The Hot-Button issue of ‘Hot-Wifing’

Pierre Bonnard, MAN AND WOMAN, 1900

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

HER: You don’t have to spend much time on non-monogamy blogs, chatrooms, or podcasts to come across the idea of wife-sharing. Search #hotwife or #sharedwife, and you’ll get a myriad of videos and erotica, often including words like ‘bull’ and ‘cuckold’. We’re not fans of the shaming that is often inherent in these scenarios, but we have talked about the possibility of sending me off on a date with another man. It’s an idea that I had put off for ‘maybe someday,’ but I recently got an offer I had trouble refusing. That offer forced us to confront my fears about opening us up to new possibilities in the world of wife sharing.

HIM: Let’s rewind a bit here. That offer you mentioned came in the form of a private message on Twitter. It was a basic note of appreciation, a high-IQ fan letter. The person who sent it was a man who you had noticed before commenting on one of your posts. And by noticed, I mean you had taken a quick glance at his photo and registered that he was very attractive.

HER: Yeah, seriously hot. But I didn’t give it much more than a passing thought until he sent me that private message. Looking at his profile more carefully, I saw that he lived in the same city as us, and that he was a pro footballer originally from Australia. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a hard-on (figuratively) for sexy accents. So when a very handsome, athletic man with a hot accent lives close by and says that he’s interested, well, the next sentence practically writes itself: “Would you like to get together for a drink sometime?”

HIM: That’s pretty predictable, knowing you the way I do. But you left out one important detail. In his original note he said that he wasn’t in the lifestyle, per se, but was in an open relationship, and that many of the issues we deal with in our blog are relevant to his journey. So when you filled me in on the whole conversation, I got excited. About a year ago I mentioned that I was interested in experimenting with a ‘hot wife’ type scenario. Again, like so much of the terminology in the lifestyle, I think that term trivializes a complex and potentially beautiful dynamic. Basically, it’s when a man asks his wife to go an a date with another man for his own pleasure. Regardless of what you call it, I thought it was a situation we could easily arrange and that might be awesome for both of us. So when you told me this guy was in an open relationship with permission to play alone, a powerful circuit in my libido lit up instantly.

HER: I could tell. At this point I was just imagining a flirty conversation with my husband and a sexy stranger on a summertime patio, but I could practically hear your gears turning. You said almost right away that I should go on a date with him. So I did a little research. He didn’t have an online profile to check out, but, because he’s an actor, it was easy to creep him online.

HIM: Hold on – I don’t think you’re being fair to yourself saying that you creeped him. Think about all the things someone knows about us if they’ve read our blog. The information disparity is yawning. They know all about our insecurities, hopes, risks and regrets. And if they follow us on Twitter they’ve seen like a hundred shots of you in various states of undress. So the fact that you tried to level the playing field just a bit by finding out what you could about this man was more than understandable.

HER: Ok. So yes, I found out that he was tall, had thick, wavy hair, beautiful blue eyes and, what can I say — that accent. And when we met, he surpassed even those initial expectations. He was gorgeous and ticked all my boxes.

HIM: The phrase ‘ticked all my boxes’ is a little too cute, don’t you think? You basically said that you’d love to fuck him.

HER: Yes, I did, but that’s where the difference in our thinking showed up. I wanted to have sex with him, but I pictured doing that with your participation. I thought we could have a threesome, or maybe you could just watch like you’ve done with single men before. I didn’t actually want to date him.

HIM: But why wouldn’t you? You could enjoy that slow build-up that leads to the very best sex. That’s why dating was invented: it’s the ultimate foreplay.

HER: I don’t know. I’ve been feeling very blocked around this whole scenario for some reason. I guess there are a few things swirling around in my brain. First, there’s the planning and communication thing. Usually, you make the plans and I just show up and get naked. I have a bit of a phone phobia, which seems stupid, but it’s real. I don’t like chatting. I don’t like having to take charge of figuring out the details of when and where we’ll meet. We tried to set something up with him a couple of times, but, with our complicated schedules, it just felt like too much work.

Second, there’s the risk. Do I want to be alone with someone I hardly know? Sure, he seemed nice when we had drinks, but he also mentioned he likes choking, gagging, and anal play. All of which are fine with me within reason. But what if things get out of hand? Every woman has to consider safety when she sleeps with someone new (which is one of the million reasons I’m glad I’m not dating anymore). When we swing, you’re always there so I don’t have to worry about a guy turning weird in the bedroom.

Third, he has a girlfriend who he has a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ agreement with. I know managing his relationship is his business, but I worry about coming between him and his partner if she’s not enthusiastically open. If she’s just reluctantly granting him some freedom, I don’t want to cause her any pain if this were to come out. Girl code, you know?

Finally, he’s younger than me and I’ve never been with someone who I was so attracted to. I have the standard insecurities about whether or not he’ll be into me. And, if he is, what if I like it too much? What if he’s as good in bed as he is attractive. What if I get addicted?

HIM: Honestly, for you, I hope he is awesome in bed. A big part of this for me is the idea of giving you a gift. I aspire to being a great husband, to make things possible that others wouldn’t even consider.

