Why I’m Fascinated

Standing in long lines on vacation must be one of the most frustrating things ever. As I’m watching my kids chase Pokemon, I endeavor to keep busy.

I promised myself I would reduce communication with Bennett and try and keep him much more at arms length to begin disentangling myself. I’m not doing a great job. I’m sure it’s easier for me to be on vacation with the kids than it is for him.   Still, with that in mind, I should stop looking forward to our daily engagement.  I notice as the days slip by that I do tend to communicate less, but not less enough.

Before I left, we had a few conversations to talk about how this relationship is not one I can invest in. When he said he was in love with me, I know it hurt him deeply that I could not return the words or the emotion. He even said so. I explained why.  I told him I wasn’t going to allow those emotions to happen. I tried, as gently as possible, to tell him there was no long term outlook for us even under the best circumstances. I told him he wasn’t the one for me.  He listened but didn’t hear me. His hope is too strong.

Conversely, he will deal with letting go when the time comes because hats just the type of person he is. Sort of resigned to the way of things.

I know, in his head, how badly he wants to be “the one”. How badly he wants a magic wand to change the situation. But he can’t. It is what it is.

Little things, perhaps independent of the situation, strike me. These are the things that make me wonder the depth of the man in front of me.

One thing was the discussion of performance anxiety and how he handled it. I’ve been through it twice. Once significantly with my x and once peripherally with my lover S.

My x took years before even considering to consult a doctor and by the time he did, I was well past my tolerance expiration. He had no libido so taking the pill wasn’t a given for him to be excited. He also said he got headaches from the viagra.  His solution was not to take the pills and see what happens. Nothing ever happened. He wasn’t interested and the very few times he might have been he couldn’t get erect.  The frustration built into anger.  Anger into fury. Then….it seemingly disappeared as I shut myself down emotionally and physically over the next 5 or so years.

The feelings surrounding ED got buried and I moved on. I engaged with many men who had masterful control of their sexual functions and I didn’t give it much more sincere thought.  Until Bennett.

The first time I wrote it off to nerves. And timing.  He didn’t want to have sex on the first date. I was fine with that.

The next time we were together he was able to stay erect for short sessions, he comes much too quickly which clearly shows a lack of practice.  But we had sex over a period of 2-3 hours at least 5 times. No complaints. There was no indication of performance anxiety.

The last time we were together, something set him off, got into his head, and he was unable to perform to completion, or even at all, during an entire evening and morning together. The sex was so unsatisfying  that it raised a whole host of emotions for me that I didn’t want to revisit.

So I said something.

Bennett had been under the impression (for himself) that oral sex is a good enough sex substitute. He has been cheating on his wife for over 10 years but had never had penetrative sex until me.

He’s all kinds of screwed up and that’s only a piece of what drives his sexual behaviors.

In any case, he had the discussion with me quite calmly and openly.  Admitted to performance anxiety and admitted its what partially drove his “oral sex only” behaviors. He also suggested that he never “really” cheated on his wife because he hadn’t  had penatrative sex.  That statement alone makes me sick to my stomach because my x used it on me for years and we know it not to be true. In his head, oral sex was a safer way to cheat to assuage his guilt.

I said I couldn’t consider any further sexual activity if he didn’t take care of the ED.  (I know, I know, I should be exiting, not encouraging…therein lies my problem).

The conversation ended on the note that he understood and didn’t want me reminiscing on any bad emotions left over from my marriage, especially as it relates to him.

Then, yesterday on the phone I asked…and was so surprised that he had not only made the doctor appt but had gotten Viagra!  And, he was happy about it.

I haven’t experienced such a willingness to have a conversation over something so delicate and get such immediate and positive results.

There was another situation that occurred, less impactful but still interesting to me.  We were on the phone and he was describing something to me. Being a story-teller, I tend to use a lot of descriptive words and analogies to ensure my audience gets the visual of what I’m   describing.  Bennett does his with some very familiar-to-him topics, but when it comes to anything emotional or sexual, his language falters.

For instance he might say “you know how I feel about that” or “and then it continued from there.”  So, no! I don’t know how you feel about that and I don’t know what or how it continued. Tell me! Describe that to me. Explain. Use your big boy words. I struggle with descriptive language with my teens at well. I like their sentences to be full and robust and very descriptive. It’s frustrating (a little) with Bennett when I know his command of the language and his story-telling capability are fully intact, in other areas.

On the phone this week he proceeded to try and describe his feelings towards me on a certain subject and he finished with “and you know what I mean.”  Before I could even get the words out “no! Tell me!” He said “I know, I know I do a terrible job describing these things to you and I have to do better. I want to, I like to, and you make me feel safe telling you anything. I know I need to do better.”

