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Not So Happily-Ever-After 

Married, heterosexual couples have problems too

I'm a 32-year-old woman with two young kids, married five years. My husband and I never had an overly exciting sex life, but after the last baby, sex became very, very infrequent. I'm a pretty sexual person, I masturbate regularly, and I have a good sexual imagination. I tried to spice things up by suggesting toys and a bit of light kink, but he wasn't interested. He seems pretty asexual to me these days, and now I just fantasize about other men. Last week, a mutual friend came over to have a drink. When we stepped outside to smoke a cig — just me and the other guy — he kissed me and said, "I'm going to ask your husband if I can fuck you." He did, and surprisingly enough, my husband said go for it! What a night! I got permission to fuck someone else. Now I'm not sure if I want to swing or just fuck other people. Advice please.

Horny Married Chick

Solicited advice first: Swinging would theoretically involve you and your husband fucking other people, HMC, and if your husband isn't interested in sex, if he's low-to-no-libido or actually asexual, he won't be any more interested in swinging than he is in having sex with you. As for fucking other people: That "go for it" may have been a one-time thing, or it may have been a whenever-you-want thing, but you'll have to check in with your husband to find out which. It's possible that your husband is interested in cuckolding and knowing you're messing around with other men will awaken his libido, and it's possible that he's neither interested in sex nor threatened by the prospect of his spouse getting it elsewhere. Have a conversation with your husband about what is and isn't allowed going forward — talk about what you want, talk about what he wants, talk about safety and respect and primacy—but have that conversation when (1) you haven't been drinking and (2) there's not a gentleman caller with a boner waiting outside the front door.

Unsolicited advice second: Stop smoking. It's bad for you and it's bad for your kids — even if you're careful not to smoke around them, HMC, carcinogens and other noxious chemicals cling to your skin, hair, and clothes after you've smoked.

I'm a married straight woman with an amazing husband and what was once a thriving sex life. Recently, my husband had what was supposed to have been a routine surgical procedure. He ended up having basically every complication possible, short of dismemberment and death. I had no problem being his caregiver during this time, but I'm now having trouble mentally reigniting the erotic spark. He's recovered and interested, and I want to be intimate again, but I find myself thinking that he looks pale or that position X might be too much for him, and it's very difficult to get in, and remain in, the mood for sex. How do I turn off caregiver mode and get back to being a sexual partner?

Missing My Sex Life

The next time you're having sex and that little voice in your head says, "This position might be tough on him," MMSL, ignore it and power through. It may not be particularly fulfilling sex for you — you may not be fully present and in the moment — but the quickest way to prove to yourself that your husband isn't too fragile for sex (or too pale for it) is to have sex a few times. After you've seen with your own eyes that sex didn't break him (and may have brought some color back to his skin!), that little voice in your head — the voice of the caretaker he needed when he was sick but doesn't need now — should fade away.

My wife, who is 35, had sex with a 25-year-old neighbor when she was barely 15 years old. (It was two days after her 15th birthday.) I should say "was raped by," not "had sex with." She insists it was consensual, claims she wasn't traumatized by it, and is actually Facebook friends with the man who raped her. I think this is unhealthy. How do I get through to her?

Totally Unacknowledged Trauma

I had sex with someone in their mid-20s when I was 15 — I had sex with two mid-20s someones at the same time when I was 15 — and I regard that encounter as consensual and I wasn't traumatized by it. So you can take this question to some other advice columnist, TUT, or you can stop policing your wife's feelings about her own sexual history.

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