About last night: Does Ben really want to experiment, or is he just trying to please me? 01-10-17

October 2, 2017

Q: Ben is a shy, considerate lover who always puts my pleasure in the bedroom ahead of his own. Lately, we’ve been talking about becoming non-exclusive and playing with others (together). How do I know if he’s just doing this to please me, or really wants to experiment for himself?

A: Many couples fantasise about including another person in their sex play. Heterosexual couples might desire to experiment introducing a second man, some, another woman, and others, a full-on orgy or “gang bang”. For most couples, sharing the fantasy, talking about it during sex, or watching these scenarios in porn, are extremely arousing, and form part of foreplay.

The beauty of fantasy is that the action is always perfect. Everything goes off without a hitch, nobody gets paranoid or jealous, and the action occurs in a dreamscape. The extra players are ciphers, not flesh and blood individuals, with feelings and failings.

Sharing fantasies is a great way to find out what each person finds arousing, and where tastes match, it can be tempting to take the next step, and put the fantasy in to practice. As soon as you do this everything changes.

You ask how you can tell if Ben is genuinely into this idea, or if he’s just trying to please you. You can’t. I doubt even Ben really knows that. You, yourself, might discover that you do not enjoy the reality.

With honesty, sensitivity and a willingness to be vulnerable, go slowly. You must maintain clear communication, keep checking in with one another, and both be willing to stop if one of you freaks out.

One of the questions you need to ask yourself is why you want to try this. If it is to enhance, enrich, and diversify a sex life that is fundamentally sound, it can work out well. However, many people consider “opening up” their relationship because, while they love their partner, they are bored rigid (or flaccid) by their sex lives. We can all be self-deluders, unwilling to admit, even to ourselves, our true motives. Where this urge to experiment stems from dissatisfaction, you can run the risk of weakening your connection. People can and do fall in love with people they meet in this way, and a fundamental flaw can become apparent. Are you willing to risk this possibility?

Many people say that the thing that gives them the greatest pleasure is knowing that their partner is experiencing erotic bliss. Seeing you being pleasured by someone else could be the ultimate turn on for Ben, and his giving attitude need not mean he is being self-sacrificing.

To avoid disappointment, prepare yourselves for reality. Grow a thick skin, practise patience, and be willing to deal with the unexpected when you play this game. The process of finding a suitable playmate, arranging the practicalities of the meet up, and being willing to adapt to circumstances is essential. People cancel at the last minute, find themselves unable to rise to the occasion, have unusual mannerisms, make odd noises when they are aroused, try to get out of using condoms at the last minute, talk too much …

We are all human, and sex can trigger unexpected responses. I heard of two couples who decided to try partner swapping. All was going swimmingly, until Mr B. looked over at his wife and saw that she was really enjoying herself. He then burst into tears, and Ms A. was left comforting and soothing the poor guy. Awkward. That never happens in the movies.

If you do decide to proceed you need to agree that this is an experiment, and that you are both willing not to continue if one partner decides the reality is not erotic for them.

Before you begin the arduous process of visiting dating sites, negotiating with potential partners, setting up meetings and so on, there is one way that you can learn more about group sex, and get a feel for its rightness for you. Curious Creatures’ Curiosity workshop is designed for people like you who are interested in sexual exploration. Details of these, and other sex-related workshops can be found at curiouscreatures.biz.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

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