I recently wrote an article that addressed the annoying questions people ask me about my open relationship, because I’m a f*cking hero, but turns out y’all have even more questions. A lot of people in the comments wanted to know how the logistics of how my open relationship works, others wanted to explain to me, a person they have never met, how my love life is a sham. Love all of my fans equally.
ANYWAY, I’m going to address some of the logistics here, but they aren’t going to be concrete. Sorry, bitch. But here’s the thing: open relationships are amazing because they are open, not just to sexual partners but to different options, variations, and changes. Everyone makes the rules for their own open relationship, and those rules are subject to change if you feel like it. Much like sexuality, open relationships are fluid. And having a healthy one is all about finding what works for you. And sometimes that means testing things out, trial and error style, and learning along the way. It’s about being, and I can’t stress this enough, open to new ideas, possibilities, chances and ways of life. Wow, did I just replace Marianne Williamson as Oprah’s spiritual advisor???
The important thing to remember is that open relationships are like any relationship in that they are about loving and respecting each other. Just because you can sleep with other people doesn’t mean morals are thrown out the window; if that were the case, the implication would be that sleeping with other people is immoral and that’s some slut-shaming bullsh*t. So, without further ado, here are some things to consider if you are thinking of starting an open relationship.
1. To Tell Or Not To Tell
It’s good to decide with your partner (or partners) whether or not you’d like to know if/when they hook up with other people. Some people prefer to not know anything. Some simply liked to be informed when it goes down, either before or after. Others like to hear all the hot deets, and may even get off to it. I’ve tried out both not telling and telling, and personally prefer telling. However, it is totally up to you when it comes to your relationship. Just pay attention to what makes you feel comfortable, and try to base your decision off of healthy feelings, not possessive/jealous ones. And you may find, that like me, you start with one rule and have to change it to another. There’s no shame in figuring these things out as you go.
2. Are There Specific Rules You’ll Want?
Brainstorm a list of things that come to mind when considering an open relationship. Will you want to make it so you sleep at separate places on the nights you hook up with other people? Do you want to make a rule so you can’t hook up with mutual friends? Are you allowed to hook up with the same person more than once, or do you want to try to make these one-time hookups only? Discuss everything with your partner and see where you land. You can also have it so a rule only applies to one party, if the other person feels comfortable with that. For example, one person might prefer that you not come over after you’ve hooked up with someone, while the other may not mind that scenario. In that case, you could apply that rule accordingly. Truly, all of these things are up to you; it’s like a custom made salad at Sweetgreen, but instead of parmesan crisps it’s relationship rules.
3. Safe Sex
This is important. Having multiple sexual partners is fun, but you absolutely must be safe for both your and your partners’ sexual health. Practice safe sex with your other partners. It’s obviously up to you what form of birth control you’d like to use with your primary partner. I personally am on birth control, don’t use condoms with my boyfriend, but use condoms with everyone else. Get tested regularly, and if anything comes up, make sure to be open and communicative about it with anyone you have been sexually active (lol sorry for using this term) with.
4. Do You Want To Explore Together?
I’m talking group sex, y’all! This is definitely something you could discover you are into one wild night, but it’s also something worth discussing with your partner. Do you want to share sexual partners sometimes? Do you wanna make it cute and create a Thrinder profile? Wanna hit up that sex rave? Things to consider.
5. Polyamorous Or Open?
People throw around the term “poly” a lot and associate it with an open relationship, but there is a difference. Polyamory is when you date multiple people at once. In an open relationship, you are essentially dating one person, while hooking up with others. I personally do not date other people. Being poly is admirable, as it takes a very open and generous mind to figure out how to be in a romantic relationship with more than one person, while also being at peace with the fact that your romantic partner(s) are emotionally invested in others. It’s a v cool kind of free love, and if it works for you, then congrats on being chill as hell.
Again, the main thing to remember is that this is your chance to make a relationship on your terms. You don’t have to base everything off of my guidelines. Make your own rulebook. As my mom always says to me when hearing that I’m leaving my apartment, “Have fun and be safe!!!”