How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!
Dear How to Do It,
I am a man who had been happily married to my amazing wife for 13 years. We are in our mid-30s and have three young children. A few years ago, I confessed to my wife that I have fantasies of wife-sharing and MFM threesomes. I started having the fantasy years ago after reading an article written by a hot-wife, and it just grew in my head from there. She entertained the idea for a few weeks while we talked about possible scenarios. We put ads online to try how we might explore moving forward.
Once seeing the (frankly overwhelming and mostly unsolicited) response from people online, she was turned off and decided that sex with another guy was off the table. I was disappointed, but did not want to push her into something that she’d be uncomfortable with.
Fast forward two years and I still fantasize about sharing my wife with another man. I’ve casually mentioned a few ideas to my wife, but generally get the cold shoulder. This is completely fair because we’ve been over it and I respect her boundaries. We’ve tried role-play, but simply can’t get into it. We like toys, but it just doesn’t accomplish what I’m wanting.
My problem is that I keep coming up with ideas and scenarios in my head. I actually lose a lot of sleep sometimes because my mind will race with ideas to work toward having a threesome.
I absolutely love my wife and she has been very supportive of things I’d like to try in general. My desire to try a threesome is not something that I’m willing to sacrifice our otherwise amazing relationship over. But I’m massively struggling with how to get over the thoughts and ideas that I have. It’s almost to the point of an obsession. Part of me wants to keep sharing the ideas that I have with her, but I also don’t want to feel like I’m pushing her or to give myself any false hope. Since she doesn’t have any interest in it, I would love some ideas on how I can get over this particular fantasy.
—Can’t Get Out of My Own Head
You’re just going to have to sit with the fact that you can’t have something that you want. You know this, in theory, but your acceptance of it in practice will be crucial to your peace of mind. You have, effectively, already made your decision: Your desire to try a threesome is not something that you’re willing to sacrifice your otherwise amazing relationship over.
I understand your desire to get over this fantasy, but I think you might have a better time if you lean into it. The impossibility of the threesome you so desire, makes the fantasy of it that much more useful. It’s as close as you’ll get. The fantasy allows you a taste of what has been deemed impossible, and a taste is better than nothing. I think you can keep sharing your ideas with your wife if you’re very clear that you know this will never happen, it only exists within the realm of fantasy, and that sharing these scenarios is a sexy sort of compromise—you get to explore while honoring her disinterest in engaging in the behavior that you describe. I think it’s worth checking if she’d be into that.
The reason I’m giving you advice counter to your request is that your request is virtually impossible. A scrub brush, unfortunately, does not exist for your mind. In fact, a surefire way to keep thinking about something is to attempt to not think about it. If this threesome idea is simply too distracting, if the taste of it through fantasy makes your mouth water to an uncomfortable extent, you’re better off seeking to diversify your fantasy portfolio. Watch other porn, expose yourself to practices and kinks you’re currently not engaging in—perhaps things that your wife would be down for. See if she wants to explore right alongside you.
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Dear How to Do It,
When we met, my boyfriend described himself on the app as “a non-smoker,” but what he meant was that he quit before I met him. Recently, things got really stressful for him at work and with his mom, and he’s picked up smoking again. He promises to quit, but then I find half-finished packs in his truck or he comes home smelling like cigarettes. Everyone he works with smokes or vapes too so it’s hard to be around them. He’ll vape sometimes instead, but I feel like I can still taste it on him.
I swear that his mouth and his semen both taste like cigarettes now. I used to love giving blowjobs, and now I’ve told him I won’t do it until he quits again. He says that it’s not possible for me to taste it and that I’m punishing him during a stressful time, but it feels real to me. I love him, but feeling like his breath, his semen, and his sweat are gross is new to me and makes me not want to have sex or make out. Is there anything I can do here?
Dear Grossed Out,
Nicotine is excreted in sweat and has been detected in sperm—even the sperm of nonsmokers who have been exposed environmentally to tobacco smoke. For anyone with functional nostrils and tastebuds, I don’t need to go over how smoking can affect a person’s breath. It’s quite likely, then, that you can taste the cigarettes on your boyfriend. But even if it weren’t, even if your disdain were psychogenic at its root, it’d be valid—you signed up for a relationship with a nonsmoker, and you got something else. I’m extremely not into him telling you that you don’t sense when you do, especially when it’s something as detectable to the senses as tobacco use, and the framing if you declining sex as “punishment” smacks of entitlement.
You have to decide if the smoking is a dealbreaker for you. It’s OK if it is. If he won’t change his behavior, you can change your situation and not be with someone who’s addicted to nicotine. You could try having him drink fruit juice, like pineapple, in attempt to sweeten his sperm, but you might just be blasted with sperm that tastes of nicotine and sweetness, which could even be grosser than just nicotine. If you try this, let us know how it works out.
Dear How to Do It,
I am a 66-year-old man in a four-year relationship with a 57-year-old man. We’ve been living together for just over a year and are talking about marriage. I’ve been in a hand full of relationships, but not for many years, and have enjoyed lots of hit and run hook-ups and a small stable of fuck buddies. I’ve always liked fit guys under 40. My boyfriend is fit and has a youthful look but is older than I like. That’s a problem for both of us. I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone as much as him and he is very devoted to me, but he also wants to have sex much more often than I do. He knows my history with younger guys and suspects his older age and body are an issue for me. My age is not at all an issue for him. He’s all over me, and sometimes I wish he’d be less demonstrative in his affection.
