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HTHGS: Group Sex

Ask Shannon & Claudette,
My husband and I have been married for a year, and been together for 3 years. He has a fantasy of having sex with me and another couple. I am very uncomfortable with this as there are so many problems that I've seen come from a married couple bringing other sex partners into their sexual relationship. I love my husband very much, and try to please him in any way possible, and any other fantasy I've completely fulfilled in the past. This is just one that I can't give in to. Is there anything else we can do that might give him the sense of having sex with multiple partners, without actually doing that. Please help.

Dear Help, 
This is a fabulous question.  You should not do something that contributes to you feeling uncomfortable. There are a lot of options in between not being with other people and being with other people.  To what degree you are comfortable with the options can only be decided by you.  Also, to what degree this fulfills your partner’s fantasy of being with other people can only be decided by him.  You will both need to communicate about the situation and whether it meets your mutual needs and is within your boundaries. 

There are a variety of things that may help contribute to the feeling or illusion of being with other people.  You could say other peoples’ names, you could watch erotic videos during sex play, you could have “sex” on-line in writing or via video-cams with other people.  You could invite another couple or individual to watch you engage is sex play or intercourse in person.  You could go to a dance club and you could both dance erotically with other people.  While at the club or bar you could tell people you are married or “pretend” to be single.  You may decide that he could touch or kiss someone else – but could not do anything else.  You both do not have to have the guidelines.  Your options are only limited by your creativity and comfort.  Remember - it is your relationship and you and your partner should make it match your values and needs.  It sounds like you two have a rich fantasy life – so enjoy whatever ideas you discover and explore.  Any number of these things could contribute to the fantasy of being with another couple without actually being with another couple.  One thing that we encourage you to do is talk about this with your partner and other people you trust about these issues.  You would be surprised how many couples have experimented with outside sexual partners with the knowledge or permission of their partner but they seldom talk about it or share it with others for fear of judgment, gossip, or rejection. 

We think you are wise to approach this situation cautiously.  Many couples find the idea of bringing other people into their sex lives exciting and jump right into it.  However, to balance the emotional, sexual, and spiritual needs of all people involved is not an endeavor to be taken lightly.  All boundaries, fantasies, needs, sexual histories, boundaries, and jealousies must be communicated and examined.  “Safer sexual” practices must be understood and employed correctly.  Alcohol and other drugs are not generally accepted as part of a multi-person scene.  With all of these factors most couples are not prepared to simply jump into a threesome or foursome.  If you think being with one other person can be complicated at times imagine being with many people!  There is a much greater chance of misunderstanding, confusion, jealousy, etc…  at the same time there is also the opportunity for great fun, intimacy, and excitement.  It takes work and honesty and comfort to balance multi-person or multi-couple relationships.  Open relationships are not for everyone and if you feel uncomfortable it is probably not for you and hopefully your partner can respect that.  If you find that in the future you need more ideas or some hints on how to keep the monogamy hot, how to communicate your boundaries or concerns to your partner, or how to possibly “open your relationship” up to others please do not hesitate to write and ask more questions! Hope this helps with hot monogamy! Shan&Claude  

Letter to the editor "Sometimes No mean No"

HTHGS: Swinging (written by Shan&Claude)

Ask Shannon,
Shannon, here is what I am wondering. Currently I am seriously seeing a beautiful young woman. We are not currently engaged, but really close to it. She was born and raised into a serious church family. I have had threesomes in the past with a past girlfriend of mine. The threesome consisted of her, another man and I. I am strictly straight, but I really enjoy watching another man satisfy my woman. In the past relationship that really helped strengthen our love for each other, and we both enjoyed it tremendously. My current girlfriend is really turned on by the idea of being with another man, and thinks that it would be a lot of fun and would spice up our sex life. She says though that she could never do that though in case someone found out about it, and she just does not feel right about doing it because that is not the way she was raised. We both feel secure enough with our relationship to do this, she just will not consider it because of the way that she was raised. I have tried to get her to go to a swingers club just to scope things out, but she will not go. We also have a couple that are friends of ours that would like to join us in group sex, but she will not. How can I convince her that if we really love each other and are secure in our relationship, that its okay. I know that she would really enjoy it if she actually went ahead and went through with it. I for myself would not care one way or another if I got to sleep with another woman or not, I just want to watch another man satisfy her. Thanx, Cory

