Advice for Miles

Reader Miles wrote in:

Hey Thumper,

I have been following your blog off and on, and lurking on the chastity forum for q little more than 2 years. It was almost exactly 2 years ago that my wife and I had our first conversation about chastity. She immediately thought it was hot,  and had me locked up as soon as my first device arrived. I bought her a book that I think was called “Locked Up Love,” which she read in one evening and then we had a lot of fun for most of the next 5 months, building to lockups of 2 weeks.

We have faced some obstacles. Aside from always kinking on bondage and being turned on by the idea of having my cock locked up, this was meant to be a way to keep me interested when my wife goes through longish periods of low libido related to feeling tired, anxiety, and stress. I didn’t want to have a sex life without her, so I wanted to be locked up when she wasn’t interested . All along, I have been jealous of other guys whose wives like playing with their husband while he is locked, so I really would love to be denied longterm, but my wife really only gets off with PIV and is only rarely interested in receiving oral or our vibrator.

As time went on, her interest in all things physically intimate have faded, and as of a few months ago, I felt like I was really struggling with feelings of inadequacy, worrying that she was falling out of love, and that she didn’t value the intimacy in our relationship that I so badly needed.

At that time, I began entertaining myself by reading Craigslist personals and fantasizing about meeting someone who would play with me while I was locked up to keep me from feeling so depressed and unwanted. Cheap, I know. I am a terrible husband.

At the beginning of last month, I encountered a personal for a guy in my neighborhood who likes to play with bondage and a ton of other kinks with men and women. I met him twice, played, and enjoyed the sessions way too much. He did things to me that I never would have known that I wanted. I was overcome with guilt and ended the second session early crying and feeling completely awful about everything.

I channeled that guilt into communicating with my wife and trying to improve things. For a couple of weeks she stepped things up, and I felt so good that I was certain that I wouldn’t be seeing him again. But now we have slipped back into our sexless new normal and I can’t stop thinking about returning to my new playmate. I emailed him yesterday, and am looking at meeting him Thursday.

Your perspective would be much appreciated. I feel terrible leading a double life and violating my wife’s trust, but I also feel like a bad person when I resent her decreased libido and neglect. What should I do?

There are times when I listen or read Dan Savage and I think, hey, this sex advice thing isn’t so hard. Then there are times when he gets a call or letter like this one and I just go…gah.

Your message speaks to me. The order of operations is mixed up, but I was where you are. With the guilty crying and everything.

First things first. I do not consider you a bad person. You have needs. Basic, simple needs. Your wife may not (or may not consistently), but I really understand how your craving the kind of human contact you’re finding with this other guy would drive you to him. I do not fault you for needing that and, no matter what, I don’t think anyone should shame you into thinking you’re bad. Not even yourself.

That said, the only way to resolve this is to lay it out for your wife. You’ll either continue to feel like shit for going outside your marriage without permission or become numb to it — neither of which are good outcomes. Whatever the solution is, she needs to be part of it. I assume you have not yet told her about the Criagslist guy. But I think you should. As hard as that may be for you. She may not know how far you’ve gone to get what you aren’t getting at home but she needs to. She deserves to. You will not resolve this issue until it’s out there for both of you.

You say she’s tired, stressed and anxious. Is it stuff around the house? Kids? Her job? What are the proactive things you can do to help alleviate her issues? How can you lift those worries from her?

You say Craigslist guy did things you never knew you wanted. So now that you’ve had them, is there any chance you can get them from your wife? Even if her libido was back? If not, that’s something else that needs to be addressed. Either you will live without them or she’ll help you indulge those needs or she’ll give you permission to seek them elsewhere. It’s hard, though not impossible, to repack those crates once they’ve been unpacked.

Ultimately, I think you need to get into counseling, but I’d make sure to find one that’s kink or sex-positive in your area (Google can be your friend). I’m posting this as opposed to replying directly to your email in hopes some of the smarter people reading my blog can weigh in. I’ve found recently there are some not-so-smart or sex-positive readers, too, but I’ll bat them away as necessary.

As I said, your message really spoke to me. I feel you. I hope some of this helps.

