Location: Northern Minnesota
I’ve been in a gay relationship for almost 12 years now. My partner and I are very happy and I’ve been thinking about adding a new addition to our relationship just to spice things up a little bit. We were looking through the gay personals online and we found this guy who happens to be a patient of mine. He’s just our type. He’s a handsome, well built bear in his early 40’s. We’re considering contacting him, but we’re not sure if that would be crossing a line. So if you could give us some advice that would be great. Thanks.
Ahhh let’s see, the short answer is; yes, you would be crossing a line. Offering your patient a tryst, with you and your hubby would indeed be way on the other side of that line. Ya know the old adage, “Don’t shit where you eat?” Well, this is exactly like that, only completely different.
While I’m happy to support you and your man as you work toward opening your relationship by adding a playmate or two, the current object of your desires is, to my mind, inappropriate. I think it’s always ill advised for professional people in general, and healing and helping professionals in particular, to get involved (romantically or otherwise) with their clients or patients. There’s always the possibility of a conflict of interest, but more importantly, there’s the issue of propriety.
That’s not to say that this sort of thing doesn’t happen all the time. It does. But I think there are significant potential problems for you, the professional, as well as this other guy, your patient.
When I’m faced with a similar dilemma in my own life, I sit myself down with pen and paper and write out all the pros and cons of a hook-up, even a casual one, with someone I have a professional relationship with. Regardless of whether I know the guy through my therapy practice or by way of my production company; it’s all the same for me. These are lines I should not cross. But sometimes I need to remind myself of that.
So with my pad and pen at the ready I quickly jot down the “pros” of the hook-up. These are always so easy to enumerate. He’s hot, he’s charming, he’s fun to be around, he’s got a great personality and a wonderful sense of humor and he’s single. Hell, he may even be hot for me…although that’s less likely these days, now that I’m an old fuck. But hey, it could happen! So if I only consider the “pros” this appears to be a match made in heaven. What could possible go wrong with this idyllic picture? WAIT!
That’s where the “cons” come in handy. They are the bane of my existence, but they also keep me out of harms way. If I’m struggling to come up with a list of “cons”, I simply conjure up, in my fevered little mind, the worst relationship I’ve ever had. Frankly, this isn’t a particularly difficult thing to do, because I’ve had some duesies in my time, don’t cha know. The reason I let my mind dredge up the sordid past like this is so that I can remember how bad things can get when a sex connection goes south. I do this to create a worst-case hook-up scenario so that I can imagine what it would be like if the guy in question was not just an unfortunate choice on my part, but he was also a client or porn pup on the rise.
With just this little mental prompting my “cons” category begins to grow and grow. This exercise pretty much puts the kybosh on my ardor and I happily forgo the pleasure of the company of the man in question. Is it possible that I’m overreacting, that the hook-up could have turned out to be a sheer delight? Absolutely! But, being the kind of guy I am, with the bum luck that I have, I’d just as soon not take the chance that it won’t. I have a reputation, checkered as it might be, to uphold. And screwing around with the wrong guy is bad enough; I don’t need the added complication of him thinking that I took advantage of him given my professional association with him.
I invite you to do the same sort of exercise yourself, DJ. First create a column of “pros.” Why does this forty-something, handsome, well-built bear patient of yours with the online profile make a great candidate for a playmate. I’ll bet that you and the hubby already have this all figured out. Now, create your “cons” column. Try to imagine all the awful things that could happen as a result of a sex connection that goes bad — ya know, the jealousy, the bitchyness, the backbiting, the rumors, stuff like that. And when you consider that he’s being invited to a manage-a-trois, well you can triple the risk factor. Like I said, the object here is to create the worst-case scenario. Screwing around with the wrong guy is bad enough; you certainly don’t need to add the complication of him thinking you took advantage of him given your professional association with him. If things go bad and he brings this little encounter to the attention of the medical board, you’d be in a heap of trouble.
Of course there is always the option of terminating your doctor/patient relationship before the fuck. In this case I advise there be at least a two-month hiatus between the end of your professional relationship and the start up of the sexual relationship. However, if I was your patient, and you offered me this option, I’d choose to maintain the professional connection we have. I’d be flattered by your interest in me, but I’d know that it’s much harder to find a good doc than it is to find a sweet bone….even in northern Minnesota.