Dear Cory,
These are great questions.  You need to know you are on the right track – have faith. You are consulting people, checking resources, and gathering more information – good for you!  Our first piece of advise is be patient.  Pressure and guilt are your enemies.  If you guilt her or pressure her into something she doesn’t want to do she won’t enjoy herself and neither will you – and it will probably never happen again.  When it happens hopefully she will want to try it. Our next piece of advice is that communication is incredibly important.  We are happy to answer your question – but it is important and fair for her to be involved in this process.  It is important for you to know where she is at and for her to know where you are at and that you have asked a question of outside people – so none of these comes across as plotting against her or trying to manipulate her.  These situations can be complicated and sensitive and communication is your strongest ally.  Through communicating with her you have already identified some of the hurdles she faces to being with another man: her belief that religion and sexual adventurousness are not allowed to be together, her fear that someone will find out, her belief that she wasn’t “raised” to do such a thing.  Knowing these reservations can help you both study the situation and may help you both create a mutually agreeable and pleasurable arrangement!

 Based on what you have told us your wife is in a stage called contemplation.  She knows that being with another man could be fun and pleasurable and recognizes many of the positives about being with another man in front of you, but has many reservations because of her upbringing and the messages our society gives about exclusiveness.   She is thinking about it – but to ever get to the point of actually participating in such an experience a few things will probably have to happen (to help her move into preparation and action):

 §         This may sound a little strange – but she will need her confidence built.  She needs to know that you believe in her and that she can handle such an experience and that your relationship will be okay and that it may even get closer.  Support is important in any relationship – but especially in this situation.

§         She needs to know that you care about her either way and that you only want what makes her comfortable.

§         She may need to know what is allowed and what wouldn’t be allowed if such a situation would happen.  This may help her picture what it would “look” like.

§         She may need help recognizing how our society is very judgmental of sex and may need to witness a few positive female role-models who aren’t afraid or ashamed to admit they like sex and do as they choose with their bodies.  We live in a judgmental world and people often speak poorly of a woman who would participate in such behavior.  Who wants to be thought of as a slut?  Our society judges people who enjoy sex – especially women. 

§         You DON’T want alcohol to “convince” her.  To be able to consent everyone involved should be sober and not have their instincts impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

§         You may need to work on short-term goals such as saying other peoples’ names during sex play or masturbating together while fantasizing about another person.  If she can accomplish these short-term goals she may be able to see that she could really go through with an experience with another man.  Any type of rehearsal or visualization may make her less hesitant and more relaxed about going through with it. 

§         One thing that could really help you is have another woman speak to her that has had such an experience – especially if you can find a religious woman who enjoys such experiences – she will be able to see that being religious and being sexual do not have to conflict with one another and such experiences can actually help some people feel closer to “God” or their spirituality.  After all – why would the most powerful force in the universe make such things so pleasurable if the gifts were not meant to be celebrated and enjoyed?  It may be challenging for you to find such a person – since so many people are secretive about their “sex-lives.” If she could see that she is not bad or sinful or dirty for having such an experience it could be a very rewarding investment for you. She may benefit from meeting people who enjoy such behavior and are also religious.  You have had these experiences before and you are not evil or bad – right?  She needs to see others who are good people, who are religious – AND sexual.  If she would go to a conference or convention or club it may help her put a face to women who enjoy sharing partners.  Our belief is that one could be incredibly religious and still enjoy and celebrate their sexuality by trying new things and enjoying pleasure.  You are not hurting anyone – all are consenting.  How could a “God” have issues with that?

§         Without surprising or pressuring her maybe you could invite a potential guy, or couple, over for dinner.  Nothing has to happen!  You could just have them over for dinner!  Maybe have dinner a few times and eventually you could try to open a conversation about options.  Nothing has to happen!  This is also a form of rehearsal and a plan.  Even if nothing ever happens – you have had some great company and some nice dinners!

