Saturday, June 17, 2006

Open Sexual Relationships

I know a few couples in open sexual relationships. Granted most of them are gay men but it’s certainly becoming more common place for straight couples as well. There are even counselors that deal specifically with couples seeking to have successful open relationships. The pixnaps Blog offers a great perspective on open relationships which is worth a read.

The reason the this topic is top of mind for me is a close girlfriend of mine and her boyfriend are considering trialling an open up their relationship to see where it goes.

About 10 years ago I found myself in an open (sexual) relationship. I was young, cocky, stupid and thought I knew it all. It was fun for a while but I have to say that it was ultimately a really destructive situation for me and my lover at the time. We are still great friends so that’s a great outcome but this isn’t always the outcome so be warned. At the end of the day it became clear that we were both looking for something that was missing in each other, basically we were both in a waiting lounge looking for our next relationship to find us.

The amazing thing about open relationships are the ‘rules of engagement’ couples come up with in order to make open relationships work, such as;

- Warts & all - Both parties must tell all about any sexually activity outside the relationship. Both must be completely honest and tell all details e.g. where, when with whom, what was done...
- Don’t ask don’t tell – Neither party has a reveal any detail about a sexual encounter
- Quota System – Limits are placed on the number of sexual encounters that can happen each week/month
- Don’t fall policy – Limits placed on the number of sexual encounters that are allowed with the same person. This can also include a rule where phone number/email address can’t be exchanged
- Limited fluids – No kissing

There are a bunch more which I’m missing so help me out if you know anymore.

I’m sure open relationships can work really well for some couples and I’d love to hear some success stories and even disaster stories as well.


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