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Should I Tell My Wife I’m Desperate to Have Sex With Another Man?
Dear How to Do It,
I’m a 31-year-old bi man married to a bi woman. I knew I wasn’t straight for most of my life but have only had sex with one guy, an ostensibly straight friend in high school, and it was a secret on/off thing that involved a lot of cheating and eventually blew up our friendship and several others. In part because of guilt and shame related to that, I didn’t come out until my mid/late 20s, after an incident in which I drunkenly kissed one of my then-girlfriend’s gay male friends at a party. But my girlfriend and I stayed together, I got sober, we got married, and now we have a strong monogamous relationship with a mutually satisfying sex life. The problem is, I can’t seem to shake the desire to have sex with a guy again, both because I’m attracted to guys and because I regret that my only experience thus far was as a closeted, denial-ridden teen.
My wife came out in her early 20s and has had more dating or sexual experience with other women, and she has been very supportive in letting me know that if I want to have sex with a guy, she’s in favor but would prefer to be involved in some way. I don’t know how to make a threesome with us and another guy who’s into both of us happen, and I’m worried that I will jeopardize our relationship if I tell her I want to try pursuing sex with another guy on my own. We’ve talked about the possibility of having an open relationship, but neither of us have any experience with it, and I’m scared of the idea that it might unbalance our dynamic in some way if I pursue other partners when she (as she’s told me) isn’t particularly interested in that right now. I’m also scared of the possibility of going down the rabbit hole and becoming a sex addict, since I’m already in recovery for drugs and alcohol, but that’s another issue.
As of now, I’m dealing with this desire by mostly jerking off to gay porn, which my wife knows about and is cool with. But I’m worried that it won’t be enough in the long run. I recognize that my own fear and shame related to my queerness is a major factor here, and I talk about that in therapy, but why am I still having such a tough time admitting what I want? Is it better to risk pursuing it than to keep trying to repress it, as I’ve been doing for so long? Would I be a more selfish partner for asking for permission to explore this, or am I being considerate in holding back?