When is a fetish a problem?

Discussion in 'General fetish discussions' started by fourdegreessober, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. fourdegreessober

    fourdegreessober New Member

    My bf has a fetish that is starting to disrupt our relationship and I wondered if anyone else has dealt with this before.

    He's an aquaphiliac to a degree that seems abnormal to me. He spends 2-3 hours a day looking at underwater porn, downloading pics of women under water (not even nude), looking at womens' diving competitions and so on. Anything that involves women in the water.

    He comes to me after looking at this and wants to fuck. Of course I'm starting to find this offensive and starting to wonder if he wants me at all or is just wrapped up in his fantasy world.

    We've been together about a year. I'm 42 and he's 49. I have a bit of a fetish myself-hence why I'm here, but my cuffs and gag go unused. When we have sex he talks about drowning me or about being under water in general.

    I've brought this up with him and he tells me it's just me and he doesn't have a problem. All men look at porn etc etc. Of course all men look at porn, but to what degree?

    He can't see why I'm hurt by this and tells me it has nothing to do with me. Of course being who I am, I am starting to take offense and feeling unwanted and totally unattractive.

    Had anyone else had issues like this?
     
  2. sillylittlepet

    sillylittlepet Active Member

    He talks about wanting to drown you

    I'm just going to take a step back for a second

    He talks about wanting to drown you


    Maybe you need to talk to your partner about why you're unhappy and why you feel like you're justified in your unhappiness. If you've already talked to him and be doesnt get it then you should either:
    a. try again with a different approach
    b. try again with a better approach

    I know that sex isnt everything in a relationship, but its a big deal for lots of couples. If you feel like your needs are being ignored, I don't think that's okay. His fetish seems like a problem considering that he disregards your fetishes and focuses very intently on his own. To the point where he spends a lot of time on it. First of all, this is unfair to you.

    I dont really have a second point.

    oh wait
    he talks about drowning you?!
     
  3. SubAnna

    SubAnna Member

    As far as Im concerned it is okay to watch porn as long as ofc. all participants are doing it consensually, are legal etc. etc.
    But I dont think it is okay to ignore your partner, and I dont think it is right for anybody to be in a relationship where they feel unwanted or anything like that (unless ofc. somebody actually has a fetish for being ignored or something like that. However, in your case it is clearly unwanted).
    So if he ever does anything that makes you feel like this, then that is a problem. Whether it is porn or other things. And tell him explicitly, without room for misunderstandings, why you dont like it and what it is that you dont like.

    About the drowning. Personally, for me, this would be unacceptable because it is simply dangerous. However, I dont know if he is into the underwater thing or if he is into the fact that it will restrict your breathing. If he merely wants sex under water I guess there are ways that you can breathe and be under water for long periods of time. This however would be quite a big project in terms of arranging it... :O
     
  4. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    1) The technical definition of a fetish is an object or practice necessary for sexual gratification. Most of the things people call fetishes are technically only turn-ons. But it sounds like this might be a true fetish for him. If that's the case, it's the only way he's gonna be really satisfied. Given that you're uncomfortable about it, and it might involve a risk of drowning, you should think seriously about leaving him, because if it's a fetish, it's always gonna be the elephant in the room.

    2) As far as the use of porn is concerned, I think porn is wonderful. I cheerfully use it myself, sometimes frequently, but less and less as I get more engaged in bdsm--why use porn when you can live it out to some extent? That said, I think your partner has a problem. He's a sex addict. One facet of sex addiction is the obsessive reliance on porn to the exclusion of genuine intimacy with one's partner, and that sounds exactly like what's going on here. One way to define addiction is a situation in which one's reliance on the 'drug' of choice is interfering with one's life and making part of it unmanageable. He's clearly hit that point with you. His use of porn has made it impossible for you to take pleasure in sex with him, because you don't think you're the one turning him on during sex, and he's stopped addressing your kinks. That means, by definition, his porn use is interfering with his life, because it's disrupting his relationship with you. So this is not simply you being uncomfortable with porn. This is his porn use becoming unmanageable.

    I speak from experience here. My ex-husband of 8 years slid into porn addiction sometime in the 3rd or 4th year of our relationship. He was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, so he recognized it for what it was and started going to a recovery fellowship for it. He tried to be honest about it with me, but became increasingly avoidant of sex with me. He would spend literally hours surfing the net looking for his preferred images and would jack off, all while i was lying asleep in bed. And we could have long conversations about how frustrated I was about how rarely we would have sex. Eventually he left me, though the porn was only a piece of that.

