My husband of eight years confessed to wanting to watch me with another man. I found a guy, and he agreed to a full STD screening so that we wouldn't have to use condoms. My husband loved every minute of it -- he loved it a little too much. He had sex with me after our "guest" left. I still had our guest's semen inside me. Is my husband gay? He didn't touch the other guy, but what the fuck?
Spouse Expressing Concern Over Newly Disclosed Sexuality
"Far from being an indication of homosexuality, your husband's turn-on goes back to the roots of male heterosexual experience," says Christopher Ryan, co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. "Human beings evolved in very intimate groups where sex often involved multiple partners."
"Think about it," says Ryan. "Why would women have evolved the capacity for slow-building multiple orgasms while males evolved the orgasmic response of minutemen accompanied by a sudden disappearance of all interest in sex?"
Because -- as Ryan and his co-author Cacilda Jethá lay out in Sex at Dawn -- for countless generations, our male and female ancestors, like our closest primate relatives (fuck-mad bonobos), engaged in multipartner sex. Females mated with multiple males, while males -- so easily stimulated visually to this day -- watched and waited their turn.
"Almost all of us get off on watching other people having sex," says Ryan. "Even if our minds deny it, our bodies respond in many ways, ranging from increased genital blood flow (in both sexes) to stronger male ejaculations."
By inviting another male into your bedroom, your husband -- consciously or subconsciously -- is inducing what's known as "sperm competition." Watching you have sex with another male made him more excited to have sex with you, not with the other male, and treated him to a more intense orgasm in you, not in the other male.
"So your husband's experience was very heterosexual," says Ryan.
I'll go further: Your husband's experience was the original heterosexual experience.
I've been with my partner for 10 years. I have lost all interest in sex, while my partner still has a healthy libido. We've agreed on a weekly "sex night." I dread it. We could call it quits, but we have a child and we love each other. I don't want to break up our family, so I put up with "sex night." It sounds depressing, I know, but the alternative seems worse.
Wishes She Was Horny
"Here's a dirty little secret: Lots of wonderful marriages aren't particularly sexual or exclusive," says Ryan, hinting at another alternative. "In Sex at Dawn, we show that sexual novelty was an important part of our evolution as a species and why the appetite is still so strong in us today. But, as you and your partner demonstrate, we don't all respond the same way to the absence of novelty.
"You don't say if your loss of libido pertains only to sex with your partner or to anyone at all," Ryan continues, "but it's a good idea to eliminate possible medical and psychological causes before concluding that it's a purely sexual issue. Assuming it's just about libido, I'd encourage you to talk about all this openly and see if you can't find a middle ground that preserves your family and the love you share but incorporates a more comfortable sexual arrangement that doesn't leave your partner frustrated and you dreading 'sex night.'"
In other words, WSWH, give your partner permission to fuck around. Ask yourself what's more important: staying married or staying monogamous?
"If you can find a way to take the pressure off both of you, you might find a deeper intimacy with each other and a return of your libido," says Ryan.
I usually end the column with a plug for my podcast. Not this week: Sex at Dawn is the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948. Anyone who's ever struggled with monogamy needs to read it. For more about the book, and how to order it, go to www.sexatdawn.com.