"Ask Dr. Tracy"

12/10/2000 Advice Column


Her Fella's Fantasy
Married To A Man, In Love With A Woman
His Past Includes Hookers




Her Fella's Fantasy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've been dating a guy for about a year and a half now and we're living together. He's 35 and I'm 29. We get along great and he's a wonderful guy. Lately he's mentioned a fantasy a couple of times though, and I'm concerned about it. He says that he'd like to go to a Swingers club sometime and would like to watch while another couple has sex. He assures me that he and I would not be participating and that we would not actually be "Swinging" but that he just wants to watch. I'm perfectly satisfied with watching pornos, but he says he wants to see the real thing. It concerns me that he wants to do this and I wonder if I say no, if I should be worried that he will just go out and do it by himself? Is this also a warning sign that he's not happy with us?

He also used to mention wanting to go naked hot tubbing with some of his male friends and their girlfriends. I told him I'd be uncomfortable being naked in front of his male friends. He said he saw my point. It bothered me that he thought this would be ok in the first place, but he has stopped asking me after I explained how I felt about it. I think this other situation is a variation of his tendency to want to explore exhibitionist things. Swinging or being in that atmosphere seems like it would be asking for more than a monogamous relationship could deal with. Is there a safer way to watch couples having sex without the worries that you'd be asked to participate? Should I even consider his request? I always try to say that I'll try almost anything once...I don't think I'm as prudish as this letter is making me sound, I just don't want to endanger our very happy relationship together.... Your advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Trying not to be the prude

Dear Trying Not To Be A Prude,

You're boyfriend obviously doesn't know a thing about Swinger's Clubs and thinks that going to one will be like going to a live porn movie. That couldn't be further from the truth. Swingers are usually just ordinary people and don't look anything like the people in his porn movies. Swing party participants often have pot bellies, stretch marks, and generally everything that your ordinary accountant or banker might have. Their sex isn't picture perfect either. So if he's looking for a live porn set, he's in for a big disappointment.

However, if you're worried about his going to a swing party alone, don't be. Swing parties don't usually welcome single men. More likely, what you're really concerned about is that he might find some other woman to go with him, since he can't go by himself. That's always a possibility, so the simplest solution is to go with him, once. Just to watch. Actually, you could find it more exciting than he does, and then where would he be? That's often the case when a man convinces his girlfriend to go to a swing party.

However, if you do agree to go, make rules ahead of time, such as we'll just watch, but not participate. Or, we'll only stay for two hours, then leave. Or, we'll absolutely stick together like glue, no separating at all for any reason. Or, we'll have a key word that will send a message, such as, "I'm uncomfortable," or "I want to leave, now."

Most swing parties have rules about pressuring visitors or newcomers to join in. If you do go and are asked, a simple "No thanks" will almost always suffice to end the offer. You can find out the rules at a swing party before you attend, and as a matter of fact, most clubs will insist on going over the rules carefully with you first.

His wanting to have a sexual adventure with you does not mean he's not happy with your relationship. It really means he trusts you enough to tell you about his fantasy and he wants you to be part of it. There are lots of monogamous couples who've visited swing parties and they report that it excited them and made them hungry for each other. I've rarely heard of going to a swing party being a danger to a healthy relationship.

Of course you should consider his request. Don't do anything you don't want to do, but I don't think you would be endangering your relationship if you went along just to see.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Married To A Man, In Love With A Woman

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 31 years old and have been married for 5 years. My husband and I have had quite a disconnected marriage. On the surface, we look alright, but inside there is much trouble. We often argue, and he mostly blames me when things don't work out. In the past he has spent much time away from the home pursuing his own endeavors. I did not argue with that or get angry with him. I always felt that he should be free to go after his dreams (mostly they were involved with the music industry).

I also have my own interests, which are mainly horses. I have 4. About 3 1/2 years ago, both my husband and I started working at a new company and I met a woman who also has horses. It wasn't until a year ago that we started putting our interest together and started doing things with it. What happened after that was an incredible amount of bonding and a great friendship.

About 6 months ago I started feeling sexually attracted to her. It confused the heck out of me, as I had never consciously felt this about another woman before. I backed away from her and tried to stay away from her. But it didn't work, as I was so drawn to her. A couple of months ago I made my feelings known to her, in great fear of losing the friendship. As it turned out, she also had the same feelings for me. So I did a terrible thing and decided to give it a try with her.

