Here's another good example of what I've been talking about. This is pretty representative of what happens:
I like to write erotica. I don't consider myself a fantastic erotica writer, but I'm good enough to have had been paid for more than a few published pieces. In fact, way back when I was a single mom erotica writing regularly contributed to my income. When knight and I moved in together I slowly stopped selling to erotica magazines and websites because I was busy with other things, and with his income we didn't need the money my erotica writing brought in. But, I never stopped writing it. The focus of my stories changed from what sold, to what he and I both enjoyed. I wrote primarily for him, and shared my stories with a handful or so of select people. It was fun and a turn on for both of us.
We're both writers, and I thought it might be fun to write a sexy story together, round robin style. When I asked knight about it, he said it sounded like a neat idea. So I started a story and emailed it to my knight. I invited him to add a few lines and send it back to me.
Two days later I hadn't gotten the story back. I waited a week before I said something about it. He said he had gotten busy and forgotten about it. He apologized and told me he'd play with it the following week. I suggested we pull the story out and mess it with over the weekend, after kids were in bed. He agreed, said it sounded fun, and then it never happened.
Sometime during the next week he sent me the story back. He'd added less than a paragraph, and the sentences he did add were.... let's just say it seemed like he didn't spend much time on them.
I added another paragraph and sent it back to him. Same thing. He was obviously not into it.
I tried talking to him about it, and he assured me that he *was* into writing the joint story, but that he was having trouble with it. He asked me to start another one.
So, I did. This time I purposely left my first paragraph generic so it could go just about anywhere. The idea was to let him lead the story and see where he wanted to take it.
No answer. At all.
When I talked to him, he said he was tunnel visioned on something and apologized.
A month later, still nothing. So, I dropped it. He was obviously not interested.
Knight liked what I was writing, or at least he said he did, so I continued to write for him. And, I continued sharing my stories with a handful of people. Whether my knight really liked what I was writing or at least he said he did. I suppose I'll never really know, but I absolutely do know that the friends I was sharing the writing with absolutely loved it. In fact it was so popular that a few people asked to share my writing with other friends, and pretty soon I had friends-of-friends emailing to ask if I would write a custom story for them. My knight didn't mind, and it was a turn on for me, so I did. I always shared what I'd written with him just to keep everything above board, so to speak. He liked some of the stories, and didn't like others, just like anything else I write.
Every so often I'd try sending him another round robin story starter because the idea of writing erotica with him was really hot. I wrote him stories based on his fantasies, and on mine.. I bought erotica for us to read together, and asked him to do the same, but it never happened.
Eventually I stopped writing for him (but continued writing for others) because he just didn't seem all that into it. I was kind of sad, because it's something that is really fun for me, and tends to get me going, and I wanted to share that with him. I've never had what could be considered a super strong sex drive, but writing and reading erotica always puts me in the mood. But, it didn't seem like he was interested, so I stopped trying to force the issue, but told him if he wanted to write something with me, to let me know.
That was a couple years ago.. I still write erotica, but I haven't shared any with him in years because of his lack of interest.
A few weeks ago, the topic came up. We were talking about fun things we used to do together that we don't anymore. I mentioned the attempt at joint stories and asked him what it was about it that he didn't like.
His answer was that he liked it just fine, loved reading what I had written for him and for others, liked the idea of reading stories by other authors together. Then he told me that he'd gotten a huge kick out of the fact that I was a published erotica writer, and equally loved knowing I was writing sexy stories for our friends. He said he loved the joint story, round robin thing, too, and that he missed it a lot when I stopped sharing that with him.
So, of course, the obvious question is ...........then why did you show so little interest when I was doing it?
His answer? He didn't know. He couldn't figure out what I wanted him to write, what I wanted to hear, or what I wanted to read, and trying to figure it out simply paralyzed him, so he did nothing. He said that he never picked a story for us to read together because he didn't want to pick something I'd hate. He didn't want to react too much to the stories I wrote because he didn't know what kind of reaction I wanted from him.
Sigh......and 10 years later.. we still have the same issue--- he freezes when he doesn't know/understand *exactly* what I want. And I can't get him to understand that when I ask him a question, or ask his opinion, I want HIS opinion. I want his honest reaction when I do or say a thing. I don't what him to sugar coat it, I don't want to be humored. And I certainly don't want him to freeze because he's trying to figure out how I expect him to react. I've lost count of the number of times he's told me that he can't tell me what he thinks about something until I tell him what I want to do about it. It's maddening.