As some of you know, I had so much fabulous research for Secret Sex Lives: A Year on the Fringes of American Sexuality that I had to drastically cut the book. As a result, Ian Denchasy ended up in the “oh, dang, I wish I could keep him in the book, but, oh, dang, I just can’t” category.
Why was Ian such an amazing source? Because in nearly eight years of researching and writing Secret Sex Lives, Ian was my only interview who was happily married AND monogamous.
Unfortunately, that’s the very reason I ended up leaving Ian out of the book — Secret Sex Lives was about the fringes of American sexuality, not the normal. Then again, Ian isn’t the norm because not only is he happily married and monogamous, he and his wife have a very, very active and mutually pleasing sex life. In other words, they are wildly monogamous. And because of that, I think many readers will find him inspiring.
That’s why I’m sharing with you now the deleted Secret Sex Lives chapter devoted to the most impressive Ian Denchasy.
By the way, in this chapter you’ll read mentions of Coyote and Rex. They are two of my non-monogamous sources who remained in the book and believe their wives don’t know about their secret sex lives.
One day, while I was cruising the Internet, I happened upon FreddyandEddy.com, a site that reviewed sex toys and movies. FreddyandEddy is run by Ian and Alicia Denchasy, a happily married, monogamous couple.
Happily married and monogamous. I couldn’t imagine. I emailed Ian immediately.
They’d started the site solely to spark more sex – and more passionate sex – into their marriage, he replied.
Three days later I called Ian. Practically the first words I spoke were, “Did this help your sex life?”
“Oh, my God!” he exclaimed. “Are you crazy? We’re like the hump bunnies. I mean, come on.”
Ian was an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles enclave of Bel Air when his son was born and, as a result, his sex life with his wife Alicia went “down the toilet” – to use Ian’s description. He fretted, he worried, he thought about how he and his wife used to have sex two and three times a day. He talked to Alicia about it, but nothing changed. “It wasn’t simply the lack of sex that killed me,” Ian said as we talked on the phone. “It was the lack of her wanting me in that way that really destroyed me.”
He knew he didn’t understand what a woman went through after childbirth, so he tried to research it. Women’s magazines “basically [said] that the men are the assholes and suck it up dude.” Men’s magazines suggested he “just fuck her and tell her to get her clothes off.” The Internet offered similar combative advice – “nothing that really helped.”
He talked to Alicia again. “Is this how the rest of our life is going to be? Once every couple of weeks or once a month? Are you satisfied with this?”
Still, nothing changed, until one summer day when Ian sat in the park with four female friends, watching their children play, and the conversation moved to sex. The women asked him how often he and his wife had sex.
“It’s a real bummer,” he said, before giving them his once or twice a month number. At that, their jaws dropped. They thought that was a lot. Ian was horrified.
He phoned Alicia at work. “Tell me you’re not okay with this!”
“So, we just said why don’t we just—wink, wink—form a website to review toys and give us an excuse to write about it, play with toys, communicate better. No one was ever really supposed to visit the website. It was kind of a little inside joke.”
They began with toys because previously, and trying to get out of their sex doldrums, they’d dug out a Pocket Rocket vibrator that had been given to them as a wedding gift. Until then, they’d never experimented with sex toys. But thanks to the Pocket Rocket, Alicia had an orgasm for the first time in their then ten-year relationship.
A few months after launching FreddyandEddy.com, Ian and Alicia started receiving emails from couples who had discovered their site, were having similar problems with their sex lives, and loved Ian and Alicia’s recommendations. FreddyandEddy became so popular that Ian and Alicia began selling a few sex items to support the website. “And it just took off …”
In fact, FreddyandEddy.com generated so much interest and publicity that Ian feared it might embarrass the elementary school where he taught. Since profits from the website sales were substantial, Ian resigned his teaching job to run the business and open a sex store.
Both the website and store cater to monogamous couples with children. The store is open primarily by appointment so that customers won’t run into friends from their neighborhood PTA.
“You walk in and you don’t know you’re in an adult store because you come into a coffee bar and it’s only got like little soaps and candles and things like that.” From there, one enters a library where one has to read the titles to discover that the books are erotic. “And then you come into like a living room that looks like it would be in your house and you can watch TV or read or play games.” Lastly, one can walk through French doors to find a room filled with sex toys. “And you can choose not to go into that room, if you want. It’s very, very low pressure.” That’s because their goal “was to make it so that even the shyest of the shy could come in there and not feel pressured or threatened or, you know, exposed.”
Ian repeatedly insisted that he and his wife are one of those shy couples living behind a white picket fence.
“Really,” he said, “if I wasn’t having more sex because of this vehicle, I’d be back teaching. I’m telling you, I’d close it all down in a second. This whole thing is so that we can have more sex. And it accomplishes that. I mean, we fucked yesterday like you wouldn’t believe. … Oh, my God! It was so insane because just the night before I said, ‘Man, you’re just looking so’—am I turning you off with all of this?”
“Listen,” I said, “this is tame compared to what I’ve been hearing.”
