"Ask Dr. Tracy"

5/4/97 Advice Column

Third Wheel in a Threesome,
Do Nice Guys Finish Last?,
Her Parents Turn Him Off

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My fiance of two years has had a very checkered sexual past, including many one-night stands and a threesome with his now ex-wife and (then) best friend. He took it upon himself to describe that particular experience to me in glowing terms in spite of my protests, and seems to want to relive it with me constantly - i.e. bringing sex toys into bed that "recreate" the presence of another man, talking dirty about me getting it on with two guys, etc..

This behaviour makes me extremely uncomfortable and he initiates these threesome situations more than half the time we have sex. Fantasies are one thing, but he's actually acted this one out and can't seem to forget it. I do not want to be a replacement body for what he did with his ex-wife (and he doesn't think there was anything wrong with what they did, this makes me even more nervous).

Feeling like a Third Wheel...

Dear Third Wheel,

Your fiance is sexually experienced and has his kinks. Unfortunately, it's hard to get a guy to drink beer after he's developed a taste for Pernod. There's nothing you can do to make his past go away or to make it stop influencing him today. In fact, his past sexual and other experiences make him the person he is today.

As for anything being wrong with what he did, sex is okay in just about any form as long as it's between consenting adults. I hate to tell you, but what's "right" and what's "wrong" aren't going to help you here. It sounds to me like you're out of sync with your fiance not only in your sexual preferences but also in your moral values. In fact, I'm surprised that you got engaged.

You didn't say if you want different sexual acts than the ones he likes, but if you do, tell him exactly what you want. You deserve to indulge your own fantasies as well as his. There's just a chance, if he finds your fantasies sufficiently exciting, that he'll prefer them to his old threesome favorite.

But he probably isn't going to change a lot, so you face a tough choice. Only you know if you're getting enough pleasure to make up for being uncomfortable with his fantasy and disapproving of his past. Don't marry a man unless you are willing to be with him if he never changes. Fully accepting a man means accepting his past and present. If you intend to marry this guy, get used to it. Fantasies die very slowly, and sometimes live forever.

Wishing you love,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

One short but troubling question:

Do you believe that nice guys finish last in terms of finding women?

Thank you very much for your time,

Curious & concerned

Dear Curious and Concerned,

Yes, guys who are too nice often finish last. They don't know how to play the mating game. They're no fun. For a woman, being with them is like pulling the handle on a slot machine and always getting ten coins. You're winning, but it's boring. That's because women today are just as competitive as men. They want a challenge. They crave winning an exciting man. They respect a man who is his own person, able to stand up to them, and never ever willing to be walked all over.

It's human nature -- in order to have the "in love" feeling, there has to be some uncertainty, some wonder, "Does he love me? Does he love me enough? Will he be mine?" Sometimes if a guy is so nice that the wonder is missing.

It's worse than just not getting the girl. If a guy just gives and gives without getting anything back (and nice guys tend to do that), he gets taken advantage of by everyone. A guy who's so nice he can't stop doing things, helping, and giving is setting himself up.

However, nice guys with self respect, who know where to draw the line, do get women. It sounds like you need to read "Why People Love" in my Library.

Good luck

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I recently broke up with my girlfriend. We were together for a little over a year. Prior to us being romantically involved, we had a seven year friendship (which is now over too.) The reason I broke it off with her was because, knowing her for 7 yrs, I have not known anything about her family. When I became "involved" with her, the beans spilled out of the pot. Her home life is some what un-orthodox. Not to get totally in to it, let's just say, there are certain things about her & her family I just refuse to accept. Don't get me wrong, she is a wonderfull person and has done so much for me. However, there have been times where she has been too demanding. I tried to see through her, but to no evail, found myself on the short end of a stick. My main question is, should I have let her homelife and her familie's dysfunctional lifestyle interfere with our relationship. The way I see it is, if I marry her, I also marry her family. What's your opinon ?


Dear Rob,

The answer is yes and no. Yes, if you marry a woman you will marry her family as well to some extent. No matter how far away you move, she will still have a family. Everyone does. And surprise, surprise! Almost all families are crazy and/or have crazy people in them. Looking for a totally functional, perfect family may take you forever.

So, no, if you really love someone, you don't break up because of her family. That doesn't mean you have to live like them, it just means they're part of the package. Everyone has good and bad things about them, their families or their past. To get the good, you have to be willing to accept the bad.

The obvious question is, how bad is bad? If her family was "unacceptable" to you because they were axe murderers with body parts stashed in their freezer, then you made the right choice. If you disapproved of them because they were nudists, then it may have cost you much happiness to keep your clothes on for Thanksgiving dinner.

Good luck on your quest for a woman with the right family.

Wishing you love,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

We regret that it isn't possible for Dr. Tracy to answer all of the hundreds of questions submitted to this column each week. Dr. Tracy selects the three questions which are of the most general interest to the visitors here.

Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"

If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within 48 hours by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.

You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here.

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Return to "Ask Dr. Tracy" Home Page

© copyright 1995-2011 Tracy Cabot