Now, the two of us women are terribly in love and I have a husband. I never intended for any of this to happen, but I recogize that I alone am responsible for my own actions. I am probably going to leave my husband, but I want to start a life of MY OWN. She wants me to come and live with her, but I cannot do that either.

Now my mind is a mess. I love spending time with this woman, as we have so much in common and will never run out of things to do together. My husband and I on the other hand, can't seem to find any activities that we enjoy doing together. I was wrong to have married him in the first place, I know that now. He says he loves me, but he also can be very controlling. I have a "curfew" and have to be home at a certain time at night, or there will be a terrible fight. He used to spend many a night away from home, and I trusted him and never questioned him as to what he was up to. But you see, I have broken that trust and he has no idea of my relationship with this woman. He resents the time I spend with her. So I know that I am a rotten person all around. Sometimes I just want to tell him and get it over with, but since the three of us work at the same company, it would damage her as well.

If you have any advice, I'd appreciate it greatly.

Dear Disconnected,

You're certainly not a rotten person, but it's no wonder you feel disconnected from your husband. He goes off and leaves you pursuing his music dreams and you stay home with your horses and your woman friend. You argue often and he blames you for things that go wrong. You're 31 and you have a curfew. Now you've fallen in love. No wonder your marriage looks bleak.

You're really not ready to jump into a relationship with your woman friend. You do need time to be on your own and have your own life. Don't move from your husband's house to her house. Instead move into your own place and give yourself a chance to really decide what you want.

You owe it to your husband and to yourself to end this sham of a marriage and find out who you are and what your sexual orientation really is. It's time for you to talk to a lawyer, find out your rights, and get a divorce.

When you're on your own, you'll be better able to decide who you really want to spend your life with.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




His Past Includes Hookers

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've been reading your Love Library articles and the advice column every week and I found that I've learned a lot from them. However, I have a question that seems not been touched in your articles, i.e. how should I see a guy who visits prostitutes?

Here is the story. I am 33 and divorced a year ago (I seperated with my ex-husband about 2 years ago). I met a guy (36 years old) about three months ago and we've been getting along well. We have a sort of agreement of having monogamous dating shortly after we met. We've been seeing each other every weekend and we started to spend more and more time together. We've introduced to each other's friends and we are planning to spend the Christmas together with his family. None of us has said the magic word. However, both of us are seeking a long term relationship and we've talked about issues such as children, future career, buying a house and moving together, etc. He seems to be a considerate, honest person. He seems to have a strong sex drive and our sex has always been fine.

Couple of days ago, he revealed to me that during the period of not having any girlfriend, he went to prostitutes once a while (once every 2-3 months) for sex and perhaps equally important for intimacy. But he said he never cheated on any girl he has been with.

What concerns me now is the following. I had a very bad experience before with another guy where he cheated on me and hurt me very deeply. I don't want to be cheated again. On the other hand, my current boyfriend never had any long term relationship (his longest one was 3-month). You might say seeing prostitutes is his history, no big deal. But history is an important source for me to know about him. Yes, he may change later if he does have a fulfilling relationship. But, if he does not have any moral restriction to buy service from prostitutes in the past, does this mean he is more likely to do so than other men in the future if he feel he need it? For example, when we are apart for business reasons, etc? How should I interpret this history?

Confused and concerned.

Dear Confused and Concerned,

You've only known this man for three months and you're thinking about buying a house and moving in together? It's way too soon for that. Slow down. Give yourself a chance to really get to know him before you start making plans for a lifetime together.

The fact that he went to prostitutes when he was without a girlfriend in the past is not the end of the world, as long as he doesn't continue to do so. What's past is past. The important thing is what he does in the present and the future.

If you and he break up, he'll probably go back to prostitutes again, but that doesn't mean that he's more likely to cheat on you than another man would. You and he would have to discuss what's acceptable in your relationship and what's not. You have to stand up for yourself and tell him exactly what you will and will not put up with, including his visiting prostitutes while you're out of town.

In the meantime, give this relationship time to grow. The only real way to know how a man will behave is to give him a chance to show his true colors. Only time will tell how he'll behave, and you should never expect to know how a man will behave until you've been with him for at least a year or two.

He's never been with anyone for longer than three months. Give him a chance to experience a long-term relationship. Who knows, he may turn out to be absolutely faithful and look back on his time visiting prostitutes as a desperate and lonely time in his life.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy





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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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