DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I am a bisexual woman in a very happy relationship with my fiancé (a dude). Recently, we have been discussing the potential of having threesomes, as a way of exploring our sexuality further together.
I have had something of a long-standing crush on a mutual friend of ours. He’s a part of our main group of friends who we hang out with weekly to play D&D with. We’re all slightly awkward nerds. I’ve been getting a general vibe lately that the attraction might be mutual, especially after we spent the majority of the last party we had basically cuddling. But I feel I could also just be reading what I want to be into what may just be friendly interactions for him! I’ve been thinking lately that I might want to be straightforward about my attraction to him, and ask if he’d be up for a threesome. My fiancé is aware of all of this and is open to it as well.
I just really don’t want to make things uncomfortable between us. I really like him as a person and value his friendship more than anything. I think a threesome could be a lot of fun if he was interested, but I don’t want to be creepy, or make him feel like I’ve been his friend under false pretenses. If his answer was no I would be absolutely ok with that, and it wouldn’t change how I feel about him as a friend. I’ve only ever had sex with my fiancé before, so this is really a varsity level conversation that I don’t know how to even start, or if I should start at all. What should I do?
Don’t Know If I Can Make This Diplomacy Check
DEAR DON’T KNOW IF I CAN MAKE THIS DIPLOMACY CHECK: short version: this is a bad idea, DC. There’re just too many unknowns involved here and too many ways that could end up with a critical fumble at the wrong moment. Then suddenly you’re stuck with a drama bomb that’s about to go off, messily and all over the place.
Now as a general rule, I’m all in favor of adding some adventure to your sex life. I’m very much pro threesomes, if that’s what you’re interested in. But finding the right person to bring into the game is important, because the stakes can be surprisingly high. The wrong addition can turn sexy fun and games into an unpleasant mess. Somebody who doesn’t respect the boundaries of your relationship can cause strife even when they’re not there. Plenty of people have had issues with special guest stars – or their partners – deciding that if it’s cool for all three of you to bang, then a little one-on-one time is just fine too. Then there’s the issue of handling the relationship with the third party afterwards.
One of the reasons why finding a third can be tricky is because so many couples treat their third like a toy; they only want that extra person for as long as the sexy times are going on and kick them out before the sweat has even cooled. And ideally, you want someone who will understand and respect the relationship between you and your fiancé and not cause a fuss in the middle of things.
The ideal partner for a threesome, especially if it’s your first ever, is either often someone you already have a good relationship with – an ex you’re on good terms with, for example – or a professional. In both cases, you’re far more likely to have someone who can communicate clearly, who will respect the rules you all lay out in advance and who won’t cause problems afterwards.
In this case, I think you’ve picked the wrong potential addition to your party.
Let’s start with the fact you don’t really know how much he’s into you… or how. I mean, yes, cuddling in general can be a sign someone’s interested. By the same token, some folks are cuddlers and have no problem being part of a puppy pile with their friends; that doesn’t mean that they have any sexual interest in the people they’re cuddling with. This is information that you might want to have before you try to making your move on them.
But even if he is interested, starting off with a threesome is a pretty big ask. I mean, sure it’s possible he’d be down for hooking up with you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be the meat man in your particular sexy sandwich. It’s one thing if it were just the two of you. It’s another entirely – if he’s down in the first place – to say “OK but it’s not just me, it’s me and my fiancé.” That adds all kinds of extra layers of difficulty that’s going to have you rolling with disadvantage.
To start with, there’s the immediate question of whether he likes threesomes in the first place. Yeah, porn tells us that threesomes are the top-tier prize, but sexy is in the eye of the beholder and not everybody is into it. Some folks don’t want the pressure of trying to please two people at once – or be pleased by them, for that matter. Others don’t do their best work with a crowd. And if he were into you and into having a threesome with you right off the bat, the fact it’s with your male fiancé may be a line. There’re a lot of folks out there who’re down for hooking up with two women but get vexed at the thought of another dude in the room.
And even if you rolled that particular natural 20: he was into you, and into a threesome off the bat and cool with it being with you and another guy… he may just not be cool with the idea of doing it with your fiancé, specifically, participating.
That’s a lot of stackable modifiers to that particular persuasion check. And it’s already a varsity level conversation to have with someone. The last thing you want to do is invite him over, wave in your fiancé and ask “So how do you want to do this?”
