Q. My partner likes me to play with her ears. So I dutifully breathed on them, sniffed them, tugged, nibbled, even licked. Now she wants to videotape our “ear-rogenous” adventures and put them on the Internet. I refuse. Please take my side in this argument — you tend to have equal empathy in your responses and I need you to put the smackdown on her!
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A. If your partner wants to post something on the Internet, she is either really naive or loves to take risks. So I certainly do take your side in this argument.
Everything on the Internet has the potential to go viral. Anything filmed and uploaded is unlikely to remain private, and also has the potential to lead to harmful consequences. It will stay online forever, and you never know under what circumstances it will reappear to harm you.
You two are together at the moment, but you might not be when such a video pops up to ruin your life. It could cost you a job, ruin a new relationship or impact your children’s lives. A video could easily fall into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, many people feel that if something is not documented, it didn’t happen or isn’t important. So everybody is trying to tape themselves or reveal their innermost feelings. For some people, there may be a level of titillation or exhibitionism that they crave.
The erogenous zone in question doesn’t matter. It could be an ear, an elbow, a knuckle or anything else. It’s great that your partner has found a body part that excites her.
[I will add an audiological note here: Ears are very delicate. Loud noises or the suction of a kiss on the ear can cause hearing damage.]
If she needs to go to an adventuresome next level, she should pick a level that doesn’t include inherent risk. You are absolutely right not to let such a video be taken, let alone posted online.
If exhibition is what your partner is looking for, engage in your escapades in front of a mirror. It is great that you are trying something she likes, even if it leaves you cold. But don’t record or document such adventures.
It is great to push the envelope sexually, but if something makes you uncomfortable — particularly if there is risk involved — and she won’t let it go, it seems there might be something else going on in your relationship. A person always has the right to say no, whether something hurts or they just don’t like it.
Dr. Gail’s Bottom Line: Anything shared on the Internet is in public view forever. You never know when a video will appear to ruin your life.
Any ideas, suggestions in this column are not intended as a substitute for consulting your physician or mental health professional. All matters regarding emotional and mental health should be supervised by a personal professional. The author shall not be responsible or liable for any loss, injury or damage arising from any information or suggestion in this column.
Dr. Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to TODAY. Her most recent book is “The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life” (Rodale). For more information, please visit www.drgailsaltz.com.
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