Open marriages/relationships. Guys drooling over having a “hot wife.” On the surface, oh, yeah, this sounds like the shit to end all shits and while one tends to hear men talk about this a lot, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a woman in a relationship would want more… intimacy than just being his sex partner can afford.
It’s the thing that always sounds good in theory. A couple can, if they’re not afraid to, sit down and talk about breaking free from monogamy – and usually in that “how can we spice things up” way. At this time, closely held fantasies can be revealed and even a very in-depth analysis of their sex life can take place and, um, that can be pretty brutal and hard to listen to, let alone hard to say to your partner.
I’ve told a lot of people who are of a mind that going this route would, they think and feel, be a fantastic thing that, okay, yeah – having been where they want to be? Absolutely amazing… and of the things that exposed some shit in me that I didn’t like and revealed that I was dumb enough to think that I could handle watching my woman having sex with someone else and like it was no big deal. Even after we spent an untold amount of time talking about a whole lot of stuff – and stuff that, as it turned out, neither of us really wanted to know or hear about – wow… and I can’t begin to tell you how upsetting that was.
The logic of it all makes sense; a couple can, if they’re forward-thinking enough, open-minded enough, grown up enough, and dedicated to each other enough, come to the joint conclusion that doing this will make them – individually and as a couple – better together. The thought of this is – and can be – exhilarating and very damned scary; it’s one thing to know or be aware that other couples have done this… something else when it’s the two of you trying to do this.
“How can me and my lady get into this?” A guy I knew asked me that question and I told him what I had learned about this and what it took for us to get to the moment when, instead of us being out there one-on-one with other people – and that really fucks with your head just to think about what you’re partner is out there doing with someone else and you don’t know what’s going on – making the decision to include others, well, yeah – that just made sense.
I told him how long we talked about this; what we talked about; what we even kinda argued about and especially how very hard it was to have these conversations because you tend to find out that you don’t know each other as well as you think you do or that you’ve both been going right along thinking that everything is A-OK… only to find out that, shit, not so much.
He asked, “Well, can’t we just agree to check this out?” and I said that, sure – you could… but that agreement isn’t going to happen easily. I told him that, obviously, he had his own thoughts about it but what he didn’t know – at that time – was what his lady might think about this. I also told him that I had learned – the hard way – that thinking about this is fairly easy; that knowing your partner is out there screwing other people is one thing and, again, not all that easy to wrap your head around… but seeing it? Being right there while it’s happening?
“I can handle it,” he said.
“I said the same thing,” I said. “Then found out that, for a moment that seemed to last forever – but was only a few seconds – that I couldn’t handle it as well as I thought I could.”
“Did you freak out?” he asked.
“I almost did but I got my shit together and remembered why we were doing this,” I said. “I got over it and everything turned out fine… but the conversation we had after the other couple had left was – let’s say it was very revealing; it exposed some things that we both had kinda glossed over or otherwise didn’t give as much thought to as we should have.”
“But I’ll tell you what your biggest problem is going to be right off the bat,” I said, shaking my head because while the guy was rather intelligent, he had no idea what he was trying to get into.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Bringing it up to your lady,” I said. “I’m thinking that you’re thinking that you know her, that y’all can talk about every- and anything and discussing this isn’t going to be any different but I’m also thinking that the moment you mention this, you’re gonna find out some shit about her that you didn’t know about. Even if you manage to bring it up and keep your head on your neck – and even if you can get her to agree that checking this out would be a good thing for both of you, that doesn’t mean that it’s gonna happen and no matter how much sense the whole thing makes.”
“I don’t see why she wouldn’t want to check it out,” he said.
“You don’t? Hah… you don’t know a whole lot about women, do you? Even if she tells you that she wouldn’t mind having more sex and with someone else, do you really think that means she’s gonna jump on the bandwagon and actually do it? Look… I can tell you and in no uncertain terms that this thing always sounds like a good idea… until you get into what it’s gonna take to do it – and I’m not even talking about getting to the point where the two of you are getting ready to do it!”
“You make it sound impossible,” he said.
“It isn’t impossible,” I said. “But you’d have to be able to explain to her – and in very great detail – why doing this would be a good thing for her to be a part of. A lot of women will profess how much they love sex and how much they love getting laid and they’re not lying about that… but you’re talking about introducing other people into your sex life together – think about that one for a moment.”
“So she’s just gonna say no?” he asked.
“Probably… and maybe not. Either way, you’re gonna find out some shit about her that you didn’t know about her – and that’s if she even bothers to let the conversation continue,” I said. “Do you really think she’s gonna reveal to you all of her secret sexual desires and like y’all are just talking about the weather?”
“Shit… so what should I do?” he asked.
