I had no idea how much of my daily interactions with my wife were subtle negotiations for sex, but my wife sure did. She’d come to accept it as part of being married to a man.
It’s “Locktober” again, the month where men willingly lock their genitalia up in chastity devices in the hopes of making it “hands-free” for 31 days. Some do it for the kink, some for the challenge, and a great number do it as a way to be more present and engaged with their partners (called “keyholders”). Though I could never do a whole month, I did do it for two weeks, and what it taught me about my sexuality and how it can dominate my marriage was nothing short of revelatory.
First, some context. As an erotica writer, I wanted to understand the common theme of chastity to write more believable characters. My wife agreed to be my keyholder for two weeks and unlock me only if she desired it. I had a spare key to unlock for safety reasons and maintenance, but not for any other reason.
With these rules in place, our dynamic changed within three days. What had started as some fun denial play became something else entirely. Once my wife trusted that I really was “locked up” at her discretion, she felt free to interact with me without every action being viewed through my sexual needs, which we dubbed “the barter system”.
Simply put, I had no idea how much of my daily interactions with my wife were subtle negotiations for sex, but my wife sure did. She’d come to accept it as part of being married to a man. But now, if my hand lingered too long on a caress, my cage made the motivations painfully obvious. Call it cognitive behaviour therapy for my penis.
Beforehand, her being playful with me was viewed primarily as an invitation to sex. Now it could now exist on its own. My listening to her day wasn’t partially “putting in the time to earn sex,” because sex wasn’t an option. I was liberated to enjoy the act of listening.
Subsequently, she opened up physically and emotionally and I enjoyed being the emotional support a husband is supposed to be. Over time, my sexual needs became less singularly focused on the end goal of orgasm, and more focused on courtship and on her. Closeness, caresses and bonding took prominence over my desire to get off.
I still wanted sex, but I was free from the dishonest dealings of my libido. I wanted sex as an accompaniment to intimacy, not intimacy as post-coital add-on. This distinction was huge. When the sex did come, it was better both physically and emotionally for us both.
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There were other benefits, too. My locus of thought moved from “me” to “we”. She felt more entitled to her needs and filtered her words less.
I also learned the multiple roles masturbation played in my life and which ones weren’t helpful. It was healthy to use it as a release for sexual frustration during a week when there was just no time for sex, but it didn’t stop there. I used it when putting in the time to get my partner in the mood seemed like too much effort. In that sense it was lazy man’s sex that I benefited from, but denied my wife that intimacy, and treated sex like a chore.
When left without masturbation I sought other options. Intimacy with my wife (in a reciprocation-free environment for her) allowed her to ease into the enjoyment of it and allowed me to be a part of her pleasure without filtering it through my own. Needless to say, that was a lot of fun for us both.
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If I was stressed, my new avenue was one that had always been there: I talked to my wife about it. She had great insights but mostly she just listened. The stress went away, and unlike the short-term benefit masturbation provided, I got longer term benefits like companionship, trust, vulnerability and reassurance.
I emerged from my two weeks with my masculinity intact, but a deeper understanding of what it meant to be her man. And we emerged a happier couple.