Ask Hua Li #16 – Group sex for the future!

September 24, 2014     / / / /

peggy hogan hua li

Hua Li is an indie hip-hop artist by night, jazz vocal teacher by day, and 24/7 badass. Every other Wednesday (a.k.a., Hump Day) she releases a new edition of “Ask Hua Li,” Radio Cannon’s sex column for the post-queer, the pre-queer, and everything in between. Ask her an anonymous question at the bottom of this post.

Hi Hua Li,

What’s your take on (and experience of?) threesomes and swinger swaps? I’m a thirty-something woman whose last relationship with a male partner involved a lot of talk about having another woman join us. I’m bi-curious, but have never been with another woman, so it intrigued me. My one concern was not ruining the intimacy I had with my boyfriend, since I didn’t want jealousy to get in the way. We broke up for other reasons, but now I regret not having tried that with him — the logistics of it just never worked out, or maybe we didn’t try hard enough? Part of me is even considering calling him up and suggesting a one-off swinger outing, just to see what that would be like. Given the sorts of guys I tend to go out with, I’m not sure that any future partner of mine would be open minded enough to go for that sort of thing… And I now realize that it’s on my sexual bucket list. Any advice?

Generally Monogamous Maggie

Dear GMM,

Your question brings up a lot of interesting points about swinging and group sex. The first (and likely most irrelevant) point is that of my own experiences, which I’ll simply say have me firmly on the side on jubilant exploration of group sex for all. When it comes to swinging in particular, there is an implication of coupling and hetero-normativity that is not really my bag. If North Americans are going to run around the world bombing innocent people back to the stone age in the name of democracy, my hope would be that in the future the entire world will enjoy a sexual democracy where all eligible citizens may participate in orgies equally. Group sex for the future, everyone.

A Benetton Mob associate who finds himself particularly close to my heart said to me recently, “I think I’m motivated by fear. When I’m approached by a situation that I feel fearful toward, I get the sense that I especially have to go through with it.” Facing your fears is a profound experience because we are often fearful of things that are enriching to our lives. Let’s first take a really basic example – picture yourself, GMM, on the cusp of losing your virginity. Making out has been great and now your boy has totally won you over by showing you this cool trick where he can take your whole bra off with one hand! Maybe he is a sophisticated young lover and even had the inkling to place one of your nipples between his lips, teaching you that you are one of the lucky women in this world for whom their nipples act as a pleasure highway straight to their clitoris. This is pretty much all you could ask for as far as formative sexual experiences can go, and you’re totally ready to let him stick it (but not before he wraps it!) and you are suddenly overcome by a sense of exhilaration and anxiety as he clumsily tries to find the opening of your vagina. You get a knot in your stomach and you tense up for a while before you come back to your enjoyment-senses and realize that wow, sex is really awesome. It also lowers your blood pressure and some people say that it makes you look younger, and I’m pretty sure I once read somewhere that sex is natural anti-histamine. All positives that come out of something that, for a huge majority of us, we are at least a little bit fearful of.

Emotional vulnerability is a lot like that. It’s hard to disarm ourselves of our emotional defenses. It’s another thing that the majority of us fear before we ever do (and often continue to fear even once we’ve reaped the benefits of it). No one likes to be defenseless because crying in the fetal position during your morning shower is something like most of us would like to avoid, and while shower-crying is certainly not a guaranteed product of practicing vulnerability, anyone who has shower-cried before can most likely tell you a thing or two about vulnerability’s downfalls. But let me tell you, GMM, group sex is one of vulnerability’s greatest advantages. It’s a unique type of community-oriented interaction that allows for an unmitigated celebration of whichever bodies happen to be present and willing to participate in the sexual acts unfolding. (Democracy at it’s finest.) My general experience is that if you find yourself coupled and as a couple, the two of you end up participating in a group sex experience together, it will more likely than not increase the sense of intimacy you share with each other because, look, you’ve now had sex with another person (or maybe lots of other people) in front of each other and you still love each other. If you can’t inherently trust your partner, I would say literally letting them go and watching them come back to you is pretty reaffirming.

This all being said, GMM, I think the essence of what I’m trying to get at is two-fold; I think that if you have sexual curiosities, whether they be specifically directed to your orientation when it comes to gender or the particular number of partners you’d like to have a sexual experience with, it’s worthwhile to pursue them. Your desires are there for a reason, and it’s empowering to explore them, especially if you have to get past some hang-ups first. I would also like to suggest that if group sex is something that you genuinely have an interest in, that you try not to limit yourself to future partners that don’t also share this interest. Spontaneity and a shared sense of adventure as a couple are things that can keep love flowing and growing in a relationship.

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