My name is Gordon Nettles and I have decided to write to your magazine in response to a question you recently posed to us readers. I hope this brief anecdote is a helpful one.
– Gordon Nettles, a reader of your magazine.
After 17 years of marriage, very few things still feel fresh and exciting. That’s just the plain truth. Her cooking, my corny jokes, the son that we made – I mean they say that all things lose their luster in due time, and I surely take a great deal in my life for granted, I won’t argue that one bit, but there was a dim underlying frustration that told me this was even more than all that. I guess – I guess after a while I just really got the gist of it all, you know? And that’s not a knock on my wonderful partner by any means; I made a son with her, and though I’ve never had a total grasp on what that process entails, I do think it says a lot. But it was these feelings of marital contentedness – of complacency, really – that spoke to the way that routine becomes nature when given enough time. They spoke to the way that two people can become so intertwined in themselves and each other that they forget there’s a whole world out there, a world of new experiences and new memories and, yes, even a son who needs to eat and be spoken to. Our situation may not seem startling at all to you – hell, it probably sounds ideal – but there’s something disorienting about that kind of love, a love so stunning that it’s almost paralytic.
My old man always told me that any lasting relationship is going to have its ups and downs, and for the most part he was right. But things had been going straight for so long that I was beginning to fall asleep at the wheel. Pop often warned me, “You gotta love your lady right or she’ll go find someone that does. But you will take care of him. You will make him disappear and I will help.”
Now if it wasn’t obvious enough to this point, I’ll make it clear: I’m more of a lover than a fighter. Don’t get me wrong now, I’m still pretty much your typical guy. I love action movies, driving a car, spitting at WWE villains through my TV, all that stuff; but I’ve never been the competitive, overachiever type. I’ve never been the show-off or the tough guy. That’s never been my style and, hey, I’m okay with that. I like who I am. My wife likes who I am. And yet …I couldn’t help but feel like my old man’s dark proverbs might finally do a marriage some good. At some point I was going to have to fight for her again – maybe not for her love, but for her desire. For her yearning. Even if I was satisfied, I couldn’t be sure that Maureen really was.
That, kind readers, was the genesis of my plan, a plan I hatched to not just save my marriage or my sex life, but to save what was left of my pride. Though I know I may seem a saint, I’ll be the first to admit that my concern was largely self-serving. I was becoming a broken man, and with every new advancement made in the detachable showerhead industry, I came closer to shattering. Like I said, it was never a question of love. It was simply a question of everything else.
After more than a few years of going strong, it became obvious that we’d built a world of our own, and I don’t just mean a quaint home in a homogenous and conveniently inaccessible suburb. Sure, our respective professions afforded us our share of comforts; her work as a PR consultant put food on the table and a couple cars in the garage, while my work as a garage salesman certainly didn’t hurt us when it came to having a place to put the cars my wife bought. It went much deeper than that, though. We’d created a world within our dreams that felt like true asylum from everything but each other. It was refuge sought in memories re-lived on loop, like some kind of living scrapbook taking the shape of both her childhood home and my grandmother’s hospice care center (This combination was not always pleasing). We hadn’t just romanticized a private paradise devoid of financial pressure and petty arguing – we’d made it real. It was an instant escape at our fingertips whenever we needed it, and for a while things almost felt perfect. And I mean, how couldn’t they? Who wouldn’t want what we were so close to losing ourselves in. No more aging. No more yielding to the ceaseless demands of a world that’s gonna keep turning regardless of what we choose to do. No more doping ourselves up every morning with caffeine, just to make it through another day of placating that sniffling littlesnurglenur(Editor’s Note: We figured here was as good a point as any to state that the author of this submission had no intention whatsoever of loosely co-opting the plot of Inception for his own emotional needs. If at any point that seemed to be the case, or if it even seemed like he’d recently watched the Academy Award-winning film by Christopher Nolan, you were mistaken and very wrong and we must remind you that we would never publish plagiarism. That being said, we ask that you ignore any inconsistencies you might think you’ve found in this now-abridged piece. What we’re really asking for here is simply some patience and understanding. Truthfully, this guy…he’s been going through some stuff. I personally can’t even imagine how tough it has to be to spend 17 years sharing the same bed with the same nagging bitch[2nd Editor’s Note: Look, everyone messes up sometimes. Everyone. We are all human. We are all capable of error. Please keep that in mind as you continue reading this submission at its most legally permissible juncture. Thank you.]) a;dlkfjad;fj;adlkjf;ladjf;kajd;lfkja akjdfkja ……..so if I’m being totally honest then yes, I did have some questions. There was some stuff that just didn’t quite add up for me. But with Maureen, I’ve never been afraid to ask questions. I’ve never been afraid to be wrong. The possibility of my worth diminishing in her eyes has never once crossed my mind. And, once she explained that there isn’t an actual egg inside of women that causes their bellies to get big and round during pregnancy, I was able to finally hug my son without fear of the unknown. It was moments like those, moments that seemed to happen almost daily, that left me feeling obligated to love her in every way I knew how.