HER: I know. You’re ridiculously amazing.

HIM: Well, at the core of that desire is actually a pretty strong egotism. Basically, part of this whole exercise is a wager on my part. Let’s say this man is actually God’s gift to womankind in all the ways you mentioned. The likelihood that he also has his life together, and his goals aligned with yours, to the extent that he beats me as partner material is basically zero. I would be willing to bet that, even if you came home from a first date with him with stars in your eyes, wanting more, three or four dates later you would start to make excuses for not being available.

HER: What makes you so confident?

HIM: Think about our experience with Justin two years ago. He’s tall, in great shape, a charming, talented conversationalist, authentic, with an interesting career and you’ve said he’s fantastic in bed. Yet, in spite of the fact that he writes you flirty texts from time-to-time, it took you a whole year to be interested in meeting him again for a second time. If it depends on you taking the initiative, I bet the third time never happens.

HER: That’s true. But all the concerns I listed above are probably just surface worries to cover the deeper fear. I worry about what this step would mean for us. You want me to go on a date with another man, but I don’t think I’m ready to extend the same freedom to you. I don’t want an open relationship. Just a month ago you were having intense conversations with a woman online and it sounded like you were headed in the direction of meeting up for a lunch date. It made me feel threatened and I had to tell you that I didn’t want you to do it. I have zero interest in you dating anyone but me. And maybe that’s because I have more insecurities than you do, or maybe it’s just our turn-ons are different. But I believe strongly in equality, and I don’t want to set a precedent that I can’t follow through on myself.

HIM: But that’s the important thing about this. If you do something in the lifestyle with the goal of getting the same favor back, you’re doing it wrong. My intitial impulse for you to go on a date with another man was purely selfish. The idea turned me on. Fortunately, part of what turned me on was your enthusiasm for this man, so it seemed like a win/win. I wasn’t asking you to do something objectionable for my benefit. But my permission does not carry with it an obligation. It is an idea complete in itself. If you woke up one day and wanted me to go on a date with another woman, I think that would be fun. But I don’t need to do it. I already believe I have the greatest relationship in the history of the world with you.

HER: I know, and maybe that’s part of the problem. I am so happy with you that, even in the face of Mr Fantastic, I feel very little motivation to do the work to hook up with him. But we are swingers, right? So, I’m feeling stuck in this strange place: on one side, I have a sexual invitation from an incredibly hot man who turns me on like crazy; and, on the other, I have you encouraging me to do it because the thought turns you on. So I should be jumping at the opportunity. But I can’t pull the trigger. What’s wrong with me?!

HIM: I think you’re getting too tangled up in thinking about all the people and details and implications. Try to be selfish for a minute. Don’t think about me, just think greedily for your own interest. What would be your best, most fantastic outcome?

HER: I would love to have a threesome with you and him. Maybe after drinks, he and I can get started in the bedroom, like we’ve done before. When you feel ready, you can come in and either watch or get naked and participate. The problem with this is it assumes a swinging dynamic. Just because he’s in an open relationship doesn’t mean he’ll be into sharing in the bedroom.

HIM: Well, that scenario wouldn’t be my fantasy. But this is all about you.

HER: Ok. What is it, exactly, that you envision?

HIM: I would love to get a hotel and have the three of us meet in the lobby bar. After a drink, you two head up to the room and I do something else for a few hours. When I come back, you’ve got a sexy story to tell me — or maybe a video to show me — and we have amazing sex all night.

HER: That’s obviously different from the single guy scenarios we’ve explored in that you are not in the room. But it does address my concerns about planning and safety. You would be involved in the planning and would be nearby, which might limit the possibility that I’d get gagged to death. I think I could go for that.

What I don’t understand, because I don’t think I would feel it myself, is where the turn-on happens for you. You don’t get to witness or participate. How is that sexy? I think I would feel insecure about what I couldn’t see passing between you and the other woman if the tables were turned. And, if this adventure really is about US exploring our sexuality together, how does this qualify as a team sport?

HIM: In all these things for me, I think I’m trying to see your lust in its purest form. Short of killing myself and haunting your future liaisons as a ghost, this is the closest I can get to seeing your fully autonomous sexuality.

HER: That’s morbid.

HIM: You’re right. What I mean is, if I’m not there, then you can’t be checking on me. I want to see your unpreoccupied libido at play. The hotwife scenario kind of forces you to be in the moment sexually with the other man. I love that thought. If I dig a little deeper, the other thing we’ve noticed is that all of my fantasies are about getting close to the worst thing I can imagine. In my case, you are my world. Losing you would be devastating. In this scenario, we play out what would be most people’s worst nightmare, but as every daredevil knows, the closer you get to catastrophe without crossing the line, the more exhilerating it is. So, that’s what you’re doing for me. That’s what makes it about us. The risk of losing you is the element that turns me on. I couldn’t get that without you. And I am confident that we will not only survive, but come out better than ever because that’s the way it’s always worked whenever we venture into new territory. You could say I’m addicted to that rush because I know that, ultimately, I’m safe with you.

