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Sex math: ENM and PM’s point of view

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

I’ve long been promising to talk more about PM’s perspective on ethical non-monogamy (or ENM) and our relationship. Well, the wait is finally over! Read on for some truly nerdy sex mathematics. Oh, yes, you read that right. Sex math.



During a long walk this summer with just the two of us, PM talked more about the idea of multiple partners or swapping partners. And we got more specific and particular than we usually do. And it was hot.



When we talk about specifics of how others would be included in our sexy times, it’s usually limited to dirty talk during sex. And while I know imagination can be very different from reality, it seems to me that the first step (for us, at least) toward open discussion about really doing these types of things is being able to have hot sex with one another while sharing our erotic fantasies about doing them. We’ve always been monogamous in our relationship (and the two of us have always been monogamous people, period), so a potential change like this to our partnership could only ever happen with a series of small steps. There was never going to be a jump for us that went straight from talking about swinging to let’s go out and swing. So…



Dirty talk about ENM scenarios: Check ✔️



During the times when we’ve had actual real discussions, including consideration of the emotional and psychological aspects of sex with other people, it’s often been in the dark, like in front of a fire pit or while smoking a J on our back porch at night.



The dark provides an element of safety, I suppose. We can’t make eye-contact or see each other’s faces, so we’re provided a false sense of distance — a type of anonymity of sorts, but in this case, it’s a hiding of one’s responses. Shrouded in darkness, we can hide our embarrassment, shock, disappointment, excitement, arousal. We can pretend that we’re having an objective, academic discussion and that there’s nothing real on the line.



However, this particularly frank and smutty conversation went down in broad daylight. And in public, to boot! I think the fact that we were doing an activity together like walking while we talked helped make it less awkward. And having it in public meant that we had to regulate our responses. Voices low and level. Tones, conversational. A calm discussion of this sort certainly would not have happened while we sat across from one another in private, while making eye contact. Well, truthfully it might…but the conversation would inevitably be cut short when we start ripping off one another’s clothing. And it’s not really a discussion when it morphs into a sexual appetizer. Any true exchange about how ENM might work for us has to happen without it being a pitstop on the way to Pound Town.



But what made this conversation as we walked so truly different (and potentially significant) for us is that we got unexpectedly specific…about everything. And this time, we couldn’t get distracted and let the conversation get cut short by getting freaky.



Because, obviously, getting caught in a sex act of one sort of another in public in the neighborhood where we live with our children would be…a bit not good. But let me tell you, I was more than a little worked up by the end of our conversation and  pretty darn eager to get home. *bites lip*



So what specifics did we discuss? For starters, we talked about what types of things would be hot to do with other people. What we thought we would like or not like. Swinging, threesomes, foursomes.



If we were partner-swapping with another couple, whether we would want to be in the same room so we could watch each other or if we preferred to split up and go into separate rooms. (In a podcast about swinging that PM listens to, which I’ll talk more about another time, the women who do the podcast enjoy watching their husbands with other women, so that’s how they prefer to swing.)



Would we be willing to try a threesome? Not surprisingly, we each had different ideas and fantasies about including a third person, especially about the gender of the plus-one, or more accurately, the genitalia of the added person (Penis-Penis-Vulva arrangement or Penis-Vulva-Vulva). How we felt about the idea of a foursome-type scenario. What might that look like. What we both would be be willing to do in that sort of multi-partner situation. Yup, it got pretty graphic. *grins maniacally* Porno-graphic. *eyebrows waggle*



We talked about which friends and acquaintances we found attractive and some of the whys. Sorry, real-life couple friends who may be reading this. It’s true: there’s a decent possibility that we’ve talked about whether we’d want to fuck you. It is what it is. *shrugs* Does it help to know we were stoned at the time? *grins sheepishly* It was a hypothetical exercise, people! But I digress...



In this steamy convo in broad daylight, as we got surprisingly specific about our attractions for friends, PM pointed out, to my chagrin, the fact that the men I like all have very similar personalities and character traits to PM. Which he thought was hilarious. And flattering. And I was surprised to find out how personality-driven PM’s attractions are.



Also, when it comes to identifying couples we could hypothetically see ourselves swinging with, turns out that we don’t seem to have married/partnered friends in our lives where PM and I are both attracted to people in the same couple. I might find a male friend attractive, but PM isn’t necessarily attracted to our friend’s wife. And among the very short list of women that PM is attracted to (he’s way too picky, IMO), I often don’t find the husband especially appealing. *sighs*



So here’s where the first piece of that sex math that I promised comes in. If we tried making a Venn-diagram of the friends we each find attractive, there would be virtually no overlap of people sets where said-individuals happened to be married to one another, if that makes any sense. *scowls* But, as I said, this silly albeit sexy hypothetical exercise was done under the influence, so no harm, no foul.



(I’ll attempt to make said Venn diagram at some point soon and insert it here for a visual representation of our..."mathematics."😆)



Of course, this sort of thing — sex among friends — would also require a certain amount of coolness, confidence, and kindness. So, naturally, we talked about who among our couple friends we could imagine still maintaining a friendship with us after sharing sexy times together. Again, all strictly hypothetical.



Everyone involved would have to be comfortable communicating boundaries, be able to handle any feelings of jealousy, and have a laid-back attitude. Both persons in the other couple would need to be able to say (as would we), Let’s have some fun and experiment. And if it doesn’t work out, no big deal. And if it does and we have fun, that’s great, but it’s still no big deal.