“Okay. Anyway, I’m a big believer in the whole pleasing of her first. And two nights ago we were sitting, watching TV, and I’m just obsessed with her sexually. I just think she’s so hot. I’ve been with her over seventeen years, and she’s hotter now than ever, you know. So I said, ‘I’m going down on you, baby, right now.’ And I just went to town … she was bucking off the couch. And it was just so much fun. And then she was like, ‘All right, let’s get you going.’ And I was like, ‘Nope! Unt-uh. I’m not doing a thing. That’s it. You’ve gotta be satisfied with that.’
“And she’s, ‘What do you mean? You’re not satisfied.’
“I said, ‘Well, you’re crazy. I’m more than satisfied.’ I mean, you know, it was all I really wanted. It was all I really needed. And then the next morning, which was yesterday, we got to the shop, and I said, ‘Let me continue what happened last night.’ And it just took off from there. And we just tore it up, man. And I was like ‘I’d love to see any twenty-year-old do it like that.’ I mean, I’ll put them to shame any day of the week.” Ian was 41. His wife was weeks away from turning 40.
“And of course at the shop we’ve got every toy known to man, so, you know, it was like all right we’re gonna go over here and do it on this thing called the Bonk’er.”
The Bonk’er is a nearly heart-shaped contraption of hooks and straps that lifted her feet into the air and swung her onto his body. But the Bonk’er wasn’t enough.
Ian then said to his wife, “We’re then gonna move over to this tantra chair and then we’re gonna finish off over here.” To me, he said, “And then she went off to work and my whole day was so happy it was insane.”
I thought about Coyote and Rex and so many other men I’d communicated with. “What I hear all the time,” I said to Ian, “is that I love my wife, I don’t want to leave her, but there’s no sex, so they’re trying to pick up people on the Internet.”
“Oh, God, we hear that story all the time,” he replied. “You know what? Lemme tell you, Suzy, I put a lot of it on the males in the relationship because it comes down to that people somehow don’t want to put in the work anymore, because it’s not automatic anymore and it’s not spontaneous like it was …
“And, you know, for me, I try to tell people you have to get past that. The better sex is waiting for you by deepening the relationship with the person you have. You know, I can’t go out to a bar and pick up a girl and tie her up when I get home or have her flog me or something like that. That comes with trust and time. So our belief is you’ve gotta get the communication going again, and you’ve just gotta force yourself back into that mode. And most people just won’t do it. It’s just too hard for them. So they give up.”
At that, Ian told me that he’s constantly asked what’s the best sex toy. To answer, he pulls out a sponge and some dish-washing liquid and says, “This is the best sex toy.”
He’s then asked, “What do you do with that?”
Ian answers, “‘You do the fucking dishes, dumb ass. That’s the thing that turns my wife on the most: a clean house, a good meal, a massage. Not a vibrator. A vibrator is just a device after you’ve gotten to that point, but you have to get to that point first. And the way you do that is by helping out with the kids. It’s by taking a long walk. It’s by listening to her day when she comes home.”
To me, he said, “And thennnn you can get to the intimacy, after that. … By working together on things, it’s better. It’s become hotter. It becomes more passionate. I mean, she and I exchange no less than ten emails daily. And we call each other probably twice daily. Now true, we’re a little oddball in that. Most couples don’t quite go that far, but you can go halfway between that and have quite a bit of a good relationship.”
“So,” I asked, “what made you different so that you’re willing to say, ‘Hey, let’s work on this’ instead of saying, ‘Hey, I want to be wanted, let me go out and make myself feel better with other girls wanting me?’”
“I think a lot of it has to do with my own parents …” They were loving. They worked on problems together. And they were together until his mother died. He wanted his own marriage to be like that.
“I knew I was going to marry my wife the minute I saw her, and that’s just never changed. This may sound far-fetched, but I have never once desired another woman.”
When I hung up from speaking with Ian, I couldn’t believe how high and relieved I was. To talk to someone who believed in marriage and monogamy, oh, it was as though with that one man, I’d discovered that everything I’d been taught in Sunday school and at Baylor could actually be true. I still didn’t believe that a relationship, love, marriage was for me, but maybe, just maybe, it could work for those who did long for that. And that made me happy.
But as time passed, and as I thought about his words and as I so wanted his insight to be true, I wondered if it was true that a husband could have a great sex life with his wife if only he’d do the dishes and listen to her. Ian was probably right in many cases, perhaps even Coyote’s. But I thought about Rex.
He did do the cleaning, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking. When his wife came home from work, he greeted her with that drink and the newspaper. And Rex had talked to her about his sexual needs. At least he said he had. But none of that had changed anything. She didn’t seem to care that her husband wasn’t happy sexually. Or maybe there was something inside her that wouldn’t let her care. That hurt too much. That feared too much. Or maybe she was like me and thought love and sex were two different entities and never the twain shall meet.
* * *
The above interview took place in the summer of 2005. Unfortunately, since then, Ian and Alicia have closed their store, but Ian and Alicia and the FreddyandEddy website are still going strong.