Posted Thursday, June 6, 2013, at 9:00 AM
Earlier this week we asked you, readers, to write in telling us how you maintain desire in a long-term relationship. We wanted solutions you may have found to the problem of monogamy, experiments that have failed, and perhaps a defense of sexual fidelity itself. Many of you responded. We’ll be publishing some of these responses today and tomorrow. Here is the first.
I have spent considerable time thinking about the question that you are asking. I am a pastor in a mainline, traditional church. I preach weekly and often lead Bible study. From the exterior, the church I serve is quite ordinary. I would not say that we are a liberal congregation, although we are certainly not fundamentalist or decidedly conservative. This church is in the American Midwest.
I am very happily married with one child. We live a clean, community-oriented lifestyle.
About once a year we get together with friends, who are also pastors, and have group sex. As the years have gone by, the sex has become more open and vigorous. Our winter vacation to Arizona involved my wife having robust sex with a mutual male friend and me at the same time.
We only have sex with other clergy and their spouses, as they are the only people we trust. I believe in my theological tradition, I want to see it grow, and my career and therefore ability to serve the church would be shattered if anyone found out.
As a pastor, I have had members of my church confess to me that they have been involved in group sex. They come to me with a sense of remorse. This puts me in a bit of a theological conundrum. But, at the end of the day, my wife and I are happy. Our relationship is strong. Sometimes I feel that I am enjoying the best of both the sacred and secular worlds.
Beyond my circle of friends, I have no idea how common this practice is among clergy.
For the sake of my career, I ask that you keep my identity anonymous.