My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years and have one child. We are very openminded and compatible sexually, though our sex life has been through some ups and downs as we have grown as people and experienced child birth and child rearing. The first few years of our relationship, we did some wild things sexually, such as public sex, group sex, voyeurism, etc. We both enjoyed ourselves and were equally involved and responsible for our actions. During and after the pregnancy and birth of our child, however, our sex life went through some drastic changes, and we found ourselves with some sexual issues to work through. One of these issues was my newfound disinterest in our old wild ways; motherhood had turned my viewpoint on it from fun to irresponsible. We have gotten over most of the awkwardness that made its way into our bed, but now we are presented with a somewhat „gray area‰ issue. Over the past year or so, my husband has been visiting sexual video chat sites and broadcasting himself in various sexual states, most of the time masturbating, in both public and private online communications. At first he did this secretly, until I found out in a very startling way; I investigated the website that kept appearing in our computer‚s browser history on my phone at work, and was shocked to find a live public video feed of my husband fully aroused. After some obvious conflict over the discovery, we discussed it, and he told me that he missed having our „wild sex life‰ and that this helps fulfill that need. He asked if I would participate, and I agreed in hopes of helping to satisfy his sexual mentality. We broadcast ourselves having sex online a few times, having up to 1000 people watch, which completely turned my husband on and completely turned me off. I decided I wasn‚t going to join him again due to the uneasy feeling it gave me which kept me from enjoying myself. Ever since, I have known in the back of my mind that he still does this, and have gotten up in the middle of the night a few times to find him masturbating and video chatting publicly or with females who are at least scantily clad, if not nude and masturbating themselves. When I confront him about it, he says he has a public sex fetish and needs to fulfill it, believing that it helps keep him „faithful‰ to me since I am no longer interested. (Something you should know about my husband; he is a popular musician and is often confronted with opportunities for sex at shows, but I am confident that he hasn‚t cheated on me). It is obviously a disturbing experience to get up and find him doing this, and although he is not physically cheating, I still feel hurt and disrespected on these occasions. I basically want an outsider‚s point of view on whether I should accept this as part of the man I fell in love with and married, reject it on the grounds of how I feel (although I have a hard time with the thought of leaving him over it), or if we should try to work out some sort of compromise. I would like to come up with some way where he can feel fulfilled and I can be a part of it, without making me uncomfortable, but haven’t been able to (not asking you to figure out what that would be for me, just mentioning it). Thank you very much for your time and help with this issue.
A: Thanks for writing to us.
There are several things that I want to point out that are good. First, this situation has now become an open conversation between you and your husband. In every couple there is ongoing negotiation as people shift and change their needs. The two of you have begun this processs of trying to balance things out. I think the fact that you were willing to experiment with taking part was a good effort. It didn’t work for you, but that doesn’t negate the experiment. That you tried to do this together is where the power is.
That is my point. It isn’t what you do, but rather the fact that the 2 of you are trying to come up with a solution together where the value is. The connection through the experimenting with ideas is where the relationship is made. The process of processing and experimenting your decisions together is what will be important.
You are a creative, dynamic couple. Use some of that creativity to try some variations that honor both of you.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Apr 2011
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Husband has online video sex chat. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/15/husband-has-online-video-sex-chat/