For most couples, seeing their partner have sex with someone else would spell disaster for their future together. But not for everyone…
Getting sexual pleasure from watching your partner sleep with someone else is said to be gaining in popularity. According to The Independent, relevant online searches have more than doubled on Google in the past 12 years.
So what happens if you like the sound of it, but you’re not certain how to navigate it successfully and ensure your relationship survives intact?
Just because others are open to the idea, it doesn’t mean it will work for you and your partner. If you’re considering taking part, make sure you know why you’re interested. If your only reason is because your partner is asking you to do it, it might be worth thinking again.
Relate counsellor and sex therapist Peter Saddington told The Huffington Post UK: “One of the effects of our sexualised culture where there’s easy access to increasingly graphic porn is that ‘ordinary’ sex is no longer enough for some people. This means some go on to seek different forms of arousal to sustain a libido. Swinging or wanting your partner to be sexual with someone else are just some of the options.”
Bear in mind, he says, that the idea of your partner sleeping with someone else, and the reality of it, might be worlds apart.
Open and honest communication is even more important when you’re introducing a third party into the relationship. Ensure you have had all the conversations you want to have before it happens, answered any niggling questions, and discussed any potentially awkward scenarios.
Peter says: “If you and your partner are considering going down this road, communication will be really important: what each of you wants should be expressed and heard. Avoiding any coercion and manipulation is crucial for a healthy relationship.”
Part of your open communication should also be about establishing parameters that will make you feel secure and in control of the situation. These might include being able to have a say in who your partner may sleep with, whether they are allowed any communication with the third party after sex, or how you choose to watch (or not at all if that is the case).
“Two consenting adults can successfully negotiate a sexual relationship with someone else,” says Peter. “But negotiating clear boundaries will help to avoid any misinterpretation as to what is being asked or agreed to.”
Couples sometimes enter into the arrangement aiming to improve their sex lives by fulfilling a mutual fantasy. The experience may have an element of novelty and excitement. But whatever the outcome, says Peter, you need to continue to invest in your partner and your relationship to ensure jealousy and resentment do not come into play.
He explains: “There can often be a breakdown in the original romantic relationship as one person becomes more attracted to the third party. The reality is that many people find it hard to separate sex and the relationship.”
If you’d like to talk through issues in your relationship, why not give our friendly appointments team a call on 01234 356350 to arrange to see one of our counsellors.