Ep #93: Q&A: Partner Requests

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast | Q&A: Partner Requests

I’m so excited to bring you the first of a series of Q&A episodes this week, Diamonds, and this is something we’ll be continuing every couple of months. I’ll be leading Q&A sessions specifically dedicated to certain topics, and this week, I’m kicking off with partner requests. We don’t always know what’s in our partner’s heads or hearts, but when they come forward and vocalize their requests, we can sometimes be caught off guard.

You don’t have to look to someone else to tell you how things should be in your relationship, you get to decide what it looks like for you. So this week, I’m answering some questions I’ve received around partner requests and helping you navigate what feels good for you in your relationships.

Join me for this Q&A episode as I’m breaking down consent, boundaries, and communication in relationships. Find out what to do if your partner changes sexual orientation, what to do if your partner has health concerns that prevent them from engaging in sexual intimacy, some questions to ask yourself if you or your partner are contemplating opening up your relationship, plus much more.

Are you ready to stop feeling shame and guilt around your sexuality and start tapping into more pleasure? Do you want to reignite the passion that’s missing from your life? I’m here for you, Diamonds! Click here to set up a 100% safe, non-judgmental strategy call together, and let’s discuss how we can work together and how I can help you. I can’t wait to talk to you!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • Why just because your partner suggests something doesn’t mean you have to do it.
  • How to navigate your partner’s requests when you are unsure about what to do.
  • What a female-led relationship is and how to consider if it is something you want.
  • Some aspects that will lead to an ever-increasing lack of intimacy and issues in your relationship.
  • Why you should never consent to something without fully understanding what it entails.
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 93.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello Diamonds. How are you all doing? I am so excited to talk to you today. And I can’t believe we are on episode 93 of the podcast. It just seems like yesterday that I started. Let me just tell you, it is the end of an era right now. I am celebrating Julian graduating from Stamford University, he just graduated this weekend. My voice is a little off from yelling so much. I was so excited. It was so fabulous to witness.

And he was able to accomplish in the course of four and a half years, he got his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree in biology with honors and he actually got a special award for his research thesis. I’m really blown away by how much this kid has done, pretty amazing kid. So, he has completely done with college and setting out into the world. And as the mother of a naturalist there are certain things you have to contend with. You must somehow come to the place of peace around your child’s life choices.

His first stop after graduation is to do a six week research project which involves car camping in remote locations of Arizona, the Arizona desert with little or no connection to the outside world. He’s going to be surveying different sites for bird species. So that makes me really happy. Let’s get his next pitstop. So, the next thing he’s going to do after that is he’s going to go to Ecuador where he plans to study boa constrictors. He didn’t mention that. He said he was going to Ecuador with his friends for a couple of weeks. He did not mention the boa constrictors until last night.

Forgot to mention that he was going to be studying snakes. So, then he finally mentions he’s going to be studying snakes. And then he’s like, “But don’t worry, mom, it’s not the big ones.” I’m like, “It’s not the big ones, you’re going to Ecuador to study boa constrictors but I’m not going to worry at all because it’s not the biggest ones that are out there. Thank you very much.” Finally, he plans to go to New Zealand and work on an organic farm for three to six months. That is what I’m most excited about.

There’s no deserts with lack of connection or communication. There’s no boa constrictors. There’s just a nice organic farm. How bad could that be. But the back of my mind is saying, he’s probably going to do some research on poisonous frogs while he’s out there I bet. You know the type where if you touch their skin you die instantaneously. He’s really good at not telling me all the things that he’s going to be doing until the last minute. And for the most part I tell him to live his life, live his best life, I’m like, “Go for it.”

And then there are times where I just live in denial where I’m like, “Mom does not need to know.” Yes, I know, a life coach that likes to live in denial. But one thing I do know is that we can’t live in denial when it comes to our partner’s requests. And I’ve been getting a lot of messages and emails, a lot of questions about partners’ requests. And I wanted to spend time answering these questions today. And please know that if you have any questions you can always send them to me at podcast@soniawrightmd.com.

