Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Dear Doc | My wife wants to swap

Published:Sunday | November 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q Good day, Doc. I am very surprised by the fact that my wife wants me to agree to doing what they call a 'wife swap' with our best friends.

I am not so sure about this proposed arrangement. The other woman is very pretty, but I am not absolutely certain that I want to go to bed with her! And her husband is a very nice guy, who has been very kind to us. He is quite well-off, and a few years back he helped us with a loan. But I am uncomfortable with the idea of him having sex with my wife.

I should mention that we do not have any children. Both my wife and I are in our early 30s.

What do you think, Doc?

A I have several times in this column warned about the dangers of wife-swapping. I have known a number of patients who have tried this and most of them ended in divorce!

I am sure that some of them went in for partner-swapping because their marriages were already on the skids.

So the first thing I must ask you is this: Is your marriage already in trouble? If so, then maybe that is why your spouse has asked you to go in for swapping.

I must add that it is pretty unusual for a wife to suggest swapping partners! It is almost always the husband who initiates this type of activity.

So I wonder why your wife has suggested it? I wonder if, perhaps, she is already very attracted to the other woman's husband. I do recall a case in which a wife suggested swapping because she was already cheating with the other man!

From my experience of these arrangements going very wrong, I urge you not to agree to swapping spouses. You say that you are not sure that you really want to sleep with the other woman. So for you, the advantages of wife-swapping would seem to be rather small, especially as you feel uneasy about the idea of your wife having sex with someone else!

In short, I would say don't do this. Instead, you should talk things over with your wife and try to find out why she has developed this urge for swapping.

Also, it might be helpful if you could persuade her to go with you to a local minister of religion (or some other expert) to discuss the question of the meaning of matrimony and the importance of faithfulness. I wish you both well.

Q My mother told me that when she was a girl, she used to use something called spermicidal pessaries for contraception.

Apparently, she used to put them in the vagina just before sex and let them dissolve. They worked very well for her.

Could I try this method, Doc?

A Well, spermicidal (that is, sperm-killing) pessaries are little tablets which are designed to melt in the warmth of the vagina. They used to be very popular in Jamaica, but because of the warm climate, they melted in people's cupboards or bedside tables.

The solution to that problem was to keep them in the fridge. But I remember an occasion when a cook mistakenly used half a dozen of them as cake decorations!

You can still buy them via the Internet, but please bear in mind that most doctors do not regard them as a totally safe form of contraceptive when used on their own. Most medics think that they should only be employed as an additional safety measure when you are using other contraceptive methods.

Q When I was working in Cornwall last year, I had sex with an attractive housewife who I met there. Now she has texted me to say that she has had a baby boy, and that she thinks I am the father!

Can I insist on a DNA test, Doc?

A Well, legally, no one can insist on a DNA test on an adult or a child.

However, you would be totally within your rights to say that you don't feel you can provide financial support unless you have proof that you really are the child's father.

If this woman is a fair and reasonable person, I guess she would see the sense in that. But my feeling is that at this point, it might be a good idea for you to consult a lawyer.

Q Doc, I am a 29-year-old female, and I will be getting married soon after Christmas. My problem is that my fiancÈ thinks that I am a virgin!

Unfortunately, the truth is that I must have slept with maybe a dozen men since I lost my virginity at the age of 17.

Should I tell him, or would that be too alarming for him?

A Well, I feel that your fiancÈ must be a trifle innocent if he thinks that these days a 29-year-old woman is a virgin. However, I must admit that it is true that some women do successfully remain virgins throughout their 20s and beyond.

Personally, I am a great believer in the idea that when couples get married, they should have no secrets among them. However, I sense that you are afraid that your man might call the whole thing off if you tell him that you are not a virgin.

My best advice is that you should sit down and calmly discuss the subject of sex with him. Does he really believe that very few people go in for premarital sex these days? You could gently point out that if men are entitled to lose their virginity, then so should women.

You might remind him of the old phrase 'What's good for the goose is good for the gander.'

Q Doctor, I have been having regular sex for some years with a lovely woman in St Andrew. But recently, I have noticed that when I enter her, there is something inside.

Please, what could it be?

A It is likely a contraceptive device. It could be a coil (an IUD). It could also be a Mirena (an IUS). And it could be a cap or diaphragm. Also, it could perhaps be a vaginal ring.

Personally, I applaud her for taking this precaution. I suggest that you ask her frankly what it is.