Looking for advice: when one of you is more into the lifestyle than the other


My wife and I have played with a few couples and had single guys join us a few times. We’ve had some misses (where her needs weren’t met, usually because a guy has trouble performing). Overall we like the spice it adds to our marriage. We talk about it in bed to goad each other “show the boys how to make me cum”. It’s hot.

The trouble is that it adds a certain suspicion on her part for how interested I am in her. She feels like my drive isn’t great unless I’m thinking about a third person or another couple with us, etc. I admit to her that this is a fetish of mine and it excites me. I can’t accept that it excites me more than being with her alone… But maybe there’s truth in that. My pride keeps me from admitting that, even if it’s true.

I don’t want to make my wife feel secondary. I love her completely. But she and I both know that the prospect of others being with us is always going to add a new dynamic, and that’s exciting. It creates nervous energy.

She doesn’t want me to change (more specifically she knows this is part of my nature and I can’t change it).

I’ve offered to have us go back to being vanilla but she’s skeptical I can be happy without this part of our lives. Worse is that she thinks we’ll have a lot less sex without this part of our lives, or that I’ll resort to watching porn to get my fix. I’ve struggled to not watch porn. It’s something I enjoy but I know it hurts her feelings when I watch it so I try to abstain.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Are you and your partner equally into the excitement of swinging/hotwifing/whatever your kink is? If you’re not at the same level of excitement how have you balanced this or worked through it?

Thanks in advance.


  1. In our case, my interest in swinging is high and steady, while my wife’s waxes and wanes. So sometimes we are more active, and sometimes less. As with your situation, my wife knows this is part of who I am, and won’t change, and so she is fine with me playing solo, (not that that is easy for a 50-something married guy, looking for a FWB who is OK with me being married).

    One thing about our situation, which sounds a bit different from yours: While we really enjoy sex with each other, we also completely understand that sex with others has an edge that is impossible to capture between us. There is just something exciting about sex with someone new. Just as sex with your spouse of 30 years has some unique benefits. We both like where we are, and have no desire to go back to vanilla, even if my wife is sometimes less interested.

  2. I’m glad you brought this up. My wife and I have been off an on with the lifestyle too, and I’ve found myself wanting to participate much more than her right now. We have talked about it, and for her, it’s a combination of a couple bad experiences where a wife was clingy and the hub a dud, and the fact that she hasn’t been feeling very attractive lately. We both please ourselves often, and my wife knows I want a lot of porn to do that, and she’s never gotten jealous of it, but we both understand that I am almost exclusively turned on visually, and for me to be able to finish, I need that. She also enjoys that there are things I see, and want to try with her, so she calls it my study session.
    It does seem awful curious to me that you are both in the lifestyle, but she is so adverse to porn. The first thing that comes to my mind is that, 1) she is insecure with porn, and 2) she’s concerned that she’s enough for you. Perhaps it would be helpful to understand why she participates in the lifestyle. I suspect that it might have seemed exciting to her at first, but that now she’s feeling insecure in your relationship. Worse yet, the cats out of the bag, so she won’t easily believe that going vanilla will remedy what she’s feeling.
    My advice would be to forget the lifestyle right now, if she asks about it, just say you want to focus on what brought you both together in the first place. Show her that she is irreplaceable and attractive. Whether to tell her what you are doing is up to you, but I’ve found that with my wife… explaining to her that I’ve failed in making her feel special and that I plan to make it up to her usually works better because she understands what I’m trying to do, and the little things I do aren’t missed.
    We believe the lifestyle is something we do together to bring more excitement to the bedroom, much like a new toy, but it never defines our relationship. I don’t know if that helps, but keep us informed, it would be helpful to know how things turned out.

  3. From time to time, do something romantic where it’s all about her. Nobody else but you and her.

    And don’t say things like: “you see, baby, it’s not only about sex” or “isn’t that the proof that I can forget about the lifestyle and porn for a moment?”. She will get the message without you saying anything.

  4. Step up your game.

    Hubby and I have an 80/20 rule. 80% of the sex we have, time we spend, etc must be on each other. The rest can be LS related.

    This means that if I’m sexting with a FWB I also texting/flirting with hubby. I don’t just text him about chores and to do lists.

    If she’s feeling like she isn’t enough listen to the Dan Savage podcasts together. There is one about “am I enough?” Questions. In addition, her saying that is likely her saying that she has an unmet need or unaddressed insecurity.

    I know I’m enough for hubby. Sometimes I’m more than he can handle. 🤣 but I’m also human, and insecurities creep up from time to time. If I say it, he ups his game on the home front.

    Look through your phone… when was the next sexy/flirty/romantic text you sent your wife?

    If it wasn’t today, fix that. Even if she’s in the room with you. Even if it feels silly. Start there.


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