Two couples + four play = okay?

Dear Alice,

I've been married for fourteen years and in the last year, my husband and I had a bit too much too drink one night and one night in the hot tub we got sexual with another couple as far as touching and feeling and actually was able to have an orgasm experience. Since then, it has happened out of the hot tub and in the bedroom with all four people (two couples) with just the foreplay, but totally turns on both couples whether it be two women with the men watching or just the men sucking our breasts and fingering going on. The men are never together, but the woman tend to be bonded every time. It happens once a month and never scheduled, but are we normal? Have you ever heard of this private act going on? We have a great friendship with these people and everyone involved has no harsh feelings the next morning. Is this a healthy relationship? We all thoroughly enjoy it.

Dear Reader,

You can use your feelings as a gauge — "We all thoroughly enjoy it." That's a pretty positive indicator. Sex among couples has likely gone on since there have been couples, although the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s brought an increase in the practice, enjoyment, and acceptance of this and other group sex activities. Here are some considerations for deciding about sex with other couples — guidelines that may help you determine the "healthiness" of your particular situation:

(1) Are the players involved consenting adults?
(2) Are you and your husband, and the other couple, in stable relationships — especially where your sex lives are concerned? Is your couples sex a pleasurable extension of your relationship with your husband, rather than a diversion from, or "solution" to, a problem that exists between you?
(3) Are you, your husband, and your friends prepared for possible changes to your group sex play and friendships if one or more of you at some point becomes uncomfortable, disinterested, or eager to go further sexually, or develops sexual and/or emotional attractions that are not mutual?
(4) Is drinking, or doing other drugs, a requirement for one or all of you to feel comfortable with this group sex?

Answering "yes" to numbers 1 to 3 and "no" to number 4 may be a good indicator that your four-play is fair, not foul. However, perhaps the best suggestion is to be aware of these issues, as well as your and your partners' feelings, as you go about your four-play adventures.

Last updated Jan 06, 2015
Originally published Nov 13, 1998

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