DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: My bf and I had a threesome with a woman and it was good for our first time. I wasn’t attracted to her, but I knew he was and I wanted to give us the experience since we’d been fantasizing and talking about it for two years.
So the threesome was great. We both had fun, but the trouble started when the third started sexting my bf. He showed me and told her that we only do things together etc. So she stepped back, but she has kept texting my bf sexy photos, and texts that have sexual inuendos. And he has been dodging most of the advances with a few exceptions when he has flirted back. I know all of this because he shows me all the communications.
I have told him that this kind of flirting makes me very uncomfortable and that it hurts, but he says that it is harmless and that he won’t break our agreements which are that we only sleep with people together not apart. But it still makes me anxious and hurt.
I don’t know what to do. Please help!
DEAR THIRD WHEEL: Congratulations on the fun sexy adventures, TW! Trying new things with your partner, especially things you’d both been fantasizing about, is a big part of keeping the spark in a relationship alive and healthy. However, the opposite side of trying new things is, well, ya gotta stick the landing too. And right now, your boyfriend… isn’t.
So you have two issues here: your boyfriend and your special guest star. The problem is that neither of them are really respecting the number one rule of threesomes, which is that boundaries are absolutely important. Your third is being pretty disrespectful with the way she’s acting; yeah, you all had fun sexy times, but she doesn’t seem to respect the fact that you and your boyfriend are a matched set. The fact that you had a threesome doesn’t mean that you’re cool with having her fooling around with your partner without you. Being sexually adventurous doesn’t automatically mean that you’re in an open or poly relationship. And frankly, the fact that she’s not listening when your boyfriend said “Hey, we only play together” is not cool.
However, your boyfriend isn’t covering himself in glory either, ‘cuz while he may have told her that you two only play together, he’s also not telling her to stop. I’m not surprised, honestly; being flirted with and getting sexy photos from someone you’re into is fun and strokes the ol’ ego. But just as a threesome doesn’t mean that the individual players get to do their own thing too, the fact that he’s not planning on sleeping with her (more on this in a second) doesn’t make what he’s doing OK.
Problem is that he’s rationalized this in his head; since he’s technically following your agreement, it’s all cool. But this is a letter-of-the-law/spirit-of-the-law situation here. The point of your agreement isn’t “everything that doesn’t involve your wang-wang going in someone’s hoohoo is permitted”, it’s “These are the things we agree to to maximize our emotional safety and the security of our relationship”. And what he’s doing violates that spirit.
In his mind, he’s being a good boyfriend by being up front about this. And to be fair: it’s good(ish) that he’s not doing this behind your back. Getting blindsided by this would, in all likelihood, be worse. But the fact that he’s open with you about it doesn’t change the fact that this hurts you. So no, he’s wrong: it’s not harmless because he is doing you harm by ignoring your boundaries and encouraging her to do so as well.
And honestly, while there are people who just get a charge from flirting and sending sexy texts and photos and don’t ever intend to actually escalate to full-on infidelity… right now, your husband’s behavior is making me think that there’s an “oops I tripped and accidentally stuck it in her” situation coming.
So here’s what you need to do. First, you and your husband need to sit down and have a serious, come-to-Jesus talk about her actions, his behavior and the point of your agreement. Successful sexual adventures, including threesomes, require feeling safe and secure in your relationship, and his behavior is damaging that. You made your agreement with certain assumptions in place. Since it’s clearly not working out as intended, the two of you need to revisit and amend that agreement if you want this to work. And remember, you are well within your rights to say “This isn’t working for me, and I think we need to stop.”
And you need to enforce your boundaries here. You have a right to say “the things you’re doing hurt me,” and to tell him that his flirting with her is crossing a line. The fact that it’s “technically” within the realm of what you agreed to doesn’t make it ok. Your agreement wasn’t carved in stone and sealed in blood. You can modify it as needed.
If he’s a good boyfriend, if he values you and he wants to have a life of sexual adventure and fulfillment with you? He’ll listen, understand and do better.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I first want to say thank you for the work that your site has done. My resolution for this was to improve myself and my overall situation in life. With your help and the help of some other great sites and books I have made great strides. My own place, a driver’s license, a promotion at my job in the financial industry. I feel like it has been a good year overall. Hell, I would even call it a great year.
To get to the point of my message I went on a date earlier this year, and was ghosted. No big deal, as you say no one knows you an explanation. Well about a month ago I get a message from this girl on Facebook. we become friends and start chatting, and she wants to go out on another date with me. One night she asks me to come over and cuddle. Well one thing leads to another and we end of up having sex (before we go on the date mind you) Now I truly didn’t think that we would have sex, but I knew it was a possibility. Afterwards she said she was surprised because I came off as so innocent and shy, but when I came over I became more manly man and more assertive. Which she liked.
I will be honest this was the first time I have had sex in seven and a haIf years so I got to thinking. I don’t know if this is something that I have been doing without thinking. I don’t consider myself a “nice guy” but I do try take things slow and I don’t want to push things in a relationship. It’s how I have always been. Plus I feel I’m overly cautious with relationships because of being burned in the past.
Are there things that I can do to not come off as so shy and nice which can be seen a turn off to women? I’m gonna be honest I really don’t wanna go another presidential term without having sex.
Seven Year Itch Scratched
DEAR SEVEN YEAR ITCH SCRATCHED: Congratulations on doing so much better, SYIS! Here’s to hoping the years continue to be even better for you!
So let’s talk about your issue for a second. There’s taking things slow and being nice and then there’s being passive and indecisive. A lot of guys do this; they don’t want to risk making a mistake and getting rejected or making someone uncomfortable so they pull back so far that they end up never doing anything. And that can be ok if you’re dating someone who’s naturally the aggressor. But if you’re not giving any signals or taking any initiative… nothing is going to happen. Either people are going to assume you’re not interested, or that they simply aren’t going to be attracted to someone who isn’t ready to stand up and ask for what they want.
As you’ve discovered: being shy and not wanting to push things hasn’t worked for you. Being a little more assertive and confident did. Now I imagine it helped that you felt empowered to act on your interests, seeing as you were invited over for cuddling, which implied interest was there. But it’s the fact that you acted at all that makes the difference.
I think you see where I’m going with this.
Now don’t get me wrong: just as it’s possible to overcorrect by being nice to the point of being unable to function, it’s also possible to swing the other way and mistake “confident and assertive” for “being a galloping asshat“. Walking into every interaction crotch first ain’t gonna help any more than holding back and taking things so slow that you’re getting overtaken by geriatric snails. It’s very easy to push too far and be the guy who goes from zero to “wouldyoulikesomed
k” in 40 seconds.
So you need to find the balance between nice-but-passive and confident-but-overly-aggressive.
If you don’t want to spend another 8 years between partners, than I suggest you follow the path I call “Bang Like A Gentleman“. Own your desires – for sex, for a relationship, what have you – and accept that you have a right to want them and to pursue them. And then do so in a way that’s both assertive and respectful. Look for the people who want what you want, ask for what you would like, ask them what they would like and if the two line up… excellent. If not, then thank them for their time and move on.
You’re doing well, SYIS and you’re on the right path. You just need to keep moving forward.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com)