December 18, 2002
Arts and Entertainment
DEAR ANDREA: My girlfriend and I have become very serious very fast. We have talked of marriage and all the wonderful things that come with it and about only being with each other for the rest of our lives. We're still pretty young and have a lot to experience. The other day she suggested having a threesome with another guy. Not being prepared for this, I was very taken aback and hurt. I may not be the greatest lover ever, but I wish I was the only one she ever wanted. This makes me feel very inadequate as a lover. I just can't stand the thought of another man sharing something that I hold so sacred as though it were nothing. I feel as though it cheapens what should be a loving sensual bond between two people. I realize that if it were with another woman, I would probably not be as apprehensive. This may be because I wouldn't feel competition, whereas with a man I would feel as though he were infringing on my territory.
I truly love this girl and everything about her, and I want to be with her for the rest of my life. I love her so much that I would consider this, but it makes me feel horrible just thinking about it. All I want is to please her, and I am not sure what to do. Is what I am feeling wrong, and what should I do about it?
No, you're not doing anything wrong, but you sure are making things difficult for yourself. I don't know how young and inexperienced you really are, but I'm guessing very. Could there be any other reason why you feel you must speak of marriage, exclusivity, forever, and all that good stuff right now, when you could just hang out and have fun? Come to think of it, to hell with fun you don't have to suffer like this, though I must admit you're pretty good at it.
It's possible your girlfriend suggested the threesome because you're so deeply inadequate that she barely knows you're there, but probably not. More likely by far is that she thinks it's hot, and yes, she'd probably like a little variety before she signs up for a lifetime of you and you alone. And who could blame her?
Sometimes it's difficult for the young and tenderhearted to grasp this, but while sex can indeed be a sacrament of sorts, a holy bond between blah and blah, it's also just ... sex. Try not to feel as though your sweetie is despoiling the holy of holies by even thinking about bringing in another guy. It's not like she snuck out on you she's made every effort to keep you involved, including giving you veto power. What more could you ask?
I do think you're right that you'd feel far less threatened if she suggested bringing home a cute girlfriend instead. Yes, it's less of a direct challenge. I also submit that it's a lot more acceptable to you as a fantasy because, well, it's two girls, and you're a guy. Ya-hoo.
I've been married for more than three years to a younger man (we've been together for seven), and we are clearly in love and committed. However, he's attracted to other people. We talk about this openly, and he always reiterates that he would never cheat on me. I can't help feeling that this is a ticking time bomb and, worse, that he is living a life feeling deprived, and I am constantly feeling that he wants someone other than me. What should I do? I've suggested we try threesomes, but it just doesn't feel right for both of us. Short of having an open relationship, which we both agree is not for us, I can't help feeling that I need to let him go to experience sex with other partners. Also, our sex life is not so great. What should I do?
We're not going to address that last question right now, or we'd never get out of here. As for the rest, have you ever heard the phrase "Don't borrow trouble"?
You are worrying about things that, while admittedly worrisome, are not actually happening. Many people are attracted to people other than their mates. I'd venture to say that most people are attracted to people other than their mates and that the rest are lying, but I get in those moods sometimes.
You two are doing what I'd be telling you to do if you weren't you're talking about it. You have suggested a threesome, and he doesn't want one. Keep talking. If he really needs to "experience" those other partners, he will feel safe discussing it with you. Until then, he doesn't want to do anything about it; he just wants to look. Let him look. Better yet, look with him.
E-mail Andrea Nemerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.