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Advice – Swap went south.

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/u/eldobhato_profil writes on /r/nonmonogamy…

“My [29F] husband [28M] and I swapped with a couple [28F] [34M] last Saturday. Things went quite well initially, until we got down in the bedroom and my husband came a little earlier than he expected to. No worries, it happens, we thought. I checked in with him, and asked him if he was okay, if he wants me to play with him until he can get it up again, or if he wants to tap out altogether. He told me that he’s fine, he just needs some time to recuperate, and that I should enjoy myself until he joins back in. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes.

He went upstairs. After about 15 minutes, I excused myself and checked on him because he wasn’t back yet and I was starting to worry about him. He was sitting on a chair on our balcony, smoking a cigarette and typing away on his phone, clearly upset. I asked him if he was okay, and he told me that yes, everything’s okay, when that was clearly not the case.

He refused to give me a straight answer when I asked him what did I do wrong. I went downstairs and told the couple that they should feel free to finish up without us because a couple things came up. They took a shower afterwards and we saw them off.

Later that night I tried to initiate sex with my husband but he didn’t want any of it. Ever since then we only had sex once on Monday night and it felt very impersonal and cold.

I’m not sure where I went wrong. Should I have not let him go upstairs by himself? Should I have checked in with him sooner? What can I do now to remedy the situation?

I’m sorry for all these questions but I just feel lost and stressed out by all this.”

TL;DR – Husband finished early and went upstairs. Things are weird now. What did I do wrong?

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Dear Eldobhato Profil,

I don’t think you did anything wrong here.

You did an incredible job recognizing and preemptively noticing when something was amiss. You went upstairs to check in on your husband while he was processing what happened. And promptly ended the night when you recognized that something felt off. You did your best to read and act on a difficult situation.

A lot of guys have a lot of hangups about ejaculation. So much of our male sexuality is wrapped around our manhood and its performance. Society tells us we have to be rock hard for sex, that we can’t cum too early or last too long, that we have to be ready to go without any foreplay, that our penis is the only symbol of our masculine sexuality, that ejaculation automatically means the end of our intimate rendezvous. All of these ideas are incredibly toxic ideas embedded into many men’s upbringing that shape and define our sexuality. Have you ever thought about how the words “premature ejaculation” and “impotence” only apply to men with such viciously negative connotations? And instead of proper tools to deal with these negative perceptions about premature ejaculations and impotence, we are instead shown male enhancement and virility ads in Golfers Digest.

It sounds like your husband is struggling with at least some aspect of what I’ve outlined above. What stands out more to me is the communication breakdown. I’m not sure how your husband generally prefers to process new information. If he likes to chew on his thoughts before coming to you with his realizations, it might be beneficial to give him space to work through this on his own instead of constantly checking in with him about what is wrong. Both of you know that something is wrong. But nothing will get accomplished until he has first done his share of emotional labor.

Your husband just needs some time to process what happened on his own. So give him time and space to work it out while reminding him you’re still here and ready to talk whenever he is.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

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