We opened our marriage, but my wife has more sex
I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer, author, and ethical boy (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I learned a thing or two about navigation issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sexual questions with in-depth, practical advice that goes beyond just “communicating with your partner” because you already know that. Ask me anything – literally, anything – and I’ll gladly do it.
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Dear Sexplain It,
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My wife (32) and I (33) have been married for 11 years. We met the first year of university. She was a virgin before me, and I only had two one-night stands before her.
When the world started to open up again after the Covid vaccine, we decided to open up our relationship. I want to have sex with more women. When I mentioned this, she said she would like to have sex with other guys too. Here’s the thing: she had absolutely no problem going on dates and getting laid, while I didn’t have sex once. (She’s had sex with four men.) I think it’s much harder for a man in an open marriage to have sex than a woman in an open marriage. The men she has sex with don’t seem to care that she’s married at all, while I can’t seem to get anyone to respond to me on Tinder.
I also know that I got “married”. She’s a lot more attractive than me, but that sucks. I feel unattractive and self-conscious about my weight. (I gained about 30 pounds during Covid.) I’m starting to really regret opening up the relationship. I thought I’d close it, but I’m afraid that would punish her unfairly for my inability to fuck.
I don’t think the solution is to go back to monogamy; I think it’s to get you fucked. You’ve been out of the game longer than most dating apps, and there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using them successfully.
That said, you’re right: it’s generally easier for women to have casual sex on dating apps than it is for men, and being in an open marriage only widens that disparity. If a woman on a mainstream dating app says she’s in an open marriage, most guys don’t care, as long as she’s willing to sleep with them. But if a man on a mainstream dating app says he’s in an open marriage, most women will think he’s lying or that his wife doesn’t fully agree with the dynamic. (You can thank the way society rates men’s self-esteem on how many people they sleep with!)
That’s why I think you should quit Tinder and start using apps that cater to people of open relationships. You’ll be more likely to meet like-minded women if you use Feeld, #open, 3fun, or another app geared toward open, polyamorous, or lifestyle people.
When it comes to designing your dating profile, I know you feel self-conscious about your Covid body, but confidence is what will win over women the most. Choose photos where you smile, wear an outfit you like, and/or do something that reflects your hobbies or interests. Next, make sure your bio is engaging and informative, not like the vague phrases that are all too common on apps. Share a few things you’re passionate about, crack a joke or two, and be explicit about your open marriage and what kind of relationships you’re looking for. When corresponding with someone, send a unique opening line that shows you’re reading their bio (i.e., not “Hey, what’s up?”).
Speaking of lifestyle a moment ago: I’m also wondering if you and your wife are open to swinging. From your question, it sounds like you’ve met people (or attempted to meet people) separately, but have you considered adding couple “swaps” or group sex into the mix? The apps I mentioned above, along with swinger sites like SwapFinder, Swingers Date Club, and SwingLifeStyle, can help you find other couples to play with. I would also recommend attending a sex club Where swinger party together, where you can meet other couples who are looking for exactly the same thing as you.
Unwanted, I’m sorry you feel like, well, unwanted. It’s hard not to question your appearance when you’re constantly being rejected. But with all your focus on finding new relationships, don’t forget to nurture the one you already have. Scheduling some quality time together around your sexy new adventures will remind you of how loved you already are.
Zachary Zane is the author of Boyslut: A memoir and a manifesto and co-author of The best men’s health. Sex. Already. He writes “Sexplain It”, the sex and relationship advice column at men’s health, and is editor of the BOYSLUT Zine, which publishes non-fiction erotica from kinksters around the world. His work has been featured in New York Times, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, Playboyand more.