I’ve been married for fifteen years and I thought we were very happy. My husband has always had a fantasy about a threesome, bringing another woman into our sex life, and while we haven’t done it, I must admit I was a little curious when I was younger, even though we never acted on it.
In recent years I’ve become less and less interested in sex and we’ve talked about ways to spice up our sex life (although I honestly prefer to go to bed with a cup of tea and a good book).
Now he has suggested bringing my best friend into our sex life, talking about becoming a trouple. He won’t drop it.
She has been my best friend since high school, and is divorced and dating. She’s always been very sexually adventurous, and he thinks she’s the perfect person, but I think our friendship could explode. What should I do?
By, Concerned Three is a mob
Dear Jane, My husband who I have been married to for 15 years wants to form a relationship with my best friend, but I think it will blow up our friendship. What should I do?
There are two different issues here – one where you talk about a threesome, or adding a third person to your sex life (swinging), and then one where you mention that your man wants a threesome, meaning someone else in your life is welcomed. romantic life for a committed, consensual, non-monogamous relationship (polyamory).
Your husband may be mixing up his terms because the two things are very different, and given your mention of sex and your lack of interest, it sounds like he wants A) sex, C) exciting sex, and C. ) to fulfill a fantasy. Though I’d argue that once he’s got A and B, he might not be as fixated on C.
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My guess is he wants exciting sex, rather than bringing another woman into your marriage on a much more permanent basis.
You say you’ve been curious about a threesome, and it could be that this perks you up again. It’s very difficult how our sexuality changes as we get older, and while I totally understand the desire to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and a good book, sex is an important part of marriage, especially for men, who tend to to approach sex very differently.
For women, it is often tied up in our emotions and stems from a sense of belonging, but for men, sex often comes first. As psychotherapist and relationship expert Esther Perel said, “Women want to talk first, connect first, and then have sex. For men, sex is the connection.’
So while I think it’s important that you look at your sex life, there are many dimensions to marriage, and many people have discovered how to have great, rich, and rewarding marriages without an overabundance of sex.
However, it’s helpful that whatever you choose, you’re both on the same page. The fact that you were once curious about threesomes means that you were once curious about sex too. It could be that focusing more on your sex life, and what you (not your husband, but YOU) need to feel more sexual, will be enough to lift your spirits, and in turn your sex life with your husband.
Having an active sex life and a woman who is interested in sex can put desires for a threesome on the back burner.
In any case, DO NOT bring your best friend third into your sex life unless you want to find a new best friend and possibly a new husband.
I recently turned 54 and my doctor stated during a recent checkup that I am officially postmenopausal. I was very lucky and have experienced only a few hot flashes and night sweats over the years.
Lately, however, I’ve been noticing that I’m experiencing discomfort and pain between my legs, especially when I go to the bathroom, and I don’t know why. If people read online that it could be a symptom of menopause? Do you have any advice?
I’d rather not talk to the doctor if possible, it’s too embarrassing!
Dear Jane’s Sunday Service
A word about shame
Shame is the emotion that paralyzes us. It keeps us from going to the doctor, it keeps us from revealing our true selves because we’re so convinced that we (or our vaginas) are somehow flawed, and heaven forbid anyone would see.
But if we put that shame aside and be honest about what we’re going through, we see that everyone feels the same way, and not only does that make us not feel so alone, it’s how we connect with others in the world.
I wish we were better prepared for menopause and the many changes it brings. We all know about the hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability (especially my husband), but no one prepares us for the vaginal changes.
There are numerous changes that happen to the vagina as a result of the decreased estrogen, including vaginal atrophy – thinning, drying out, and inflammation of the vaginal walls. There’s also Painful Bladder Syndrome, which can cause discomfort, painful sex, pain in general, and often symptoms that feel like a UTI (urinary tract infection), including painful urination.
I wish we all knew what to prepare for, and I wish you weren’t embarrassed.
What you are experiencing is very normal. I’ve had issues with all of the above during menopause, as have most of my friends, and we’ve all been just as unprepared and shocked as you.
But you do need to see a doctor, as there are countless solutions, from estrogen rings, to hormones, to topical creams.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, maybe find a urogynecologist you can talk to – they specialize in exactly these conditions, and many are women.
I can’t tell you not to be ashamed, but I can tell you that a urologist or urogynecogist just looks at vaginas all day. It’s the equivalent of looking at a tree.