Sometimes I’ll get questions that will resolve themselves between when I receive them and when they go up on Wednesdays. Today’s question is just one of those. However, the original writer was curious to see what I had said… which suits me just fine since otherwise I’d have to pick a different letter and that’d be 1400 words down the drain.
And so, a look into what might have been…
I’m currently in an open relationship with a girl (I’m bi, and I think she’s bi-curious.) She knows I draw nudes, but we haven’t done a lot together yet. She also doesn’t have a problem with me drawing nudes. Should I ask her if it’s okay to draw her nude for Valentine’s day, just for fun, or should I wait until the relationship’s a bit more– stable? Because it’s open, we want it to be open, and we’re only together for the fun of experimenting as best friends with a couple caveats. I don’t want this to come off as romantic, I just want to have fun drawing a live model and giving her something nice to keep a copy of.
We’re also feeling out a third person– a guy she’s really into, but who isn’t big on faithfulness. The only reason she got into an open relationship with me was because he wasn’t interested in being a boyfriend. Which is and isn’t okay with me. On one hand, he won’t mind a threesome of experimenting. On the other hand… I’m extremely aware of STDs, and I don’t know him well enough to know if he would abide by our contract of, “Tell us before you fuck someone else, and make sure they don’t have STDs first.”
Before anyone asks, there’s no tension between us. We’re tight. Besties, really. We have a lot in common, and there’s no relationship drama or whatnot between us. So far, we’re actually having fun. I just want to help her have more fun, continue experimenting safely, and not change things dramatically by sending the wrong signals.
By the time this goes up it’ll be post Valentine’s Day. Now, more often than not I’ll try to be timely with responses, but sometimes there are lessons to be learned in a question to Ask Dr. NerdLove that don’t necessarily depend on a specific date. Case in point: there isn’t really a window on when you could or couldn’t ask your partner to model for you. That being said: you say that you don’t want this to be a romantic thing, you just want to draw her naked. All well and good, but there really isn’t going to be a way to avoid any sort of romantic subtext by doing this on Valentine’s Day. If that’s not the message you want to send, you may want to wait until afterwards.
Now, you say you haven’t done “a lot together” yet; this is one of those annoyingly ambiguous phrases that makes it really difficult to gauge where you are in the relationship. It could equally mean that she’s never posed for you before, that you’ve never seen her naked before or that you haven’t had sex yet. All of these influence the advice I would give for you in your situation. Remember folks: when it comes to advice, more (relevant) information is better.
Now, in the case of artistic nude modeling: unless you are either a) trying to seduce someone you already have a sexually charged relationship with or b) are trying to have some naughty fun with your partner, the rule is to be professional, respectful and conscious of your model’s comfort – even if the model is someone you have a relationship with. After all, his or her discomfort will show in their body language and that will affect the end-results. Some people have no problem with posing nude. Others will have issues even when it’s for someone they’re intimate with; context can make all the difference.
Keep all of those in mind if you’re going to ask someone to pose for you. Your girlfriend may be into it. She may not be. Just be sure that she knows this is strictly a life-drawing session and that you want her to be comfortable… and that she gets the finished result afterwards.
Now as for the second part of your question…
Sweet Zombie Jeebus there are all sorts of alarms and warning bells going off here.
Let’s start with the first and most glaring one: she’s only in a relationship with you because the guy she likes isn’t interested in a committed relationship. That right there? That is a really bad sign. I’m not entirely sure how you could take that as anything other than “Hey, you’ll do for now… since what I really want isn’t available”. Now maybe that isn’t how you (or she) intended to describe your relationship… but that’s how it sounds from here.
Being in an open relationship requires a lot of trust and commitment on both sides. From what you tell me, you sound like you know you’re her second choice. Maybe I’m wrong, but while you may be into her, she sounds way more into him. This is not a stable base for a relationship, open or otherwise, and from my end of things, it sounds an awful lot like a recipe for heartbreak all around. If your girlfriend has decided that if this is the only way she can have him, then so be it, it’s going to be at the expense of your feelings.
Then you throw this bombshell into the mix: “I’m extremely aware of STDs, and I don’t know him well enough to know if he would abide by our contract of, ‘Tell us before you fuck someone else, and make sure they don’t have STDs first.'”
Trust is the most important aspect of sex. If you don’t know him well enough to trust him, then you really shouldn’t fuck him.
Now to be fair, it’d be one thing if this were a one-time event: condoms for everybody, the primary couple (you and your girlfriend) gets the lion’s share of the attention and fresh condoms are used every time someone starts fucking someone else. You get to help your girlfriend experiment with her sexuality a little, she gets to bang a guy she’s really into and he gets a threesome. Everybody goes home happy.
However, if he’s going to be a regular guest star in your sex life – and from the sounds of things, that may be something your partner wants – you’re going to run into some problems. To start with: the balance of power and attraction. If your girlfriend is more into the guest star than you, there are going to be problems. And if you’re unsure about his willingness abide by your rules, then that should be an automatic veto until he can prove to your satisfaction that yes he can and will toe the line. After all, your lives are literally on the line at this point. If he’s not scrupulously consistent about full disclosure, to you and from the other girls he’s fucking, his thoughtlessness can have dire and potentially permanent consequences for your health.
Normally one of the best choices for a threesome is an ex; in theory they’ve been pre-vetted, you know their history and that you can trust them. A threesome with the person your partner would be with if circumstances were different is a bad idea all around.
It’s good that there’s no tension and you want to experiment safely. But if you’re looking to add a third to the mix – whether it’s just the once or more often – you should probably be looking elsewhere.
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