Dear Ms. Behavior:
After three years of monogamy, my partner and I finally have admitted that we’re bored, and have decided to open our relationship sexually. We’ve thought about it carefully, and have created a list of guidelines to protect our relationship: no falling in love, no frequent sex with any one particular person, no unsafe sex, no rent boys, and no secrets. We also have a clause that says that if either of us changes his mind, we go back to monogamy.
We were feeling comfortable with this agreement, and ready for new adventures (both together and separately), until we told our best friend, Tom, and he freaked out. He thinks it will kill our relationship. He told us a dozen horror stories about his friends whose relationships ended after they became nonmonogamous. Tom did succeed in scaring us.
Do you think we should stick to the monogamous status quo? Or should we follow through with our plan to change things up?
— Tired Of Monogamy
Dear Tired Of Monogamy:
Ignore Tom, who seems to want to impose his values on you. He doesn’t belong in the middle of your relationship, telling you what to do.
The good news is that while you and your boyfriend both are bored with your sex lives together, you’re in agreement about the solution. This is a far better scenario than it would be if one of you suddenly wanted to have sex with throngs of other men, and the other wanted to keep things as they are.
Your list of rules is sweet, speaking of your devotion and your desire not to harm your relationship. In most ways, it sounds like you two have planned out your departure from monogamy like good little boy scouts, including a trail of bread crumbs to find your way back to the camp site if you get lost.
Dear Ms. Behavior:
My girlfriend and I are friends with another lesbian couple, Jen and Dana, who talk too much and in too much detail about their intimate sexual relationship with each other.
For instance, the first time we went out for dinner with them, Jen told us the story about the first time they had sex, including details about how they touched each other through their clothes without intending to “go all the way,” but then, it got “so hot and wet” that they just had to “make love,” even though they were on a public beach. Dana confirmed all the gory details. She went on to tell us about how much sexual lubrication Jen produces.
Do I really need to envision this while I eat?
Even worse, they post detailed updates on Facebook about their sex lives, including things like: “The sheets were so wet that we had to hang them outside after we finally got out of bed.”
Do we really need to be barraged with information about their sex lives? How do we let these friends know that we just don’t care to hear it?
We don’t want to seem like prudes, because we’re not.
Any advice would be great. Please help us.
—Not Repressed, Just Bored, And Maybe A Little Disgusted
Dear Not Repressed, Just Bored, And Maybe A Little Disgusted:
Do you know the universal sign for “gag me with a spoon”?
Next time your friends tell you about their excessive moisture, just stick your fingers deep into your throat, and make a retching noise. Vomiting sounds often work well to curtail inappropriate disclosure, especially at mealtime.
Or, you can try a totally different tact. Go out to dinner with them, and make sure that you and your girlfriend both keep your hands under the table. Every so often, let out a slight moan, and throw your head back. After a few moments of this, announce (preferably in a husky voice) that you and your partner are fingering each other’s hot slick vulvas.
If this strategy works, your friends will get your not-so-subtle hint, and stop their inappropriate disclosure. However, if it fails, they probably will beg you to participate in their “hot, wet lovemaking.”
© 2009 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to email@example.com. She is the author of Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette (Houghton Mifflin). Signed copies are available directly from the author.