- Your juiciest love and sex questions answered
- Is it considered cheating on a partner if you talk to strangers online in chat rooms and social media apps?
- How do you bring up a fantasy you want to try or introduce a new move or sex toy with a partner?
- How do open relationships actually work?
- Is it possible to have a threesome and not feel jealous or hurt by your partner?
- What is the strangest sex you’ve ever had?
- When do you know a relationship is truly over?
- How can long-term and married couples keep sex fresh after so long together?
- How many dates should you wait before having a sex?
- Is it important to know how many sexual partners a significant other has had, and what’s an appropriate number?
- What are some good places to meet people offline?
- Ask the Goddess: Sex & Relationship Questions Answered (Kinda)
- A Question of Honesty
- Ask, Don’t Tell
- Travel Tribulations
- My, My, Isn’t That Nice?
Your juiciest love and sex questions answered
When it comes to love and sex, experience often yields the best advice, so we asked readers to take a stab at answering all of your burning questions from whether threesomes can happen without someone feeling jealous, to the best way to introduce a fantasy or new sex position to a partner. Here are our top 10 love and sex questions answered.
Is it considered cheating on a partner if you talk to strangers online in chat rooms and social media apps?
It depends on what topics you talk about, the purpose of the communication and if your partner knows of these communications.
If it’s sexual, yes.
Yes, it’s emotional cheating, and if you’re talking to others online, your partner is just an “option.”
Probably, but either way, if you feel you need to [talk to others] you should probably reassess your current relationship.
It is considered cheating if you start to form an emotional connection, but sometimes it’s nice to flirt and feel wanted in a way that you don’t always get from a long-term partner.
It completely depends on the nature of your agreement with your partner. If you are in a strictly monogamous relationship and develop attachments to folks online, then yes. It could be considered cheating on an emotional level.
It depends. It could be as innocuous as watching porn, if you don’t plan on meeting anyone in person.
How do you bring up a fantasy you want to try or introduce a new move or sex toy with a partner?
I tell my partner I want to talk to them about our sex life and then openly and honestly bring it up and ask if it’s something they’d enjoy. I also ask them what fantasies they’d be interested in.
I introduce new moves organically in the moment.
Find it in porn and watch it together.
After a couple of drinks.
I’m just open about it. I find it easiest to talk about sex during or after sex.
I would do it spontaneously. Bring in the toy, try the move or suggest the fantasy in the middle of hooking up.
How do open relationships actually work?
I’m not sure they actually work. If you want to introduce it, just get it over with and rip the Band-Aid off, but be prepared for a number of reactions. Do your best not to be a dick about it if the reaction is not what you want to hear. Chances are, it won’t be.
Open relationships are responsible consent and having clear communication about feelings and what you’re looking for.
It takes very specific sorts of people. Otherwise, it generally goes poorly – for at least one of the people involved. The best way to broach the subject is calmly and honestly. Ask questions and listen.
There needs to be ground rules. It can’t be a free-for-all unless that’s what you want it to be, and in that case, maybe it’s best to just break up.
Be prepared [for the possibility] that your partner might feel hurt just from the mere suggestion.
Open relationships mean different things to different people. Some view them as no commitment, while others would say there’s definitely commitment but [also] open sexual relations with others.
Is it possible to have a threesome and not feel jealous or hurt by your partner?
It’s possible but rare.
Every story I’ve heard of people describing their threesomes ended badly, sometimes with the relationship ending because of issues that came up.
Absolutely, if your partner hooks up with someone else in a threesome, it’s not because they’re not interested in you any more. They are simply exploring this new and exciting sexual encounter. Watching your partner pleasuring someone else can be an exhilarating and empowering experience.
It is if the third person is a complete stranger to both you and your partner.
What is the strangest sex you’ve ever had?
I had sex with someone outside a furry convention.
I had sex at a sex club, and it was pretty hot having people watch us and seeing other guys masturbate to me eating my girlfriend out.
Rubbing his penis on the soles of my feet thinking it would turn me on.