I am happy with sex every week or so and he’d like it several times a week. He is a bottom and I’m strictly a top. I’m not into getting blown, and I’ve never blown him. (He’s into it, but I don’t enjoy it so we don’t do it.) Fortunately, he loves anything and everything about ass play.
Except he won’t leave me alone about it. When I do give in and have sex, he starts asking about it again within a few days. I also rarely climax with him and he doesn’t like that either. He loves it when I come. I have intense orgasms, and he says they really turn him on. I always want him to orgasm, and he does. He asks me to come also but I’m just not turned on enough. And I’m not nearly as horny as I used to be, which I assume is age.
I used to play around in my other relationships and I’m not interested in doing that anymore. He knows my history and has been encouraging me to go out and play (I travel for work about four days a week) and says maybe it will make me hornier. I would be hornier if he were 37 and not 57. How do I get him to understand that I’m not as sexual as he is? He claims and acts like in the best sex he’s ever had. He also says sex only takes 10 or 15 minutes but I’m just not interested. I love him, but don’t know what to do about this.
Dear Old Top,
The age issue might be more of a problem worth tackling directly were it not for your general decline in libido. In aggregate, the situation is simply that you just aren’t that into sex at this point. That is the long and short of it, and it’s time that your boyfriend takes it seriously. So ask him to take you seriously. Tell him that this is unlikely to change, and ask him what he wants to do about that. It can be difficult to admit a lack of sexual interest (even when it’s temporary) as a man—there’s a certain amount of expectation that we’re always hard and ready to go, and sex underlies a lot of the social bonds that queer men forge with each other. It seems, though, that you are at peace with this. I wonder, then, what’s making it so hard for you to state this unequivocally—are worried that he might leave if you make clear, once and for all, that this is your sexual dynamic and the frequency is highly unlikely to change?
There might be a compromise to strike, right there in front of you. His urging you to go out and get some side ass in the hope that it’ll get your juices flowing may be straightforward, and it may also be a way of signaling his interest in some side action. Could you offer him the same freedom to get his? It might help get him off your back.
Dear How to Do It,
This is a fairly low-stakes question, but one I’ve been thinking about for a while and I think need some help with it. I am a freshman in college who is dating a wonderful sophomore. We met through a dating app around the start of the year and have been dating for about six months, and everything is going amazing! My question stems from the fact that he is very much into and experienced with weed, whereas I have no idea what I’m doing and have never gotten high or even drunk. I need to preface that I have never once felt pressured to get high or shamed for not doing so; he and his roommates have been nothing but kind and respectful to me. When we first started dating, I was offered weed at a small party his roommates were throwing but I didn’t know them well enough to feel comfortable doing anything like that and they were super chill about it.
However, now that I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a while, I’d love to try weed to see what it’s like! Now that my boyfriend knows I’d like to try weed, he’s been talking about how much he enjoys sex while high. Again, never in a pressuring or forceful way, just something he’d like to try with me sometime. My question is, I’ve always been taught that substances like weed and alcohol make consent tricky and I’m not worried about being taken advantage of or anything, I just want to have a conversation about how out of it you get when you’re high and how either of us would know that the other is actually consenting for sex regardless of the high. I’m not in a position of fear or danger, I just want to have this conversation with my boyfriend and don’t know where to begin with it. I’m confident he will react well to the question, I just don’t know where to begin.
—Hoping to THC the Light
Substances may make consent “tricky,” as you say. Depending on the type and amount used, they may make consent impossible or they may not affect it at all. Marijuana is not typically the kind of drug associated with the incapacitation potential that makes something like alcohol so dicey, but pot can certainly knock you on your ass. If you’re going to experiment with weed and sex, you’re better off learning how the drug affects you first—how much you can take, and what kind of response it elicits in you—outside of a sexual situation. Weed makes some people horny and some feel utterly unhorny. It can do different things to people at different times, depending on set, setting, and other factors. A conversation with your boyfriend would be useful, but keep in mind that some of the information that you’re looking for—“how out of it you get when you’re high” in particular—is something that he can only provide anecdotal evidence of. You’ll really have to see for yourself how it specifically affects you.
Nonetheless, it could be very useful for you, I think, to collect data from him on his experiences. Ask him how weed has affected him. Has he ever felt out of it? Have any of his partners? What made him secure that his partner was actually consenting? What did the conversations look like before sex, and after? If you start the conversation by signaling you’re open-minded about this activity he so enjoys (“You said you love sex when you’re high—I’m intrigued! Tell me more…”), your engagement will invite reciprocation. His articulation around this topic may provide peace of mind. Regardless, don’t jump into bed while floating in clouds of smoke—at least not the first time. Go slow and steady and feel your way through. You’re young, you have plenty of time, and there’s no need to rush this.
More How to Do It
I have a big penis. It’s easily eight inches long by 6.5 inches around. Don’t talk to me about foreplay—I get it. I’m in my 40s and love tongue and fingers and flirting. But there is something simply no one gets about this.