I know, I’m answering the same question over and over again, but people keep asking from slightly different angles, so I guess I should keep tackling it. Here’s one I received this weekend:
Hi. Is it okay for a Christian couple to ‘expand’ their sexual circle? For the past several years, I have been wanting to see my wife ‘taken’ by another man or men. I told her about this, and bless her, she listened and didn’t condemn me or storm out of our bedroom. Now, it seems that my wife is liking this idea. She is finally opening up to her sexuality and we would love to take our ‘desire’ to the next level. What are your thoughts?
I have a few thoughts:
- Adultery is adultery is adultery. Doesn’t matter on the circumstance (see When did God stop allowing multiple wives), if permission is given (see Is it still adultery if you have permission?) , if you are present (see Can Christians have threesomes), or what. It’s still wrong. And ultimately it’s wrong, because it will hurt you, your wife, your relationship together and your relationship with God.
- I think there is a valid desire here that is being expressing in an invalid way. We’ve talked a bit about things like this is our recent post on rape fantasies.
I’m guessing from your question that sex has been a bit of a difficult road for your marriage. You say your wife is finally opening up to her sexuality. That’s a good thing. And I think you’re just acting like a kid in a candy story grabbing everything in sight that you can eat, because it’s all new and suddenly you have access to it.
But, there are some things that are not wise to partake of. I understand the desire to see your wife taken, but I wonder if it’s more a desire to sort of be an observer so you can just sit back and enjoy watching your wife being sexual.
If that’s the case, this can be accomplished without bringing in additional people. You can use mirrors, or video tape yourself. Or, you can use mutual masturbation (you can even take turns).
In short, figure out what’s driving this desire, and then find a way to meet it while still keeping the marriage bed pure.
12 thoughts on “Is it okay for a Christian couple to ‘expand’ their sexual circle?”
I think there is a deeper issue than just finding a suitable sex act here. There is something about a spouse being OK with having their spouse taken by another person outside their marriage that in my mind indicates something important it lacking. Where is his urge to have their spouse as theirs and theirs alone, how can they not see that as a violation of their marriage? IMHO there should be a certain amount of mutual possessiveness in a marriage and if it is there than something like this would not be considered by either of them.
I guess some people feel as long as they have permission, it is ok. I do think that this couple is in dangerous territory, because they’ve both spent time fantasizing about this thing that can destroy them. I pray they will not continue pursuing this line of thinking.
My husband and I actually talked about this desire the other day. We both believe it is very wrong but my husband admitted it appeals to him even though he doesn’t want it to. In talking it through, he realized it is a desire to be an observer… He wishes he could have almost an out of body experience during sex, so he can see me from every angle, in a way that even a video tape can’t provide. But the only way that is possible is to bring in someone else, and thus the appeal, even though it would not play out so well in real life.
It was a cool conversation and I love that we are in a place that we can talk about that kind of thing. I *highly* recommend the book The Fantasy Fallacy to anyone who wants to learn more about the root desire behind our [oftentimes sinful] fantasies.
Back during a time that my wife and I were not living for the Lord, we got into first, posting nude pictures of her on various websites which led us to getting on a site where couples were having open sexual relationships, but mostly husbands allowing their wives to be with one or more men. I had never given it much thought, but after awhile I talked her into doing it just one time. As satan would have it, we both enjoyed it much more than either of us ever dreamed and before long, we were doing this on a monthly basis and videoing it. What we weren’t aware of at the time was, it was destroying our own sex life, because we were spending all our time looking for other men, masturbating to the videos and fantasizing about our last adventure while having sex together. Eventually my wife started feeling very convicted about what we were doing, so we stopped. The problem was still there though because we still had the videos, which I couldn’t stop watching. She wanted to go back to just her and I, but I couldn’t get turned on without watching the videos and our once great sexual relationship together was now destroyed. We started going back to church, repented of this destructive sin, got a refilling of the Holy Spirit and destroyed all the videos. God is through his grace helping us get back what He had once so graciously given us, but there are still times when my flesh gets weak and I begin to fantasize about her being with other men. With that said, I’m going to say it was the most destructive sin we as a couple ever endured. All I can say is, pray about this very hard before carrying it to another level. The fact that you’re even considering it should make you question your relationship with Jesus. I just wish we would have questioned ours before doing it. Remember, sin is indeed fun for a season, but the damage it can do may never get repaired.
Wow, thanks for sharing
Jay Dee, I seriously think people might be “trolling” you with these questions. I doubt I’d have the patience to keep answering it instead of just hitting the delete button. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but really, if you think to ask a Christian marriage blogger this, I have to presume that you already know exactly what the answer is.
Then again, I suppose that maybe having someone else affirm what they already know in their hearts to be true is the crutch that the asker will lean on to avoid the temptation, so I guess it’s good that you have more patience than I.