And that’s podcast@soniawrightmd, S-O-N-I-A-W-R-I-G-H-T-M-D.com. Feel free to send questions there. And then I’m going to answer them on our next Q&A session. We’ll do Q&A sessions periodically. Okay, let’s get started with these questions regarding partners’ requests.

Number one. My partner’s dealing with a serious cardiac condition and may not be able to engage in sex any longer. He suggested that I enter into a non-monogamous relationship in order to get my sexual and intimacy needs met. But I’m not sure about this. So, this is a really good question. Thank you so much for sharing this question, I appreciate it. The first thing and this goes for all of the questions, and actually going to hear me reiterating.

But the first thing is always consent. Just because your partners suggest something does not necessarily mean that you have to do it. And you would be amazed at the number of women that think that they have to do it, somehow they have to say yes no matter what the request is. You don’t have to. So, this is where we start looking at consent. And we start asking ourselves. And I love consent in terms of it’s a yes if it’s a hell yes. If it’s anything else, it’s a no. But you can work on it. You can look at it.

It might be no, not now, I need more information. It could be, maybe, I need more information, I want to know what’s going on. It could be a no, not now but we can continue to have discussions intimately. It could be a no and it could be a no, never, ever, ever. So, there’s so many different flavors of no. And you get to say all of them and it’s okay if it’s a no or it’s a maybe. But what we consider a yes is a hell yes, just a definitive yes. So, if it’s the case that your partner has got some health conditions and will not be able to engage in sexual intimacy, well, there’s certain things to look at.

The first thing is, is this something that you’re interested in? That would be the first thing. The second thing that comes to my mind is there’s different ideas and concepts about sex and sexual intimacy. So often our concept about sexual intimacy is just penetrative sex, penis and vagina sex. And if somebody’s thinking, I’ll never be able to have penis and vagina sex again you need to go find somebody else to do this with. Well, let’s just look over all the factors. There’s different ways that you can engage in sexual intimacy. You get to redefine sexual intimacy.

And you get to have a lot of fun doing it. So, it’s not where you have to make the decision at this point in time. First of all, I would explore different actions, different ways of having sexual intimacy. If it’s a case that it’s a hell yes and you want to go do it, go ahead and do it. But I still think for your relationship, there is plenty of room for sexual intimacy, even if there may not be penetration. And I understand with a cardiac condition, maybe there can’t be a lot of exercise, and movement, and things like that.

But so much of sexual intimacy is about touch, and connection, tenderness, satisfaction, pleasure, and a lot of that can be accomplished without doing a marathon essentially. So, I would challenge you to kind of look and redefine what sexual intimacy is because you’re choosing to stay in this relationship for a reason. You love this person. So even if you decide to go outside of the relationship and explore it, that’s one thing. But then still, it’s not an either or, it doesn’t mean there can’t be intimacy within the relationship.

Okay, so once you’ve decided, yes, you would like to open up the relationship, then the question becomes, how do you want to open up the relationship? Do you want to open it up where it’s just like every once in a while? It’s like a friends with benefit thing, or somebody that you meet, or a couple that you meet or whatever? Or is this something that you want to open up your heart for a romantic relationship? These are the next type of questions to consider.

It’s going to be important that you and your partner talk about these things, and have really a sense of what boundaries you want to set from the beginning. Recognizing that communication is going to be very important and that these boundaries are going to change over a period of time. And of course, like I always say, make sure that your primary relationship is on a solid footing. If there’s anything that needs to be resolved, resolve that first before you start opening up your relationships. Okay, so that is one question.

Here’s another question that I find interesting. My partner is requesting that we enter into a female dominated relationship. I’m not sure what that is and what I want to do about this. Okay, so first of all, consent, you’re going to hear me say this again, and again, and again. Consent becomes something that you get to discuss. If you’re not sure what this is, do not say yes. And I might say that a female led or a female dominated relationship could have many different definitions for each person that’s involved.

