My relationship towards sex has evolved over the years, and I fully expect it to change in years to come! With every positive sexual interaction I’ve had, I’ve realized more and more that sex (for me) is about connection in all forms, and someone’s personal reason for seeking connection is not for anyone else to judge.
Sex can meet your need for love and caring and affection, but it can also be utilized to process grief and anger, to fight loneliness, or to discover, accept, and even love parts of yourself that you can’t indulge in anywhere else. It can be furious, healing, ridiculous, relaxing, whatever is true and authentic for you and your partner(s) in the moment, it’s all valid.
At this point in my life, having sex is most often a celebration of how deeply I can enjoy myself and others, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to do so!
Why Non-Monogamy Appeals To Me
Most importantly, consensual non-monogamy allows for the flexibility to ask for what you want and need from your partner(s), and for your boundaries to adjust with you as you all change and grow. I’ve never been a person who makes choices based on what is most widely accepted, but rather based off of what I want, and what aligns with my own internal moral compass; so the option to curate relationships in a way that feels right to me is essential!
Open relationships also require you to have confidence in your own inherent value, to be in tune with your emotions, and to keep your communication with your partner(s) open and honest. These skills are incredibly important to me in any relationship, and dating in a non-monogamous way has helped me develop them for myself as well.
I also choose consensual non-monogamy as a feminist statement. When I am not sexually bound to only one person, it is undeniably clear that I belong to no one. I am a fiercely independent person, and the only person that I want to have ownership over my sexuality is me.
And yes, open relationships are a lot more work, but they are also a hell of a lot more fun! As someone whose hedonistic side roars quite strongly, it’s essential to me that I be allowed the freedom to follow my impulses when I think it’s safe and appropriate to do so. It’s also fun to reconnect with your partner(s) after a sexy escapade with someone else… sharing some special details can keep the spark in a primary relationship burning brightly, and at the very least it’s almost guaranteed to make you feel grateful to be able to come home to someone who knows and loves you after an exhausting night out.
Is There A Stigma About Open Relationships?
Absolutely, there are a ton of biases and misconceptions that people have. Some of the more common negative misunderstandings are:
– People in open relationships are afraid of commitment
– Real, trusting, romantic relationships can’t exist without monogamy
– People in open relationships are wildly promiscuous/hypersexual
– Open relationships require no boundaries
– Non-monogamy is inherently immoral or dangerous
– Having an open relationship increases the likelihood that your partner will leave you
There are also plenty of people who are open to consensual non-monogamy, but perhaps have misplaced expectations about what that will look like, including:
– Having an open relationship will fix all issues with my current partner
– Engaging in non-monogamous dating means that I don’t need to have accountability to my partner(s)
– I will now always be in competition with other people for my partner’s attention
Rules In Open Relationships
The best part about being in an open relationship is that the rules are what you make them! No two non-monogamous relationships are exactly alike, because there is no reinforced, socially accepted structure that everyone is expected to follow. What I usually require is that everyone involved communicates honestly about their needs, comfort levels, and personal boundaries… but I think that would be beneficial in any relationship, monogamous or not.
Trust in a relationship is built by not only honoring the boundaries that all parties have agreed to, but also being upfront and speaking your mind (in a caring and respectful way) if you’d like those boundaries to change BEFORE acting on any desires.
Tips For Couples To Explore Open Relationships
In my personal experience, there must be a base of mutual trust, care, communication, and respect in your relationship before you start including other people in it. If you and your partner are comfortable being vulnerable with each other, asking each other for reassurance, and validating each other’s experiences and emotions, you have a lot of the tools you’ll need to navigate consensual non-monogamy!
It’s also important to know that, especially at first, choosing to try an open relationship will most likely feel uncomfortable. This does NOT mean that non-monogamy is not for you! Changing up the familiar and stepping outside of your comfort zone is always going to feel weird, probably even painful. It’s up to you to decide how much discomfort you want to try and work through.
It’s helpful to be extra caring, attentive, and affectionate with your partner during moments of discomfort, and it’s ok to ask for that care in return! Knowing that you and your partner have each other’s best interests at heart, and that you both value the bond you’ve created together, will ease the transitions in your dynamic.
I would also recommend that if you’re considering opening up your relationship, you not only think about what it will feel like for you to connect with other people, but what it will feel like when your partner does the same. It’s easy to get swept up in the (admittedly hot) fantasies about all the adventures you’re going to have, and forget that you may feel very differently about it when your partner wants to have those same adventures. Don’t create boundaries based only off of your own desires, but also off of how much freedom you feel you can offer your partner without resentment.
Victoria Lindelle – Victoria is a warm, playful, and elegant provider offering otherworldly companionship in Los Angeles. A life-long lover of sensuality and affection, she strives to always cultivate authentic connections, and to enjoy the best cheese and chocolates life has to offer.
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Article photos from Victoria Lindelle
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