This was a question that was recently asked in one of my classes and something that hasn't really come up in my life. I thought it was an interesting question because my answer when I was first married would actually be different than they way I answer this question now. So I have added the question and my response in the idea of opening up the question for others to think about. The question is in bold and my answer is underneath. :)
Imagine for a moment you are in a sexually active relationship with someone you love deeply and with whom you are hoping to spend the rest of your life. One evening, your partner expresses a desire to engage in a sexual activity that you are not interested in and that you find somewhat offensive (you pick the activity- you do not have to share this activity with the class). How would you react? Explain what you think would be the best way to handle this situation in your relationship.
Well, I think there are two things that need to be thought about. The first is me- why am I not interested in it? Am I not interested because I think it is painful... bad... ridiculous, etc? Would I feel differently if I had some more information about the activity... maybe if I could talk about my concerns and know that they would be addressed. Maybe we could give it a try understanding that I had the power to say stop? I think that is the most important question to ask first.
The next question is whether I felt I could discuss all this with my partner. Obviously if I didn't think I could express my feelings in this regard, that could be a problem... or at least shows a potential problem in the relationship. And if I can not ask.. why not? That is... what do I fear will happen? If I just fear being laughed at and maybe looking silly, that seems like a reasonable risk to take. If I fear the loss of the relationship... well, how sturdy is this relationship if one item (even a biggie like this) can totally derail it? If I fear worse such as violence, than maybe I need to speak to a counselor and no matter how much I adore the gentlemen, it might be time to leave. If I did feel like I could discuss this with my partner, then am I willing to talk about the 'above' and see if it is possible and if trying might be a good idea. When talking it out, both partners might decide that the possible pleasure may not outweigh the possible risks, confusion, etc...
If I think about and I just can't bring myself to even think about it, I think that I would have to let my partner know. And I couldn't just say 'I don't want to do that'. I would need to explain my reasoning in a calm and rational way (again, why I had to ask the first question of why I wasn't interested). I think that most individuals might be disappointed, but would also be understanding and accepting if they loved their partner and could see their concerns – maybe not agree with them but could understand their partners perspective on the activity. Some might not and it might require some compromise. For instance, would I be willing if I am adamant to not do the activity... would I be willing to look at information, etc... about the activity with my partner to see if we both might feel a little differently. Am I willing to experiment with something else that might be 'fun' and might be a reasonable compromise so my partner gets something 'new' and I get something 'comfortable'. If we are both adamant about the issue, we may both need to back off and think about it and if we are just unable to compromise on it, maybe go to a counselor so we can have a third party to help us compromise. Otherwise, I think the potential for resentment and anger is high... and at the upper scale I think abuse or dominance could happen.
What do you think? How would you handle this situation if this was something you had to deal with?
Just my thoughts...