10/18/2012 12:47 am ET Updated Dec 17, 2012

Marriage and the Ménage à Trois

1988 was a banner year for me. I was separately invited by two male college friends to engage in a ménage à trois with them and their wives. I was never flirtatious with or attracted to these men. I didn't have a tongue bolt, a belly ring, pierced nipples or tattoos, which is how I pictured a sexual libertine. I wore button-down shirts, penny loafers and, on occasion, glasses that made me look like Sally Jesse Raphael with more hair.

When Frank, who'd been my editor at our college newspaper, propositioned me at lunch downtown, I froze, a beignet grasped tightly in my claw equidistant between my plate and my maw. "But Frank," I said, "You're Asian. Asians aren't supposed to swing. They're supposed to ace quantum physics and master teleportation."

Frank had no answer for that.

My next thought was, "What the fuck is the world coming to?" I judged Frank and my other friend, Ray. I thought their marriages would never last if they were already looking outside of them for sexual satisfaction. I never heard from either of these men again, perhaps because I knew too much.

Henry and I have been married 11 years now. Together 14. Like many couples together for so long we've had stretches of sexual apathy and boredom and have had to make an effort to reconnect. There's been role playing, a lame attempt to pornograph-fy our lives and I'd like to explore an option proposed by a commenter on Long Marriage = More Adventurous Sex that has to do with electronics, but I think introducing a third person into our sex life is a recipe for disaster, because that third party is a person, not an inanimate object.

In my experience, sex transmogrifies into, if you're lucky, genuine love, if you're less lucky, fluttery infatuation or, if you're totally screwed, mad obsession.

I spent five years with a man who made my 2-year old niece scream every time he entered the room. Poor guy. He'd walk in, she'd stare at him and howl like Shelly DuVall confronted by Jack Nicholson wielding a butcher knife in The Shining. I was fairly certain he was Satan, but the sex was good. Five years, people.

Bottom line. Sex lies. It tells you you're in love, when maybe you're just at the mercy of your orgasm. Better to lie to sex, I think. I'm willing to whisper sweet nothings to Henry in Spanish so if he closes his eyes he's making love to Salma Hayek. But I won't be inviting her into our bed. Sorry Salma, I know you were sorely looking forward to it, because you're not an object but a complex human being my husband could actually fall in love with, you're not welcome.

I leave you with this quote from the film Kinsey about the famed sexologist:

Sex is a risky game, because if you're not careful, it will cut you wide open.

Feel free to share your philosophy yea or nay.