In stoking the embers of my lover’s weathered loins, I knew I would need to be both spontaneous and near-perfect in my plan’s execution. The evening of our love life’s rebirth began rather typically, as the wifey and I snuggled up on the couch watching one of her most favorite treats, Magic Mike: XXL. I took the liberty of popping open a bottle of Merlot and decided to treat this particular movie night as a bit of an occasion, if only because I know what good looking men’s big swinging dicks do to my Maureen. (They turn her on). Now, I’ve never been a prude by any means. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a big fan of some good old fashioned S-E-X. I’m talking i-n-t-e-r-c-o-u-r-s-e w-i-t-h m-y w-i-f-e. The mere thought of it never fails to get me going. But I knew that Maureen needed more than the ho-hum cums we’d been concocting for a decade-plus. As someone who once thought about making money with an English degree, she had subtle yet direct ways of hinting at her desires to not just spice things up a little bit, but to truly revitalize what had plainly become a relationship built more on comfort than passion. I’ll admit, I liked things a the way they were. Maybe that was my age talking or just my selfish male nature, but I was happy. And I didn’t feel like I’d necessarily lost my spark either; I knew was no spring chicken, and I was certainly no longer a Hugo the Large and Heavy Cock, but I still had my share of moves to break out when the time came. I’m talkin’ Missionary, Dog Style, Reverse Missionary, Going In Kinda From The Side, and some more too. I didn’t just have the classics lined up, no, no, no. I had the Greatest Hits.
Without getting too explicit about the nature of our lovemaking, let me just say that I feel I entered Maureen on multiple levels. To use an old saying from my parents’ day, “Our bodies made whoopie, while our souls engaged in a dance akin to fucking.” We explored each other to such incredible depths that, well, it’s rather hard to explain. It was like we were inside each other…and then, somehow, we were able to go one step further. In a way it was a lot like that fabulous movie Incepion a;dfj adjfk;ldajkf ad;lfjal;kdjfa a;ldkfj;lakdjf adlkfja;ld ad;flkjad;lkfj ad;lfja;ldkjf a;ldkfjl;kadjfa a;dfkja;ldkf a;dflkajd;l aflkd;alkfdj af;lkdakfdj al;dfkl adflk al;ksdfa;jd;lkfja;lkdjf akdf;lkja dslk;fj ak;ldsfadklf a;dfj;kals dkflk ajdks;flkadfl al k;dsf akd;fkl ajdls;kflka as;dlfk; ad sj;lkfa;lksdjf kl;adslfkja;dkls fj;lkads ak;lsd jfl;kajds;lf;ld ak sdfj;klajsd ka;lsdjf akls That movie really did change my life. She was – we were – insatiable, going round after round like two rival boxers who’d developed a grizzled respect for the other’s hardened, aching body. We took turns toying with each other, though I teased her fighting spirit out slowly but surely. While our rapport was firmly established by the middle of the first go-round, it wasn’t until the third and final portion of our heated, herniated bout that I pulled out something I knew would send her over the top rope. I knew all along that if put my special way with words to use in enticing that thing which most men have relegated to their fantasies: a female orgasm. I was sure I could take her on an out of body ride through the heavens, but I knew I would need to believe in myself the way she believed in me. I also realized though that the boxing metaphors that often made sense to me and my penis might not translate so well.
