15 Sex Questions About Intimacy Answered By A Sex Expert

3. "Is it wrong for me to get turned on by occasionally being 'used for my body' by my husband? There have been occasions when I’ve woken up to him groping me (or once, masturbating), thinking I’m still asleep."

"After it happened, because he’s an honest guy, he would actually be transparent about it the next morning, and in order to not discourage him from doing it again, I told him 'With us, if I consent to it while I’m awake, you can do it to me while I’m asleep,' but he hasn’t done it since — and I’m actually disappointed. He doesn’t know I was awake for parts of it. Is this wrong? Is there a deeper, darker meaning to my desires? I would be upset about anyone taking advantage of an unconscious person under any other circumstance. But if this is a normal, healthy fetish, are there better ways to communicate this to my husband without embarrassing either of us?

Just to be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that consent is the most important part of healthy sexual relationships. Also, my husband is incredibly respectful of my comfort and enjoyment, emotionally and physically in all parts of our relationship. We have a nice sex life, but it’s not extremely exciting after seven years together."

—Anonymous

Dr. Jenni Skyler: Many people get turned on by being objectified or 'used,' as you said. The benefit of being married or in a committed partnership is that you can allow yourself to be as vulnerable as possible, including objectifying each other. In a way, it’s one of the only places you can safely objectify and be objectified, knowing that it’s birthed from consent and arousal. I even tell some of my clients that this is like a form of 'sacred objectification.' I encourage objectification for couples who need to be less polite with one another and rather be a bit more racy and sexy. 

In terms of communicating this to your husband, you can have him read my answer above, and let him know what a turn-on it is when he initiates mid-sleep. Right now, it seems like you gave him permission, but he might think you are just acquiescing and offering him a gift. This is really different than the fact that it turns you on. Oftentimes, hearing our partner's turn-ons end up turning us on.

If for some reason he seems embarrassed, don't back away. Many couples never get clarity about their sex lives because it feels embarrassing to talk about it. Then, they suffer in silence. Get curious about why he might be embarrassed, and reinforce that it turns you on!