Absolutely true story:

Two of my very good friends are a married couple I’ve known for years. They live in the south. For the sake of this story, our friendship and their marriage, I’m going to call them Karen and David.

Karen and David have two young children, and despite weathering quite a few stormy periods since their impromptu Vegas wedding five years ago, their marriage exhibits a remarkably Teflon-like durability.

Like many a married couple that has been together for any length of time, however, Karen and David’s sex life has withered over recent years, especially since the birth of their second child. And so, on a recent visit to LA, they decided to give it a vitamin-shot in the arm in the form of a threesome.

Their choice for the evening: a friend of David’s. Male. Single. We’ll call him Nathan. “Hot, in an Italian way,” is how Karen describes him.

The night in question went as smoothly as one could expect, both Karen and David gleaning from it what they had each went into it seeking: Karen, a feeling of being desired and wanted again; David, the fulfillment of a long-held wish to share his wife with another man. Afterwards, the spark returned to their sex life – that is until about three weeks later when Karen was found to be pregnant.

I should add here that, in a decision that few would describe as anything other than brainless, they hadn’t used condoms during the threesome, choosing instead to use the pull out method.

“Accidents happen, and in this case, an accident did happen,” said Moushumi Ghose, a sex therapist and noted expert on non-monogamous relationships, when I called her to discuss exactly where Karen and David went wrong. “But safe sex is a pretty standard thing in the polyamorous and non-monogamous community,” Ghose added, with more than a touch of incredulity as to Karen and David’s odd decision to eschew condoms.

To complicate matters, when Karen discovered that she was pregnant, she began texting Nathan so as to keep him “clued in” as to what was going on. This she did behind David’s back as they had both agreed beforehand not to remain in contact with Nathan.

I wrap quotation marks around the term “clued in” because what Karen was really doing—and freely admitted to doing—was feeding upon the attention the “hot Italian” was giving her.

“She should have absolutely told David that she was texting this guy. They agreed upon it together,” said Ghose. “I think what happens is that because we’re so raised to be monogamous that even though she had this really cool agreement with her partner, she went the old route of doing something behind his back. This is something that monogamy breeds – a mentality of cheating and infidelity and lies.”

“Hang on,” I said. “But it was also Nathan’s responsibility to play by the rules and stop texting, right?”

“Here’s the thing: if he’s single, he doesn’t have so much to lose,” Ghose replied. “If it’s a one off, the primary couple needs to say to that person, “we’re a couple, these are our rules and we need you to respect those rules.’”

So, how should Karen and David have approached their threesome?

The first step should have been to ask themselves exactly why they wanted to open up their relationship up to another person.

“A lot of times, couples will choose to do something like an open relationship or a threesome when the relationship is not exactly weak, but when it’s not one hundred percent strong either,” she said. “So basically, couples will look outside the relationship to fix something that really needs to be fixed inside. And what they’re doing is leaving the relationship vulnerable.”

With the reasons for going ahead with the threesome weighed up and agreed upon, the next step should have been to design some kind of contract governing the rules of the open relationship.

“I think that contracts are great. I’m a huge fan of contracts – we even have them in monogamous relationships,” Ghose said, adding that written contracts are more desirable than verbal ones. “Is it going to be with someone you know? Is the other person going to be male or female? Is there going to be intercourse? Is there going to be kissing? Clarify as many details as you can before it happens.”

What a contract does is offer a bit of stable footing if and when either of the partners in the primary relationship find themselves drawn towards the latest addition(s) to their sex life, experiencing the stronger unmanageable feelings of love and lust that Karen started feeling towards Nathan – far from a rare characteristic of non-monogamous relationships.

“There’s a term for it in the non-monogamous community, and it’s called New Relationship Energy. NRE,” Ghose said. “It’s a term people use to caution against falling for someone who’s not your primary partner. When you’re intimate with someone, we excrete a hormone called oxytocin that tricks us into believing we’re falling in love. And NRE is more common for women than men since studies suggest women may be more susceptible to the ‘bonding’ effects of oxytocin.”

Which explains why, when Karen started believing that she was falling for Nathan, she needed to tell David immediately about the texts.

“Communication is key, as is openness and honesty,” said Ghose. “You constantly have to talk about it. And I think when you’re talking openly, it prevents couples from becoming complacent and taking each other for granted. You constantly have to be aware of what’s going on in the relationship.”

Karen and David are, miraculously, holding together well. “Despite the possibility of being pregnant with another man’s baby, our marriage has never been stronger,” Karen told me recently (I should add that she always wanted to do stand up, and has a flair for the comedic). While she has severed communications with Nathan, however, she hasn’t told David about those texts – and I don’t believe that she ever will.

So, you’ve decided you can handle the emotional part, but what about the technical part of it? Jessica Drake brings you a guide on threesomes exploring the dynamics of a threesome and how to bring your fantasy to life. Check it out at a HUSTLER Hollywood store near you.

 

About The Author

Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose emigrated from England to Los Angeles a number of years ago, where she is now based as a freelance writer. Bringing with her a unique perspective on transatlantic attitudes towards sex, Danielle has long believed that our sexuality should be celebrated, not smothered.

 

 

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