Now, if your fiancé is amenable to opening up the relationship somewhat to let you pursue things with this guy, then you might be able to work towards eventually having a threesome. But in general, I think this is a bad idea and a bad way to try to leap straight into advanced-level fooling around. This is something you might want to table and come back to once you’ve got a few more levels under your belts.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: First of all I’m sorry if you’ve been asked this before. I’ve been a long time lurker and you give some good advice and I hope you can help me.
I’m 24 and I never kissed or held hands with a girl, figure out the rest. I know it’s pathetic but I can’t stop thinking about everything I missed and I’ll never be able to experiment. Missing out teen love mortifies me and I think it fucked me up. I mean, in your teenage years you get your first relationships and you learn the basics about being with someone, what is like, how it works, what to do, what to don’t, how to behave, etc. And you do it with someone as inexperienced as you in that wonderful time of your life when you had no big worries at all. I know it may sound cheesy or maybe I have an idealized, but that’s what I observed from the shadows and now every time I see a young couple walking in the street I want to cry and it ruins my day. In fact, I can’t see pictures or tv shows where romance is involved without wanting to cry.
I know I’ll be single for the rest of my life. I know I can’t predict the future or know what will happen, but I look at the odds. To meet someone you need friends or acquaintances so they could introduce you to someone they know or just be in the right place at the right time. I don’t have friends or acquaintances. So the chances of meeting a girl are nearly impossible or have a low-probability, while dying alone and no one noticing it after several weeks because of the smell is more likely. Believing that out there is someone who can love me is like thinking that pink whales exist. It’s true I never approached a girl, but when I see a girl I find cute, I always think that she’s too pretty and I’m unlovable. That’s why avoid girls like the plague and I try to not be close to them, because is a constant reminder that I’ll be alone forever. I’m hideous, too weird, I don’t have social skills and I’ll never approach someone because that’s like telling them ‘hey, I think you have low standards, bad taste and poor eyesight. Wanna hang out?’ I know every girl will reject me so there is no point in trying. High school taught me girls are disgusted by my mere presence and that I should stay away from them and never dare to look at them. That’s what I do everyday and I try to not show any interest at all. No girl deserves me because they deserve someone better because it’s simple: there are millions of guys out there and I know I’m among the worst (excluding criminals). I can’t enhance their lives, because I have nothing to do it. They deserve someone normal, not me.
My question is, how can I accept this? I mean I KNOW I’ll end up alone and that I’ll never get a girlfriend or to love someone that loves me back, but it hurts me to the point I haven’t slept well in months. I stay up hours thinking and ruminating about this and sometimes I cry. A lot. I just want to be able to say “I’ll never experience love, so what?”. I don’t want to get sad knowing I’ll never get a girlfriend, get married, have kids and raise them together. I just want to accept my fate and stop worrying about something I can’t change. Or at least be able to sleep well and be somewhat happy being alone.
-Quasimodo’s Ugly Inexperienced Twin
DEAR QUASIMODO’S UGLY INEXPERIENCED TWIN: I think you came to the wrong place, QUIT, because you’re asking me to sign off on your decision to give up and that’s not what I do. If you want to give up, lay down and rot… well, that’s your decision. You don’t need my permission to do that. But I’m also not going to be the person to tell you that this is the right decision or to applaud you for doing so. My job is to help people fix things and find solutions and I’m NOT going to be the guy to tell you “nope, nothing you can do, time to die.”
And, straight talk: you don’t need to be talking to me, my dude. You need to be talking to a therapist, because the things you’re describing? They’re not reasonable. If you’re feeling this much emotional anguish over being a little to the right on the far-end of the virginity bell-curve, then the issue isn’t whether you’ll be forever alone, it’s the negative thought patterns and the pain they’re causing you. I mean, I hate to break up the pity party (no, that’s a lie; I really don’t) but you’re not that rare of a beast; nearly a third of men are still virgins between the ages of 20 – 24.
But to be perfectly blunt: you’re talking a lot of shit my dude. It’s like I’ve told folks before: you’re not a prophet. You can’t see the future and no, you DON’T know that you’re never going to have a girlfriend. What you have here is a metric ass-ton of self-imposed, self-limiting beliefs that are based on sweet fuck-all and a heaping dose of self-pity.
