Three-year itch

I fantasize a lot about a woman at work. Should I share this with my wife?

Published February 27, 2003 7:51PM (EST)

Dear Cary,

I am 28 years old and have been married for three years. My wife and I are very happy and have a fairly adventuresome sex life. Recently, I've started working with a woman whom I find extremely sexy and fun. I have no designs on cheating on my wife with her, but I find myself flirting and daydreaming about this woman almost every day. Sometimes I'll even masturbate at work after hours in the bathroom with all kinds of scenes running through my head of me and this woman having sex in the office or just about anyplace else I want to imagine.

Normally, my wife and I will use innocent flirtations we both encounter as fuel for sex and it's fun, harmless and keeps sex interesting after sleeping with each other for five years. However, we've always been honest about who made us feel sexy during the day and what the circumstances were -- all very upfront.

How can I use this woman as fuel for our sex life and be honest with my wife. If I tell her there's a sexy woman I work with every day who gets me hot she will most likely feel a little threatened (I'm sure I would if the tables were reversed), and things will get awkward and complicated. If I lie and tell her this woman is just someone I see on the train every once in a while then I'm, well, lying.

I do find this woman I work with very sexy and I don't want this guilt (of masturbating and thinking about this woman every day) to continue building in me, which could one day lead to some kind of resentment toward my wife. (Think I'm reading too much pop psychology?)

Also, I had a pretty erotic dream about Kelly Osbourne. It would have been my first wet dream in something like 10 years if I hadn't woken up just when it was getting really good. Am I having some sort of midlife crisis at 28?

Three-Year Itch Guy?

Dear Three-Year Itch Guy,

Kelly Osbourne? Wow. I wonder what would make your wife more upset, that you're fantasizing about a woman at work or that you had a wet dream about Kelly Osbourne!

But let's deal with this sexy co-worker of yours. What makes your fantasy about her different from the other little flirtations that you and your wife reveal to each other? Is it the intensity of your attraction? Are you concerned that you might actually sleep with this one? Is it that you see her every day? Is it the fact that you're masturbating in the bathroom at work? It's probably a little of each, huh?

If you could work this into your already open channels of communication with your wife, that would be best. Better that than carrying around this big guilty secret. You don't have to scare her. You've always been honest about who it was that made you feel sexy during the day and what the circumstances were. But can't you change the rules slightly? Can't you say that you got turned on by something but you're not going to tell her exactly what it was? You've got to trust her enough to be able to share this without spilling the whole thing. You have to set limits on what you'll tell her and stick to them.

The truth between two people is not always a literal, unmitigated, unedited truth; sometimes it's a figurative truth. But it's better to say something than to bottle it up completely.

Here's maybe what you do: Make up a name for this woman; create a whole set of circumstances for her. You like trains? Put her on the train. Put her in a uniform. Dress her up however you like. Make up a fantasy, but put her in it.

You know how much to tell your wife; if it would freak her out to know that men sometimes masturbate in company toilets while fantasizing about their sexy co-workers, well, maybe she's not ready for that much reality. But I think you have a wonderful foundation of communication here, what with your little admissions of flirtations and things that excite you, and you need to let this thing in somehow.

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Want more advice from Cary? Read yesterday's column.

By Cary Tennis

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