This story was originally told at Touchpoint Town Hall in NYC. Touchpoint is a monthly town hall in New York City about how to date, partner, and have sex in the modern world. To learn more about Touchpoint, and get your tickets for the next event (on Tuesday, January 10!), click here.
One sweltering weekend this past summer, my girlfriend and I went on separate camp retreats. Mine with generations of campers from my childhood sleep-away camp; hers with friends and colleagues for a work/rave/party getaway. We were excited for our upcoming experiences, ready to let loose with people we didn’t normally get to, in outdoor settings away from bars and Brooklyn.
With no cell service, I was disconnected and loving it. My day included volleyball, hunting for drink chasers, dancing, and making poorly rhymed freestyles late into the night. One girl found my drunken antics charming, and we went for a walk. This led us to the gymnasium, where a solid make-out session by the balance beam ensued. We were interrupted by a security guard closing up for the night, but the kissing continued across the way against a tree, witnessed only by the occasional passing golf cart.
The next day I felt a stone in my stomach: guilt. Damn it.
My girlfriend and I met in college — I, a senior, she, a sophomore. We dated, broke up, then got back together a couple years later, and by this fateful weekend we’d been together continuously for four and a half years. And our relationship had been incredibly strong — and exclusive.
Over that time, she told me many stories of being hit on, and each one reminded me how lucky I was to be with such a charming and sexual woman. And while this experience at camp wasn’t the first time an opportunity arose for me, it was the first time I acted on it.
The guilt and shame weighed on me the next day.
I knew I had to tell her. I just needed to find the right time, and the right words.
Fortunately, I had a long drive home to mentally prepare for the difficult conversation.
She FaceTimed me before we even left the camp. Where did that clear reception come from all of a sudden?
I hesitated, but clicked the green button anyway. The camera opened on the her lovely (and hungover) face. After some perfunctory and distracted catch-up talk, I was ready to make my confession. But she spoke up first.
“I have something to tell you,” she said.
“Okay, what’s up?”
“Well, my girlfriend and I were partying last night…and there was this great guy…and, well….I was kind of in a threesome.”
I paused. Of all the directions I thought our conversation might go — this was not one of them.
Processing as quickly as possible, I followed up.
“Did you have sex?” I asked.
“Did you give him head?”
“So what’d you do?”
“We just made out, but it was really intimate and sexual.”
Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad about my own perceived indiscretion. My guilt evaporated. We were in this together.
“I’m not angry. I’m intrigued,” I replied, “because I have something to tell you, too.”
I told my story of the night before, and she couldn’t help but laugh. Then we both started laughing. It wasn’t awkward laughter. It was joyful.
Our shared self-discovery and lack of restraint weren’t met with judgement, anger, jealousy or fear, but with love, acceptance, and a tingling excitement for the unknown.
This was new territory for me — and for us. A new threshold of romanticism. We asked more questions about our experiences. She had found her threesome to be erotic, sensual, sexy — and she wanted to do it again, but next time with me.
That was exciting news!
Early on in our relationship, we had joked about the idea of threesomes — somewhat uncomfortably. Now we were discussing how to make them really happen.
Since then, we’ve explored some apps that make cultivating threesomes and finding partners easy and safe. And while it hasn’t happened yet…
I’m grateful knowing that more surprises lay ahead as long as trust remains at the forefront of our togetherness.
Our confidence in our relationship and each other led to openness when separated. Our honesty led to an erotic epiphany when back together. And our relationship has never been more rock solid — or more full of tantalizing possibilities.
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