Sunday, April 11, 2010

Being Open

Since I am still in weekend mode I am going to make this entry a bit more informal, diary. Although the SF weather was a bit too stormy for my taste, today was a very good day: slept in late after a late night, woke up in a snuggley-warm bed next to the love of my life, went to a cafe and ate hummus, and had some wonderful/deep/much needed conversation with the boy on our status in the poly/open/kink world. While we have both have had some titilating experiences and have remained loyal to the other's wishes and feelings, the change from an eight-year monogamous relationship to a whirlwind non-monogamous relationship is not without its problems. Today I intend to briefly outline two of them.

Our main source of conflict stems from an imbalance of encounters and experiences outside of our relationship. Being a young woman in the SF Bay non-monogamous community, I have had a much easier time finding independent partners, thus unfortunately (or fortunately?), my sexual experiences have been under scrutiny and are the basis for testing our weaknesses and strengths in our coping mechanisms, intentions, and communication. Emotionally things have been mixed: feelings of euphoria, arousal, enlightenment, flirtation, understanding, intrigue, and creativity are mixed with guilt, frustration, confusion, longing, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy, though they have come to both of us at different times and under a variety of circumstances. Though we both have and do experience this strange and new mix of emotions we both agree that this is a world still worth exploring and believing in.

The second source of question is in what to label ourselves: poly or swinger. While we have attended poly events in SF and groups online neither of us find the title appropriate because our desire to keep the two of us as the solid foundation of our relationship and keep many of the mainstream monogamous behaviors strictly shared between ourselves. At the same time 'swinger' feels inaccurate because of our desire to build some level of platonic relationship and recurrence with the same partners, even though we do attend play parties and swinger events as well. Finding ourselves in a gray area it has been a task pinpointing the direction we would like to go in as a couple and, essentially, marketing ourselves to others.

While nothing was resolved in our conversation today, though that was never really the goal, we both have found a deeper understanding and appreciation for the other and of the community with which we hope to delve deeper into. While neither a single person nor source is able to map out this muddy path, we are managing to find our own with the help of new friends, new partners, new experiences, and texts. Will we leave the relationship open permenantly? Will we have periods of relative monogamy and non-monogamy? Will the prospect of marriage and children change how we feel about being open? What will happen if the relationship continues to be imbalanced? Answers to these will just have to appear with time.


  1. I'm glad to see that you guys talk about it, make sure to keep clear open communication. That and setting expectations and boundaries is what has made it work for us. We stated off doing things together, mostly with couples and threesomes. Sometimes just going to events together, watching and being watched as we play with each other. That helped ease the transition to when we started doing things on our own. There were moments of jealousy and insecurity, but that is no longer really an issue for us, but it took a couple years. And I know how hard it can be for a guy to get some attention. Though when he does find someone it has a better chance of being longer lasting (if the guy wants it too). Because a lot of the guys out there are in it just for the sex and not the friendship. I tried doing it that way but I found that it does not work for me, I prefer the "Friends with benefits" approach. Hanging out with some as a friend having dinner, going to events, flirting the whole time, then having lovely sex afterwards without that awkward, "we're done now what" problem. Are you guys doing open were everything is allowed, or everything except intercourse? Some couples find the second one easier to start. Hope you found some of this useful.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience and offering your advice. Yes, at this point we are allowing everything, though of course there are some mutual courtesies that we have agreed on(ie at events not leaving the other to play unless they have a partner or taking part somehow etc.) I agree, complete anonymity and casualness does tend to harbor too many question marks in my opinion and I prefer the "friends with benefits" relationship much better.

  3. Sounds like you guys have things pretty well under control, especially at this early stage. Once he finds his friend with benefits (which he will), you'll be in good shape. Do you guys go to the events at MC?

  4. Yes, we have actually been volunteering at Club Kiss.