two women kissing and lap dance

Just the Tip logo with Jera BrownJust the Tip is a sex and relationship column from queer non-monogamous kinkster Jera Brown. Here you will find interviews with sexuality researchers and educators as well as smart and compassionate responses to anonymous questions. If you would like to be interviewed or have a sex or love question you’d like Jera to answer, email or DM Jera on Twitter @thejerabrown

I haven’t had contact with another female (sexually or in a relationship) in years, I get so nervous.  How do I become more comfortable?

Here’s my advice: Own up to it. I know that confidence is sexy and all that jazz, but so is honesty. In my experience, when I admit that I’m nervous, it takes the edge off. Often, women even think it’s cute (thank God).  And if someone makes you feel bad about being nervous, then they’re not worth pursuing.

Nervousness really is a form of fear, and figuring out what you’re afraid of might help. Oftentimes, if we can see what we’re afraid of, we realize it’s not so scary after all. But it doesn’t mean the fear/nerves completely go away.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about fear in her book Big Magic. She tells readers to imagine riding in a car with fear. She explains that you can’t necessarily banish fear from the car, but you don’t have to let it drive. I think this is useful advice for starting relationships or initiating physical intimacy. Fear/nerves are going to be in the car but if a sexy, interesting, intelligent woman is accompanying you as well, it sounds like a fun ride to me!

You might run into biphobia. Some women will wonder, if you haven’t been with women in so long, will you run back to the safety of men when stuff gets uncomfortable? I try to remember that this fear often stems from the fear or pain of rejection. Maybe they’ve been hurt in the past by a bisexual or pansexual woman. We all have our own sources of pain and fear. Relationships work when there’s room in the car for both sets of baggage.

Is it safe and a good idea to take my wife to a male strip club on her birthday? I would like to take her there and pay to have a private lap dance for her with me being in the room.

It’s lovely that you would consider doing something for your wife that many husbands would be uncomfortable with. Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether to go through with this plan.

Is it safe? I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be. You can check out Yelp or Google ratings and see if the place has a good reputation.

Is it a good idea? Well, is it something your wife has been talking about and would make her happy? You didn’t mention whether this was her idea or you own. Either way, I wouldn’t surprise her with this unless it’s something she’s been talking about for a long time, because … Reality is way different than fantasy.  

You’ve probably thought through and have maybe even imagined or fantasized what this would be like. Once you’re there, be prepared to feel differently than you expect.

Even though this isn’t the exact same situation, I’ve known a lot of couples that have considered three-ways or opening up their relationship and have excitedly planned together what it would be like. Then, when something actually worked out, it was too much for one or both them. They’d become overwhelmed with feelings like jealousy and envy, and pulled the plug. The nice thing about paying a professional for a lap dance is that he won’t be hurt if you don’t go through with it. But your wife might be.

You need to be prepared to see your wife excited about another man’s body. And you should talk through what happens if you’re uncomfortable.

Be clear about what you want out of it. I’m curious if you want to be in the room to protect her or see her happy, and/or if the idea excites you as well. It’s good to be self-aware and to be able to communicate your own desires to your wife. First of all, talking through this stuff can be fun. Also, you never know where it’ll lead.

So, is it a good idea? It’s good to explore and do new things together. It can keep you close and growing together. It just doesn’t mean that new and excited is easy, right? Just like my response to the other question — be prepared for both you and your wife’s fears, nerves, etc.

And I have to add this last part. Please treat the stripper like a professional. Even if they’re in a job that requires/allows for some objectification, it doesn’t mean they’re any less of a human being worthy of respect. Be courteous and tip well.

Jera writes about sexuality, spirituality, and social justice. They are the author of Just the Tip, a queer-friendly, sex-positive, relationship advice column and the editor of Sacred and Subversive,...