HER: I get that. I am a skier, after all. I love the rush and danger of barreling down a hill, while trusting that my skill will keep me safe. I guess I just never think of applying that kind of thrill-seeking to marriage. So, we’ll try again to set something up with sexy soccer dude. But it will have to be you, because I still can’t see me making all the arrangements. I’m sure you’re right, though: every new step we take seems scary before we take it. But the thing that never changes is us. We always go home together.

To be continued

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Dick Pics

andy-warhol-penis 1977

Andy Warhol, Penis (Diptych), 1977

HIM: We recently watched the movie ‘Weiner’, a documentary directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. You probably remember the story of Anthony Weiner, the New York state congressman who fell from grace in 2011 after he tweeted a picture of his bulging underwear to a woman who was not his wife. Two years after that fiasco, he decided to stage a comeback by running for Mayor of New York City, and that’s where the documentary picks up the story. We see him leading in the polls when more women come forward with still more explicit photos, many of them sent by Weiner after he promised voters he had changed his ways. His campaign implodes before our eyes.

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Toronto, North America’s Sex Club Capital

image 01

George Grosz, ‘Far in the South, beautiful Spain’, 1919

HER: If you’re in the market for a sexy vacation, but you haven’t got the budget for a European or Carribean getaway, please allow me to suggest something a little different. I’m talking about a city where you will find the greatest concentration of sex clubs in North America. No, it isn’t Las Vegas or New York City or New Orleans … it’s Toronto.  Continue reading

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Sex Party Etiquette

Cecily Brown Untitled 2013

Cecile Brown, UNTITLED, 2003

HER: Summer is the season for backyard barbecues and pool parties. So, if your friend group includes people who like to get naked together, it also means it’s the season for swinger parties. Thanks to the suggestion of our podcasting friends, Bed Hoppers UK, we’re going to outline some of the rules of etiquette for house parties based on our experience as both party hosts and guests.

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Pool Party IV: Perfection

Franco Fontana PISCINA 1984

Franco Fontana, PISCINA (SWIMMING POOL), 1984

HER:  If you’re a member of the lifestyle community, you may have attended events and fantasized about being the one at the centre of it all. You may even have looked around and thought, ‘If I were the host, I’d do it better’. Well, we were arrogant enough to believe that of ourselves, but, along the way, we’ve discovered that it isn’t as simple as inviting a bunch of swingers and feeding them. No, there’s definitely a learning curve. But after recently hosting our fifth Sexy House Party in three years, it now feels like we’ve perfected the recipe for an all-fun, no-drama event.

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Unprotected Sex

B Tompkins Fuck Painting no52 2014

Betty Tompkins, FUCK PAINTING no 52, 2014

HIM: The subject of unprotected sex is an open and closed case for most lifestyle commentators. Just never, ever do it … except with your long-term, exclusive partner. The risk of an STD is simply too great. It’s an easy, one-size-fits-all approach that is criticism proof. But like most easy answers, the reality is somewhat messier. Continue reading

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Niagara Hotel Take Over

Ingres Turkish Bath

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres ‘The Turkish Bath’ 1863

HER: There we were: three couples on two beds in our poolside hotel room, playing and swapping, with a growing audience of appreciative onlookers watching through the large picture window. It was one of the hottest experiences we have ever had in the lifestyle, and definitely the highlight of our weekend in Niagara Falls.

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Are Lifestyle Friendships Real Friendships?

Two Sisters_John Graham_1944

John Graham (Ivan Dombrowski), Two Sisters, 1944

HER: A Twitter friend recently posted a comment she found in an online forum. The contributor basically said that lifestyle people are some of the most enjoyable people she has been around. But in the end, these people have only one thing on their minds. And because it’s all about the sex, it’s hard not to see the friendships as superficial. When I read this, my immediate reaction was are you kidding? As strange as it may sound, I think the lifestyle is just as much about friendship as it is about sex. Continue reading

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Hedo Diaries: An Older Woman

neel_alice_self_portrait 1980

Alice Neel, Self Portrait, 1980

HIM: The other day I accidentally pushed the wrong button on my phone and the forward facing camera clicked on. The image of an old man suddenly appeared on the screen. My immediate thought was that I looked pretty good for a 70 year old. The problem is, I’m just 56.

HER: Oh, baby, I’m sure it was just bad lighting. And maybe a bad angle.

HIM: Probably, but it seems to me like good lighting and good angles are getting harder and harder to find these days. Oh well. Continue reading

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Men and Affairs


Edward Hopper, NIGHTHAWKS, 1942

HIM: In the April 6th edition of The New York Times, I read an impressive article by Karin Jones entitled What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity. First of all, simply writing the piece under her own name (The New York Times does not allow pseudonyms) required a rare level of bravery. Being the ‘other woman’ is no one’s idea of a heroic role, Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary notwithstanding. Secondly, her thesis, although somewhat ambivalent, is that many men who have affairs are not the selfish bastards they’re usually made out to be. Instead, they are often individuals trapped in very difficult circumsances who feel they have few options. While I don’t agree with everything she has to say, hers is a voice not often heard that should be listened to carefully. Continue reading

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