This Week in the Mercury


Monday, May 17, 2010

Savage Love Letter o' the Day: Have The Threesome

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I've been reading your column for years, and consider you my go-to source for how to run a strong and mutually satisfying relationship. I've been dating a younger woman (I'm 37; she's 25) for a few months. In many ways, the relationship is great: good sex, good conversations, similar energy levels, and more. However, I'm intensely uneasy about a recent development: she asked me if I'd be interested in a threesome the other day. I was taken aback, because I've been very clear from the beginning that being monogamous was a make-or-break issue from me. I am not interested in anyone else, and will not date someone who screws around on me.

In the spirit of being GGG, I did a lot of soul searching and decided I could be open to another woman in the bed, but definitely not another man. I know it's a double standard, but I'm not budging here. I also feel odd, because shouldn't I be excited that my girlfriend wants threesomes with other women? I'm not, though. I'm worried about both of our reactions to the reality of a threesome. It seems like there are lots of ways things could implode, and I'm very leery of gambling what I see as a potentially long-term relationship on this. I also don't see myself in a lifestyle that regularly engages in group sex, and am adamantly opposed to swinging. What I'm hoping is that this is an experimentation phase on her part, and I'm willing (albeit with unease) to give it a go if it means keeping her happy.

My questions are: Is there a glaringly obvious flaw in my thought process? I think part of the issue is that we may have different long-term goals, or at least different abilities in articulating and understanding what we want out of life (age has its strengths here). Am I over thinking the whole thing, and should I just STFU and enjoy it? I'm really struggling with this and wondering if I am normal and justified in feeling threatened.

No Clever Name

My response after the jump...

Agreeing to a threesome is a gamble, NCN, but refusing to fulfill a partner's reasonable sexual requests—and, yes, I do think the odd threesome is a reasonable sexual request (so shoot me)—is also a gamble. If your girlfriend attaches a great deal of importance to fulfilling this particular fantasy, or if she regards a general sense of sexual adventurousness as something she's looking for in a life partner, then you risk losing her by not having the threesome.

It would help to know just how important this threesome is to her. If your girlfriend is merely curious about threesomes and wants to experience one to see what all the fuss is about, then perhaps this is "an experimental phase," and you'll be able to have the monogamous relationship you want after you've helped her satisfy her curiosity with a one-time-and-one-time-only threesome. But if she's turned on by threesomes generally—and group sex and swinging particularly, and if she sees herself in an open relationship ideally—then it likely isn't a phase. But even if it's the latter, NCN, there's still hope: it's possible that the reality of threesome/group sex might not live up to your girlfriend's fantasies and she'll come to the highly-convenient/mildly-improbable realization that monogamy is for her after all. But that's not an epiphany she'll be able to have at least until that first threesome is underway.

Yes, NCN, you're playing with fire here. But if in the process you discover that you're not sexually compatible—monogamy is make-or-break for you and take-a-break for her—then it doesn't matter if you burn the relationship to the ground, does it?

So KTAI (that's "keep talking about it," the opposite of "shut the fuck up"), have the threesome, and see where you're at.

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