How to Do It

Turns Out My Wife Is Actually Into My Deepest Sexual Fantasy. Now What?

It’s exciting that she’s game to try this, but I’m getting nervous.

A man holds his head in his hands next to a neon #3.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images Plus.

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,

My wife and I have been monogamous since we married 15 years ago; neither of us had sex before we got married, so each of us is the only person the other has ever had sex with. We are both happy with our decision, but it’s not something we celebrate. We also enjoy a very active and fulfilling sex life.

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My wife was raised very conservatively, but is much less so now. As a result, she has curiosities that most of us experienced in high school or college. One night, she asked me if I wanted to watch porn with her (yes, she had never seen porn … I said VERY conservative!). I’d never watched porn with another person before, so it seemed like a great idea. And it was. We both really loved it, as well as the sex it led to, not to mention intimate and meaningful conversation. After a few months, and again, very much to my surprise, my wife invites me on a date … to a strip club. After a lot of discussion and thought about it, it seemed like a good idea. And it was. Again, awesome sex, intimate and meaningful conversation.

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Recently, during a particularly intimate conversation, my wife admitted something to me what was the biggest shock of all. She told me that she was super turned on at the club and that while thinking about it, she realized that she is also much more turned on by the women when we watch porn than she is the dudes. She was quick to assure me that she isn’t a lesbian, nor does she have any interest in a relationship with another woman, or anyone besides me for that matter. (I believe her.) She also told me that she is not motivated to do this without me, and in fact is turned on by the idea of me “interacting” with another woman. While I’ll admit that I have fantasized about a threesome with two women since I was old enough to think about women, when I married who I did, I just assumed that it was NEVER going to happen, and I was fine with that. We have talked A LOT about this, and have agreed that my interaction with the other woman will be only of an oral nature.

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Given the strength of our marriage, our fantastic communication, and our awesome sex life, neither of us is worried about any negative impact on our relationship. Our concerns are more of, 1) how to do this so that it’s fulfilling and intimate and everything we want it to be, and 2) what kind of risks we are introducing to our otherwise risk-free sex life? We considered a threesome dating site, but we are both very private, and the idea of putting our picture up for the world to see isn’t really an option for either of us. We ultimately “decided” on bringing in a pro who is local. I dont have questions about legality—lets put that aside. But we both do have serious reservations about the safety. When you sleep with only one person for 15 years, you forget what the actual risks are (in this case, especially of oral sex, both given and received from a woman). I have done my best to bring up all of the potential pitfalls with doing something like this, and while my wife has thought about them, she seems very committed to making this happen. Can you please help me understand what the actual risks to us are—again, to our health and relationship, not the legal risks? How we can go about this in a way that works for our relationship?

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— Lucky #3

Dear Lucky #3,

Think of this hypothetical sexual encounter like a meal—you can find a great recipe, purchase the finest ingredients, and take the utmost care in preparation, but you cannot be sure of how much you will enjoy it until the food is in your mouth. Similarly, you cannot be sure how much you’ll enjoy your third until she is in your mouth (and elsewhere on your body). Given your clear communication, I’m not too worried for you. You’re doing great so far, and even if the ensuing sex turns out to be a letdown, you will likely be fine. An awkward or less than satisfying experience can bond you with your partner. It becomes something that you went through together that you can potentially look back and laugh about. If that’s a worst-case scenario, well, it’s not so bad at all.

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I recommend keeping up the clear and specific communication both in the days leading up to the hook-up and definitely after. During your post mortem, you can discuss what you enjoyed about your experience and what you would change going forward. Try to let the actual sex happen as it does (within your agreed upon parameters)—ideally, you’ll strike the balance of consideration for all involved, and that sexual flow state in which conscious thought is elusive.
Make double-sure ahead of time that you both have potential jealousy held at bay. For some people, seeing their partner have sex with someone else is entirely erotic and not at all emotionally triggering. For many, many others, this isn’t the case. Both Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up: A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, and Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton’s The Ethical Slut contain a bunch of useful advice on navigating jealousy (and other nonmonogamy-related issues). Both books are worth reading before any nonmonogamous dabbling, as they may put in front of you concepts and potential issues that you never even thought to think about.

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Something else to do beforehand: Get vaccinated for HPV! The current vaccine available in the U.S., Gardasil-9, does not protect against all strains, but it does protect against the strains that pose the greatest risk for cancer (types 16 and 18). Since you and your wife have only had sex with each other, you’re perfect candidates for this vaccine. Because, yes, HPV is a risk. So is herpes. HSV-2 doesn’t take very well to the oral cavity, but HSV-1 is another matter entirely. There are, of course, bacterial infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, which tend to be highly treatable and not harmful in the long term if caught early. You might want to consider getting tested for STIs a few weeks after sex (though be aware that syphilis’s incubation period can be as long as 90 days). Condoms and dental dams may mitigate risk there. HIV is also a theoretical risk, but perhaps only theoretical when it comes to oral (still I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it).

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In all, the sex you propose is relatively low risk, and there are things you can do to make it even lower. So do that, and have fun.

Dear How to Do It,

I am a middle-aged guy who has been in a monogamous, opposite-sex relationship for a few decades, but we are separated and have been for over a year. I am ready to get back into having sex and relationships, but for now what I REALLY want to do is give a guy a blowjob until he comes. The problem is, I’m concerned about STDs. How do I address this with potential partners? I don’t want a relationship, and there’s safety in monogamy; but I’m not looking for a life partner, just hot oral sex where I am the pleaser and he is the pleased.

