Health

My husband came to me with a baffling proposition. I can’t believe I’m considering it.

How to is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Jessica and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear how to do it,

I am in my 40s and have been married to my husband for 15 years. We’ve always had a good sex life: we like trying new things (toys, new positions, etc.), but we’re no stranger to falling into a routine, like most people. Well, lately we’ve been on a bit of a slowdown, where we’ve only been having sex a few times a month. But we’ve been busy, life happens, I understand. Recently we talked about our dip and how we wanted to come back to a better place. In this conversation, the subject of fantasies came up. Turns out my husband has a new idea that he’s really been thinking about and would love to try.

He wants to help me meet other men and possibly watch/join the movie. He said he discovered the genre through a few videos and would really like to try it if I’m interested. He would really like to be part of the whole process: helping me find someone and helping me prepare for the evening. We’ve never done anything like this before or invited anyone else into our room, so this seems to come out of nowhere. I honestly couldn’t believe he was seriously asking me this question at first. I told him I would think about it. The crazy thing is, I’m actually thinking about it. I never thought I would take on something like this, but I surprise myself by actually being excited about the idea. Is it a bad idea to get into this? What should I think about before accepting? And also, how would we make this happen, or should I leave the logistics to him?

—Out of my element

Dear out of my element,

You are the third writer in as many weeks to submit a question on the theme of “husband wants to know that his wife is, or might be, having sex with other men.” And, after years of writing this column and nearly two decades of hearing about sexual fantasies and practices, I’m not sure it’s scandalous to consider indulging in a little cuckolding, a bachelor party of boy or other forms of “woman dating” non-monogamy if that interests you. Since you and your husband are excited about the idea, I think it’s at least worth giving it more thought.

Sometimes our fantasies are more enjoyable when they stay in that realm, so be prepared for one or both of you to decide – as you get closer to making this a reality – that you would prefer keep sex with others as something you talk about. but I don’t actually do it. Jealousy could be something that arises in your husband. So continue to share your emotions and feelings with each other, and keep an eye out for anything that signals “Stop!” »

You’ll need to be wary of sexually transmitted infections, which means communicating with potential partners about testing and using (at a minimum) condoms for penetration. If you are able to talk with your doctor about your risks, that is ideal, but if you do not feel comfortable, know that the main concerns in the United States are HIV, hepatitis C , syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, mycoplasma, HPV and herpes. You may want to inquire about getting the HPV vaccine (adults up to age 45 can get it now, if they haven’t already), because this vaccine, just like herpes and Syphilis can be transmitted quite easily, even with the use of a condom.

As for how to achieve this, you have dating apps, swingers clubs, and non-monogamous dating. Whether you leave the logistics to your husband depends on your enjoyment of surprises and, more generally, your involvement in the process.

How to get advice on how to do it

Submit your questions anonymously here. (Questions may be edited for publication.)

Dear how to do it,

My boyfriend and I have amazing sex, but one problem that has been bothering me for months is not being able to orgasm. I can only do it myself with a vibrator, but it takes time and I have to practically tense my whole body. For as long as I can remember, I have been told that masturbation is bad. I was even taken to the doctor at a very young age and my parents didn’t believe it when they were told the truth. I thought it was my SSRIs that were affecting my sex life, but I realized it was deep-rooted shame and embarrassment. How can I let myself go with my boyfriend, without having to tense up my whole body? Should I consult a sexologist?

—Crawl to the finish line

Dear crawling to the finish line,

SSRIs, shame, and addiction can all contribute to difficulty achieving orgasm. I reached out to Kari Harrison, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and AASECT Certified Sexologist at The Expansive Group, for additional information:

Orgasms can take a lot of work – emotionally, mentally and even physically… but when it comes down to it, our largest sexual organ is not our genitals but our brain! So if thoughts and feelings of shame arise frequently during sex, this could absolutely make it more difficult to be present in a way that allows your body to respond to the pleasure that results in an orgasm. But you can have pleasurable sex without having an orgasm, and sometimes relieving the pressure of orgasm can create space for orgasm to happen. During off-center orgasm, you may find yourself more in tune with what you are experiencing sexually with your partner and enjoying.

It seems like shame-based narratives are what you find most upsetting and distracting during sex right now. A practice based on mindfulness could therefore be useful to refocus yourself in your body. For example, you can try noticing whenever a shame-based thought comes to mind that takes you away from your body during sex and redirecting yourself to the sensations happening in your body. Try to describe them to yourself. And if you notice that you are thinking about sensations or a lack of sensations rather than experiencing them, try redirecting your attention to the sensations themselves. A sex therapist can help you develop this practice and work with you to remove some of the shame you feel about sex and find deeper pleasure and connection in your body. You also mentioned SSRIs, and it’s worth noting that delayed orgasm is a common side effect of SSRIs because of the way they change the neurochemicals involved in arousal. So, if you take them, they might have an additional impact.

Dear how to do it,

My boyfriend and I are long distance for the first time in our relationship. I spend six months abroad while he stays in our hometown. He’s going to come visit me a few times during my stay, but it will be rare, so I’ve been trying to keep things interesting by trying to reintroduce sexting into our dynamic. We’ve only sexted very little during our relationship (we’ve been together for three years), so it’s a bit awkward/he doesn’t really give any more explicit responses than just “Oh, you have the looks good” or a suggestion. I thought about how much he was looking forward to seeing me again. Meanwhile, I was kind of thinking we could try our hand at phone sex. How can I introduce this here and make it clear that I want a little something extra?

—Send photos (or not)

Dear friends, send photos,

Try this as an introduction: “I miss you emotionally. I miss cuddles with you. And I miss the sexual connection we have too. I would like to play with (or experiment with) sexting and phone sex. Are you ready to talk about it with me? Good luck.

Dear how to do it,

I was raised in a culture of purity lite, certainly not the most oppressive version out there, but it still limited me mentally and logistically. I’ve only had two real sexual partners, including my husband. But there are a lot of things I don’t know how to do and I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable doing it. As a valued recipient of oral sex, I would like to offer it, especially with my husband. But even when it’s spotlessly clean and freshly showered, the area’s natural funk is a huge drag. It’s not like you can fix it by breathing through your mouth… How do I get over this?

—Funked

Dear Funked Up,

It seems like your problem with oral is less about your experience with purity culture and more about your distaste for the smell. Some people just don’t like the smell (or taste) of genitals. Some people don’t care about some people’s genitals and care about other people’s genitals. And, as you’ve discovered, people sometimes marry others whose genitals they prefer to avoid oral contact with.

You could ask your husband to try different types of soaps. Much like perfume, the scents of some soaps highlight the funk where others tone it down. But it’s possible that you just don’t like being around its particular scent, and that’s okay. He probably married you without much oral sex in the picture, and you may have your preferences and sensitivities.

—Jessica

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