“I can’t tell you that and I wouldn’t try to. If you think she’d be down with this, well, ask her… just don’t be surprised at how she might react to your proposition,” I said. “You know what they say – if you don’t ask, you won’t know… but they also say that you should never ask someone something that you really don’t want to hear the answer to.”
He did, as I found out later, propose being open to her. He said that after some long discussions – and having some painful shit revealed on both side – they agreed to give it a go. They found another couple to get busy with… and he freaked out something fierce and started a fight with the other guy – and while giving his lady a raft of shit for having the nerve to be enjoying the other guy more than she’d “normally” enjoy him.
Yep… that didn’t go or end well at all and it’s a hard object lesson. You really do have to relearn some shit about this and you sure as hell have to learn how to master – or keep in check – your emotions and, as always, I’m talking about the negative ones. He, like a lot of guys, thought he could handle watching someone else fuck his lady silly but, as I had told him, “Thinking it is one thing… but seeing it is a whole very different thing and more so when chances are you’re gonna find something else about her that you didn’t know… and you are most definitely gonna find out some shit about yourself that, before the fact, you didn’t give a lot of thought to because you thought you could handle it.”
I’ve seen so many couples try this… and fail… and catastrophically and fatally so…. and that’s just by being open in the first place, let alone introducing the group sex piece. Just trying to convince your partner that this would be of great benefit to one and all can be one hell of a thing to do and the more they believe in monogamy and marriage vows – and keeping in mind that unmarried couples are held to the same standards as married folks are – the harder it will be to convince them to do something that violates principles… even if they would agree that, yeah – that sounds like it would be fun.
Or, as I said to one couple, “If it was that easy, everyone would be into it…” Yeah, it’s one of those “lame” statements that kinda makes no real sense when you tear it down and look at it closely but it is a statement that says, even in a sort of backhanded way, that if you think this is gonna be easy, well, hmm.
The main issues? Jealousy is at the top of the list, followed by envy and possessiveness tends to arrive and, of course, anger, both with your partner as well as with yourself. Another issue is doing this for the “wrong” reason; to me, this means that if you’re not doing this for the betterment of your relationship and for the powerful love you have for each other, yeah, this might not be a good thing to do. If you’re not as mentally prepared to see your partner behaving in… very different ways, it’s going to make seeing it – and even knowing about it in the one-on-one, solo aspects of being open – you both just might be setting each other up to fail, not only in trying to do this but causing the relationship to suffer what might be a premature death.
Knowing what I went through in this? I’m pretty quick to try to talk couples out of going there. Is it possible a couple can do this and be successful as well as thriving as a couple? Indeed it is! It’s just not all that easy because, like I told that guy, the first roadblock to face is putting this proposal up for your partner to consider. Before you even let the words come out of your mouth, you need to have plans… and those plans need to have plans; you have to be ready to not only talk about the pros but all of the cons that are, most certainly, going to come up…
Provided your partner doesn’t shut the conversation down before you have a chance to explain why you think this would be a good thing to get into. If you think that men would be more… agreeable to this? Guess again and it might help to remember how territorial we can be about “our pussy.”
What does it take? A love so strong that you both just know that nothing can touch it and tear it apart. It takes a level of communication that is severely deep and the type that goes to everyone’s “secret” place, that and being able to tell each other about each other’s positives and shortcomings – and without getting totally pissed off about it. This level of communication takes time to get through so it’s not as if a couple is going to talk about it for a few minutes; it can take much longer than that and I can’t think of a more serious and even personal conversation a couple can have with each other.
And even if you manage to get through this, you still have to arrange to do it which usually means trying to convince another couple that getting naked with the two of you is gonna be fun and in their best interest… and being ready to deal with being rejected time and time again. Even if you manage to get through this part, you still have to bear witness to each other having sex with someone else – a moment of truth that is quite the bitch. Some go for the gusto and leave their inhibitions at the door; sounds like a good thing but the other member of the couple might not think so all that much.
Or, the opposite can happen; someone’s inhibitions slam into place – and they bring some friends and just make someone either freeze up or otherwise not allow them to enjoy things as much as they thought they would. I’ve heard so many guys talk about how excited – and painfully hard – they get to think about himself and his lady being in this moment… only to be in it… and they just cannot perform and to the point where they couldn’t get hard even if their life depended on it.
I’ve seen couples get into this and discover that they didn’t talk or plan things out as much as they thought; I’ve seen them create rules – which are needed – that, sometimes, makes sure that they will never have sex with another couple… or anyone else outside of the relationship. If you go into this with the thought in mind that doing everything you can to protect the relationship – like the real possibility of falling in love with someone outside of the relationship and the specter of loss hovering over everything – well, ya might not want to go there. Some couples go out of their way to control the actions of each other in this; to that end, if you have insecurities, chances are this ain’t gonna go well for either of you.
