Sex Outside Marriage: Possibility or Pipe Dream?

Sex Outside Marriage: Possibility or Pipe Dream?

Dear Eve,
I’ve been married 30 years. My wife has several health ailments, because of which our love style has changed. We are no longer having sex.

I’m in very good health, approaching my 60s and am not ready to stop having romance. I don't want to leave my wife as she needs me and we’re good partners. She has consented to me finding someone to have some intimacy with. I would tell the other person right away to be sure this would work for them. However, if there is someone out there in the same situation, looking for just a romantic friend with no strings attached that would be great.

We both realize this is somewhat of a gamble, but in life you have to take chances and we have thirty years of understanding. Am I looking at a pipe dream or is this possible?


While I am certain that there are other people in similar situations, and that this scenario is physically possible, there are several issues that need to be thought through before you proceed.
Let’s start with semantics. While it is romantic to think this is a “romance” issue, you are talking about sex. Romance is sharing the mysteries and celebrating the beauty of life. Romance feeds love. There is no reason you can’t still be romantic with your wife. Sex is another issue. I am pointing this out about this because, it is important you are really clear about what you are planning on sharing with someone else. Are you looking to start up a romantic relationship—one that includes looking deep into each other’s eyes, holding hands, calling each other all the time, etc. or are you looking for someone to have sex with—or both?
There are a lot of couples (a lot more than most of us think) that are having sexual encounters with people other than their spouses—with their spouse’s knowledge and blessing. So, obviously, it can work. However, it isn’t always as simple as one might hope.
In your case, if you and your wife were monogamous for 30 years, I can guarantee this isn’t likely to be comfortable emotionally—even if logically it makes sense to both of you. After 30 years, I’m guessing you don’t have a clue how to go about having sex without romance, love and commitment (strings). It may not be in your DNA.
Here are some scenarios to consider: Your wife says “go for it,” thinking that it isn’t fair that her physical condition is keeping you from having a satisfying sex life. Then, when you do, she suddenly feels jealous, betrayed, and abandoned. She compares herself to this new woman and starts thinking that for the past 30 years, this type of woman is what you have really wanted and starts questioning everything. She didn’t expect to feel this way, nor did you, but there it is—emotionally deep and murky waters.
Or, you think you can have sex with no strings attached. You start having intimate encounters with someone who has agreed to this scenario, but since sex also tends to “make love,” you suddenly find yourself falling in love with this other woman and wanting to spend more and more time with her.
Or, she starts falling in love with you and wanting more. Suddenly there are strings attached, what do you do?
Or, you are happily having sex with this other woman and going home to your wife. Do you talk about it? Do you do it quietly behind her back? Now that she has given her blessings, is she going to be constantly wondering and suspicious?
There are undoubtedly other people who are in a similar situations. Hey, there may even be a web site for making matches just like these, but before you leap, you and your wife need to really be sure you can navigate the floodwaters that may rise.
I wish you the best,
With Aloha
Intellectual Foreplay Question of the Week: Have you considered how you would feel if the tables were turned?
Love Tip of the Week: Strings are attached to everything. They are called “responsibility.”

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