with it. It’s not threatening or upsetting to me at all.
But if it would be upsetting to you, then you should discuss that with your partner. If talking about it doesn’t make you feel any better about it, then set that boundary.
Thinking in terms of other people and their relationships, what advice would you have for other couples regarding a spouse or partner paying for phone sex?
SPS: First of all, you have to be able to talk honestly about sex with your partner. You have to talk about not only what turns you on in terms of positions, fantasies, fetishes, etc., but how you like them delivered. Do you like photos in magazines? Watching porn? Reading stories? What kind of stories? What kind of porn? Not just in the “dating and getting to know you” stage, but always. If you aren’t open about sex, then how can you set boundaries?
Roue: Second, we have some boundaries or rules regarding our erotic entertainment expectations. Some of these are just solid, healthy, relationship fundamentals, but they are helpful to apply to the consumption of adult materials.
* Do respect each others needs and fantasies. You and your partner don’t have to be turned on by all the same things. You don’t have to participate in all of your partner’s erotic fantasies. You don’t even have to like all the things your partner likes. But you have to respect their sexual fantasies as much as you do other mainstream hobbies, like bowling or scrapbooking.
* Don’t lie about what you use. Masturbation isn’t shameful, so don’t hide it and make it some dirty secret. If she asks about a credit card charge, admit to it. If he notices you’ve started buying S&M materials and asks about your new interest, discuss it.
* Do share what turns you on. When something in your erotic materials inspires you, feel free to share it in an inspiring, suggestive way. Saying something like, “I just read this hot scene and wondered if we might role play it sometime… Want me to read it to you?” just might arouse, even if you never get around to actually acting it out.
* Don’t compare your partner to what you use. No matter how innocent you think a “I wish you were more like” comment is, such comparisons are complaints that wound. Even comparing a guy to the hero in a romance novel can be a hurtful accusation.
* Don’t throw your extracurricular masturbation activities in your partner’s face. You shouldn’t hide your masturbation activities, but you needn’t brag about the multiple orgasms you had or how often you masturbated to a specific actress either. Nor should you be competitive about the number of times you masturbate or the intensity of your sex drive. Masturbation is a private thing, even when you are in a relationship. If you want that personal right to be respected, be respectful and keep it a personal thing. It’s like Gracie says, “Everybody poos, everybody screws,” you just don’t have to talk about every time you do it. On the flip side, just assume your partner is as “regular” and healthy in the masturbation department as they are with other bodily functions, and you won’t feel surprised about it.
* Don’t spend more than your budget allows. Ruining your finances is never a good idea. Financial problems will add a strain on your relationship, and, adult pastime or not, reckless spending that puts your household at risk can be a sign of an addiction.
SPS: Plus with phone sex, we have one more rule: Don’t discuss your relationship with the PSO.
He’s not to talk about our marriage during his calls, and I don’t ask or discuss his calls with my PSO friends. Keeping our relationship off-limits in fantasy land protects our marriage.
I have to ask, SPS, do you pay for phone sex?
SPS: No, I haven’t. But if I ever found a guy who could deliver the kind of fantasies I want, I just might.
Roue, would that be alright with you?
Roue: Absolutely. Respect is a two-way street.