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I Was Thinking of Asking My Girlfriend to Try Swinging 

Dear Athena,

I have been with my girlfriend for almost seven years and we have always had a good relationship. No major issues. But sometimes I think we are a little bored with each other. It's been a long time since either of us has been with anyone else, and I was thinking about asking her to try swinging. I know someone who does it, and they go to this regular party where everyone is into it. How do I get my girlfriend into the idea? Should I bring her to this party? Do think it will help us with some of our boredom lately?


Sincere About Swinging

Dear Sincere,

I'm not going to lie: I'm not a fan of the idea. Well, that's not true. The idea sounds kind of cool. The hypothetical scenario in which a couple can confidently go to party, each make it with another person in different rooms, and then go back home together sounds somewhat appealing. It would be like a relationship time-out. But how realistic is that, really? Do I think it's possible? Sure, but it's pretty darn rare.

Let's answer your questions one at a time. First: How do I get my girlfriend into the idea? Start by asking her. But bring it up carefully. Remember that you have been thinking about the idea for a while, and she'll just be learning of your new fantasy for the first time. She may not take to the idea quickly. Or at all. It might seem scary, and threatening. Many questions will run through her mind, including: Who would these other people be? Why do you want to be with someone else? Are you unsatisfied with me? Are you not attracted to me anymore?

Make sure to explain gently and respectfully how you feel. Don't try to sell her on the idea right away; see what she thinks of it first. Remind her that you still care about her and love her. She will need to feel that.

Second question: Should I bring her to the party? No. Not unless you are both completely on the same page. Pushing it on her will almost certainly push her away. Trust is paramount in a relationship and, if you break that, you'll have a bigger problem than boredom on your hands.

Question three: Will it help us with some of our boredom lately? You say you have both been feeling bored, but are you certain that's how she feels? She might be perfectly content. It's time to check in with her. Also, swinging can't really solve anything. It might be exciting, but screwing around with other partners isn't a solution to a problem. If you do it, it must only be considered an enhancement to your relationship. Like moving in together, getting married or having kids, opening up your relationship to other partners is a big decision. And it takes a stable, confident, intimate couple to enjoy that decision without inspiring jealousy, trust issues or serious insecurity and doubt.

You say you're bored, and maybe she is, too. Things are slowing down for you two, and that's normal. You need to focus on reclaiming the closeness, excitement and intimacy you once felt with each other. Take her skinnydipping, buy some sex toys, enjoy a romantic vacation and reconnect. Then, once you're back on your feet and feeling each other again, you might be ready to feel someone else, too. Or maybe you'll be enjoying each other so much, you won't want to share the goodness.



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