It’s true: My husband has been a bad kisser since we met, but I married him anyway.
I could waste your time by talking about how he’s honest, kind, unfathomably wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world but while that’s all true, you and I both know that’s not why you’re reading this article. So here’s the real truth: His bad kissing is just a symptom to a much larger intimacy problem that still hasn’t been resolved a decade into our relationship. And I honestly am completely fine with that.
I realized we were on entirely different pages in our intimacy the very first time we made love. After we were finished, he said, “I love how you make noises and talk to me during sex! My other girlfriends just sort of laid there.”
Alright. I knew going into the relationship that I’d had exponentially more partners than he had, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was sheltered; I’ve seen many long-term monogamous relationships in which the couple is crazy-adventurous together. However, it was that moment when it hit me that everything I was doing was a novelty to him, including something as rudimentary as making noises in bed. Poor guy.
At first, I was stoked to be the one to show him everything in my bag of tricks. I figured a partner who had never had a woman initiate a position change would be a breeze to dazzle in the sack, and I was both happy to show him the ropes and secretly relieved I got to take a breather from always upping the ante.
This would be a nice change of pace for me, a gal who’d kept a cock-ring-French-tickler combo in her purse “just in case”... and used it regularly.
Unfortunately, what I quickly learned about his lack of experience was rooted in something much different than just not finding the right partner. I don’t know if it was due to his religious upbringing or being such a perfectionist, but he carried with him a deep sense of guilt and shame in regards to his sexuality.
For him, sex was to be carried out in a very utilitarian manner; there’s no need for bells and whistles if you can just get in there, get each others’ rocks off, and go to sleep with minimal effort. There are a couple things he’s really, REALLY good at, so every single time he whips those out real quick, makes sure I’m done, and moves on. Wham, bam, thank you.
Additionally, he was mortified at the idea of discussing masturbation aloud — something I’ve been doing since I was in the third grade. Sexually speaking, we could not be more different, which terrified me.
Seeing his issue, I started making flirty conversation about his sexual desires as a means to get him in touch with parts of his sexuality he seemed to have walled off but every time, he would get frustrated at his inability to verbally express himself and our conversation would devolve into him shutting himself away.
I tried making small but bold moves in bed, which he would enjoy in the moment and then feel ashamed of afterward. I casually discussed my previous hetero and homosexual relationships with him and made sure he knew the door was always open to exploring any homosexual and/or polyamorous tendencies in himself without judgment on my end.
After a year or so of attempting to coax him out of his shell, I finally tried stating outright that I wasn’t happy with components in our sexual relationship and desperately hoped we could work on them together. This triggered in him a crushing sense of embarrassment, guilt, and even more shame that closed him off even more.
That’s when I accepted that this may be the one part of our relationship that may never be great. I knew right then that maybe we’d one day have an incredible physical chemistry (or maybe not) but it was never going to happen if I was constantly trying to “fix” him, and I was wrecking my ability to be truly happy with him by focusing on this one flaw we had.
Before him, I wasted seven years of my life in a relationship that had the healthiest sex life I’ve ever heard of to date but was completely devoid of emotional loyalty or compatibility. It was a mental hell I put myself through because the incredible, ever-evolving sexual awakening taking effect in the relationship had me convinced that we could work the rest of our problems out.
I have a feeling that fully understanding the flipside of this coin is what contributes to my peace in the matter of my husband being a terrible kisser and “meh” in the sack. Sure, my husband may never be the best lay I ever have but he’s still putting in the effort, getting outside his comfort zone on occasion, and refusing to sleep until I’ve had an orgasm, too. That’s hardly reason to be disappointed.
The bad kissing seems like the final frontier in my quest to fully infiltrate his sensuality. It is the gateway to his carnal sexuality, the physical part that remains the most guarded and resistant.
Right now, my M.O. is spontaneous makeout sessions independent of foreplay. It’s been hard for him to isolate the two but slowly as I coach him along, his lips are becoming more playful and sometimes his jaw relaxes into those slow, gentle chewing motions that make my knees give out.
His tongue is still under the impression that we’re at a seventh-grade dance but that’s alright; we’re practicing Hollywood-style kisses and he’s finally feeling comfortable letting someone spend quality time in his personal bubble.
I understand that it’s a lot for him to have someone right up in his face with expectations of pleasure, but I see progress in that he’s slowly letting me in more and more.
No matter what, I’m never going to be the kind of gal who complains about practicing making out with someone I love. If this is the worst thing about my relationship, I’d venture to say I’m spoiled as hell.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.
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