SocietyBrought to you by

Hello Caller: My friends want me to join their threesome. How do I tell them I’m not interested?

This week, psychotherapist Ms X advises a single woman who finds herself suddenly “sexual catnip” to her coupled friends.

Dear Ms X,

I’m a happily single woman in my early 30s. I have no boyfriend or girlfriend, no kids, no commitments and it’s wonderful. I do what I want. I am living the dream. The problem is that some of my more conventional friends are wanting to get in on this dream. Sometime between my late 20s and now I’ve stopped presenting as a manic pixie dream girl trap for geeks and self-loathing poets, and transformed into some sort of last-hope unicorn for my friends’ failing marriages.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my friends. I want to help them out. I’ve listened attentively to their infidelities, their readings around polyamory, their carefully negotiated lists of rules and boundaries, their deep love and respect for each other’s personal growth and happiness, the disclaimer about how only a very good friend would be privy to all of this, and then the inevitable conclusion—”So, what do you think? We’ve always found you attractive.”

I feel for them, but it also makes me pretty mad. I wonder how deeply they considered what they were signing themselves up for when they decided to get married or whether they were just thinking about all the social and financial advantages society would bestow upon them and their union, their massive fucking wedding parties, their smug parents at said wedding parties, their immediate graduation to adulthood. Ugh. I feel like I’m being asked to bail out a bad debt on a shitty apartment while I’m living out of a van.

Even if I was into it, and I’ll admit I have been tempted, it seems like the risk and potential shit storm far outweighs any benefits. But when I weigh it up, who would want to have sex with a married couple anyway? because obviously they don’t even want to fuck each other anymore.

Help! I’m being cock-blocked by my married friends! How do I tell them I’m not the unicorn they’re looking for?

Yours,

Horny, but not in that way.

Hello Caller,

It was impossible to write my response without first imagining how popular the Mattel range of My Little Bi-Sexual Unicorns would be. Imagine the accessories range!

OK. The therapy stuff first: I hear you. You have been unusually clear and prescient about your own emotional life from an early age. You appear to have struck upon a way of being that works for you and does not fuck other people up (no small thing, Caller). You are to be congratulated heartily. We should erect small statues in your honour and celebrate “Unicorn Truth” day once a year, in which we encourage our children not to rush into expensive and, lets face it, often very ugly wedding arrangements. Personally I think straight people should let the LGBQT communities have weddings exclusively from now on anyway. They do performance art better than straight people.

Now the other bit. It seems you, Caller, are sexual catnip. The way you have chosen to move through life has set those around you to wondering: what’s it like? And if they are a bit bored or horny then they obviously think they can request you like a side dish with a main of marriage.

This reminded me of a thing: about a hundred years ago when I had just exited a relationship, I was a bit messy but coping because it was all for the best. A really good (very married) friend chose this exact moment to give me a hug (complete with hidden hard on) and tell me how much he cared at the end of a long night spent alone together.

I sort of wished he hadn’t and I was pretty angry. After that our friendship didn’t really survive in the way I had hoped it would and I felt sad because I missed him. But now (100 years later) I wonder if he was always going to do that at some stage.

What I am getting at is that sometimes “friends” can have agendas we have NO freaking idea about till they give us a hard-on hug or the equivalent (the vagina clinch?). Caller, I think I am leaning into a bigger discussion around attraction and how we handle it when it touches us (or unexpectedly sticks itself into our stomachs). Friendship can be as, if not more, intense than our intimate relationships.

If we were to make a Venn diagram of what draws us to people and how those feelings might cross over into ill judged blurty expressions of lust then… I’d need a really fucking big white board.

I am not letting your married friends off the hook. They needed to take the temperature with you in a way more subtle fashion. But hormones are a blunt instrument and make us all a bit feverish and dim witted.

Your married mates do need to get the message that while you may be interested in threesomes, you prefer equal billing, not to be used as a defibrillator for a sexual relationship entering rigor mortis. That’s what sex workers, Cialis and erotica are for.

If it keeps happening perhaps you need to start a rumour. Suggest that you will consider joining your married friends for an evening of wild unicorn union, but at a cost. Like between $5000 – $10,000, which is what an amicable divorce tends to cost in New Zealand.

Ms. X

Got a question for Ms. X? Send an email to hellocaller@thespinoff.co.nz, ideally including key information such as your age and gender.

All messages will be kept in the strictest confidence and your name will not be published. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, consider using a free remailer service like Send Email.

Need help now?

Lifeline 0800 543 354

Youthline 0800 376 633

OUTline (LGBT helpline) 0800 688 5463

More helplines can be found at the Mental Health Foundation’s directory. For a list of Māori mental health services, click here.

The Spinoff has turned off comments. If you want to have your say on a story, please head to our Facebook or Twitter – or send a letter to the editor (we publish a selection weekly): info@thespinoff.co.nz. Thanks!