13 Replies to “Advice for Miles”

  1. Try getting her hormone levels checked. This happened to my wife and they found her testosterone level had dropped to near zero. She was given a hormone replacement cream that’d has brought her libido up to a much more normal level.

    It’s not uncommon, but you will have to fight the doctors to get it, most don’t know that this therapy is ok for a woman.

  2. My situation is not very different from yours, Miles. My wife has had almost no interest in sex for years now. I have a long interest in enforced chastity and decided to approach her about locking me up. She wasn’t enthusiastic but agreed to make me happy. I also started a blog (Thumper, not here to promote it!). My wife agreed to post along with me. I didn’t start the blog to help my relationship, just to try to provide an honest perspective on enforced chastity.

    However, it turned out that our posts provided insights that have turned my sex life around. She is still uninterested in sex for herself, but now understands my needs and is consistently providing me with the attention I need.

    The key is communication. My choice isn’t for everyone. However, even if you agree to exchange daily emails about your needs and thoughts and she does the same, you may be surprised at the results.

    In terms of discovering that you like some of the things the Craig’s List male did to/with you, represents your sexual vocabulary expanding. You have a couple of choices: discuss (or write) about your needs with your wife. See what she says. If your interest is in the activity and not the fact that your partner is a male, maybe she can give you what you want. If it is the fact that you want to relate to another man, that can change things.

    Neither my wife nor I are interested in opening up our relationship. But if you find you need that male companionship, you have to discuss this with her. Let’s face it, one sure way to screw up a marriage is to go behind your wife’s back for needed release.

    It may come down to deciding what is most important to you. If you can work out a way to get a good level of satisfaction from your wife without going outside the marriage, then all you have to do is communicate every day about how things are going. Get her to let you know how she feels about what she is doing.

    All I can say is that over the last 11 months our lives have changed radically. If you open up, you may be pleasantly surprised.

    One last thing: Thumper, your reply seemed to focus more on the fact that Miles went to another man. I can understand your sensitivity there. I don’t think that is the issue at all. It may turn out that male/male sexual contact is important to Miles too, but right now I think the issue is about communication, negotiation, and compromise.

    1. I also started a blog (Thumper, not here to promote it!).

      Link away, I don’t mind.

      One last thing: Thumper, your reply seemed to focus more on the fact that Miles went to another man. I can understand your sensitivity there. I don’t think that is the issue at all. It may turn out that male/male sexual contact is important to Miles too, but right now I think the issue is about communication, negotiation, and compromise.

      I don’t disagree with your conclusion, but I fail to see where I was sensitive about the fact that it was a man he was seeing on the side. I made no special comment about it other than to say what that person was doing was something Miles was getting off on, not who was doing it necessarily. It’s the what that he needs to figure out how to deal with more than anything as he progresses through this with his wife if the what is something she’s unable to perform, either for biological reasons or otherwise (which, by the way, was not my assumption — based on his comment, I assumed it was the bondage and “other stuff”).

  3. To Miles:

    . . . this was meant to be a way to keep me interested when my wife goes through longish periods of low libido related to feeling tired, anxiety, and stress.

    I’ve read through this letter three times and I keep coming back to this.^

    If the reason for you being locked up is to keep you interested… What’s in it for her, exactly? Because if she’s suffering from lowered libido, she needs something (someone?) to keep her interested too. And was this the reason that was cited before the lock-up agreement began? If it was, then a “let’s review our goals” conversation should be had easily enough. If it was your internal reasoning, however… That’s a huge knot to untie.

    I point this out only because it’s sometimes best to begin at the beginning. And if the beginning was paved on uneven stones, the entire road needs to be reconstructed.

    As for seeking what you need elsewhere… I absolutely agree with Thumper’s response on that point. I’m assuming, based on your letter, that you are in a monogamous (or presumed monogamous) relationship. That’s not where I’m at, but I’ve seen the devastation wrought by cheating. I hope you can find the courage, and soon, to tell her the truth. It’s the only way you’ll ever truly get resolution.

    I wish you the best.

    1. Like I said…

      I’m posting this as opposed to replying directly to your email in hopes some of the smarter people reading my blog can weigh in.

