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Ask Anna: My boyfriend almost had a threesome -- now I'm questioning everything

Anna Pulley, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Dear Anna,

Hello, I recently discovered that, while we were on a break, my boyfriend had conversations with a gay man who offered him a threesome with him and some hot chick. I also know my boyfriend is into pre-op trans women but has never slept with one. So he says, at least.

I don't know what to do with this information and I'm overwhelmed with anxiety thinking he might be gay. The threesome didn't go through, but the thought that he was about to hurts me so much. Please tell me what you think and what you would do. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him. But I'm honestly afraid he might cheat with other men because, well, I don't have a penis. Thank you so much. — Boyfriend Intrigued by Gays, Unclear Yeah

Dear BIGUY,

First, take a deep breath. It's OK to feel confused and anxious about a situation you’ve never encountered before.

It sounds like your boyfriend has explored conversations and thoughts that might be outside of your comfort zone or what you expected. Sure, discovering that your boyfriend wanted to have a mixed-sex threesome falls outside of the bounds many straight women set for their relationships.

(And in case I have to say this, trans women are women — regardless of any modifications they want or don’t want to make to their bodies. Your boyfriend’s attraction to trans women does not make him gay.)

My question is why does the almost-threesome idea hurt you so much? How does a consensual almost-experience that maybe would’ve involved him interacting with a gay man — but also maybe not! — translate to a fear of him cheating on you and leaving you for a man? There are so many steps missing between the first and the second part of that sentence.

Plenty of straight men have (or want to have) MMF threesomes — Zendaya literally just starred in a movie about this (admittedly, I’ve only seen the trailer, but the gist is clear!) — and just as a straight woman can have an FFM threesome without it impacting her sexual identity, so too can a dude have an MMF threesome and still identify as straight.

In fact, according to research by Dr. Ryan Scoats, who somehow has a “Ph.D. in threesomes,” MMF pairings are more “normal” than FFM ones, “partly because it can be more difficult to find partners for an FFM than an MMF threesome.”

 

TL;DR: Your boyfriend's attractions and curiosities don't automatically define his sexual orientation. That said, it’s entirely possible that he might be somewhat bisexual or has a broader range of attractions than what’s permitted in the very limited scope of heterosexuality. The only way to know for sure is to ask him about it. (More on that below.)

(And in case I have to say this: Bisexuality means being attracted to more than one gender. It does not mean someone is more likely to be unfaithful. Infidelity is about trust and boundaries within your relationship, not about the genders someone finds attractive.)

Here’s what I would suggest:

Have a heart to heart with your boyfriend. Share your feelings and fears without accusing or making assumptions. Express how his almost-threesome offer has made you feel, the insecurities it brought up and ask him to share his perspective and to give you reassurance that you’re enough for him. While you’re at it, tell him some of your fantasies, too. Remember, this is about understanding each other better.

Then, do a boundary check-in. Talk about what you're comfortable with and not comfortable with and do your best to listen to each other with an open mind. Mutual respect and understanding will help both of you feel more secure.

If there are trust issues that you’ve left out of your letter, now’s the time to address them directly. But if there aren’t, and your boyfriend assures you of his commitment, take that to heart. If you're still struggling, consider seeking the help of a therapist to navigate these complex feelings together.

Remember, many people fantasize, wonder about or want to actively explore different aspects of their sexuality, and this doesn't diminish their love or commitment to their partner. It's important to distinguish between his sexual curiosities and his feelings for you.

Ultimately, your boyfriend’s exploration of his sexuality doesn't mean he loves you any less or that he's destined to be unfaithful. What matters most is the trust, communication and respect you build together.

Stay strong, and remember that love is about understanding and growing together.


©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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