So, it becomes important that you specifically, I mean you can look on Google and see what a female led relationship looks like. But having a definition is not specifically like a blanket thing for your relationship. So, you need to talk to your partner specifically to get an idea of what this looks like. So, the first thing is consent. Are you interested in doing this? You can just be in the stage where you’re gathering information. That is completely okay to just sit and gather information and find out more about this. Is this something that you might want? How will this affect raising kids?

How will this affect your relationship overall? What does this look like on a daily basis? Is this sexual in nature? Is this a power exchange? What exactly is a female led relationship? It’s something different for each person involved and each couple. So, it is something to really sit down and talk about. And you might answer those questions and get a sense, is this what you’re looking for? Is this how you’d like to be in this relationship?

And then ask yourself, once you’ve gotten more information from your partner, ask yourself, is this what you’re interested in doing? Could it be something that you’re interested in doing? If it’s not a hell yes but you want to consider it then there’s different steps that you can take. What are the steps that you could take to try it out to see if this is something that you might be interested in? Without specifically committing. Now, consent is something that can always be withdrawn.

So, if you’re giving consent for a reason and then you find out you don’t like a specific situation, you can always withdraw consent. You can always say, “I thought it was going to be like this, I thought I would be interested. I’m finding that this is not working for me.” And also, there’s certain parameters that you can set. If it is a female led relationship where they would like you to dominate them in the bedroom or do some physical contact that you may not want to do, that could be farmed out to somebody else or it might be something that you just don’t have in the contract.

So, there’s different ways to come at this and to really look into this. But if you decide this is something that you’re interested in, communication, discussions, parameters, figuring out if this is something that you want to do and how it might look for you. And recognizing you don’t have to follow anybody else’s set rules. There’s a lot of organizations out there. You can look and find information on Facebook and things like that, and find different groups. And just research and find as much information as you can.

And then figure out how that would look in your relationship. And spend a lot of time communicating and talking this through. That was the second question.

My partner has come out as gay, when we married their orientation was heterosexual but now their orientation is now they believe that they are lesbian. But they also want to stay in the relationship and figure out how to incorporate other sexual partners and other separate relationships. And I’m not certain what to do about this. I had signed up to marry a heterosexual and to stay in a relationship with a heterosexual. And now things have changed, what is it that I do at this point in time? This is a really good question.

This is a good question I’ve actually gotten several times. It’s not something that is just a one off that I’m not going to get again. I’ve definitely done a lot of coaching with people where they’ve been in a relationship for 10/20 years and then one of the partner comes out as homosexual, or comes out as poly, or it shifts the dynamics in some way of the relationship. And people are at this crossroads where they’re like, “Do I leave the relationship? Do I try and figure out how to keep the relationship? What is the answer? What is it that has to happen?”

And honestly, I’ve gone through this myself. So, on a personal note I have actually gone through this situation myself. So, this being the case, what I have found from all this work, personal and coaching is that first decide, do you want to continue to investigate? Are you willing to look at the relationship and see if this is something worth saving? Now, there’s no one way to do this. And you’ll find that I say this quite a lot, there’s no one way. And you don’t have to look to somebody else to tell you how things have to be in your relationship.

You get to create the relationship that works for you. So, if your partner has kind of switched orientations or has come out and they were not able to express their sexual orientation in the past. And now they feel more comfortable expressing their sexual orientation, but you would like to stay in the relationship because you’re very loving and caring towards each other. Then know that that is a possibility. Also know there’s not tons of information out there but there are different organizations, different Facebook groups and things like that that are out there.

The important thing is as it seems to be is the communication, making sure that that communication remains there, making sure, asking yourself what it is that you want. Do you want to be in this relationship? If you do, how do you want to be in this relationship? Is it such that both of you would have additional lovers? Or would it be such that now sexual orientation and doing something about the sexual orientation are two different things.

So, you get to decide if this is, what exactly, are you going to have external or other lovers? What exactly do you want to do in this situation? So once again it’s communication, it’s opening up, you get to decide that this is okay either way. If you want to let the relationship go, or if you want to keep the relationship. There’s no one way this has to work. And don’t listen to anybody that has something to say to you. Figure it out for yourself. What do you want? What does your heart say?

