My husband SHAMED me when I revealed my secret fetish

Dear Jane,

I’ve been married for three years and have been with my husband for five years – and we have a wonderful relationship. Or so I thought. I’ve always been a bit shy about expressing myself in the bedroom and my husband has always been really understanding about it, helping me to be more open about my desires and wants, and he’s never made me feel embarrassed or ashamed about my kinks.

That is until last week when we were talking about our deepest desires and fantasies and I opened up to him about a very private fetish that I have kept hidden from everyone in my life for years.

I won’t go into too many details because, quite frankly, I’m too ashamed after hearing my husband’s reaction. I don’t think it’s particularly disgusting or weird – it basically involves pleasuring myself with vegetables, something that I’ve always found to be incredibly exciting and erotic. 

Dear Jane, my husband shamed me for my sexual fetish when I finally revealed it to him - and now I'm worried our sex life will never be the same again

Dear Jane, my husband shamed me for my sexual fetish when I finally revealed it to him – and now I’m worried our sex life will never be the same again 

But when I told my husband this, he flipped out. He said he doesn’t know if he can ever look at me the same way again, that I’m like a different person to me now, and that he doesn’t feel comfortable ever eating something I cook because he ‘doesn’t know where it’s been’.

I feel so devastated by his reaction. This person who used to make me feel so safe and empowered has now dealt me the biggest ever blow to my confidence and I don’t know how we can ever move past this.

From, Mortified Mrs

Dear Mortified Mrs,

Sitophilia is the word that describes sexual arousal involving food, and it is far more common than you might think. In other words, this is not abnormal, and there is no reason for you to have any feelings of shame.

International best-selling author offers sage advice on readers' most burning issues in her weekly Dear Jane agony aunt column

International best-selling author offers sage advice on readers’ most burning issues in her weekly Dear Jane agony aunt column

In fact, according to Dr. Mark Griffiths, a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, ‘There has long been an association between eating and sexual behavior on many different levels. Eating and sex are both basic human needs and sometimes interact more directly.’

Anyone who remembers the love scene in the movie 9 ½ Weeks will know just how erotic food can be – (I strongly suggest you and your husband watch this movie together) – and we well remember movies like American Pie where food is used during masturbation. 

As far as fetishes go, this would seem to be one of the mildest, and I don’t know why your husband is so appalled, particularly given that you say he has helped you express yourself in the bedroom, never making you feel embarrassed before.

Communication is vital here. An honest conversation needs to be had about how this is making you feel. 

I would wait for a time when you are both relaxed, and start by saying that you experience feelings of shame and upset when he derides or mocks you for a sexual want, particularly given how supportive and encouraging he has been in the past about exploring your sex life together.

He needs to understand exactly how unsafe and disempowered you have felt since telling him, and saying this calmly, when you are both in a good place, is the way to help him here. My guess is that he will have no idea just how much his words have impacted you, and if he loves you, will not want you to feel that way.

Perhaps the two of you can explore food together as a way to bring him in to your sexual life: I can’t imagine many men would turn down the opportunity to spice up their sex life – and this seems like an excellent place to start.

Dear Jane,

I’ve been keeping a secret from my husband for eight years: His stinky breath has totally ruined kissing for me. I first discovered it on a vacation – and since then I haven’t been able to kiss him with tongues, I just find it disgusting.

I’m completely clueless how to tell him without ruining his already-fragile ego. Help me get us back in line. I adore him, but I’m so afraid to tell him that his breath is the reason we never kiss. Thankfully he never asks or seems to care that we don’t deep kiss, but I really do miss it.

He’s used various mouthwashes and brushes and flosses but nothing has helped. He visits the dentist regularly and has never mentioned any issues from those appointments. How do I make him understand that we need to do more to figure out what’s up without making this so much more awkward than it already is? I’m totally mortified and stumped.

From, Missing Kissing

Dear Missing Kissing,

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a number of things, so you do need to bring this up, not just because you miss the kissing, but because this could be a signifier of something more serious. 

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Given that communication is probably the most important aspect of every relationship we have, why do we often find it so hard? 

Women have traditionally been raised to be people-pleasers, and telling someone a hard truth often brings up feelings of fear – what if they don’t like what we say, what if we are rude, what if they leave? The truth is that we can say anything when we are centered, calm, and kind.

The most common reasons behind halitosis are poor dental hygiene, or food getting stuck in the teeth which increase bacteria, hence the terrible smell. But, it could also be small stones on the tonsils that form bacteria, or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat.

It could be a metabolic disorder or reflux. Whatever the case, if you’re noticing it, then so is everybody else, and you have to help this poor man.

Find a time when you are both relaxed and tell him that you have noticed that his breath has become bad, and you are concerned that there may be an underlying health issue. He already sees a dentist and takes care of his teeth, so he should now see his primary care physician to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on.

It could be something as tiny as dehydration, but chronic halitosis is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right, so this is a discussion that must be had. I would think he would be grateful at the knowledge. 

Aren’t we always so relieved when someone points out that we have spinach in our teeth, or our dress caught up in our underwear? Hopefully, once you get to the bottom of it, the kissing can resume!