How to Do It

My Husband Discovered What I Fantasize About Every Time He Wears a Suit. He’s Furious.

He doesn’t want to wear it anymore.

Woman looking away while a suit jacket floats in the background.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by PeopleImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear How to Do It,

My (30s) husband “Nate” recently got a job where he wears suits. He looks great in a suit and this is a huge turn on for me. We would even incorporate it into sex until I revealed a fantasy I’ve been having during sex and wanted to try in more detail. Basically, Nate would be my boss or superior and he would take me under dubious circumstances, like as punishment for a mistake or because I want a promotion.

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Nate hated this. He said that the idea of role-playing as a “workplace sexual harasser” makes him feel “dirty in a bad way” and that I watch too much porn. I was hurt. Nate is usually understanding and the even-keeled one in this relationship so it was sort of a shock. He is also no longer interested in incorporating the suit during sex because I’ve been “pretending he’s a rapist.”

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I feel bad that I made him feel gross and also that I ruined what was a fun time for both of us. Is there any way to get this back? I’m nervous to bring it up again. We didn’t do anything sexual for a week after that. He’s usually receptive to anything I want to try. Someone online said what he did was kink shaming and it’s not OK, but I don’t know how to feel.

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—Rejected

Dear Rejected,

When you ask if there is any way to get this back, I’m not quite clear on whether you’re referring to having sex, or specifically having sex with your husband while he wears his suit and you fantasize about the scenarios he has stated he is uncomfortable with. From your perspective, you were having sex involving your husband in a specific wardrobe, you started fantasizing about these power scenarios, and then you suggested roleplaying them together. From his perspective, he was banging you in a suit, and then he was being asked to engage in a roleplay that he is uncomfortable with, while being informed that you’ve already been imagining these dynamics. This was almost certainly jarring for him, and he might feel objectified.

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The first two quotes you provide from him are expressions of his feelings. The statement that you watch too much porn was uncalled for, but not so extreme that I would call it kink shaming. He didn’t say that you’re dirty in a bad way, he said that he feels dirty in a bad way. And, as much as we should respect the sexual desires and fantasies of others and ourselves, we also have to respect boundaries and limits.

Consider other times when you’ve suggested something that Nate declined to participate in. If you’ve navigated situations like this before with kindness and gentle communication, great. If there’s a pattern of him criticizing your sexuality, it’s worth a conversation, and if that discussion goes poorly or includes framing you as dirty or gross, it’s worth strongly considering moving on. Think back on your own reactions when Nate has said no to something you’re interested in, though. How do you respond to his “No,”—do you accept his boundary without attempting to talk him into it? If there’s a pattern of you being a little pushy, or if the sex acts he expresses disinterest in are all around a main theme, do bring it up again to apologize.

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Dear How to Do It,

I don’t have a problem, but more of a curiosity that I’m hoping you can help me with. I’m in my early 30s and have noticed a significant increase in queefing during and after sex in the last year or so. My arsenal of sex positions hasn’t changed too much. I’ve been single for the last 10 or so years and have had many partners with varying-sized penises. Because of this, it doesn’t to me seem to be caused by a change in sex positions or partners’ size, so I’m wondering what might be causing the increase. It doesn’t bother me at all, but the increase is so drastic that it feels like something must be different. Any idea what that something might be? Do women queef more as we age?

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—Queef Queen

Dear Queef Queen,

When I posed your question about a correlation between aging and an increase in queefing to intimacy coach and friend of the column Sylvie Bee, she indicated that there can absolutely be a link. “If a person is only queefing during sex or certain intense yoga positions, it’s likely nothing to worry about,” she said. “However, if they are queefing regularly, or the frequency is increasing…I recommend going for a consultation with a pelvic floor physical therapist.” Since it does sound like you’re queefing regularly, and you do describe it as more frequent, a pelvic floor therapist is your best next step. Sylvie cautioned that a rare condition called vaginal fistula could be contributing to the, well, chorus, so it’s worth talking to your doctor about that as well.

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In case you’re tempted to search the web for a few Kegel tips and start toning, I strongly encourage you to see a professional first. A pelvic floor therapist can give you a regimen tailored for your exact body, and, most importantly, they can give you guidance on how to Kegel properly and how many Kegels to do. Overdoing it, like with any kind of working out, can cause discomfort.

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Dear How to Do It,

The recent column about the woman who felt like she needed to give the “sex talk” to her mom helped me coalesce some thoughts I had started to have, as both my wife and I have mothers that are starting to develop dementia. As my wife and I age, the odds that one or both of us will suffer from dementia are pretty high, and we’d like to discuss what consent could or should look like in light of a disappearing memory and/or the ability to recognize a spouse. Are either I (54M) or my wife (53F) prudent in giving a “blanket consent” that starts now or in the years to come? (For what it’s worth, we currently have an “anytime, anywhere” policy for each other, which sounds way hotter and more frequent than it is, but I guess we both like to pretend we’re still in our 30s when such a promise would have a resulted in a lot more intercourse.) What are the ethics of consent, where consent has already been a long-standing part of the relationship? (Meaning, I’m confident that we will both WANT to have sex with each other, as long-standing partners, but what about consent around sex at this moment?) Would love y’all’s thoughts on this.