And also know that you can choose to stay in the relationship, see how this is going to work out and then you can always make another choice later on if this is not the right choice for you. So once again, it is definitely about communication. I have seen it work where people have been in relationships where they have different sexual orientations or different relationship structures. And that there’s different ways to do this. So, it’s not necessarily that it cannot work. There will be definitely a period of adjustment.

There will be kind of like a grieving process for what has been in the past and how things are in the future, and how they may end up being in the future. So, kind of be prepared for that grieving process because there is a loss. There is a loss of hopes and dreams that you’ve had in the past. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be the end of the relationship, but you all get to decide that for yourself.

Alright, this is a variation on the theme. My partner would like to engage in BDSM and would like me to be more dominant, or would want me to take a more submissive role. So, it could either be a dominant role that the partner’s requesting or it could be more of a submissive role that the partner is requesting that you take on. First and foremost, is this something that you’re interested in? If you do not have an interest in being submissive then this may not be for you and it’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to continue to have a discussion.

But if it’s something that you’re considering and it might be something that you’re interested in, then there are a lot of good resources out there. And I’ll put some of the resources in the show notes in terms of books to read to investigate more. And then it’s really all about negotiating. And all of these things are about negotiating. What exactly is BDSM? What exactly is the kink? What exactly does this involve? And as I’ve mentioned before, being safe, and sane, and consensual, those are important aspects of this definitely.

So, you get to have discussions about how to stay safe with this, what you’re interested in, what your limitations are. These are the things that are important to have a conversation about. So, I’m doing this whole series because I think that it’s important for us to be able to have a conversation. So often people are like, “No, never, that would never happen.” We don’t know exactly what’s in our partners’ hearts. But if there’s a concern or maybe a question or whatever, I mean maybe you two can listen to this podcast together and then start the discussion from here.

I’m kind of thinking of this series as kind of like a launchpad, something for further discussion. So, it’s not necessarily saying yes or no. But it is saying that a lot of people have had these conversations before. And you get to have a conversation, you get to talk about it. You get to say what you’re comfortable with. You get to say what your limits are. You get to make sure definitely that it’s safe, sane, consensual, that type of thing. But you get to have a conversation about these things.

Okay, and then the last one is, my partner wants to engage in sex multiple times a day and honestly, pitches a fit or sulks for days if I do not say yes. And so, I do it just to keep the peace in the house but I’m not really enjoying it. I’m not enjoying the sex, it’s just going through the motions. And I’m at this place where I’m not really even interested in pleasure anymore. I just want to get it done so I can go to sleep. Okay, let’s get real with this one. I am kind of interested in what is on the other side of no, what is on the other side of these tantrums and sulking and things like that?

Because we often don’t allow our partners to sulk and have a tantrum. So often we feel like we need to fix the problem. So, let’s just have that five minute sex that nobody really likes but it fixes the problem. But this is a problem and it’s more than just a problem. It’s definitely a problem because you’re not enjoying sex. You’re probably not having the intimacy that you want with your partner. There’s probably resentment that’s building up in a lot of ways. You’re probably feeling used in some way or another so there’s a lot that’s going on here on your side.

And then on the other side, what exactly is going on with your partner that they are trying to engage in sex multiple times a day? What does sex represent for them? This is the important question because is it just something where they need to get off? Is it something where it’s the only way that they feel that they can have intimacy and a connection with somebody? Does it mean, are they defining it as that, is that how they define themself as a man or as a partner? What exactly does sex mean for them?

Does it mean love and affection? Very often when I see this, it’s this couple dynamic where the one partner is very much into touch and it’s very often with men but not necessarily always. But there’s a need for touch and the only way that they feel that they can get touch is through sex. But it also could be because the other partner is getting solicited so much and touched so much, they don’t want to be touched at all. And the only time that they will allow touch is actually when they’re engaging in sex. So, there’s a lot that’s going on here.