    My instincts here tell me that he's an addict (though obviously you've only given me a little bit of info, so I could be wrong). From your screen name I'm guessing you might know a little bit about addiction yourself, so you probably know that you can't change him--he has to recognize this as a problem and seek to change it. Right now he's denying it's a problem, so he won't seek to change it. So you have a choice: A) decide that the relationship is worth it on other grounds and that you're willing to see this through, and hope that he'll start to bottom out and seek help, or B) Cut your losses and leave. Make clear why you're leaving and perhaps he'll see that as his bottom and seek help and maybe you can get back together. I chose A. 7 years later, I'm not sure it was the right choice, since he eventually chose B. But that's how life works.

    Good luck and let us know how things are going.
     
  5. fourdegreessober

    fourdegreessober New Member

    Thank you everyone for your opinions/advice, especially you Sebastian. I think you're the first person I've talked to about this that actually recognizes it for what it is.

    Only now do I see it for the real problem. I can see the earlier signs looking back, but I had no idea how deep seated this fetish really is. I think he's had it for years, probably decades and I think it may have had something to do with the break-up of his marriage of 26 years.

    Things have been a bit better between us since we discussed it the other night, but he's still not willing to admit he has a problem and I think he's just watching himself around me to keep me happy. Otherwise our relationship is good and honestly I've never loved anyone as deeply and passionately as I love him and I've been married twice before.

    I'm not sure what to do at this point, but again I appreciate your points of view.
     
  6. sillylittlepet

    sillylittlepet Active Member

    maybe he tried to drown his ex-wife

    on a more serious note!
    I would work more on communicate with him, but if his addition is as strong as you say, then there's really nothing you can do to change it. Eventually you'll have to find a way to compromise with each others fetishes and sexual desires

    man, I always feel so small and meek compared to Sebastian's posts! damn youuu
     
  7. fourdegreessober

    fourdegreessober New Member

    Well he did mention once that his ex-wife wouldn't ever get in the pool with him the last few years....

    But honestly I have no fear of him. I think the reason he likes the drowning is because it gives him control and makes him feel powerful. I truly believe the actual drowning part is a fantasy for him. Whenever we're "playing" and I tell him to stop he does instantly. I've had him do things to me before that he really didn't want to do and he was upset about it the next day and asking me if I was OK about it all.

    He asked me last night how I felt about being bound in the water. Hmmm I dunno...
     
  8. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Four, if I'm right and he's a sex addict, there isn't much you can do until he admits that he has a problem. The first step in recovery programs is to admit that your addiction is making part of your life unmanageable. Until he takes that step, he CANNOT be helped. And he'll probably try to hide his porn use, which is likely to become a sore spot between you--I've seen that happen with a few couples. It sounds like you love and trust him and want to work on the relationship. Rather than nagging him about porn use, talk about what you need from him that you're not getting. He can deny using porn, but he can't deny that you_feel_ like you are not getting something. Hopefully if he hears you saying that he's not meeting your needs, it may help him think about why he's not meeting your needs, which might lead him to reassess his use of porn. You might also want to find some support, such as Al Anon, where you can get more information and discuss how you feel about all this.

    If you trust him and feel like he won't hurt you, then perhaps you might consider exploring his aquaphilia. But two points about that. 1) Read up a lot on how to do it safely. Drowning is obviously a major concern here, and even if he's willing to stop at a moment's notice, you need to know that he knows how to safely handle the scene. So find out the consensus on safety here and make sure that he's following it. The more extreme the edge play, the more both partners need to know what they're doing. Anything that seriously compromises your ability to breathe is very risky. 2) If you're indulging his fetish, he needs to be indulging yours. If you agree to play in the swimming pool tomorrow, he needs to indulge your kinks the next night, with no water involved. Do not get into a dynamic where he comes to expect water play all the time as a basic element of your sex life. It's worth remembering that the more extreme the fetish is (and aquaphilia is fairly extreme in some ways), the fewer people who are into it. If you were to leave him, his odds of finding someone who will indulge him in it are relatively small, while your odds of finding a traditional bondage top are comparatively good. So you have the upper hand in these negotiations. So make sure that he understands that you indulging his water fantasies is contingent on him indulging your kinks. And that's contingent on him learning how to do this stuff safely.
     
