Open or closed?

Open or closed?


While on a date I learnt that the art of being in a couple doesn’t mean you have to close all the doors -¦ sometimes it is healthy to keep some open.

His eyes were blue and his hair was brown. He had the physique of a gymnast and the brain of a doctor. On our drinks date I thought, Could this be the mysterious mister right I’ve been searching for?

Halfway through my third drink I found out he wasn’t. Someone else had beaten me to the punch three years earlier. And just like him saying he’d bought a new pair of shoes, he told me he was in an open relationship -“ not to mention explaining it to me with hand actions.

Clearly I am not the first person he has had to explain this too over drinks.

So I’d clearly missed out on having a future with him before we’d even started. There’s be no selecting china patterns this time around. But I did get to find out a bit about open relationships -“ well this one in particular -“ and how they work.

An open relationship, or honest cheating as I have heard some of my friends refer to it, is where one or both people in a relationship want to explore sexual encounters outside that relationship -“ but without compromising the strength of the relationship they have. Sound complicated?

Like any relationship, boundaries need negotiating -“ and this is where it gets tricky. What couples decided is good for them is as diverse as the community itself. For some kissing is a no-no, for others it must be anonymous. Then there’s the couples who apply the don’t ask, don’t tell rule -“ to name but a few of the options out there.

The question asked my date was why, and the answer added an interesting option to my sexual education. Honesty, it seems, is vital (as is trust I would imagine). the premise is it is better to be honest about the cheating than setting out to purposely deceive your other half.

I was told it is unrealistic to expect to get all your sexual needs met by one person. that while relationships are for tow people, sex with people outside that relationship takes some of the pressure out and that means a longer, happy, healthy relationship.

At least that is what I was told. But can you really leave your emotions at the door when you engaged is a passionate exchange with someone other than the person you call your other half?

I guess it depends on your circumstances. Whether an open relationship is a good or bad thing is relative. Obviously it is not for everyone, but there are people in both the gay and straight community where this kind of relationship fluidity clearly works.

If you are thinking of asking your other half about the possibilities of opening your relationship up to others, make sure you talk it through first. Think about the issues that will arise and discuss them at length in a calm and collected way.

Think about other options that may work better and take some of the risk out of the decision you make. Some new moves in the bedroom or even a holiday can add a bit more curry to your bedroom laksa.

Generally the open relationship discussion comes about because one or both of you wants something more. You want to keep the cake, and screw the baker.

So think carefully before you open the door, and discuss it thoroughly and calmly with your other half. And make sure you check in with each other along the way to see if it is working for both of you.

Of course there is one other downside -“ now when I go out on a date as well as all the obligatory getting to know you questions, I have to ask the person if they are single. As if dating weren’t complicated enough already.

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4 responses to “Open or closed?”

  1. the thing about the “honest cheating” of open relationships is that its based on the old premise of taking advantage. Like this, find a lonely chump (they’re everywhere) lead them on, get in a shag or two then dump them on their butt. Preferably on date three when theirs hopes are highest and they’re not expecting it. Its so Sydney and such fun!! Then skip home to the comfort of BF and giggle about “the losers”.
    of course then there is unsafe “honest cheating” which gives adorable BF HIV. Ooops. who’d have thought ?

  2. I suppose its ok to be in an open relationship,as long as you tell the person (who,s going to be making a guest appearance) first.
    That outsider person should have the right to know who they are going to sleep with and whats their sexual en-counter history.
    I couldn’t care if its fashionable or the latest craze in Oxford Street to bed-hop, I’d like to know first this persons sexual history and lastly when its “Out” i cant wait to that new sexual test comes out,the saliva “20 Minute” test.
    Will be fantastic,carry the kit in your pocket,and hey presto “Buddy, you wanna park your shoes under my bed,do the test first” Won’t the mind games be great,Imagine the excuses from guys trying to wriggle their way out of it,”Oh I don’t have anything,trully” Then you,ve can’t nothing to worry about,then do the test anyway for my re-assurance
    Then you can decide to sleep with an absolute stranger and “Decide first” not just diving in,then probably feeling sick later, to a person in open relationship, a bi-man or a gay one.
    Just cant wait!!

  3. funny to mention this because it happened to me recently…i went out for dinner with a couple of my friends and i was to be introduced to someone. upon meeting the guy, the attraction wasn’t there but as the night went on; i started to like him. no personal questions or whatsoever because we are seriously having fun as a group. anyways, to make it short; went home with him(assuming he was single), didn’t notice the photo until the next morning. apparently, they were in an open relationship(been together 6yrs, but not having sex for three ergo open relationship). he was a really a nice guy and i thought to myself that i could really fall for him if he was single. what a shame and what a shame to myself as well. moral of the story- learn the person well before anythin’ else…