Hey, do you have to focus on sex to find a good poly relationship? I would like to start seeing women, but my husband insists that the only way to find someone is to sleep with them. I have sex related PTSD and it takes me a long, long time to be ready for sex. My husband is sure that we can never find anyone because I’m not capable of having endless one night stands to find someone to stay. I feel totally worthless and unlovable and he seems pretty miffed that I can’t just screw strangers.

What!? Of course you can meet people without sleeping with them. The first thing that comes to mind is making an online dating profile where you make it clear that you want to make sure you “click” with someone before hopping into bed. You can also hit it off with someone at a bar, get their number, and text-flirt for as long as you like before touching bits. There are lots of ways to meet people and establish chemistry besides one-night stands. Sure; it’s sometimes easier to flirt really sexually, then “invite them up for drinks,” then go in for the heavy petting, but it is pretty lazy and uncreative thinking to imagine that that’s the only way to find a partner. 

If you two are trying to find women to see together, and your husband insists that he has the best strategy for picking up women, let him do it his own damn self! He can go out and be like hey, I’m married, I’m interested in women, let’s bang, would you be interested in my wife? Or, you two can date together - make an online dating profile, go to poly meetups, join hobbyist groups and communities where your-kind-of-people hang out. Or, you can date on your own; pick up people’s numbers, go dancing, whatever.

It’s a huge problem that your husband is acting in a way that makes you feel “worthless and unlovable,” that he isn’t respecting your totally valid boundaries, or that he’s pressuring you to do something that triggers your PTSD. If this is any kind of pattern with this guy, you may need to reconsider the health of this relationship overall. And if you’re not already seeing a therapist for these feelings and this PTSD, please do yourself a huge favor and do that!

It’s hard for any couple to find a woman to date; if you two are having struggles, it is NOT the result of you setting reasonable boundaries. Your husband is very wrong that his imagined way of finding someone to day is the only way. He should not be blaming you for the fact that you two haven’t found someone to date, or pushing you to do something you’re uncomfortable with. This is definitely a relationship dynamic that needs to be addressed; partly because you deserve to be in a safe and healthy relationship; and partly because it’ll be totally impossible to date a third person while you two are acting like adversaries, not partners, in this project.