  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Silly, thanks for the kind words. Sorry that I make you feel small. I always been good at this sort of thing. I sometimes think if I hadn't become a historian that i would have been a good therapist. But I'd probably be constantly telling people what I thought they ought to do.
     
  10. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Sebastian hit on some very good points here. There's a blurry line sometime between fetish and addiction, and those who don't err to the side of caution, soon find themselves way out to sea on the ocean currents carrying them farther from shore. I think that's what you're seeing here.
    It seems to me that your partner may have given in to his addiction and is chasing the "high" he got from the first experience fantasy. if thats the case, then he will continue to slip deeper into his fantasy world, getting worse and worse unless he recognizes the unhealthy nature of such a progression.
    From what i can see, you have 2 options, neither one easy.

    1) sit down and talk with your partner from an informed standpoint and discuss the dangers of progression for his fetish born sexual addiction, and try to help him break the cycle by allowing him to make an informed decision to get help.
    2)leave him before you end up in a seriously dangerous situation.

    Either way, you need to stop indulging his desires, as hard as that may be. As long as you continue to have sex with him your only furthering his addiction.
     
  11. fourdegreessober

    fourdegreessober New Member

    Hi again...and thank you everyone for your advice/opinions.

    I've gotten my bf to open up a bit about his fetish and I've learned where it manifested from. He told me that the first time he had an orgasm was in the bathtub when he was about 10 or 11. He said he always associated being in the water with sex since then.

    Honestly I don't think he ever told his ex-wife of 26 years this and I feel good that he's willing to tell me about it. He hid this fetish from me for the first few months we were together and I think he hid the degree of it from his wife all the time, causing him to go outside his marriage to seek satisfaction.

    I am trying not to take everything he does so personally...such as the videos he watches, etc. I would love to make his fantasies come true as long as he is willing to make mine come true. His deepest fantasies involve restraint and bondage of some sort-but always in the water. I want the bondage. I'm hoping we can combine our needs....

    I do love this man totally and I want this to work between us. We are both VERY sexually oriented and I think we could be very good together if we can find a solution to this issue. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  12. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Getting the doors of communication open is a very good sign. Fetishes and addictions can both inspire a lot of shame and dishonesty, and those can create a lot of barriers to healthy relationships. So keep talking to him. Make it clear that he doesn't need to hide these desires from you, even if you don't share them. Once you've cleared away the shame he probably is wrestling with, the two of you need to honestly appraise what's really going on. Have an honest discussion about whether his fetish and his porn use is an addiction. Does he feel unable to stop using porn (and by stop, I don't mean not look at it for a day or two--I mean give it up long-term)? Does he feel like it's hurting his relationship with you? Is it leading him to lie to you about things? If the answer to these questions is yes, he's an addict. If he's able to admit that there's a real problem here, ask him to seek out Sex Addicts Anonymous, the most kink-friendly of the sexual addiction recovery fellowships.

    It's important to realize that his porn use isn't about dissatisfaction with you. You could be the most amazing lover on the planet and he'd still have these issues. (Halle Berry is a stunningly attractive woman, and Sandra Bullock is pretty hot too, and yet their husbands cheated on them.) My ex used to talk about his addiction as a living thing that wanted him to be sick, and did everything it could to pull him down into porn.

    But you also need to learn the importance of setting boundaries with him. Don't just keep making concessions to his problems. Set ground rules that you need him to abide by and consequences if he can't abide by them. Loving an addict can be very challenging, because it's hard to hold them accountable in a way that doesn't hurt you as well as him. I think I suggested seeking out Al Anon, which is a support group for those who love addicts. They can help you learn coping strategies and how to recognize the tricks that addicts use to manipulate their situation. Good luck.
     
  13. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    I agree here, communication is by far one of the most important aspects of any relationship, but that doesn't mean that you should overlook safety. set some boundaries, talk about each thing you do before and after, discuss what was good and what was bad, and build on it. Gook luck, and I'm glad we could help.
     
  14. fourdegreessober

    fourdegreessober New Member

    I don't want you all to think that everything is hunky-dory here since we had that discussion I mentioned. This is still something between us that I can't get out of my mind and keeps me from wanting to build a future with him. Everything else is good except this fetish and of course it's a major thing as it's so intertwined in his life. Half of the time I feel like throwing him out...yes I can be quite erratic. I guess I just feel violated some how...almost like he's cheating on me even though it's just porn he's looking at. But very specific porn that is....

    I'm just venting now, but I'm glad I can. It's not really a subject I can bring up with my family. :)
     

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