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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Boys on the Side

Dear Mistress,

Throughout our many years, my man and I have talked about having an open relationship but have never really pushed it. We've said that we'll use our best judgment and just talk about it after it happens — unless we really feel a need to get the other's blessing beforehand.

We have a new mutual friend, and I'm feeling like a lust-struck teenager. I get the feeling that we'd have great sex, and I think we could keep it casual. I also think it would be worth the discussion that would be required with my man later. I have a burning desire to get some sexual frustration out on someone different, which I think could spark up my relationship. With this friend, it would just be a thing on the side and not a three-way.

I really just want some new, good sex without any real strings, discussion or work. Is this too complicated to attempt? We like to think that we'd be OK with it, but can we really know until it happens?

Lustily Waiting

Dear L.W.,

Non-monogamous relationships are possible — but pulling them off "without any real strings, discussion or work" is not.

I'm concerned for you and your man. Engaging in sex outside the relationship without talking about it first is a mistake. The only non-monogamous relationships I've seen work have included many pre-game discussions, ground rules and negotiations. Without these things in place, the inevitable aftermath will be almost insurmountable. (Lest you think otherwise, there will be emotional aftermath to sex outside the relationship, no matter how much planning you've done.)

If you really want to pursue hot sex with someone other than your man, here's what you do: Talk to your partner. Discuss why you want to seek pleasure with someone else. Really search yourselves and, as difficult as it may be, imagine how each one of you will feel when the other walks through the door after having had a sexual experience with someone else. What will you say? Will you discuss details? How will you really feel — jealous, hurt, turned on? Believe me, you don't want to wait until afterwards to navigate this terrain.

Another thing: Do not let your first experience be with a mutual friend — talk about drama! One couple I know has very specific rules about this — the encounter has to be out of town with someone the other partner does not know. Furthermore, it's a one-time deal — no repeat performances that could lead to any sort of emotional bonding. For them, physical intimacy with a third party is fine, but emotional intimacy is an indiscretion. I'm not saying it's the best way to go about non-monogamy, but it works for that couple.

And why not have a threesome? Is having sex with your partner really that unappetizing? If both of you are involved, sex with other people could be a dream come true instead of a nightmare.


P.S. This should go without saying, but be certain you're practicing safe sex and using common sense when you bring anyone new into your bedroom.

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