      And there she is!

  4. To Thumper:

    “Advice” is such a sticky wicket. For what it’s worth, I think your answer to Miles was well-thought-out and compassionate.

    One thing that resonated with me – HUGE – is the idea that some crates, once unpacked, are difficult to repack.

    I had a conversation with a friend about this recently about the old addage, “Ignorance is bliss.” In some ways, it truly is. There are things – amazing things, beautiful things, sexually fulfilling things – that, once discovered, can never again be unknown. And once you’ve (I’ve) had a taste of something you (I) never knew you were craving… The appetite that’s created will always hunger for more. And if that’s something you can’t get ‘at home’ (so to speak), it can make for some damned difficult decisions.

  5. One thing that seems to drive an interest in chastity is using it as a way to keep a sexual focus in a relationship where the partners have widely different levels of desire. If you start with chastity as a way to require your partner’s attention to your needs, you will hit this snag. Now the partner with less drive can “set it and forget it”, thinking that’s all that is needed. Check out some of the early posts here-Thumper had plenty of bad times as Belle worked out her new role in their relationship.
    If your wife has decided to ignore your desire for sexual closeness, even within the bounds of her low libido, that is a whole other conversation. After all, the enforcement part of chastity is a big part of the fun, right? It’s a head game. The contraptions are symbols as much as anything.

  6. Epilogue?
    What a wild time capsule this is. I read and re-read Thumper’s post nearly 10 years ago, along with all the replies. All that was written here in this thread was compassionate, true, and deeply confusing and painful for me. I believe I searched this post out again at least once or twice, and always felt a sting as I read it, and did not have the heart to reply.
    Part of me wanted to defensively point out that I was doing so much to reduce stress in our relationship, and that I sincerely believed I was at the limits of what was possible. Part of me wanted to cry out that the dishonesty and violation, and disrespect to my wife did cause me deep pain and self-hatred, but that I knew coming clean would definitely tear us apart. Additionally, suggestions that I seek her understanding and negotiate arrangements for extra-marital play of this kind left me feeling so depressed as I considered that given a stronger relationship, this would be the ideal solution, but I knew in my heart that we were nowhere near ready to have that conversation, especially after approximately 18 months of marriage.
    I thought of this post this past week, and felt like it might be high time that I finally reply to the heartfelt and helpful post that Thumper created. I have a few updates and a resolution to share:
    -I did have one more meeting with that Craigslist guy, that was also cut short by my guilt and shame at betraying my wife. I never returned to him.
    -I had one-off meetings with two other dominant men I found on Craigslist that ended similarly, and then I recognized that the self-loathing was increased more than decreased despite the momentary dopamine-fueled break that my infidelity provided.
    -I bounced between a couple of individual therapists to deal with my depression and anger issues, but it was in 2021 that I connected with a therapist that built enough trust in me over the course of our work together that I talked with her about this. She was kink- and sex-positive, but challenged me with the same advice that Thumper and his readers shared. I needed to tell her… But I didn’t have the courage.
    -My therapist helped me to accept myself- kinky, bi, and problematically secretive as I was. Also, I finally began taking the antidepressants that I had always needed but had been to proud to try.
    -Over 2.5 years I made good progress in therapy, including working through some difficult issues around myself and my relationship with my wife. As I exited therapy, I had met nearly all the goals I had for myself, and I could feel the benefits in myself and my relationship with my wife- I was beginning to understand things about her that I had always misunderstood.
    To be continued…

  7. Through ups and downs, failed therapy sessions and continued efforts to build the relationship we wanted, my wife and I made the slow progress brought about by self-reflection and discovery, and ultimately vulnerability and curiosity. Trust grew back where it had been before or had never been.
    Fast forward to the last 6 months. Where we least expected it, my wife developed a deep and warm emotional intimacy with another man, but had the courage to talk with me about it at every step. We were able to talk about the benefits and threats to our relationship that opening up our marriage to allow for this relationship between them to be explored.
    Ultimately we realized that her “bucket” for emotional intimacy was bigger and more complex than I could (or should) single-handedly fill. We agreed that she should be able to pursue whatever comfort and joy she chooses with him, provided that we remain primary partners no matter what and we stay honest with each other.
    With this openness being understood and accepted by the man my wife has connected with, our own emotional and physical intimacy has reached new highs. Our sex life has been the best of all time. We have been getting along better than ever. And a couple of weeks ago my wife told me that for the first year in our 13-year relationship, my wife finally feels fully liked by me. I think I feel the same way.

