Yesterday you published a letter from a couple whose first quasi-group-sex experiment went awry. Here's my story...
Similar to yesterday's LW, my husband recently asked me if I'd be open to realizing a longtime fantasy of his: swapping partners with another couple. He wanted to have sex with another woman while watching me have sex with another man. So he asked a lot more of me than yesterday's LW asked of his girlfriend: he would be having sex with someone else and he wanted me to watch me having sex with someone else. I was more okay with him having sex with another woman than me having sex with another man. My husband was great about adjusting his fantasy in ways that would make me more comfortable. He promised he wouldn't be disappointed if I never got to the point where I'd be comfortable having sex with another man. We still had fantastic hot sex with each other, and we started looking for another couple.
Our first go wasn't perfect and probably didn't meet my husband's fantasy expectations. We didn't click with the couple, and the four of us only ended up kissing and fondling one another in a hotel room. I was the one who pulled the plug, and my husband was okay with that. I felt bad for not being able to step up for him, but he told me that part of his fantasy was having me enjoy the experience too. We're young—we're in our mid-thirties, which is young, right?—and we're attractive, so we didn't have trouble finding other interested parties in our giant metropolis. After two other lackluster experiences, we hit the jackpot with an older, more-group-sex-experienced couple.
The older couple put us both at ease. The other husband sensed my anxiety and, rather than pressuring me to have sex with him, he chatted and joked with me. When he eventually asked if he could kiss me, I wanted him too. That night my husband and I had hot hot sex with the other husband and the other wife, and then we went home and had even hotter sex with each other. We've met with the older couple twice more, and each get together has been great. My husband's fantasy is starting to become mine.
Group sex is often challenging and can easily fall flat. What got me in the mood, and what helped me be GGG, was my husband's patience with me and his acceptance of my limits. I think we've grown closer because of this. I think we owe you a huge thank you for giving us indirect advice about being GGG and about how to handle group sex through your column. My husband and I don't always get our fantasies right—we've had some failures in our past—but we work hard not to hold those failures against each other.
Good Giving Game Takes Work
My response after the jump...
Your experience illustrates a point I couldawouldashoulda made in my response to CIC: someone who is sensitive to his partner's feelings, someone who is willing to take things slowly, someone who doesn't lose sight of the fact that his partner is stepping out of her comfort zone at his request, someone who is gracious and understanding when a partner gets cold feet, someone who doesn't pitch a fit when his partner pulls the plug—that kind of someone is likelier to get what he wants in the long run than someone who pitches fits and pouts when he doesn't get what he wants right away. A commenter said it best:
The ability to delay gratification is the sign of a higher-functioning human being. If the guy were more patient and willing to spread the whole thing out over several dates, and talk with her about it alone in between them, then he might have gotten what he wanted.
CIC could still get what he wants, of course, if he apologizes for the guilt trip and the drama and the dickful thinking that caused him to disregard his partner's clear discomfort. CIC's partner, for her part, should promise to give truthful and unambiguous answers to the question, "Are you fine?," in the future. (She shouldn't tell him she's fine when she's not.) They can work through this, they can patch it up, and they can get to a point where CIC's girlfriend is comfortable exploring his fantasy—but only if CIC stops being such a drama queen about how the first go at realizing his fantasy played out.
It can take time for a person to make a partner's fantasy his or her own, as GGGTW's experience demonstrates, but getting there is with the time and the trouble.