I mean, let’s start with the fact that you didn’t have a girlfriend when you were a teenager. Neither did a lot of people. You’re right: you have a completely idealized – and completely fantastical – idea of what dating and teen love was like. It sounds to me like a lot of your ideas about what dating would’ve been like in high-school came from TV and books because it sure as hell doesn’t look like anything most people have seen. You don’t come out of your first relationship as a teenager with a new knowledge of how everything works; half the time, you don’t know what the actual hell happened and you’re as confused as you were before… if not more so. Nor, for that matter, are you guaranteed that you’re going to be with someone who’s as equally clueless as you. The fact that you’re the same age doesn’t mean that you have commensurate levels of experience. Just as some people were late bloomers, others bloomed early and may have been sexually active at an earlier age.
And honestly: having had a relationship in high-school doesn’t automatically set you up for dating success later in life any more than not having had one dooms you. You may want to try talking to some of your LGBT peers; many of them lived in places where there were no other queer kids for them to date. Hell, there’re many who didn’t come out until long after high-school and didn’t start dating until they were in their 20s. All not having gone through the emotional roller-coaster that is dating in high-school means is that you’re just going to be going through that ride a little later than some folks. That’s neither a good or bad thing. It doesn’t mean that you’re at a permanent disadvantage or you’re doomed to failure. It just means that you didn’t start at the same time as other people did and that’s fine because you’re not actually in competition with them. There’s no prize for getting to any particular dating milestone first. You don’t get bonus points in life because you lost your virginity before the median age (17-18)
(And show me someone who had no major worries as a teenager and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t remember what being a teenager was like. Everything was a cause for stress; you just didn’t have the experience or perspective to know what things you were supposed to get stressed out over.)
But literally everything else you bring up is either self-inflicted, easily corrected or both. Your complaints are almost word-for-word the same as many of the other people who’ve written into me before, and the solutions are almost identical as well. Just about everything you describe is the sort of thing that you could change in the matter of weeks.
Let’s be real here: just about everything you’ve told me is based on pure speculation. You say it yourself: you’ve never approached anyone before. Cool so then you don’t know that you’re going to get rejected. You’re just assuming you will. Why are you assuming that you will? Because you believe nobody could possibly be interested. And you know this based on…. what, exactly?
Well, going by your letter, high-school. Except, as we’ve already covered: not only is high-school not like real life, but we’re already in a position where we can’t really trust you to be the honest assessor of your own life right now.
There isn’t a thing that you’ve mentioned that can’t be fixed and most of it is just a matter of an order of operations. You don’t have friends or acquaintances. OK… so it seems obvious to me that the first step would be to start working towards making some. You don’t have social skills? You can actually develop those. They’re called social SKILLS for a reason; you build them through conscious and deliberate practice. You think you’re hideous? Well, first of all, I would love it if I had a nickel for every single average-to-good-looking dude that told me he was so ugly he made blind people scream. So I’m already calling bulls
t. But second of all: that’s fixable too. Not with plastic surgery or some other actually-trying-to-dodge-the-topic answer but really simple grooming and style techniques. I mean, all you need to do is watch any given episode of Queer Eye to see just how transformative some decently fitting clothes and a haircut can be.
But before you do any of that? You need to be willing to actually let go of the f
ked up, bulls
t incel logic you’ve got going on. You need to get the hell away from the incel boards and subreddits I know that you’re visiting – trust me, I’ve heard all of this before – and quit pretending that the fact that something hurts means that it’s true. No, the fact that something hurts just means that it hurts. Truth can hurt, but there’s something that hurts because it’s true and then there’s what you’re doing: the emotional equivalent of self-harm.
You need to talk to an actual therapist, QUIT, and preferably one who specializes in sexual and emotional anxieties like you have. I would strongly suggest that you go to the website for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists; they have a referral directory that can help you find a professional in your area. Working with them will help you take the most important first step: they can help you learn to put down the pain that you’re inflicting on yourself so that you can finally heal and realize that you’re wrong. The world isn’t the cruel, cold and dark place you think it is. You’re not doomed, you’re not forgotten and you’re not destined to be forever alone. You’re just lonely and in pain.
Start by addressing that pain. Once you’re not hurting yourself as much, you’ll realize just how much potential you have and how much this world actually has to offer, once you stop viewing it through eyes clouded by self-hate.
This can and will get better. I promise.
All will be well.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org)