  8. 9 days ago, near the end of a wonderful kid-free date night, as my wife stood up from the table hit the restroom and check in with her guy via text, I told her I had something I wanted to tell her when she came back. I had somewhat impulsively decided that this was the night I would come clean. I didn’t have a plan for the conversation, and I didn’t anticipate what she would say, but I felt like for the first time I believed I could tell the truth without losing her. One of my reflections on the decision is that when I felt like I was a shitty husband for countless reasons for so many years, I believed that sharing the truth would destroy what we had, but wouldn’t bring me much closer to feeling ok, because I felt so far from ok about our relationship and my role. Now I felt like our relationship had grown to just about where I wanted it to be. The last thing remaining was this albatross – my infidelity and nearly a decade of deception.
    As I told her the truth, her jaw dropped. She was indeed shocked. She wanted to go home. She was glad I was telling the truth, but she was badly hurt- hurt that I had violated my vow to her, that at a time in our marriage when she had struggled in a parallel way that I had resented her and treated her like my problems were hers to solve, and finally that my extended secrecy had forced her to live in a relationship with a terrible secret for all these years – a secret I had never let her in on.
    Over the next few days she was incredible. At times she was very angry or very sad or both. But at other times she was understanding, loving, and curious. She wanted to know why I had really done, why I had kept it from her and what this meant for my current feelings towards her and what she could expect from me. I’m summary I replied with this:
    – I had cheated because I had the misapprehension that my feeling bad about myself could be improved by feeling sexual desire and gratification, and when I felt like I could not fill that bucket inside our marriage that I went to get it filled elsewhere.
    -I had cheated because my long-standing sexuality had been kept boxed up and I felt the temptation to see how it felt to play with all my kinks, and to do so with a man.
    -I explained that I had kept the secret out of fear that she would leave me forever if I told the truth and I loved her every step of the way, never being able to imagine happiness in a period after a relationship with her.
    -I strove to reassure her that through my therapy and medication, but even moreso through her love and all the work we had done together, that I wasn’t the same person anymore- my resentment had gone, and I had learned that much about my wife’s struggles, my struggles, and our struggling relationship were because of problems I had created, or at least failed to fix.

  9. Now, a little over a week since my disclosure, I am very thankful for how everything has transpired. Hearing compassionate and true advice from you and your readers (and my therapist) had attached a bitterness to my recollections and feelings about my cheating. It wasn’t enough that I had gone for 9 years without returning to the behavior, I needed to be radically honest and tell the truth. I am glad I was able to.
    My wife and I are not going to split up. On the contrary we have had many incredible conversations about how our relationship can grow stronger through this, and how our communication and honesty will allow for her to enjoy the supplemental emotional intimacy that she has grown to treasure with her other guy, and that I am free to find male play partners in our community.
    We have set up expectations, limits, and norms for how we will handle all of this, and have been able to work on all of this with the couples therapist we are currently seeing who has turned out to be very good at helping with this kind of thing.
    There is a lot more to the story, especially with respect to the last year or so, but I am going to close out my story here and just thank you, Thumper, for the unexpectedly happy ending. As I re-read your advice to a version of my that was 10 years younger, not yet a father, so blind to who I was and what it meant to be a better version of myself to be a better partner and earn the love and trust I have only just now earned, I see wisdom and truth in every word you wrote. I am glad you shared your advice. I am glad I read it, and remembered it, carried it with me, and felt the sting of knowing for so long that I had not yet done what I needed to do.
    This morning I know I am not perfect. I am still growing and striving. But I am able to face this morning with a self-acceptance and self-respect, not to mention the greatest love I could imagine and a most hopeful future on the horizon. Thank you and I wish you all the best.

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