Thomas Middleditch made a surprising revelation in a new interview with Playboy magazine: The "Silicon Valley" star and his wife of four years are swingers.
"To be honest, swinging has saved our marriage," the actor said in the "20 questions" interview that hit the internet on Sept. 17.
The subject came up when the writer, Ryan Gajewski, asked the "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" actor if he was familiar with the swinging scene, citing a story that Thomas and his wife of four years, costume designer Mollie Gates, and a "Godzilla" writer and their partner had all visited a swingers club together during the film's production.
"I don't know how much I can say, because I don't want my wife to be mad at me," Thomas told Playboy — then proceeded to say quite a bit. "Only after I got married was I like, 'Mollie, I'm sorry, but we have to get nontraditional here. To her credit, instead of saying, 'F— you, I'm out,' she was like, 'Let's figure this out.'"
That's when he declared that the decision to "get nontraditional" is why they're still together. "We have different speeds, and we argue over it constantly," Thomas also admitted. "But it's better than feeling unheard and alone and that you have to scurry in the shadows. By the way, it's now called being 'part of the lifestyle.' The term 'swinging' is old."
The "lifestyle" is not something Thomas had really been interested in or familiar with before he and his wife explored it. "I self-deprecatingly call myself a pervert, but that's not what it is," he explained. "I just like it. I'm sexual. I'd always thought I was a romantic and that when I fall in love, that stuff fades away. It does for some years — enough to be like, 'I should get married, and I'll be different.'"
But that's not what happened. "…it's part of me," Thomas told Playboy. "If that's part of your being and it feels important to you, find a way to explore it, because repression sucks."
He also had advice for other couples who might be thinking about trying out the lifestyle. "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," he advised. "Mollie and I have created our own rules, and compared to most of the people we've met who do this kind of s—, 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."
Thomas said it's "about everybody feeling safe… My first concern is Mollie. Anything that happens has to be run by the queen."
Thomas also shared how he identifies. "Pretty vanilla, probably cis-hetero. Even if I've witnessed situations that may not be for me, I want to witness them anyway. I'm of the mentality 'We're only here once,'" he said, adding that he sees being a part of the swinging lifestyle as "a positive way of connecting with people and experiencing things on a very selfish level."
The "Silicon Valley" star also made a point to declare his love for his wife. "I love my wife like I've never loved anyone before," he said. "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."
He acknowledged that the attention he gets as a celebrity — fans often want to sleep with him — has been tough to navigate. "That's one of the trickier elements of it all, because Mollie doesn't get that and yet she has to witness it," he explained. "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, and adding fame sometimes makes it easier and sometimes complicates things."
Crazily enough, he added, the lifestyle has now bled over to their careers. "This is actually the premise for a comedy series we're writing together," Thomas told Playboy.