...because apparently when PM and I have these conversations while stoned, everyone in our imagination is stoned, too...




But let's get back to our cannabis-induced sex math.



Going back to our steamy little Venn diagram, take that almost non-existent overlap of circles — the teeny tiny set where PM and I have a sexual attraction for friends who are married to one another — and draw still another circle that represents the set of couple friends who we think could party with us and still be chill with us as friends afterwards.




And in our weird little perverse mathematical exercise, PM and I couldn’t make the third circle -- the set of people we imagine being emotionally and psychologically able to handle this hypothetical hookup with us -- intersect where the other two sets overlap. In other words, the sex math just didn’t work. *shakes head* Of course, it’s absolutely possible that we’re wrong about the people we know, but…well, you get the point.



I know, of course, that there are many people out in the world who would be totally normal in this type of scenario — I mean, a whole scene exists filled with people who live this type of lifestyle and don’t hide when they inevitably run into the people they’ve fucked in the past. But in our best guesstimate, we know very, very few folks who would be up to the challenge. *shrugs*



As totally bizarre as this discussion between PM and me may sound (or totally hilarious, depending on your point of view), it actually helped highlight a few of the major problems inherent in trying to mix marriage, sex, and friends. It could be a volatile cocktail, for sure. But I’ll talk more about that issue of sex and social circles, and PM’s perspective on the subject, in upcoming essays.



Later that same evening after PM and I had discussed our crazy hypothetical sex diagram, I had a revelation of sorts. I became fairly convinced that one of the reasons that PM has little interest in swinging (and in ENM, in general) is because he’s doing his own sex math…and it doesn’t add up for him personally.



It suddenly occurred to me that PM thinks he’s already getting the maximum amount of sex possible, at least at this point in our lives. What we currently have going in our sexy, messy life is easily the most sex he’s had at any given point in his life. Bringing other partners into the mix will almost certainly not raise the total sum of sex he’s having right now. It may for some other person, but not in his unique case. Not when you’re married to me… *winks*



At best, if we were to swing, or even decide to have an open marriage, the amount of sex he’s getting will remain the same. More likely, though, adding in other sexual partners will only decrease the amount of sex he already gets.



Why? For one thing, sex between PM and me is easy. Well, generally speaking, since life with three young kiddos in the house is never really easy. What I mean to say is that there’s no awkwardness between us when it comes to getting down and dirty. Usually there’s very little need for me even to shift gears, because I’ve probably been erotically simmering all day. (More on that topic can be found in my early essays, "Smut and how it's improved our sex life," Part 1 and Part 2.)



If we’ve got a block of time to be alone together — even if the children are simply downstairs plugged into a movie — we can get right to it. Sure, depending on what life is currently throwing at me, I might need more or less time to warm up — maybe a massage or a little Dom/sub play to help me get out of my head and focus on the physical. But my point is that it isn’t complicated for us to capitalize on any small amount of spare time to get up in each other’s business.


(I talk more about the ways PM and I have discovered we can maximize our sexy times together in the midst of the chaos of a three-kiddo household in some of my early essays, "My orgasm fix," Part 1 and Part 2, and "Keeping it hot with kids in the house.")



And what more? The sex between us is generally hot AF. And because sex between us is easy and uncomplicated and smoking hot, sex in our relationship is also plentiful. I mean, it’s hard to say no to that kind of combination. So yeah, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m almost always a sure-thing. *winks*



Now back to PM’s own personal sex math…



In the case of our own sex life, we’re getting each other off in some form once or twice a day. (Yes. Seriously that often. Try to stay focused on the math here, people.) If we were to add more partners into our sex life, since we’re already so busy getting busy (hee hee, don’t you just love cheesy wordplays?) it could only decrease the number of times he has sex in a given week.



We already have an established sexual relationship and we live under the same roof, which again relates to the issue of ease. It takes a lot more time and effort to have sex with new people. And because of these factors, it’s not likely that we could be with other partners as often as we can be with one another. It’s a matter of convenience, really. And, lest we forget, if I’m available to other men now, I’m not going to be as freely available to him. In terms of sex, he’s already maxed out.



I asked PM about my suspicion and whether this issue is a strike against ENM, in his mind. He chuckled and firmly asserted, “Oh yes, absolutely. It’s simple math.”



That evil genius husband of mine had come to the conclusion that, if everything else in our relationship remains the same, there would be an inverse relationship between the number of sexual partners he could have and the amount of sex he could be having. More sexual partners does not necessarily mean more sex. And in PM’s case, it almost certainly does not.



My response? “Well, that’s not fair! It’s not my

fault other women aren’t as insatiable as I am! I shouldn’t be punished for that fact!” He just shook his head and laughed at me. “That maybe so,” he replied, “But the fact remains that I just don’t see the benefit in it for me.”



So he’s doing the sex math for himself — the brilliant bastard that he is — and ENM does not add up in his favor. *rolls eyes* What the fuck am I supposed to say to that?


Because…well…he’s not wrong…



When I shared PM’s sex math with a friend, she laughed and said, “He knows when he’s got a good thing going.” *scowls and shakes head*



So that’s where I’ll leave you this time, folks. But there’s more where this came from. Stay tuned in two weeks time (Friday, 11/11) when I share more about PM’s POV.


Until next time, stay kinky 😉

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