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— Pleaser

Dear Pleaser,

The easiest way to address this is to ask your potential partner when he was last tested. If it was recently, and he has no problem saying when or otherwise discussing this matter, you can be fairly certain that your partner is someone who is responsible when it comes to his sexual health. You can’t, of course, be sure of this—even if you were to ask him to produce the paperwork proving his claim, he could have had all sorts of sex in the meantime, which may have exposed him to STIs. (Remember that many infections are asymptomatic, so someone can be reasonably certain that he doesn’t have any STIs and also dead wrong.) That risk will always be there, which is why it’s important for you to be as responsible as possible with your health. Get tested, look into Gardasil-9 (see the previous letter for more), consider PrEP if you want to be extra careful regarding HIV (which, again, is very difficult to transmit via oral sex), and understand that a lot of the “risk” you’re facing is a treatable infection of the bacterial variety that shouldn’t have any bearing on your health in the long term. You should be fine. Now get out there and suck some dick.

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Dear How to Do It,

Ive been in a relationship with my girlfriend for a little over six months. We are super into each other, and I really feel like shes someone I could tie the knot with, as we get along on so many levels. But of course, there is always a catch. Almost all the women Ive dated have voiced an interest in the submissive role during sex. It wasnt something I was born being turned on by, but I have gradually come to love the role of dominant in the bedroom (not that Im super into the BDSM scene, just painting in broad strokes). It was clear early-on that she didnt enjoy the submissive role, so I reeled it in. When we talk about what we like, she says she actually enjoys the dominant role herself. We have tried being the sub for each other, to pretty poor results. I dont love it, but I will play along as long as I know shes enjoying herself. But she really doesnt like the role and is pretty unwilling to reciprocate (so neither of us do it anymore). Im am very much sexually attracted to her, but to compound the problem, she has sexual issues that require A LOT of foreplay/lube/frustration and pain (on her part), making much of the sex very vanilla and very centered on what works for her. Im worried that, down the line, never being able to explore the dominant role and her sexual dysfunction might grow into a real problem if this relationship continues to blossom. I know thats a lot to unpack, but any advice helps!

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— In Love and Unsure

Dear Unsure,

If this is the situation now, in what for many is the “honeymoon period” of a relationship, what makes you think it will get better? Unless all parties are actively working to evolve (and improve where needed), sex tends to dwindle, becoming less exciting and frequent as a relationship goes on. Her unspecified issues may never improve, and it sounds like that’s going to be an issue for you. If that can’t change, what can? Well, your mindset, for one thing. Maybe you learn to appreciate the fact that you can have any kind of sexual contact with this person that you care so much about, regardless of the complications involved. However, getting over oneself tends to be a very big ask.

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The dom stuff is trickier—she’s not scratching your itch. If you feel deprived after six months, it’s worth considering how much more so you may feel in the future. This is where consensual nonmongamy may prove useful. If that’s a hard no for either of you, it’s time to start thinking about whether you want to effectively abandon that aspect of your sexuality. Is this person worth altering your sexual (and, for that matter, self-) expression for? The answer might be yes, but it wouldn’t at all be surprising if you realized that she’s not. This could be an irreconcilable mismatch, sadly. You can console yourself with the knowledge that you realized this early.

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Dear How to Do It,

My husband and I like to have rough sex. Were trying to get pregnant now, and I wondered if everything (or anything) we like to do is safe for the potential baby. Some of the things we normally enjoy him doing to me are:

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• slapping (face, butt)
• biting
• hitting me in the rib area, rarely but occasionally leaving bruises
• choking
• nipple play (Ive heard this can cause contractions?)

Im mostly worried about the hitting and the choking. If many of our favorite things are not safe during trying to be/being pregnant, do you have any suggestions for us for how to make pregnancy sex fun and safe?

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— Yeah Baby

Dear Yeah Baby,

Choking during pregnancy gets a no from me (for more on why, check out this past column on the dangers of erotic asphyxiation and then multiple that by two). In general, I think the wisest course of action is to reduce any potential trauma on your body while you’re pregnant, especially around your abdomen and vagina. Biting, depending on where and how hard, could be less of an issue, and so could spanking (notice I wrote “spanking” and not “slapping”).
Bring it down several notches and maybe take the opportunity to explore alternative kinks like role play and/or sensory deprivation. Light bondage would probably be OK. And yes, nipple stimulation has been shown to induce labor, but it “only seems to work if your cervix is ripe and favorable for labor,” according to WebMD, so you should have a conversation with your doctor or midwife before proceeding. With pregnancy comes a lot of concessions—you simply must be more careful with your body, which means for the sake of the safety of your future child, there’s less you’re able to do with it reasonably. This may cause a disruption in your usual play with your husband, but the good news is that it only lasts nine months, soon after which you can try easing back into the roughness that you and your husband enjoy.

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— Rich

More How to Do It

I’m a 46-year-old bi guy. I have a fair amount of casual sex, mostly with male friends-with-benefit types, and the occasional no-strings-attached hookup. I’m pretty open and versatile, and I enjoy most of the usual activities: mutual oral, rimming, anal, you know the drill. I’m not into anything really “kinky,” except for one thing: I’m increasingly into guys’ feet and toes, but only in the context of wanting to touch them or maybe suck a toe during sex. I don’t like the idea of dirty or otherwise gross feet, nor do I want to be stepped on, dominated with them, etc. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have or want to engage in a full-blown foot fetish situation. My question is, how do I get what I want without sending the wrong message? I don’t want to come off as creepy or make anyone think I have a “foot thing”—I really just want a little contact with them during the usual proceedings. Nor do I want to bring it up and get shot down.

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