But the hope and the chance of a better relationship is on the other side of the sulking and the tantrum. Because when the sulking and the tantrum happens, and then you acquiesce and you give in, and you have sex that you don’t really like, your partner has learned a dynamic that works for them essentially. Just like if the toddler in the grocery store wants that candy and they throw a fit on the ground and you pick them up and you hand them the candy, they’re going to throw the fit again.

The question becomes, are you able to tolerate the sulking or the pitching a fit and say, “Hey, I want to get to the other side so that we can actually have sexual intimacy that’s meaning for both of us as opposed to just going through the motions like this just because I want to get it over with.” And also bring up the fact that this is leading to a lot of resentment if you’re feeling resentment or whatever is the emotion that you’re feeling. And yeah, get real and have the conversation. You have the right to say yes or no.

This comes down to consent as well. So, this is something that’s very important. But if there’s a way to get beyond the sulking and the tantrums then there’s a hope for real connection and intimacy if there can be a discussion. Now, when you have people where one person would like sex quite a bit and the other person does not want sex as much then it becomes an issue of mismatched libido. And there’s no person that is the wrong person.

There’s no libido that’s better than another even though society has a tendency to think that the woman is the person that needs to change or fix things. It’s not actually the case. It’s just the case that the person with the higher libido is responsible for their own pleasure. It’s not their partner’s responsibility. And so, when they yell and scream, they’re trying to force another individual to meet their needs. You’re never going to get your needs met if you’re asking for another individual to meet that. The person with the higher libido is just losing their empowerment.

And so, it becomes a process where some of your needs will be met with your partner, some of your needs will be met by yourself, some of your needs might be met by other choices that you both decide if that’s something that you want to do. But to sit there and just acquiesce and just lie there in order to not deal with the sulking and the fit, this is actually what’s going to lead to an ever increasing lack of intimacy and problems in the relationship.

Okay, Diamonds, so that is a quick rundown of some of the most common questions that I get around partner requests. So, we’re going to continue this conversation every couple of months with different Q&As. So, if you have specific questions, go ahead and send them in. You can see the link in the notes and we’ll be able to answer those questions over the course of the next couple of months. Alright, Dr. Sonia out and I’ll see you all next week. Take care.

Hey Diamonds, do you want to reignite the passion that’s gone missing from your life? Do you want to want to want it again? You know I’m on a mission to end the emotional pain and isolation that women experience associated with sexual difficulties. And many of you also know that I was once in that place where I was experiencing little to no sexual intimacy in my life. And I kept thinking that there was something that was wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t attractive enough. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough to fix this problem.

And I was worried all the time that my relationship was too far gone because of this lack of intimacy. Well, you know what? I was right about one thing. The relationship didn’t last. But even though the relationship didn’t last I committed to doing the work that I needed to do to own my sexuality. And now I have this amazing sex life and it’s everything that I wanted it to be. And I’m also committed to helping my Diamonds by teaching them the same strategies that I figured out in order to revitalize the intimacy in their life.

So, if you want to stop feeling broken, if you want to stop feeling shame and guilt about sexuality, if you want to feel more comfortable with your sexuality and tap into that pleasure then I’m here for you Diamonds. First of all, know that there’s nothing that’s gone wrong with you. You’re not broken. And you know what? You can solve your intimacy issues. You can let go of that shame and guilt, and you can tap into that passionate person that’s just waiting to come out.

Let’s get on a strategy call together. And let’s discuss how we can work together and how I can help you. And know that a strategy call, it’s like a 100% a safe place, there’s no judgment. We’ll talk about your intimacy situation which is what’s going on right now. We’re also going to talk about your intimacy goals, what you would like your intimacy to look like in the future. And then we’ll talk about how we could possibly work together to come up with a personalized strategy plan for you so you can get the results that you need.

So, Diamonds, I’m here for you. Don’t wait another minute, book that consultation call with me today. And I can’t wait to talk to you. You can get that consultation call by going to soniawrightmd.as.me and the link is also in the show notes. Okay, have a great day. I can’t wait to talk to you. Take care.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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