So he tried, and achieved, a much better version of the story the second time around.

Once again, he baffles me with his perception and ability to recognize what’s important to me versus all the fluff I throw at him.

Oh, Bennett. I can see how hard you try and want this to work. I can feel it to the tips of my fingers.  And there’s something in you I admire greatly that’s keeping me here.

But I’m only here a little while. I know I have to go. For both of us.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

14 thoughts on “Why I’m Fascinated”

  1. A few things, in defense of da fellas, if I may? Performance anxiety happens but we act like it’s not ever supposed to. ED happens and it’s the bane of the male existence and something we all fear. Some genius invented Viagra, which does nothing to boost libido – ya need testosterone for that – it just helps get wood and can restore confidence but popping a boner doesn’t always means one’s libido is at 100 percent, just like a woman’s hard nipples doesn’t mean she’s in need of a good boning.

    Women expect us to be able to perform and to exceed expectations and we will make ourselves insane trying to live up to this, even though we know that there could be things going on in our minds and bodies that can make us fall short and it doesn’t make that situation any bette when this happens and the woman assumes that he’s not excited by her.

    So your ex didn’t want to take that little blue pill; not too surprising because our egos have been shocked badly and we think, “I don’t need no damn pill!” – not getting hard is the ultimate shame for us and we’re not always smart about it. Bennett has an episode… and you have a flashback to a similar moment and because of that you wanna dump him? I can only hope that there other mitigating circumstances for wanting to be rid of him because to show him the way out because of a sexual dysfunction – which didn’t seem to be the case in round two – just sucks.

    Do you think you’d feel good about being dumped because you couldn’t perform to someone else’s expectations? If you were having performance anxiety, wouldn’t you expect your partner to understand and maybe get a little bitchy if he refused to understand that things like this happen… And even more so if there were some genuine feelings in play other than lust?

    Jeez, Madeline…


    1. There’s a lot more to this story kdaddy. It’s not the performance anxiety that’s the real issue here, as I understand it, and Madeline didn’t mention all the other stuff in this post.


      1. Yes Tara is right but I did address the ED in a direct comment.

        Sorry if that’s disappointing, but I believe I have a clear enough understanding and experience with ED To make informed decisions for me.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Let’s see if I can break this down better.

      I spent two years through severe sexual dysfunction and fully understand all the implications and I know my way around the emotions involved for both man and woman. I spent time in therapy over ED for gods sake. I would never make light of it for any reason. It was not only traumatic for my X, but severely so for me as he blamed me for it in the beginning.

      So finally KDaddy, having a flashback did freak the fuck out of me because it was a horrible thing to live through if it’s the man or the woman. Being supportive is one thing, but because my X had a myriad of other issues, supportive was not enough to help his problems.

      So I freaked out. Yep.

      And then I told Bennett why I freaked out because he wanted to understand my reaction. That’s when he admitted he had ED and performance anxiety but not a lack of libido.

      I think I’m pretty well versed in the sexual dysfunction arena unfortunately. And would that be enough to drop a guy? Yes. Yes it would. Maybe not after the second or third try, of course, but if it continued, yes I would. Because I am NOT willing to work through it again.

      UNLESS I find the man who rocks my world so completely in other ways that I am in it for the long haul.

      But Bennett is not that guy.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. M – I get the fascination, but …. why in the world are you talking to him about SEX? And he got Viagra?! He’s still working hard to be your “one” like he hasn’t heard a word you said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to, Tara. It would have been unfair not to at the moment.

      And he was quite gracious.

      Yes I was very surprised at his decision but he must have been quite aware of it himself to be so practical about it, don’t you think?

      He can’t be the one but I can’t seem to sever ties. This isn’t ideal

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If nothing else, he recognized his own need for it and/or how it would impact his future dating situations, and made the effort to attend to it. I was just hoping it wasn’t just for you, for his sake.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes, a situation gets into a deeper part of your bloodstream and trying to strategize through analysis doesn’t really change anything. If anything, analysis can be misleading, and/or can get one to rationalize. I don’t know how much more there is to be “understood” of the situation. Analysis has helped you understand the risks of going forward, so you know what is at stake. But, there is no “reason” anymore why you stay engaged. You don’t need a reason. Its likely you stay engaged because it feels viscerally good. You will disengage when it feels more viscerally bad than viscerally good, because this guy adores you and makes you feel great, wanted, special, cherished, even if its at the expense of something else. It will take something bad happening for you to change your behavior. I am not singling you out; if we are to be honest with ourselves, its feedback on that visceral level that gets us to change and adapt.

    Liked by 2 people

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