Credit: Joe Newton

Q: My husband and I got married in August of 2019 and we were together for over five years before getting married. I’m very happy and love him with all my heart. We don’t fight, we just have some tiffs here and there. The kicker is that I have a tough time feeling him during sex and he doesn’t last as long as I would like him to. We’re adventurous enough to try different things, but I find myself sexually unfulfilled. He also isn’t very willing/interested in going down on me. I’m also finding myself attracted to and fantasizing about other men. I’m not opposed to opening up a marriage but I worry that I’m just being selfish and that it’s too soon to try or even discuss it at any length. I did bring up a crush I have on a coworker and my husband said, “There’s nothing wrong with having a snack.” What did he mean? —Married Not Dead

A: “In this time of a global pandemic, thinking and talking about nonmonogamy is all you can do right now,” said Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. “This goes for everyone: no new sex partners until public health experts say we can go back to standing closer than six feet apart.” Listen up, people: the woman who literally wrote the book on open relationships says open and poly relationships are cancelled for the time being.

While COVID-19 isn’t classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with someone who has coronavirus would almost certainly result in transmission. And since people who get infected typically don’t show symptoms for up to two weeks, the fact that someone appears to be healthy doesn’t mean they are corona-free. So if you have more than one sex partner and you’re all staying in the same place, great! But we shouldn’t be hooking up with new partners in person or going to see established partners we don’t live with. That goes double for meeting up with non-cohabiting partners who have other partners and whose other partners have other partners of their own. But the good news is that sext messages and dirty video chats are both allowed. Hell, get the whole polycule together on Zoom—just don’t actually get together (or get under) anyone you don’t live with.

OK! With that out of the way, we’re going to answer your question.

“I’m glad MND is being honest with her husband about her desires, but let’s take that further with even more specific talk about what’s missing in her sex life,” said Taormino. “In her letter, I heard: pussyeating, intense enough sensation from intercourse, and longer sex sessions. I’ll translate that: she’s missing pleasure, reciprocation, and orgasms for her. She is NOT being selfish for wanting these things. They are pretty fundamental aspects of a sexual relationship, and she needs to address them with her husband first.”

It would seem that going without oral is the price of admission you’re willing to pay to be with this guy. As for your other issues, the right toys could certainly help. But if your husband ruled out penetration toys that were bigger than his cock, or if you didn’t order any that were bigger than his cock to avoid hurting his feelings, you’re gonna have to broach the subject of buying some larger toys. And since experimenting with new positions didn’t help your husband last longer, you should try alternating between toys and his cock during PIV, which will make both the sex (and the husband) last longer.

I wouldn’t advise most people to initiate the open-relationship convo now. Because if it goes badly, that could mean sheltering in place with an angry person. But I think you could risk discussing opening up while you’re locked down. Your husband didn’t say there was nothing wrong with fantasizing about a snack, he said there’s nothing wrong with having a snack. That’s not a green light to immediately outsource getting your pussy eaten. But his calm, matter-of-fact reaction is a good sign.

But first you need to work with your husband on improving your sex life at home.

“Exploring nonmonogamy is one way to address sexual incompatibilities and expand our capacity for love and intimacy,” said Taormino. “But the stuff between the two of them needs to get talked about first. Otherwise, you’re glossing over the issues with something new and shiny.”   v

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