One of the most frequent questions I get as a guest contributor is, “What are your thoughts on open relationships?” I’ve tried to answer that question in the past but because I’ve never been in an open relationship I didn’t think I was the best person to take on this question in any depth. Now I figure I should talk to those that have had or are currently experiencing this type of relationship and ask them to educate me.
I called on my former college roommate, Kyle and asked if I could meet with him and his partner. Kyle and Scott have been in an open relationship for several years and, in my opinion, they are much more qualified to take on the subject of open relationships.
Several years ago Kyle and Scott were introduced to each other by mutual friends. Kyle experienced a conservative childhood in Utah while Scott was raised in a more liberal San Francisco household. Kyle grew up playing sports, especially football while Kyle remembers protesting George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign with his mother.
So while they were opposite personalities from opposite backgrounds, like so many opposites, they were attracted to one another, falling in love soon after meeting. And like all new relationships, theirs was extremely passionate. While they didn’t move in with each other right away they spent most of their free time together.
As the relationship matured Kyle and Scott said that their sex life began to suffer. They tried spicing it up but somehow the fantasies never lived up to the reality. While they claimed to love each other more as their relationship continued, they agreed that their sex life was plain and boring.
“Kyle was the first one to bring up the idea of an open relationship,” Scott said. At first, Scott was surprised that the man he was in love with suggested that they have sex outside of their three-year relationship. “But the more I thought about it the more I thought it might be a good idea,” he confessed.
The couple took out a notebook and began developing rules around how their open relationship would function. They included conditions, such as “no sex with others in our home” and “condoms even for oral sex.” An attorney, Kyle even went as far as typing up an agreement for the two men to sign.
The couple signed that agreement more than a year ago and still live by its mandates. They both agree that their commitment together continues to grow, insisting that they are even closer because of the trust that has developed from their open relationship. They shared that they plan to continue with their open relationship for the foreseeable future.
I also asked my straight and lesbian friends but wasn’t able to find any straight or female couples that admitted to being in an open relationship. I will continue to inquire around and hope to discuss those scenarios in a future column.
In the meantime, for me at least, I do not think I am open, ready or willing for any type of open relationship.
By Ryan O’Conner, Guest Columnist
Ryan O’Conner is just a regular guy who is dating in this great big world. His advice comes from personal experience and his advice is for entertainment purposes only. We recommend you consult a physician, counselor or therapist in your area for specific advice about your personal situation. Otherwise, questions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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