An open relationship is really defined by the people who are in it. In general terms, it means that although a couple may be together, they are allowed to have sex with other people. It’s basically a non-monogamous relationship.
Some couples say sex with other people is allowed, but only if no emotions are involved, whereas others accept that their partner dates and loves others. It really depends on the couple. It isn’t really the same as polyamory, which is more part of a persons identity and way of life than just an open relationship.
A lot of people don’t understand why anyone would share their partner, but there are a few reasons why this suits particular couples, such as:
- Imagining your partner with someone else turns you on (I am one of these people, but my partner won’t have a bar of it, even though he would be the one benefiting lol!)
- One of you has a higher sex drive than the other
- One or both of you wants to explore your sexuality with a different gender
- You and your partner just have a lotta love to give!
To have this kind of relationship there needs to be absolute trust. Insecurity has to basically fly out the window. There’s no way in hell you can be anything but sure about this if you’re gonna dive in.
If you’re not sure how you’re going to feel about it, just go in knowing that there is a risk it can do irreparable damage to your relationship or that your partner may fall for someone else – or it can make it better.
In my experience with open couples, usually they don’t fall in love with anyone else. The relationship is so secure and that’s why they can do this with little collateral damage. You just need to have rules in place that you both agree on, and obviously stick to those rules.
Helping your partner explore sexually can really bring you together. If you feel like you might be considering it, here are a few things to ask yourself:
- Why are you in a monogamous relationship? What does it mean to you and why?
- What do you expect to gain from an open relationship?
- Are you sure your partner is as excited at the prospect as you are, or do they just not want to lose you?
It’s always good to consider emotional and physical boundaries around any relationship, and its even more important in an open relationship. This includes safe sex, quality time together and disclosure to new partners.
Lastly, shame has no place here in Bethany blog land. If you want four penises, then have four penises. Throw a vagina or two into the mix if you like – you do you, Boo.
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