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Why does this arouse me?

Topic: Sexuality

Question: I am so embarrassed and ashamed but I like being spanked when my husband and I have sex. I have never told anyone about this. Am I weird and why does this arouse me?

Michelle’s Take: No, you are not weird or alone in what you find arousing. The Kama Sutra, an ancient manual on love and uninhibited sexuality, illustrates a variety of options when it comes to sex. Check it out if you want to see what people were doing behind closed doors way before you were born. Or get a copy of a modern version to spice up your sex life: The Ultimate Guide to Secrets of Erotic Pleasure

What causes different likes and dislikes is up for debate. Personally, I believe a lot of our sexual patterns come from learned early experiences and genetic memory. Some preferences are harmless and pleasantly arousing.  Other preferences (think rape) are harmful and are an indication of dysfunctional arousal. As a rule of thumb, I tell clients that if both partners are comfortable with the activity and no physical harm is occurring, it is ok to explore and have fun in your own bedroom. 

However, I am concerned by the current message that seems to says all sexual behavior is normal and healthy so go ahead and explore your dark side.  Unfortunately, many adults find themselves so absorbed by fantasies, they are no longer being successful with reality.

Pornography is a case in point. Addictions are growing.  And with the addiction comes inevitable relational difficulties.

A client I will call Joe sought help after his wife separated from him.  He had married his high school sweet heart and enjoyed sex.  However, that started to change after he lost his best friend to cancer.  Joe became withdrawn and he started to find solace from online strangers.  At first they were just unpaid lonely women in chat rooms but they quickly became paid professionals who could fulfill Joe's wildest fantasies.

The problem with the pornography was that much like a alcoholic who requires more and more alcohol to feel the effect, Joe needed new higher levels of visual stimulation to be aroused.  This led to both PE (premature ejaculation) followed by ED (erectile dysfunction) when making love to his wife.  His wife later learned of the pornography, along with seeing some actual images he had stored on his computer.  She described some of the images and shared her shame over feeling inadequate as a woman.

Today, Joe is back with his wife. He has been clean from pornography for over a year.  Joe and his wife had to start back at the beginning much like when they were in high school.  They used a technique called sensate focusing  to help them repair their relationship.  It's a simple effective way to leave addictive fantasies behind.

So what's the point?

There is a line between healthy and unhealthy sexual behaviors.

Healthy sexual behaviors enhance the relationship and create feeling of intimacy.  Unhealthy sexual behaviors can become addictive and harm relationships.  It is important to know the difference between the two.

Warm regards,


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