Can a Marriage Survive a Consensual Third Party?

We know that a helpful answer to this question goes deeper than a multiple-choice poll, so we encourage you to cast your vote and then leave your advice/war stories/encouragement for Maybe Baby in the comments section below.

Dear Em & Lo,
I hope you can help me and my wife with our problem.We have been married 9 years, she is 40 and I’m 41.We are an attractive slim couple but for quite some time my wife has complained about our sex life. The main issue is quite simply that I have a very small penis — just 3 inches fully erect. My wife at first accepted this, but she has become increasingly unsatisfied during penetration, especially when she is aroused. She tells me that she is unable to feel me inside her. Now she has started to talk about a man she works with who has a reputation of being quite well endowed. My wife would like to sleep with him on occasion. I have to admit, this would be a bit of a turn-on, especially as she stated that I could be involved. She would never cheat on me behind my back, as we have such a strong loving relationship. She is very unselfish and has embraced and encouraged my fetish for dressing as a baby girl in diapers, plastic pants, frilly pink panties, nighties, etc, etc. I have a submissive side and this is something we could explore more. We have talked about me being dressed as her baby while she is with her “lover.” What are the positives and negatives of this kind of thing? And could this work out for us?
–Maybe Baby

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  1. I think this couple should really look into the Swingers lifestyle. I’ve met many wonderful, intelligent, loving couples through lifestyle clubs, many of whom are there for this kind of situation- one partner needs more than the other partner can give- and in a swinger environment, the rules are very clear-the primary relationship is of utmost importance and sexual gratification is just for fun, not for finding someone to replace the person you love…though you will wind up with many great, intimate friendships with caring, generous people!

  2. i’m with figleaf, but with the caveat that i don’t really buy this guys story. it sounds a little too much like he was only typing with his left hand.

  3. I’ve tried the ethical nonmonogamy route with bad results. The truth is, the only way this can work is if the third party is someone who you’re both involved with, or there’s a fourth party for your fun. You have to work to keep yourself and your wife as a primary couple, and jealousy (especially with someone better endowed) will come up.
    Though if this is the only problem, it’s easily fixed. Strap on, anyone? Clitoral stimulation?

  4. I can see figleaf’s point. But I’m not 100% ready to label MB a selfish non-giver based on the content of his letter. An evening out with a lover doesn’t seem like a good idea because it is responding with selfish, possibly devastating behavior. If MB watches or participates(and enjoys), cool. Just make sure it’s about her.

  5. Ephiphany’s point really is excellent. MB has expressed a pretty specific set of strong, overlapping, and unusual fetishes: cuckold, voyeurism, infantilism (cross-dressing, no less) and, it sounds like, “femdom” submissiveness! And since, at least based on MB’s text, it sounds like pretty much everything about the scenario is meant to indulge his fetishes the third party really needs to give informed consent.

    Also, consider that people with such precise, multiple fetishes can be pretty demanding because can be difficult to meet all their needs. The increased chance of a misfire increases the risk of… awkward conversations at the office between MB’s partner and co-worker afterward. And possibly even more awkward conversations at, say, company holiday events where all three may be socially obliged to mingle.

    Finally, the line “…she has become increasingly unsatisfied during penetration, especially when she is aroused” is unsettling. Especially when followed a bit later by “She is very unselfish and has embraced and encouraged my fetish…” It’s wonderful to have a generous partner. It’s even more wonderful to make sure her needs are really being met. If MB is really as inadequate a partner as he likes to imagine he is, and if his partner is usually as indulgent of his needs as he says she is, then… call me a rebel here but maybe if he really wanted to be generous in return he’d let her just, you know, go have an evening out *for herself* with her co-worker while he stays home with a sitter.


  6. The marriage is in trouble. There are lots of ways to obtain intimate sexual satisfaction even for a woman with a large yoni and a man with a small lingam. (Not smart ass words: the Kama Sutra discusses this very issue.) I suspect her dissatisfaction with him involves more than sex and that she is trying to establish some connection that does not exist in the marriage.

    Far be me to judge someone else’s chance for happiness. I can’t see that there’s much to lose.

    Still…human sexual arrangements are idiotic. We are not made for monogamy. Yet every single attempt to set up “more logical” sexual arrangements have failed. Dismally. Horribly. Painfully. “You could look it up.” Good luck, my children. You will need it.

  7. When I was living in Europe, I met a lot of men and women who indulged in affairs outside their primary relationship. They actually thought this behavior improved their relationships. In some ways, I could see their point – many of those couples have a history and intimacy together I see very rarely in American couples. I wonder if these kinds of open relationships could work here?

    1. Any Marriage has only room for TWO and NO more . Why be so in agreement with her about sleeping with him . I read about your challenges but Jealously will rear it’s Nasty and ugly head in your marriage . It may seem harmless now but once you ALLOW your wife to spread her legs for another man , she will be your biggest enemy because she doesn’t RESPECT you as a MAN for allowing her to do this .In the long run much better for you to divorce her . You can work on your n issues alone , she will fall for the first one who has her whipped . It will happen . Leave while you can .

      1. We’re sure that negative outcome is possible for some couples. Just as we’re sure a positive, successful outcome is possible for others.

  8. Good point on the co-worker, but otherwise, everything else sounds pretty sane and consentual between the married parties. I voted to go for it.

  9. Epiphany, that’s an excellent point, and we’re sorry we didn’t think of it in time for the poll! We agree, if one is going to invite a third into one’s marriage, a co-worker is probably not the most sensible idea…

  10. I didn’t vote, because none of the options addressed this major concern; these two are considering bringing the wife’s coworker into their sex life, which to me is a major no-no. If they feel comfortable bringing in a third, that’s all well and good, but they should look elsewhere.

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