Navigating Tricky Trios - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Navigating Tricky Trios

Navigating Tricky Trios

By Eugene S. Robinson



Bad sex is actually NOT better than no sex at all.

By Eugene S. Robinson

You have sexy questions? Eugene has sexy answers. Write. Now:

Trio Triage

EUGENE, SIR: My boyfriend is dying to have some threesomes. He wants to try everything — another guy, another girl, another couple — he’s so gung-ho to add at least one more person to our bed. It’s all he can talk about when we’re having our one-on-one time. This makes me really uncomfortable. I don’t want to sleep with another man, I love the one I have. And I certainly don’t want to watch him sleeping with another woman. It seems to me that he’s bi-curious, and part of me is scared that I’ll end up losing him to another guy. I’ve said as much to him, and he just laughs it off. Am I being oversensitive? Should I just get over my squeamishness and do it? Or is it normal for someone to not want to see their partner fucking someone else? — Three’s a Crowd

Dear Suzanne Somers: I almost stopped reading when you said “uncomfortable.” Actually, it was the “really” that set me off. Hard to argue with that “really,” and it seems to me that he has no idea you really mean “really.” So just to get this out of the way right away: You’re not being overly sensitive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: threesomes, foursomes, swaps, group scenes? Only people pulling from a pro-level handbook need apply. If I had a nickel for every tearful phone call I got from folks in the middle of a threesome where everybody was crying and the caller was huddled in the kitchen, making with the whispered pleas to me regarding what to do next, well, I’d have … um … a quarter!

There’s a rarefied place some couples find themselves where the desires are collective desires, and though other people may be in the room, those people are walk-ons in the primary couple’s “scene” and there’s as much emotional connection to them as to a dildo. In which case, these end up being great shared scenarios. Sometimes the couples move into other arenas past this. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the relationships last. Sometimes they don’t. 

But honestly, though my community is self-selecting, I’ve heard more nightmare stories connected to the lukewarm venturing into deep hot water vis-à-vis scenarios very much like what you’re concerned about: The woman ended up watching her bi-curious boyfriend have sex with a succession of dudes. Not what she signed on for.

So what to do? Well, he’s being straightforward and honest about his interests and desires. His interests and yours diverge here. To break the impasse, someone is going to have to give. You could tell him that you’re not interested, but give him a pass to go out and find his pleasures with others. Before returning home or disappearing into the realm of other partners. Or you could not give him a pass and live with the reality that you’ve kept your partner from that which he desires, which, of course, might tempt him to go out and do what he most wants to do since it’s pretty clear that resistance to temptation is itself an aphrodisiac. 

Which is to say you’re in a real pickle. I don’t know if you’d feel better picking the players yourself, but I suspect not. So as the deliverer of harsh truths, here’s one: You might have to let the dude go. You can’t unknow what you know and he’s not going to unlike what he likes. Go your separate ways, and if it’s love? Reconvene at a later date, with no questions asked about the intervening months or years. Could help. Could hurt. There’s only one way to find out. Good luck.

Vagina Dialogues

EUGENE, SIR: I’ve been with my girlfriend for several years and we’ve had our ups and downs. What does it mean, though, when her vajayjay feels different from time to time when I’m with her? Usually it feels snug, but occasionally it feels too loose for me to really enjoy. When we lived together, it usually felt snug, depending on how much we’d been doing it. There were only a few times when we lived together that it felt like something down there was inexplicably different or looser.

But now that we’re in a long-distance relationship (I moved for work), it feels not as snug more often than before. Since we’re together only once or twice every month or two, shouldn’t it fall on the tighter side? Why is it sometimes and not others? I suspect she’s cheating, but my question is: Is looseness a reliable sign of cheating? Please note that she has already confirmed that she doesn’t use/own a dildo for self-pleasuring when we’re not together (she doesn’t realize why I asked about the dildo).

Should I start wearing condoms when I’m with her until I get to the bottom of this? We’re supposed to be in a monogamous relationship, so we haven’t been using condoms. Thoughts? Is there an explanation for this outside of her being with other partners? — MC

Dear Em Cee: It’s the rare occasion where I feel like I can really help, but I’m feeling like I can really help here: Go to your local library or bookstore and request a book by Alain Robbe-Grillet titled La Jalousie, or Jealousy, if you get the English translation. When you see the rest of us looking at you now, like we are, think back to the novel’s protagonist. Which is to say you got to shake yourself out of this crazy-making cycle of paranoia. I’m not saying you’re wrong. She may be cheating, but you’ll never figure it out via vaginal tightness. I can’t even find one medical professional who will sign on to this. Even one in San Fernando Valley whose stock in trade is porn actresses

Sleep in the bushes outside her house, use tracking software, hire detectives, whatever. But the vagina will never tell.


EUGENE, SIR: My man wants me to slap him in the face when we’re having sex. I did it once, but he started screaming at me that I hadn’t slapped him hard enough and then I got mad and punched him and now he wants me to do it all the time. I don’t like hitting when I’m angry, and when I’m not angry I don’t want to do it. It could be my imagination, but sex without punishment doesn’t seem to interest him as much. What do I do? — Name withheld by request

Dear Rocky: If you’ve got a kink the calculus is simple, and if your kink is taken seriously/shared by your partner? You’re in heaven. If you’re being humored or your partner thinks indulging your kink is a “favor”? Not so heavenly. So if you can handle punching him in the face and can do it with brio? Keep on keeping on. But if not? You might have to let this go since it’s his thing and people are not often dissuaded from their things very easily. Truth. Good luck. 

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