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—Hypothetically Speaking, But Maybe

Dear Hypothetically Speaking,

To directly address your first question, no, you and your wife would not be prudent to give blanket consent for sexual interactions that extends to a time when one (or both) of you may be experiencing dementia. Consent should be much more nuanced than “You can do as you please with me at any time,” regardless of declining cognitive ability. I imagine that the “anytime, anywhere” agreement that the two of you currently have is something that both of you have the ability to decline at any particular moment. This ability refers to the absence of coercion and abuse—you’re comfortable saying no, and are able to assume that your no will be respected. Also, crucially, it refers to your capacity to know what situation you’re in, understand your feelings about that situation, and express your boundaries clearly. Compare this to the reasons we’re largely wary of situations where people are drinking or using recreational drugs—if you don’t know which end is up, you’re not in a position to consent to sexual activity.

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I reached out to Kitty Stryker, the author of Ask: Building Consent Culture and expert quoted in the column you’re referring to, for her thoughts on your truly complex question. “On the one hand, we tend to infantilize our elders, especially regarding sexual desire, in a way that I think is dehumanizing. On the other, ‘informed consent’ is less clear when verbal communication is not a reliable source of data,” Stryker said.

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One factor to consider is how the perspectives of people outside of your marriage may come to bear. Stryker continued, “The grey area around dementia and consent can cause some ethical (and legal) issues, especially when combined with doctors who do not support their elderly patients in their sexuality or even intimate touch. I recall a case wherein a man was arrested and charged with sexual assault for having sex with his wife, who had severe Alzheimer’s, in her nursing home.”

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But Stryker has some mitigation strategies for you to consider: “First, I would recommend asking your doctor and, if exploring care home options, their medical staff what their policies and beliefs are around senior sex. Are they comfortable talking about it with you? Are they able to address questions like this without being judgmental or skittish? That’s a good first sign. As uncomfortable as it may feel, a brief informational conversation with your kids, if you have any, might also be a good preemptive plan, so they are reassured that this is something you have thought about and made conscious decisions around.” It is absolutely possible that we may have a more nuanced understanding of sexual consent with regard to dementia in the next couple of decades, and some useful data to base policies on, but I wouldn’t count on it. These kinds of strategies may help reduce complications in the future.

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When it comes to decision-making between you and your wife, I encourage you to have deep talks about this over time, addressing new studies and expert opinions as they become available. Use this time to fine-tune your awareness of each other’s nonverbal communication. Ask when you aren’t sure how your wife is feeling. Check in to confirm your interpretation of her body language, tone, and expression every once in a while. Focus on all the different ways that she communicates any form of no. She should do the same for you. “Do you lean toward touch or away?” Striker said. “Is there eye contact? How is everyone’s mood afterward, cheerful or withdrawn? This can help you navigate a situation where you’re not entirely sure that a ‘yes’ is fully cognizant. It’s also helpful to remember that dementia can mean different reactions to similar situations, as you can have good days and difficult days.” Couples need to learn how to judge when their partner does and does not have that capacity, erring on the side of caution. Good luck, and bravo for beginning to consider this.

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Dear How to Do It,

I am a bisexual woman who spent my 20s and 30s in a nearly sexless, same-sex relationship. After that relationship ended when I was in my mid-40s, I discovered BDSM, swinging, and making online porn. I went pretty wild for the next 10 years. Now, I’m in my mid-50s and I’m ready to settle down. My problem is that all the people who are interested in me aren’t interested in a long-term relationship. They seem to just want sex. Where can I go to find people with high sex drives that don’t just want another spectacular lay? Where do I find acceptance of my slutty past from people who are looking for forever relationships?

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—Romantically Frustrated

Dear Romantically Frustrated,

To answer your actual question: You can meet someone, anywhere. The same places you’ve been meeting hookups, places that attract people you share interests other than sex with, and maybe even at the grocery store or on the sidewalk. You also might consider asking friends if they can set you up—sometimes that gets extra complicated, and sometimes it works out very well. And, while you might encounter a person who you connect well with next week, it might take much longer. I’d recommend improving your efficiency and upping your volume. One big part of efficiency is disclosure, though there is a balance. Whether you’re at an event where you’re likely to meet people you’re attracted to or crafting a dating app profile, take some time to consider how up-front you want to be. Leading with “I made online porn as a BDSM-loving swinger for a decade” or “I’m looking for a forever partner” might be jarring or off-putting for some, and you’ll want to take into account the context you’re interacting in.

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When I’m using apps, I describe myself as a writer in my profile, clarify that my main focus is sexuality and adult entertainment within the first few messages, and decide whether I’d like to suggest a video call or meetup based on their reaction. Once we’re talking on video or over a coffee—less of a time commitment than dinner—I feel out when a good time to broach sexuality is, and make sure to cover the broad strokes of potential mismatches. This can be very conversational and casual. In fact, the more relaxed and mutual that discussion is, the better the rest of the interactions tend to go. You might want to wait a bit before you start divulging details, or you might want to put it all the way up front. It’s up to your comfort level and natural inclination.

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You’ll also want to communicate your goals for a long-term, entangled relationship. You might say something like, “You look very charming in your latex, and I’d be happy to give you my phone number, but I want to let you know that I’m less interested in hookups right now than I am in relationships that might develop into something emotionally significant and ongoing.” Be prepared to discuss what that looks like for you, and define what you need and want.

—Stoya

More Advice From Slate

I have I guess what you would call a frenemy. We share a friend group, have worked together, and have hung out alone a couple of times, usually after other people have called it a night and we were still drinking. She’s fun but can be a little bit of a bitch. We have seen each other recently at some gatherings, and I knew she was interested in a guy I’ve been very casual friends-with-benefits with. The other day she texted me a photo where she was on her knees with his dick in front of her face (trust me, it was his dick, it’s … recognizable) and cum all over her mouth and tongue. Caption: “All for meeeeeee!” I was obviously shocked.

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