She Likes It Too Rough

Q: I'm 28, and my longtime girlfriend and I have been raising our son and living together now for three years. Prior to that we were on-again, off-again for five years. During one of our off-again periods she was raped by a stranger. After two years of nightmares and bouts of crying and anxiety, she seems to be healing emotionally. However, she always has been very unreceptive to therapy. My question is this... Over the last year our lovemaking sessions have become very rough - at her request. Handcuffs, slapping, spanking, hair-pulling, biting and restraint were the beginning. Now it seems like I have to throw her around and plow her senseless 9 times out of ten or she seems to lose interest. At first I thought it was a phase, or maybe an infrequent mood, but now I have to admit I'm completely weirded out. It seems as if she wants me to 'rape' her, not make love to her. Needless to say this subject is not something we talk about. Although I desire more mature, open communication, it doesn't seem realistic given her sensitive nature. -- Matt

Dr. Susan: The mother of your son is too sensitive for open communication but not too sensitive to be plowed senseless? Hmm. Two years of intense misery following a rape and she still resisted getting psychological help. And now she's apparently re-enacting her rape every time you have sex, which you are not comfortable with. She won't go for therapy, and you're afraid to talk openly with her for fear it will ... what? Upset her? You have no choice! Kinky sex games are fine if both of you are equally engaged, but if one of you feels "forced," all bets are off. If the rape fantasy brought "to life" continues to be the only way your girlfriend can relate to you sexually, and that doesn't work for you, you have to discuss this with her. Let her know that you love her and miss the more tender lovemaking you used to enjoy. Perhaps the two of you could experiment with variations that would provide the stimulation she craves without the violence. If not, urge her again to seek professional help.

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