Sexually adventurous = More likely to cheat?

Dear Alice,

If my wife is sexually adventurous, does it mean she's more likely to cheat? My wife is slowly opening up to me about how sexually adventurous she wants to be (I'm talking bondage-type stuff), and I'm afraid that maybe she might cheat in the future if her "appetite" isn't met. I haven't voiced any of these concerns, I've been completely supportive of it and actually would be completely ok with doing all of it. I just worry that maybe the adventure-ness might be a sign of promiscuity?

Dear Reader,

The concept of sexual adventurousness is rather subjective — for some, keeping the lights on during sex is adventurous, while others might consider role-playing, threesomes, or using sex toys (just to name a few) as more exciting. With that in mind, just because your wife has expressed interest in new activities doesn’t mean she’s thinking of straying in your relationship. The only way to truly know what your partner wants is to have clear communication; perhaps it’s a good sign then that your wife seems to be open about her sexual tastes and desires, and you seem to also be interested in exploring her interests.

To delve into the answer to your question a bit further, Reader, there doesn’t seem to be research linking sexual adventurousness with promiscuity or infidelity. If your worries about your wife’s fidelity continue, it may be an opportunity for you to reflect upon your beliefs about infidelity and find out the root reason behind your concerns. Has your partner done or said anything that might lead you to believe that she is cheating on you? Or, is infidelity the only reason you can think of to explain her desire to be sexually adventurous? How would you rate your level of trust with your partner? By thinking through these questions honestly, you may begin to understand your suspicions and can initiate an honest conversation with your wife.

What’s more, to prevent any possible issues from taking their toll over time, you may want to check-in regularly (goes for sexual satisfaction, too). This is all the more reason why you and your wife are encouraged to keep open lines of communication about what each of you want and is comfortable with sexually. Being open and supportive to her sexual desires can help validate her interests and start a conversation about what sexual activities that interest you both. In fact, effective communication can have a protective effect on monogamy, especially when openness is supplemented with support and validation, so keep it up!

Exploring this new sexual territory may feel uncomfortable at first, but it can turn into an exciting adventure. As you and your wife consider this new realm be sure to continue talking about what works and what doesn’t for each of you. Through this process you may consider using a safe word to signal that one of you is at your physical, emotional, or psychological limit. That being said, a shift in your sex life may not be pleasurable or exciting for you — and that’s okay, too! Again, just remember to communicate about what feels right and compromise when appropriate.

For further emotional support and advice, you may also consider talking with a counselor, either alone or together. And, it’s wise to keep practicing safer sex as you explore new, exciting additions to your sex life. Need more information to satisfy you and your partner’s sexual curiosity? Check out the Sexual Variety and Tools & Toys Q&As in the Go Ask Alice! archives.

Kudos to you for being receptive and supportive of your partner’s sexual interests!

Last updated Oct 28, 2016
Originally published Jul 19, 2013

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