I say, over and over, that if a couple finds that this is what they need to do with and for each other, they first have to unlearn everything they thought they knew about love, sex, and relationships so they can learn a totally different way to go about this. I’m not joking or making light of things when I say that you really and seriously have to be grown up to get into this and you sure as fuck have to be able to keep whatever negative emotions you have – or wind up having – at bay, in check, and under as much control as you can manage.
And you have to talk. And talk some more. Not just in the planning phase but all throughout the life of this. People change; situations aren’t always so easy to control; and if the two of you aren’t working hard to stay on the same page with each other – and keep closely in touch with each other’s thoughts and feelings – both the good and bad – your success in this might be in jeopardy.
If you talk about this and your list of things you ain’t gonna do and cannot be allowed is longer than the list of things that can be done and is allowed, well, that’s not gonna work, not so much because such things cannot be agree upon but because the one thing I think a lot of couple who fail at this doesn’t take into account is, simply, someone changing their mind about what they want to experience. A lot of couples just fail to leave room for “shit” to happen; they don’t – or I think they don’t – consider how someone is going to react to someone else… and then there’s that whole “taking one for the team” thing that few people I know of care about all that much and the thing that, personally, makes me wonder about some stuff, like, how can you not be excited and raring to go to have sex with someone? Yeah, I know – attraction plays a huge role in this but the thing here is that attractions means different things to different people… and, honestly, it doesn’t work the way everyone thinks it does – or it should.
Do ya still think getting into this is easy? Lord… I hope not. It is complicated and I’m understating it and so much that a lot of couples rarely get out of the talking about it phase because this is a seriously deep rabbit hole that seems to be bottomless and you have to be “beyond” dedicated to each other and the relationship to have even the slightest chance of making this work.
Because if there’s one seriously glaring failure in this, it’s thinking “me” and not “us.” What’s gonna be good for me more than hashing out what is going to be good for the two of us and our journey through life with each other. Another is getting each other to suspend pretty much everything you believe in and while a lot of things can be set aside, belief is one that is never easy to set aside… and if you really and truly do not believe that this is going to be a good thing to do, well, I’ll be blunt and say you’re fucked – and most definitely in the good way that’s being proposed.
Having said all of this, if you can get through all of this, it’s an adventure and the kind that I’ve heard some couples say, “I don’t know why we didn’t do this before now!” It will change your lives, both as individuals and as a couple. There will be ups and downs and it makes the need to communicate even more important and understanding that if this thing gets up and running, it will not run all by itself. You gotta work at it… and in most cases harder than you would just keeping only onto yourselves.
And, I think, just as important, if everything isn’t negotiable or you’ve set up things that doesn’t allow for change… you will fail. If the communication isn’t wide open and honest – even if some of what’s talked about is kinda/sorta fucked up – you will fail. If you don’t learn to master the art of compromise, ditto. If you’re trying to convince your partner that this is what the relationship needs in order to thrive and survive – and you’re not gonna be willing to offer the reluctant partner anything they might want in this, guess what ain’t gonna happen?
Got insecurities? Trust issues? Thoughts of losing your partner makes you wanna throw up? Stuff like that? If you can’t learn together how to get rid of these things, well, I don’t know what to tell you other than don’t even go there.
And, yeah – the green-eyed monster will most certain show up and its only purpose is to take your most grandest plan for the greatest adventure of your lives… and just fuck it up in anyway it can. If you get it into your head that your partner is getting more out of this than you are – or they’re thinking the same thing, yep: That’s a problem and, again, I know I’m understanding the severity of the situation. If, in group settings, you feel like you’re being left out or even ignored, well, ya might want to, first, get that out of your head and, second, just get in there and have all the fun you can; otherwise, guess what’s gonna happen… and I can assure you that it’s not going to be good.
Sounds really good “on paper;” not even easy to make a reality. If you go there, failure in any of this cannot be an option and, believe me – a lot of shit is going to happen that’s gonna want to make you fail.
It can be done. I did it and for a very large portion of my life and I will point out that I was totally and completely against it – but I saw the necessity of it because the only thing worse than knowing what your partner is doing is not knowing what they’re doing. Heard some shit that, even today, makes me cringe just to think about it. None of it was easy but, yeah, if it were that easy, everyone would and could do it. The reality says otherwise and, as always, I remain the guy who has the nerve to say something about this.
I ain’t saying to never go there and especially if everything in your lives is, in fact, pointing in this direction; I’m just saying that getting into this will, most likely, be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, from bringing it up to actually doing it and making it work. It will expose you and your partner and, yes, uncomfortably so to find out some stuff about each other that you didn’t know about and no matter how long you’ve been together. Keeping secrets? Forget that. Not being honest about stuff? Forget that, too. Saying, “We can do this… but I don’t ever wanna hear about it?” Big mistake.
And if the two of you aren’t doing this for the “us” that you are and supposed to be, well, damn…