We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, onto today’s topic: if your partner keeps joking about a fantasy, does that mean they're actually interested in acting on it?
Q: "My wife jokes a lot about MFM threesomes — how she'd like to have one, or how she thinks we'd need to dress or present ourselves better in order to find someone willing to have one with us. I would actually love to have a MFM threesome — but I'm scared to ask her about it. Do you think these jokes are her way of showing that she's interested, too? Or could they just be jokes, with no deeper meaning? I’m mad at myself for not asking her in the moment… it feels like the chance has now passed."
A: Fantasies can be tricky to talk about, especially if you’re not sure how your partner is going to respond. Here are six things to know if your partner seems hesitant to talk about their desires, or just won't stop making "jokes" about certain fantasies.
We Joke Because We’re Embarrassed
So, your wife is making threesome jokes. Lots of people make these kinds of “sex jokes” in their relationships; sometimes, they are just jokes, but other times, they’re hints at actual desires. Sex is hard for most people to talk about in general, and many people joke about sex because they’re afraid to express their deeper desires. And talking about desires that might seem outside of the “norm” can feel even more intimidating. (For the record, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with threesome fantasies!)
Detailed Jokes Or Comments Typically Indicate More Thought
There’s no way for me to know what’s going on in your wife’s head, but the fact that she’s made several jokes about MFM threesomes does seem to indicate that it’s something she’s at least thought about. She’s also gone into detail about what you guys would need to do to attract a third, like how to dress and present yourselves — which definitely suggests that she's going beyond basic jokes about how “funny” or “crazy” it would be to have a threesome, and is actually thinking about the realities of what you guys would need to do to get a threesome set up. Again, I can’t know for sure what she’s thinking, but it does sound like there’s some amount of curiosity on her part.
Fostering More Openness Might Help You Get To The Bottom Of This
If your wife is trying to hint at her interest in threesomes, she’s probably paying careful attention to how you react to her “jokes” — she wants to see if you’re going to judge, criticize, or reject her. Given that she has repeated the jokes several times, it sounds like you haven’t done any of those things. (As you noted, you’re interested in a threesome, so you’re definitely not trying to shame her about it!)
Still, you can go even further in trying to help her feel comfortable talking about sex or expressing her desires. Try opening up more conversations about your sex life. For example, after you’ve had sex, talk about what you really liked about that encounter. Or, during a quiet moment between the two of you, tell her, “I want us to be able to talk about our fantasies and desires together, without fearing judgment from each other. I want you to know I’ll never judge you for having a certain fantasy. Even if it’s not something I’m not into, I’ll still respect it. I just want you to know!” Don’t push her in that moment to say anything specific; just let her know that you’re there to listen whenever she wants to talk.
Ultimately, the only person who can tell you whether or not your wife was joking is your wife. You mentioned that you feel like you’ve lost your chance to ask your wife about her jokes, but I don’t think you have! Just because you didn’t say something in the moment doesn’t mean you can't ever talk about it again. You can always say something like, “I’ve been noticing that you’ve made a few jokes about threesomes over the last few weeks/months. Were you serious about it?” Keep your tone light and even, so she knows there’s no judgment implied in the question.
And if she’s made a series of jokes about threesomes in the past, odds are likely that she’ll joke about it again. If you want to wait until you’re back in the moment, you can say something like, “Are you joking or are you serious? I can’t tell.” Again, the key is to make sure your tone is open and non-judgmental.
Tell Your Partner What You Want...
As you said in your letter, you’re interested in an MFM threesome. Even if your wife hadn’t been making all of these jokes, I’d still recommend that you bring up the topic with her. I know that fantasies can be challenging to talk about (after all, this may be why your wife keeps making jokes), but it’s still important to push ourselves to try. Your fantasies are valid and real, too, and they deserve to be talked about! You can wait until the next time she makes a joke, and say something like, “I’m not sure if you’re joking or not, but that actually sounds pretty hot to me.” Or you can come straight out and tell her, “I’ve heard you making jokes about a threesome in the past, and it’s got me thinking...”
… Or At Least Bring Up The Topic
If you feel nervous directly saying that you want to have an MFM threesome, you can introduce it in a more general sense first. You could tell your wife that you saw an article online about the most common sexual fantasies. Some the most common fantasies (in no particular order) are:
- Group sex
- Sex with a stranger
- Having sex with someone of the same gender
- Being spanked, whipped, tied up
- Roleplaying, like teacher/student
- Being watched while you have sex/watching someone else have sex
Open up a conversation where you go through each item on the list and ask her what she thinks. When you get to threesomes, make sure to ask her, “Have you ever thought about something like that?”
I know talking about fantasies can feel nerve-wracking, but keep in mind that you talking about your own interests can go a long way towards helping your wife become more comfortable with hers.