Open Relationships: Part 2
In Part One of this blog we looked at the typical path which many guys follow when falling in love. You meet someone, you’re overcome with emotion, the emotions settle down, you decide to stay together and, with a bit of luck, you arrive at true love. Some remain happy and satisfied in a closed relationship, while others start to develop a need for something outside of the traditional love story. For those looking to divert from the typical course of love, there are many options. Some may decide to take on a third boyfriend, some may look into having the occasional threesome, and others may open their relationship up. We’ve decided to focus on the third option: opening your relationship up.
The majority of open relationships evolve into an open situation with time and discussion. One or both of the men in the relationship will have to bring the subject up. Tough questions will have to be addressed. Are we open now? How open are we? The rules will be different for each couple because every open relationship is unique. Here are three examples of how couples can open things up.
Open on Vacation
Many couples find it hard to let go of monogamy completely. The reasons vary from wanting to maintain that private intimacy feeling of ‘just the two of us’, to fear of being judged by the people closest to them. There is also the concern that being open in their own city runs the risk of falling in love with someone else. A popular solution, or first step, is to only be open when you go on holidays. At home, you‘re happily married men like always, but in Gran Canaria, you might like to bring the occasional new lover back to our hotel room for a fun and frisky threeway. The boundaries are clear; closed at home and open on vacation. Simplicity makes it easier to play by the rules and ensures feelings are spared.
The relationship remains closed most of the time. No one else really knows they’ve opened things up a little. When the couple both like the same guy, they can discuss inviting him over for a romantic and intimate evening. When lucky number three has been selected the big step is to decide who will do the asking? What if he says no? It’s like being single again except if he says no, he’s rejecting two guys. You can comfort each other, making it a little easier to survive. If he says yes, the feeling of excitement and that giddy, OMG, OMG, flutter of a first date can be exciting. When the guy arrives, there could be a few awkward moments of who kisses who first, when do we undress and what can we actually do, or not do, together.
Many single guys really enjoy being number three and seek out couples. As the invited guest, you are the star of the show, both guys have already had a lot of sex with each other and you’re a new experience for them. It’s like being worshiped by two men and it can be a total ego boost.
Seeing your boyfriend kiss someone else, with permission, can at first be weird but eventually can end up being hot. As it evolves from kissing to full on sex, it can elevate the love and relationship onto a whole new level of intimacy and trust. This is when opening things up is working. If the experiment leads to fighting and jealousy, you may need to go back a step for now and talk about what you really want. You also may need to consider closing the relationship up again. The love between you and your partner is the most important thing. If opening up doesn’t lead to greater love and intimacy then just be honest about it. Closing the relationship again might be the best thing for you.
Open with very clear boundaries
You were closed and now you’re open and it’s not a secret. You don’t restrict it to only once a month or only in a three-person situation. Then what can you do? Well, this is for every couple to decide and they will set their own limits and boundaries. The great thing about having the ‘open discussion’ is that you alleviate a lot of guilt and shame about secretly desiring other guys. Once you both admit you’re attracted to others but still love each other, the honesty can revive and replenish the love in the relationship. Desiring others is natural; it’s how you respect each other and your boundaries that counts.
Communication is key. Be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Discuss every angle. What about ex-boyfriends? How often can you see the same guy? Only once? Three times maximum? Do you play together or separate? Is the bedroom off limits? We only screw around with others in the living room? Safety should also be discussed, how you both can protect each other and still have a lot of fun. Also, who do you tell? Do you want to know what your boyfriend is doing without you? Is this open relationship public news you can tweet about, and share on Facebook? Is it OK to tell family members? Or is this a secret between you and the lovers you invite into your home? Can we revisit the rules again in a year?
These arrangements may seem wild and unstructured, but for many couples following this path the freedom and openness can actually strengthen the bond between the couple. Ironically, following their own unusual way can make them all the more likely to live happily ever after. The gay fairytale is writing itself. While Rapunzel was waiting for one prince to come and rescue her, the gay version might be different. Rapunzo can wait for one prince to save him so they can both go and look for other princes together.
There are lots of different open arrangements. It would be impossible to list them all here so we focused on three common situations. Are you in an open relationship yourself? Would you like to share your story? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to speak to you and share your love story here on our blog.