QUESTION: My husband recently accepted a job that involves him travelling during the working week. We downloaded Skype on to our laptops so we can talk every night. At least, it started as talking, but now he’s pressuring me to undress. I miss having sex as much as he does, but I’m far too inhibited to start flaunting myself in front of a webcam aged 45. Am I being unreasonable?
ANSWER: Once upon a time, all that was required of an absent lover was a passionate letter and the ability to spell.
Then affordable phone calls changed everything. Suddenly all that pent-up yearning could be murmured down the blower.
Next came emails, followed by “sexting” and online chat-rooms. Where technology leads, Eros follows and once the video-call was invented it was inevitable many lovers would use it for their own steamy purposes.
This is all very well for a younger generation for whom the concept of “inhibition” can prove meaningless, but it can be tough for older lovebirds.
I am in my mid-40s, too, and all my early romances were conducted via pen and paper when imagination still played a pivotal role in proceedings. It can be disconcerting 25 years later to find yourself in a world where some people act like porn starlets once a webcam is pointing at them. Older lovers also tend to be more aware of the pitfalls.
So, no, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable in not acting like a stripper when your husband video-calls you — but neither should you be offended by his request.
First, and most importantly, his entreaty demonstrates his desire for you. Many women would envy you the single-mindedness of his devotion after years of marriage.
Consider this letter from Napoleon to his beloved Josephine: “I awake all filled with you. Your image and the intoxicating pleasures of last night allow my senses no rest.” If Bonaparte had access to Skype, I have no doubt he would have been begging her to disrobe.
The real problem here is one of conflicting sensibilities. You love your husband and clearly feel physical passion for him, but you don’t want to have to prove it via a video-link.
I don’t blame you. Many women still yearn for a little old- fashioned exchange, where there’s more emphasis on declarations of love and a little less on flaunting of the flesh.
Females of my generation grew up reading the crusading novels of Fay Weldon, admired Germaine Greer and were raised in a milieu that frowned upon the objectification of women. So it’s not surprising that posing like a porn star isn’t part of the plan.
I do think, however, you could find a workable compromise that satisfies you and your beloved.
Couldn’t you follow the rules of burlesque and tease away to your heart’s content, without revealing too much? In this scenario, the best work is done with come-hither eyes and hints of the pleasures you’ll bestow upon your spouse on his return.
You just need to find the place in the Venn diagram where your comfort zone coincides with your husband’s fantasies. - Daily Mail