§         Or you could combine short-term goals with the dinner and work on her hugging a guy when he leaves or have her kiss him on the cheek when he arrives or maybe deep kiss or message him after dinner.  You two can work out the boundaries before the dinner.  It can be fun and exciting to plan.  You can sort of orchestrate the “scene.”  Remember to be open and honest about what you want – without being pushy and help identify everyone’s comfort levels and boundaries and how a mutually agreeable arrangement could be reached!  Just make sure to take care of everyone’s needs and boundaries if you are going to be the liaison between all of the involved parties.

§         You also have to be careful, because oftentimes people who identify as very religious have a lot of guilt and shame around pleasure and sexual experiences.  What we mean is that even if she agrees to participate and even if she likes what happens during the experience - afterwards she may feel bad about it if she thinks she has somehow betrayed her faith or religion (which to some is half of the fun!).  She will need a lot of support and love and communication – even afterwards.

§         Her particular religious up bringing is a major hurdle to being with another man.  However, if she was brought up in a very religious household there were probably many things that she wasn’t encouraged to do – like having intercourse before marriage with her fiancé!  But, she does and she is a good person and she is religious and can still love her “God” and have a good heart.  If she can see that she does already sort of “pick-and-choose” some of her own values perhaps she can see that choosing to be sexual with consenting adults is also okay?  We must each make decisions for ourselves and sometimes we must break-away from some of the things our parents taught us.  For example, if our parents were abusive and violent and hated certain groups does that mean I have to act like that?  Do I have to teach my kids violence and hatred?  At some point we all must choose what be believe is good and right and within our value system – regardless of what our parents taught us.  Oftentimes, women are taught to be much more reserved and repressed about sex and sexuality than men.  If it were up to some parents their children would never become sexual beings, masturbate, date, kiss, etc…  It sometimes takes a lot of work for those children to develop into happy and sexual adults. 

In the end, she may decide that the thought or fantasy is as far as she is willing to go or she may try being with another man and love it.  Whatever happens we hope this has helped you out.  We would also like to encourage you to learn about contraception and protection from infections so that if and when such an event occurred all participants feel comfortable and “play safe.”

To pleasure and intimacy, Shan & Claude





HTHGS: Letters to the editor,


Letter to the editor,

I'm writing in reply to the man who wanted his girlfriend to have a threesome with him and another man but she did not feel comfy doing so.  Her reason was because of the way she was raised in a religious home.  You stated that she was not brought up to do such things as a threesome. Who is? How many parents do you know that ever talked about such things?? I grew up in a religious home as well and I know it can be difficult getting away from that once you move away.  But it sounds like she's STILL religious and still has her convictions.  Most Christians believe and the bible states that there is to be no sexual activity before marriage, so in that way, she's already gone against what she was brought up in.  I think she's just afraid to go further than just premarital sex and threesomes really are looked upon as a "naughty / slutty" act when brought up in conversations and whatnot.  My advice, does not force her to do anything, don't pressure her; don't whine if you do not get your way.  If you've done all you can in easing her fears and she STILL does not want to do it, then leave it at that and don't make her feel bad for not wanting to do it. If you truly love her, you won't pressure her into doing anything she's not comfortable doing. That's my two cents on the issue.  Good luck.



Letter to the editor,

I was really disappointed to see the response to the man whose girl friend wouldn't consent to threesomes in your last letter.  I myself am a Christian female who knows both the fun of sex and the immoral ness of it.  The advice offered was leading the man to pressure the woman... but not to appear as doing so.  The woman obviously sees it as sin.  As something that would hurt her relationship with God, not the man in question.  Therefore he shouldn't be so concerned with that aspect of it.  Talking about it constantly and putting that pressure on her WILL guilt her into doing it.  She may be willing at the moment, but will look back on it with regret and eventually it could break down their relationship.  I think that he should be concerned about the two of them, if it's not what she's after then how could the other man please her anyways.  Drop it!  And if she brings it up later... that's her thing, but otherwise just forget it!



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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS
"Alex" Caroline Robboy is a certified sex therapist through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and an American Board Certified Sexologist. In addition, she is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and a member of the North American Society for Psychological Obstetrics and Gynecology.


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