I tied up my cousin when we were both 47 and did a striptease for him. He’s hated me ever since and I regret it.
The person wasn’t looking at me at all but at a candle above my head. It was strange to be completely disconnected.
I don’t consider any sex strange.
In a mud puddle behind a shack in the rain with a dude I hated. My David Bowie T-shirt was ruined because of dirt. I felt a pig in the mud.
He talked the entire time – THE ENTIRE TIME.
I had sex with a guy who kept talking to his Amazon Alexa during foreplay, turn on the air conditioning or dim the lights. It was the closest I’ve ever had to a threesome.
When do you know a relationship is truly over?
When you dread seeing them or getting calls from them.
When you’re happier without them than you are with them, and their presence no longer excites you.
When the smell of them makes you sick.
When you don’t feel you’ll ever be on the same page with goals.
When one partner cheats.
When sex stops.
When you start breaking your own rules in a relationship.
How can long-term and married couples keep sex fresh after so long together?
Shake things up by role-playing, watching porn if you’re both open to it and arriving separately on dates.
Going to sex workshops and talking about your fantasies.
If you’re truly emotionally compatible, you won’t need to “keep sex fresh.” The panties of someone in love are always wet.
Making time for dates and sex.
How many dates should you wait before having a sex?
It can be three dates or 10. It’s when you feel comfortable.
However many dates it takes to build up chemistry and trust.
At least three.
There’s no magic number. I’ve had sex on the first date and I’ve waited until it was an established relationship. Do what feels right in the moment.
Is it important to know how many sexual partners a significant other has had, and what’s an appropriate number?
I don’t think it’s important but I do think it’s something every partner wants to know. There’s no appropriate number. It’s all very subjective.
It’s not something you need to know right away, but eventually. Under 20 would be nice.
It’s not important but I’d say an appropriate number is more than 10 and less than 100.
It’s more important to know about a partner’s STI and STD history.
What are some good places to meet people offline?
Parties, bars, museums, classes, cafés, pet stores, grocery stores, social groups, coffee shops, the Queen West sidewalk, the gym, church, sporting events, libraries, the TTC, weddings, dog parks, running groups, brunch lineups, a Drake-related pop-up shop, volunteering, literally anywhere.
NOW's interactive Love & Sex survey was brought to you by:
For more on Love & Sex check out:
More to love: how polyamorous relationships work
My first threesome: a Toronto millennial shares all the details
Ask the Goddess: Sex & Relationship Questions Answered (Kinda)
Are you facing a dilemma in your relationship, with yourself or others, that you need help with? Does your sex life suck? Or, perhaps it doesn’t suck, and that’s the problem. The Goddess will help you ask the right questions and supply supporting facts so that you can make the best choices and decisions on how to solve your own problems.
All the answers are within you, but sometimes you don’t know which questions to ask. This is a progressive sex and relationship advice column—one that trusts your own innate wisdom to know what’s best for you. The Goddess believes that encouraging your truth to come out is the best relationship advice of all.
So, go ahead – Ask the Goddess. She’s here to guide you. Rarely, if ever, will she give you flat-out relationship advice. Unless of course, you are a dipshit and need to have the “whatfor” smacked into you! She is the Goddess, after all.
A Question of Honesty
How open and honest should one be when discussing with a new relationship stuff about past relationships and experience? I tend to not reveal much or ask much… Is that odd?
Stephenie in CA
Ask, Don’t Tell
First of all, I don’t really believe in “odd”, as different tactics work for different people.
As you ponder why this has been your pattern and if you want the pattern to continue, I would encourage you to use these questions to check in with yourself.
The objective is that you are taking the best care of yourself and your partners, and not just operating from a “should” that you learned from someone a long time ago, or a fear of what you may hear or reveal.
- Are you able to learn enough about your partners’ sexual history in order to be safe? (Knowing that condom use is not foolproof…)
- When you check deeply inside, would you feel betrayed or resentful if you found out something extreme about your partner’s history? Would it be easier for you to deal with it up front, or down the line when things are more serious?
