Dear Intimacy Doctor:

So, have you figured out a way to tell someone they’re rubbish in bed … meanwhile the other halves of the couples are banging like a house on fire? #swingerprobs

(This is the point where the Intimacy Doctor strokes her imaginary Freudian beard and says “tell me more.”)

His problem seems to be overall health, trouble maintaining and erection. Seriously wanting to take a break every 10 strokes … it’s crazy! I’m thinking less about sexitimes and more about “let’s get you to the gym” instead! My partner is adamant about me not taking one for the team, but he and his secondary partner get on like a house on fire, which is rare for him.

We’ve tried a few things from the goodie box. The extender was a fail because it’s so bendy and he wasn’t hard enough to keep it on properly.

I guess the overarching question is, if it isn’t a relationship partner, how much feedback/critique is acceptable?

Dear Frustrated Slut,

First of all, mad props to you and your partner. Y’all have totally taken to heart the main commandment of polyamory which is Thou Shalt Talk About The Shit That’s Going Down. Mad props to your partner for saying “you don’t gotta deal with a bad lay on my behalf,” and mad props to you for saying, “hey, you are digging your end of the deal, so I wanna make this work if possible.”

Y’all are totally rocking one of the biggest stumbling blocks of polypolyfuntimes. And you gots a damn good question. I’ve read a lot of books on polyamory, and I don’t remember that issue being discussed, even by the reigning queens of ethical sluttery/navigating polyamory, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.

So most of the coaching tricks I have up my sleeve are designed to build partner intimacy as well as sexual expression, because most of my work is within the primary partner relationship. You hit the nail on the head when you essentially asked, “How hard do I try to make this work when this isn’t even my main guy?”

You mentioned a toy you tried and failed with due to his struggle with maintaining enough erection to make it work. Let me pile on some more mad props for digging out the toy box, by the way!

I totally agree that toys may be the way to go. Let’s Mr. Potato Head this bro up, yeah? Instead of an extender, maybe a hollow-core strap-on that he can insert his struggling little guy into? They tend to be made of a firmer material, and are expressly designed for menfolk that have softer hard-ons (versus the extender, which is meant to add length to a bro that’s rock hard and raring to go, but a little short in the length category).

He may also benefit from some porn in the background to get his synapses firing [finding out what he likes is an easy enough question!], and some extra stimulation. A vibrating cock ring or a We-Vibe could benefit both of your sexitimes.

I know you are trying to follow the credo of Wil Wheaton nerds everywhere by not being a dick. You don’t want to hurt his feelings, and you want the other two peeps to be able to continue their fun. His mate is thrilled to be getting some good action with your well-trained partner, and is probably hoping you will get him up to speed. But you’re right, y’all don’t have the relationship for that.

I’ve heard the expression that bad pizza is still pizza, so quityerbitchin. Well, maybe when I was 19 and digging for change in the couch cushions. But I’m grown, and I’m guessing you are, too. And at this point in our lives, we’ve all totally had pizza that wasn’t worth the trouble.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But I also don’t think pizza has to be all Dough Pizzeria level of awesome to hit the spot. Hopefully a few tricks will make the pizza at least a decent snack. If some more creative prop play and a bit of guidance doesn’t make your pizza edible, I think it will be renegotiation time with your primary partner. Hopefully they won’t be horrifically disappointed when you flip the “you told me not to take one for the team and I am so over this pizza we ordered” card.

Did I totally take that metaphor too far? Sorry about that, love. But best of luck with that sausage pie , eh?

(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)


Dr. Faith



Update from Frustrated Slut:

FS and partner had a chat about the issue and agreed to change the relationship structure a bit. Partner still gets #sexitimes with his buddy and FS is taking a  break from hers, for the time being.  FS explained nicely to the other couple that her dance card is a bit full at the moment, but she’s fine with her partner being involved even if she isn’t around. FS said she’s down to try again at a later date( and with a newly stocked toybox), but for now is happy to not  feel pressured to put out so her partner can have fun.

I seriously tickled with such  good communication in a relationship. But then, if it always happened, I wouldn’t have a job!


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