Negative concern? Sorry, I'm a little nervous composing my thoughts - especially after that tongue lashing
j/k, it's a helpful perspective. Now that I have a second, I do want to respond a little bit, I think it's helping me get my head on straight...
First of all, I never claimed to be poly or really pursuing that arrangement. My wife and I are so very in love, and our relationship is getting tighter and stronger every year. I guess the arrangement I'm talking about would be more akin to swinging...it was my understanding the definitions on these things tend to be kind of vague. If I'm treading in the wrong forum ticking people off, I heartily apologize - I kind of thought this forum covered all topics even though it's titled poly...If it matters, I got here from a link that suggested it would be helpful.
Anyways, I'm not a veteran poster so forgive my lack of quoting, I'll just kind of address each line item:
I don't think I would even want to go so far as intercourse; honestly more like a footrub and some fooling around. I don't know, it's confusing.
I really appreciate what you're saying about my friend - to be totally honest, I hadn't really considered her feelings at all, I've been so fixated on my wife and what's motivating her to encourage this.
If it matters, I know my friend to be extremely sexually adventurous; I wouldn't even be considering this if she wasn't. I guess what I'm saying is, based on her behavior, I can see it not being too big of a deal.
That being said, it does get me thinking - she might just be too damn good a friend to want to risk hurting her. I could never forgive myself if I did end up hurting her badly. There is that possibility that I would. Maybe this is hard to swallow, but I just hadn't thought that it was even possible, just because it's hard for me to think someone else could be emotionally attracted to me other than my wife (we're perfect for each other...no one gets me like she does, and vice versa.)
On the same point, what did really speak to me was:
"She is your friend. She trusts you, relies on you and appreciates your help where men are concerned."
That is basically the exact nature of our relationship; I'd almost be her gay buddy, if only I was gay (though, not gonna lie, I do have a good eye for dudes).
Now that I think about it, she might actually be closer to me than I realize, and it might be because she trusts me - and isn't threatened by me - because she knows I'm married. I guess if I can take anything away from what you said, it's that she's a person too, and it's not fair to just consider me and my wife in the equation, and treat someone I regard as a good friend as an object, which is really how I was thinking about it, in hindsight.
As far as my wife, leading the way - she did bring it up; she'd picked up on it already, and I don't know why, but she's never been very jealous. To put it in perspective, I'd slept over at my friend's house before with my wife out of town and vice versa (of course nothing's ever happened, our hanging out is more like a guy's night out. No drinking and driving, of course, so we crash at each other's places every now and then. Y'know, on the couch.) I don't know if that's really material to the situation, but, eh.
I should add, redpepper, that we both discussed this - she was intrigued by the idea of going off the reservation herself. In a weird way, I guess we were both lamenting the fact that neither of us have had any other sexual partners. Upon thinking about her having another partner, of course my very initial reaction was a brief twinge of jealousy, but immediately erased by a feeling of excitement - for instance, I know my wife has a "thing" for black guys, and it made me excited to think of her getting to hook up with a guy she liked. I'd just be really eager to find out if she liked it, and how much (and if she learned any tips for me, we're both always adding to the repertoire.) She said, "would it make you jealous?" And we both just shrugged, and realized that no, it wasn't really bothering either of us.
I think the right thing to do is to let my wife make the calls. I like the idea of hanging out together and just being close. The attraction is there, yea, and I guess I can't admit that I don't care for my friend on some emotional level, being as close as we are. I don't know if I mentioned it, but it may not be clear that my wife and her are friends as well, but just not as close of friends as me and her (we grew up together, I met my wife a little later.)