On the hit HBO show Silicon Valley, lead character Richard Hendricks is a diffident software nerd whose classic lines include: “I always knew I was missing something, and then when someone explained the concept of ‘game’ I remember very distinctly thinking ‘That’s what I don’t have.’”
So it may come as a surprise to fans of the show to learn that Thomas Middleditch, the actor who plays the socially challenged coding genius, is a bed-hopping swinger with a penchant for group sex and sleeping with his fans.
And, what’s more, his stunningly beautiful costume-designer wife Mollie Gates is OK with it.
Well, according to him.
Middleditch made his surprisingly public declaration that he and his wife were swingers (although he hiply notes that “the term ‘swinging’ is old” and it’s called “being part of the lifestyle”) in an interview in the new issue of Playboy, which, so far, has received most attention for its photographic representations of Kylie Jenner’s butt.
The actor, 37, who was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, married his wife four years ago after three years of dating, but, he told the magazine, shortly after the wedding bells had ceased ringing he decided that the one-woman plan to which he had signed up wasn’t going to cut it, telling her: “Mollie, I’m sorry, but we have to get non-traditional here.”
Middleditch adds, “Instead of saying ‘Fuck you, I’m out,’ she was like, ‘Let’s figure this out.’”
I mean, talk about meeting a guy halfway.
Middleditch tells Playboy: “To be honest, swinging has saved our marriage. We have different speeds, and we argue over it constantly, but it’s better than feeling unheard and alone and that you have to scurry in the shadows.”
Pausing for breath, Middleditch told Playboy, “I don’t know how much I can say, because I don’t want my wife to be mad at me.”
Of course most people might assume their wives would get pretty mad if they revealed they were having sex with other people, period, but the moment of reflection passed, and Middleditch proceeded to reveal an awful lot more about how exactly their sex life works.
“For anything sexual, whether in terms of the sex act or identity or kink, you want to know where the walls of the box are. Mollie and I have created our own rules and compared to most of the people we’ve met who do this kind of shit, our rules are strict. We’re not off on our own, we’re together, a unit. It’s a perpetual state of management and communication, to the point where it’s like, ‘All right, we’ve got to stop. Chill.’ I’m gas, and she’s brakes. This is actually the premise for a comedy series we’re writing together.”
One wonders whether one particularly amusing scene in the new series will involve the wife clobbering the too-eager husband over the head with a famous pornographic magazine to which he has given an intensely revealing interview.
“I love my wife like I’ve never loved anyone before,” Middleditch explains. “With two people who feel that way about each other, how do you go down that road? It’s tough. Bring a therapist along for the ride.”
Hang on, are they sleeping with their therapist as well?
While the rest of us might get into domestic arguments about whose turn it is to do the dishes, or what to watch on TV, the Middleditches have equally profound disagreements, although in their case it’s more likely to be about whether to invite his fans into the bedroom or not. “That’s one of the trickier elements of it all, because Mollie doesn’t get that and yet she has to witness it. I’m like, ‘Come on, what about this chick who’s obviously really into me?’ And Mollie will say, ‘Yeah, she’s into you. Where do I fit in?’ That question comes up. There’s a lot of negotiation, fame sometimes makes it easier and sometimes complicates things.”
Presumably he means that the main thing fame makes easier is sourcing hot female fans ready to hop into bed with him and his wife.
One thing he does not like is social media-sourced hookups: “Instagram fucks up marriages. If your partner brings this very forward person from Instagram to you, you’ll be like, “Do you guys have a thing?” Whereas if your partner bumps into someone and they start a conversation, it all happens in front of you. It’s a game of inches on a minefield to try to predict who’s going to feel safe.”
And for everyone who thinks Middleditch is a selfish asshole exploiting his fame and his wife for his own sexual satisfaction, Middleditch is insistent that is absolutely not the case: “Anything that happens has to be run by the queen,” he says, adding, “My first concern is Mollie.”
OK, buddy. Whatever you say.