Ask Dr. Phil About Sex
Dr. Phil talks to a couple who admit that their swinging lifestyle is not working for them.
"I'm sexually attracted to men just not my husband and he's really hurt by that. A physical intimacy with him just feels so uncomfortable for me," says Kim. "I suggested to him that we start swinging two years ago, and that gave me an open door so that I could explore my own sexuality and that he could as well."

Cliff was initially against the idea of having sex with other couples. "I was scared to death. I had never been naked in front of a bunch of people before," he admits.

Now they seek out prospective couples online, and then meet them at a restaurant. They've even brought strangers back to their house, and then the action gets started when their young daughter is in bed. "Once we're sure she's asleep, we'll go downstairs to the basement," Cliff explains.

He admits that their lifestyle is doing more harm than good. "It's been a Band-Aid for our sex problems. It's not the long-term fix we need for our situation," he says.

Kim agrees. "I suggested swinging to my husband, but it's not helping our marriage," she says, turning to Dr. Phil.
Dr. Phil reveals that swinging led to problems in Kim's previous marriage as well. "You're now here married to this person. Well here's a clue: This doesn't bode well for this relationship either," Dr. Phil remarks.
"Exactly," Kim says.
"Every time I deal with a show that has this kind of content, different men's magazines in America write these stories: 'Dr. Phil is backward and Victorian and puritanical.' Well, get your pens out boys," Dr. Phil says.

Turning to Cliff, Dr. Phil says sternly, "You're going to have to tell me under what theory you decide that some stranger crawling on top of your wife and groveling around and having sex with her while your daughter is asleep upstairs — you're just going to have to tell me why that's OK."

Cliff begins. "I'm not sure I do make that OK. It bugs me —"

"But you did it," Dr. Phil interjects. "Based on results you did because you went along with it multiple times across an extended period of time. Was it a mistake?"

"Oh, without a doubt," Cliff assures him. "Just like going out and getting drunk and then you have a hangover the next day. That was a mistake and then you feel bad about it the next day."When Kim justifies that she started swinging because her sexual needs weren't being met, Dr. Phil tells her that swinging isn't the only option. "I have this kind of antiquated theory that if you have a problem inside a marriage, that you should fix it inside the marriage," he says, as the audience applauds.

Couples will never
solve a relationship problem by going outside of their marriage and turning to someone else — either through an emotional or physical affair. "That may feel like a reasonable option at the time, but long term, you wind up with resentment and bitterness and jealousy," Dr. Phil informs them. "If you just want to be with other people, then you should just get a divorce and be with other people. But it's not going to fix your relationship."

Kim maintains that she and Cliff don't want to divorce. "We are very happily married," she says. "It's just the sex part that's missing. I'm not sexually attracted to my husband. I never have been. But I am very emotionally attracted to him."
"Having sex is not just about you," Dr. Phil stresses. "Sometimes you can make real strides sexually by focusing on pleasing your partner: 'I'm going to be completely selfless here, focus on my partner and see if that changes the chemistry in some way.'"

He suggests that a sex therapist could help the couple in terms of their internal dialogue, emotions, patterns, and teaching them to embrace their thoughts, needs and fantasies.

Kim says, "I've been to medical doctors, testing my hormone levels to find out why I don't have any sex drive. This is before we started 'the lifestyle.'"

"It sounds to me like you don't have a sex drive problem. You just have a steering wheel problem on your sex drive," Dr. Phil quips. "Because you don't have any problem getting fired up or aroused with somebody else, right?"


Cliff tells Dr. Phil that outside of their sexual problems, they have a great relationship.

Kim agrees. "Is a marriage just based entirely on sex? I really like our marriage," she asks.
"This isn't about sex. This is about really poor judgment. This is about a lack of commitment. It's about a lack of honoring your partner and respecting the bond that you do have emotionally, parentally. This is about a lack of respect for each other," Dr Phil notes.

Turning to Cliff, Dr. Phil says, "I want you to think about what's happening when you go hook up with another couple. Your wife is going in another room, or maybe with you right there or whatever, and being physically intimate with someone you met on the Internet ... Is that OK with you?"


Kim maintains that she doesn't have a problem with her husband having sex with other women. Dr. Phil challenges her viewpoint. "So you don't value monogamy or honoring and sharing just that thing that he shares with no one but you?" he asks.

"His heart is mine. If he wants to share his physical body with someone else, I'm OK with that," Kim says.

"I would predict that if you continue doing this, you're going to get a divorce," Dr. Phil cautions.
"How do you feel about bringing sexually motivated strangers into your home within 30 feet of your daughter?" Dr. Phil questions.

"That kind of creeps me out," Kim admits, but adds that most of the time, she and Cliff know the people they bring home.

Dr. Phil interjects, "No you don't. What you do know about them is that they're doing what you're doing. I guarantee you, you know about them what they tell you. Do you do background checks on these people?"

When Kim says she doesn't, Dr. Phil drives home the potential danger they could be in. "Do you know if they're rapists or child molesters? Do you know anything about them?" he questions. "Do you know that about these people that you are bringing in your home and getting naked within 30 feet of your daughter?"

He advises the couple to reconsider their lifestyle. If they choose to remain swingers, they should definitely not bring strangers around their daughter. "You don't know what you're playing with here. You don't want those people around your home and around your daughter," he warns. "And I hope you will decide to at least give yourselves a chance to see a sex therapist to change your attitude, to try to resolve this strategically between you."