Three, it’s the Magic Number

My wife and I are just starting our golden years of retirement and are just now getting turned on to the idea of a threesome. We’d like to share our love with another woman, probably around a similar age or maturity, but aren’t into any of these “swinger” clubs. We want be safe and responsible, but are having a hard time thinking of how to propose this to someone – let alone where to find a good spot for this. What can we do to make our fantasy come true?

THREE’S COMPANY

Oh, those swingers, we all know what they’re like. Thick mustaches, mirrors on the ceiling above their beds, expensive quadraphonic 8-track systems blasting “Bolero,” two-inch shag carpets sprinkled with cocaine spilled over the side of a Playboy Bunny-engraved silver tray… If you’re entering your golden years, as you say, then you’re old enough to have seen a hot tub full of central-casting “swingers” electrocuted by a toaster and sold to a dog food company in Eating Raoul, which is enough by itself to give the term a squick factor of 11.

Sadly, for many of us, these stereotypes remain the only alternative to traditional monogamy we can imagine for heterosexual couples. But it’s not the 70s anymore. People are (as they have for millennia before) exploring many kinds of consensual and negotiated non-monogamy, and you need to find one that’s right for you. It doesn’t sound like you want a long-term polyamorous relationship, or an open marriage. You just want to experiment sexually with other people who are into the same thing. And that’s great; there are lots of women out there who want the thrill of having a threesome with a couple.

Unfortunately, the word for this particular kind of non-monogamy is still “swinging” for many of the people who do it (you will also hear the term “the Lifestyle,” which still sounds pretty 1982 to me; can’t we get a PR person on this?). So I’m afraid if the word bugs you, you just might have to get over it. It doesn’t really make sense anyway to say “we want to swing but we don’t want anything to do with those weirdo swingers.”

But that leaves the problem of how you meet people. Most people see two flawed alternatives here: clubs and the Internet. You are right to be suspicious of clubs. It’s not that there aren’t good ones, but if you don’t know which clubs are the good ones you’ll probably end up at one of the skanky clubs instead. For those that do consider a club, a couple of important factors are that the club either doesn’t admit singles or does so very selectively, and that sex doesn’t take place at the club, which can lead to police raids for prostitution.

As for the Internet, if you go to Craigslist and look at the “w4mw” ads, or go to sites like Adultfriendfinders.com, you’ll find plenty of women advertising to play with a couple. Most of these are probably really sweet people, but you have no way of knowing which ones are psychos against whom you’ll need a restraining order. Any time you meet anyone on the Internet for anything sexual you should meet them socially in a public place at least once, preferably more, before you try anything. But just meeting the person creates a risk.

Luckily, you’re not the first people to have this problem. That’s why any group that chooses to live outside the sexual mainstream has created opportunities to meet other people with the same interests in a non-sexual setting, where you can get to know each other before anyone talks about taking their clothes off. In Chicago, for example, I quickly located the “Lifestyle Ultimates” group. (www.chicagoswingersclass.com – sorry, there’s that word again…) LU offers the “Intro to Partner Swapping” class, which “is designed for committed couples who are looking for sexual adventures in non-monogamy,” to “provide pointers on how to get involved and offer tips on how to avoid or deal with awkward situations,” with no nudity or porn during the class. Search around a little and you’ll find similar groups in any major city, and many medium-sized ones. The point is not necessarily that you’ll go to the class and meet your “third” that night. Rather, you’ll meet other people who have been down the same road, and can tell you where it’s safe to pull over and park. I guarantee that people there will point you to countless other resources, groups and websites, and you’ll find safe places to meet a woman who wants to do what you want to do. When you do meet someone you might bring in your bed you can ask around and see what people know about her. And when you do find the perfect lady and have a beautiful night of three-way sex, you’ll have some friends who won’t fall back on the fainting couch when you tell them all about it!

So congratulations on entering your golden years and still having a healthy sense of sexual experimentation. Good luck in your journey. Be patient, get to know people, don’t rush into anything, and negotiate everything you want to try with love and honesty between the two of you and anyone else involved. And if you want a quad 8-track, I know just the guy…

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