- Are you ashamed of your past behavior(s) and how they may be perceived by the new partner?
- Have you been rejected in the past? Are you using a self-preservation strategy of not disclosing anything that could be negatively perceived? Could it be an honor thing, where you don’t ask your partner because you don’t want to disclose, and it’s only fair?
I think it’s really important for you to explore your internal motivations for your actions (or inactions?). Decide for YOU what is best, and in alignment with your integrity and consciousness. When you feel safe, heard, loved, and respected with your personal choices, you will no longer question if you are “odd”, because it won’t matter what anyone else thinks.
I live an unconventional life, “for a woman”. I travel at least half of the month for my job. I am single and my son is fully grown. It was always my lifelong dream to explore the world and make a living doing it.
All of this is great, right?! So why is it that I get all sorts of comments from well-meaning friends and strangers about how “hard it must be to maintain friendships”, or “my family just couldn’t survive a day without me…” (condescending much?), or “will you return to your old job if you find a boyfriend?”
Seriously!! How do I deal with this nonsense in a polite way? My male counterparts are NEVER asked these types of questions, by the way.
Please help before I smack someone upside the head!
S.H. in CA
My, My, Isn’t That Nice?
Wow, people just don’t know how their questions/statements come across, do they? These well-meaning people very ly just don’t even recognize how badly they are putting their foot in their mouth. I love the idea of educating these people about how their comments are inappropriate.
But, honestly, it doesn’t do a lot of good unless they have a growth mindset and would take in the feedback and learn from it, rather then getting defensive about it. Sadly, most people would just get defensive and it would create more tension for both of you.
So, you can decide if your relationship with the offender can withstand some educating!
I heard a joke years ago about a southern gal that was being talked down to by some snobs, and she would reply sweetly, “My, my, isn’t that nice?” to just about everything. Later, when asked about what she meant by that, it came out (as the punchline, of course), that it meant “Fuck You”. The other classic catchphrase is “Bless your heart”.
Now, you may not want to come across that harshly to people who are not being intentionally malicious. But, coming up with a clever statement that you can make in these times may be a good solution to your problem. Is there a way that you can turn it into a joke that will let them know it wasn’t an appropriate question or statement, without being too bitchy?
When you ask yourself how you would to be corrected if you were to misspeak, what would that look ? Should it be different for different people in your life? For example, it may be really easy to be a smartass about it with a good friend, but not so much with a casual acquaintance.
If it were a child making the same comment, how would you respond? Is it possible that some adults may benefit from a similar response? Or, would it make sense for you to model what would be effective and kind for you, and respond that way to the offenders?
Ultimately, you will need to decide on the best approach, for both your personality and those that make the comments. It may need to be different for everyone. Or, you can think of a quirky catchphrase and run with it! Maybe something , “Well, you know I’m from the future, don’t you? Things are different there. More gender equality and all.”
Good luck to you!
Are you in need of sex and/or relationship advice? Ask the Goddess. Send an email to email@example.com and get your questions about sex answered and relationship advice shared right here.
#ADULTING LOVE & SEX EDITION: EXPLORING NON-MONOGAMY
LADIES! HOW TO HAVE THE BEST SEX OF YOUR LIFE IN 2019
20 THINGS WE NEED TO STOP SAYING TO WOMEN WHO TRAVEL
Please follow and us:
Melanie Sargent is a BodyMind Therapist who lives and practices in the Santa Cruz/Bay Area of California.
Nearly a half century of colorful relationships and abundant friendships encouraged Melanie to research and learn from many resources and mentors about how relationships work and what makes them thrive, and even how to disengage from them when they are no longer serving you.
A Clinical Hypnotherapist, Master Practitioner of NLP, Counselor, Minister, Massage Therapist, Theta Healer…. Gads, all sorts of intangible pieces of the education puzzle that mostly have come together to explain the mysteries of life. Or not.
Nature always wins and there’s always a new variable to shake up the status quo! Let’s puzzle this out together as we use all of our disposable guidance! For more information, check out http://www.melaniesargent.com/.