Dear Dana: How Do I Ask My Wife To Have A Threesome With Me?

threesome

Dear Dana is a bi-weekly advice column for humans who engage in romantic relationships. Please send your dilemmas, issues, conundrums, assumptions, conflicts, anxieties, worriments, obstacles, complications, predicaments, queries, questions, and any other synonyms for “problems” to deardana@rolereboot.org.

Dear Dana:

My wife and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have a great relationship, but our sex life has been lackluster for the last couple years. We’ve been trying to spice things up. We’ve dabbled in role playing, (light) bondage, and watching porn together, but we’re both left wanting more.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who had a threesome. I can’t get the thought out of my head. I want to talk to my wife about inviting a third person into our bedroom, but I’m worried she might take it the wrong way. She’s open to trying new things, but is this too risky? What if she says no and is left feeling like she’s not enough for me? And if she says yes, how do we go about making it happen?

Sincerely,

Three’s Company

 

Dear Three’s Company:

Ah, threesomes: the holy grail of boring marriages everywhere. If you have a threesome you can do the thing where you technically remain faithful to your wife while also having sex with another person. It’s perfect! The idea of a threesome is captivating—it’s new, it’s exciting, it shows you that your life isn’t over, that you’re still desirable to non-wife people. If you have a threesome then, suddenly, you’ll be magically transformed into the type of man who has had a threesome. And how cool is that guy? So cool!

What did your friend say about the threesome? That it changed his life? That it saved him from divorcing his wife? That now his kids are getting straight A’s in school? I really wish you would have revealed exactly what about this threesome so captured your imagination, other than the prospect of having sex with another person.

Let’s take those rose-colored threesome glasses off of your eyes and talk about real life. A threesome can be successful, but it can also be the complete worst. Just like most things. It may be the best thing that ever happened to you sexually, and it may also expose sexual vulnerabilities that you and your wife have. People are emotionally messy, so expect that three people will be three times as messy.

Your question has two sides: You want to know how to convince your wife to have a threesome and then you want to know how to go out and have one. Truth: I have never had a threesome and so am out of my depth and so I have called in help. My friend K is married and he had his partner have had a variety of threesomes, so I posed your question to him. K writes:

“One of the most important questions to ask yourself is whether you are wanting to spice up your sex life as a couple or whether this is solely about you. Be honest. If you’d be just as happy sleeping with someone else solo, it’s probably not going to result in the best outcome should you even get to act on your threesome fantasies. If it’s about building on top of a strong foundation of couple sex, then rock and roll.”

I think this is a fantastic point—you gotta be honest about what it is that you want. Sex with someone who isn’t your wife? Or your wife having sex with someone who isn’t you? Is it that you want to watch your wife with someone else and involve her? Or is that you just want her to be present so you won’t feel guilty? If you’re just looking to have sex with someone new, then this may be obvious when you start to go to town on the new person while your wife is in the corner, seething.

Let’s say you really really do want to have sex with your wife AND someone else. If you’re going to ask your wife for a threesome, you gotta do it in a way that is sensitive. K’s advice is to frame this as an ongoing discussion—it’s not a single conversation that ends in either a green or red light. Like all things in marriage, this issue can be explored over time. And keep in mind, “If you get a solid ‘no,’ that could represent an underlying fear, e.g., scarcity of love, fear of abandonment, etc. Listen to her. Acknowledge you respect her concerns, and work with her to talk out the underlying reasons for her opposition. She may eventually come around to giving it a go, but she might not. And you have to respect that.”

Let’s say your wife does agree to a threesome—please don’t go out and put an ad on Craigslist that same day. You want to invite this new aspect into your sex life, but you also want to maintain your great relationship. So ramp up to it. Per K, “Consider role playing threeway scenarios when it’s just the two of you. Pretend she’s getting pleased by you and another man or that you’re sharing in pleasing another woman. Not only does this help get the both of you comfortable with the idea of adding a third wheel, but it also can help you come to a better idea of what turns you on about the scenario. That way, when you are ready to start your search in earnest, you’ll have a pretty good sense of the dynamic you’ll want to play out in the bedroom.”

Let’s say the role playing goes well and you’re both on board to bring a third person into the mix, now here’s the hard part. You want to find someone you’re both attracted to who is also attracted to both of you who is also interested in making your wildest threesome dreams come true and then leave immediately afterward without muddying up your wonderful marriage with their feelings. Did you know that individuals who want to engage in no-strings attached threesomes with long-term couples are known as “unicorns”? Because they don’t technically exist? Any individual you invite into your bedroom needs to be acknowledged as a person and not just an added dimension to your sex life.

Are you and your wife communicating well now? In order to have a successful threesome you’re going to need to communicate EVEN MORE. More talking, more asking, more self-evaluation, more compassion both for yourself and your wife. Having a threesome is a way to bolster your sex life but it’s also going to be more work—finding the person you both want to have sex with who wants to have sex with the both of you, making them feel safe, negotiating boundaries between all three of you, debriefing afterward. You’re gonna need to do like 40 hours worth of work for 45 min of sex.

Truth: Threesomes are fine. Sex between consenting adults is fine. Another truth: The very first time you have sex with anyone it tends to not be awesome. Awesome sex takes trust and time and learning that person’s body. The law of emotions and physics still apply to threesomes, which is so rarified and held up as the most exciting sexual thing ever.

K suggests, “You might want to check out the site morethantwo.com. It’s more of a resource for polyamory, but its material on jealousy can be helpful even in situations that are solely sexual.” There are apps that specialize in getting three people together, and there are sex clubs that allow consenting adults to play. A threesome isn’t going to save your marriage but, if you do it right, it probably won’t break your marriage either. You’ll still have your wife and you and all the issues you had before, plus a few new issues which will inevitably be uncovered. So talk about it. To yourself, to your wife, to your possible new partner(s). And see what you find.

Dana Norris once went on 71 internet dates, many of which you may read about here. She is the founder of Story Club and editor-in-chief of Story Club Magazine. She has been featured in McSweeney’s, Role Reboot, The Rumpus, and Tampa Review and she teaches at StoryStudio Chicago. You may find her on Twitter at @dananorris.

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