Well, a few months ago someone sent me a link to a “Christian” swingers blog, and yesterday I was linked to from a “Christian” porn site. So, no, I’m not convinced they’re just trolling me. I think there are some very confused Christians out there.
I think when a partner says they want to include another person into your bedroom to spice up your sex life you are also asking for trouble. You say that your wife is become more open to the situation. Beware my friend. She might be saying yes to just please you. Sex to a women is very intimate and we are very vulnerable. Resentment and anger can come up just talking about the act. Inwould say if you truly love your wife respect her and close this matter.
It does happen. He suggested it for very personal and generous reasons. I agreed to try it. Partly to honor his generosity and for selfish reasons. It did bring us much closer to each other but it was also very challenging spiritually and emotionally. We have moved past it now and we are committed to working out our sexual challenges ourselves.
Expanding the sexual circle of marriage seems to be a growing trend. Yes, married Christians can get sucked in to this deception. We did.
In hindsight, my primary motivation as the husband was the desperate seeking of intimacy with my wife in ignorant ungodly ways. Although we were Christians, neither of us had good role models for Godly intimacy, other than the word of God which we were essentially ignorant of. I was ripe for deception.
My wife came into the marriage knowing only performance-based relationship, so intimacy with me was a continual struggle. In the end, her motivation for going along with “expanding the circle” was rooted in her dependence on affirmation (which she got from others we invited in), and because of her desire to please me and gain my acceptance by going along.
Our journey down this path started probably at year 3 of our marriage. For years, I pursued what were in effect sinful counterfeits of intimacy with her. It started small and was a slow progression, taking many years. We did have enough relationship with God that it took a while. It was like a thousand tiny razor cuts. One deception at a time and no idea we were bleeding. Year 11, it came to a head. She resisted sharply to my pressure, standing on God’s word. In response I said the very words, “I will take responsibility for this. Trust me.” Words that would cause me great pain.
Christian women: DO NOT give in to the appeals and pressure. Fulfill your man within God’s abundant plan, but hold strong to His word and do not cave in to “expanding the circle”. This is a great example of when NOT to submit. Men: Careful what you ask for. This will NOT satisfy your insatiable desire for pleasure, nor will it fill the void of God-given desire for intimacy that you are ignorant of.
Year 11, our story sounds much like Mitchell’s post above. After several months we both realize we are in deep. The pleasure of sin is great, but it is destroying our intimacy and the addictive nature of it is obvious. The Lord clearly shows me a vision of the end of this sin. I repent and turn. I try to lead my wife to repentance. I thought she chose to end it. Fast forward 1.5 years. I discover she never turned away, but went into secrecy because the affirmation of other men was too appealing. Our trust in each other is fully destroyed – her trust in me as a loving, sacrificial head; my trust in her fidelity.
We both wanted badly to end the marriage and pain. 13 years down the drain, three wonderful children, a healthy small business. One thing remained. Our commitment to God from all those years ago. To let go of marriage would be to let go of God. We couldn’t do it.
During those 1.5 years, I had been pursuing God and he had done a work in me. He prepared me to be a living sacrifice in terms of how I would respond to the offense. Preparing me to take responsibility for leading my wife astray. I had finally let God change me. Truly letting him be Lord of my life. When she was exposed, I was in a position to truly lead as Christ for the church. We started over. It’s been 2.5 painful years of painstaking dying-to-self and rebuilding for both of us, and we are not at the end.
The good part: Glory to God, purely by faith we are slowly recovering. He is being glorified through the salvation of our marriage. We are closer than ever to our Father. We are living Romans 8:28. He is faithful, and His love never fails. Although we have to still be very intentional as the cuts slowly turn to scars, we are well on our way and our marriage is better and stronger than ever. God CAN deliver you from this, for those of you who are in it.
The bad part: We came extremely close to losing our marriage, years of relationship, harming our children, and losing our business. FOOLISHNESS! You who are seeking this: if it doesn’t harm your “relationship”, you don’t have one. You do not know Godly intimacy.
For those who are seeking it out of selfishness: God knows your needs more than you ever possibly could yourself. TRUST HIM. His way is complete. It is MORE than sufficient. Do not be led astray.
And for those of you who seek this to fill that empty place, that longing that has no end, TURN TO GOD! He is who you desire. You were made for Him to fill.
And for the hard of heart: You are NOT smart enough. You are not in control of yourself as you think. You are being controlled by pride and lust. You will not escape the destruction of this sin and you will get burned. Lord, touch the stony heart and draw them with your kindness in Jesus’ name.
The answer to intimacy is in the giving. The miracle of marriage is when it works as designed and the love is flowing freely both ways. There is no counterfeit that compares.
These are strong words, spoken in love. My intent is not to offend, but to call you to your Savior and away from this pit of pain. Be wise. Learn from the mistakes of others before you. Be even wiser and learn directly from the word of God.
Wow, thank you for sharing that. I hope anyone considering will read this and be convicted.