“This sex we’re having right now….” I paused nervously, though continuing to pump with the urgency of a prepared cyclist with a flat tire on the poor side of town. She moaned encouragingly. “This sex we’re having right now is fucking, it’s like a fucking figure skating competition!”
“Oh my god!” she cried out. “Your grasp of symbolism”
“You’re doing a – you’re doing a one-foot Salchow and you’re preparing for me to jump throw you into a Half-Axel landing.”
“Oh yes I fucking am” she growled. I was twenty-two again, a sand-haired demigod with the madman libido of a Warren G. Harding or Leonardo Dicccaaappprrriiiiooooooooooo. I was building confidence and momentum, and I could tell Maureen wanted to join in as well.
“How would you like to finish of your routine?” I asked, holding her stare as I humped with the rhythmic mechanics of our son’s knock-off hoverboard.
“…Hurricanrana…” she gasped, “…please perform a Hurricanrana on me. Please lift me off the mat and drop me once more with a Stone Cold Stunner.” Now she was speaking my language, and it was sending me to a place I had been fighting myself not to visit since I woke up that morning: the land of where an orgasm is about to happen and does. I was approaching that place in such a hurry, though,that I feared I would not be able to deliver the much-deserved knockout blow on my wife. For her sake and mine I couldn’t stop, but I had to think fast. I knew I couldn’t hold back much longer, so as a last ditch effort to save face with the intellectual I’d be dealing with post-coitus, I aimed for one final left hook.
“Get ready, baby,” I warned, with the confidence of an airline pilot attempting to land on a makeshift runway that’s also the Super Bowl.
“Oh no, please, I’m so close, just a little bit – “
“I’m sorry, honey, but Santa’s coming early this year… and it’s looking like we’re gonna have…Christmas in July.” They say every great wordsmith finds the perfect climax sooner or later, and sure enough I had found mine. Though I had just poured my soul out to her, and into her, I was almost too scared to open my eyes; when I eventually did, I was dumbfounded. Expecting an admittedly-familiar look of sympathetic disappointment, I was shocked to find Maureen, mouth agape, lost in a similar euphoric daze as the one I had just been released from.
“You…actually did it….” she mumbled, her voice weaker than I’d ever heard. “You turned that phrase so…perfectly…you gave me an actual..orgasm…I could…feel it…you are the…ideal man..” her words fell out slowly, and I hung on every breathless syllable. Regaining her composure, she continued: “You have not just stimulated me sexually, my husband, but intellectually as well. Your ability to turn an unsatisfying sexual experience into a stunning example of man’s duality means that I will never divorce you and take your hard-earned money of which there is a lot. But if I do, I promise to take our son. You will never see him again.” The love I felt in her words shook me to my core, so much so that I either orgasmed again or became very dehydrated. Either way, the humidity beneath that comforter left my junk smelling ghoulish.
In 17 years of marriage a lot of compliments are delivered and a lot of kisses are shared, but the respect and admiration I felt from Maureen in that moment was the greatest honor I’ve ever felt in my life. To know that a woman needed me, to know that I’m still a sexual being with the ability to take control of a situation and take care of my wife’s needs – words can hardly explain that kind of pride. So, Men’s Health Magazine, if you really want to hear from married men about what sex means to them, I’ll break it down for you as simply as I can: Respect. A sense of importance achieved through performing simple, common tasks sporadically. The ability to make my wife cum. As a man in his 40’s, these are the things that matter to me. These things are all I have.