How to absolutely and completely #win at open relationships Pt III: Looking at it in practice
By That Other Dyke / @ThatOtherDyke
So in How to absolutely and completely #win at open relationships Pt I: In the Beginning there was Me, Myself and I, I gave you the background in Pt II: Getting it right (enough) now in Pt III I give you the reality of it.
It has really hard moments.
There’s the fear, that you can lose your lover on a trip to the ‘other’ side.
That a casual sex arrangement doesn’t turn out casual-that she falls in love (love page) with another lover and leaves you.
I worry about this, and for many reasons. For the woman that my lover is, and how she draws people to her.
But also for the many amazing women there are out there.
Some of them double jointed and can do double jointed shit in bed.
But it’s always more than that, it’s always more than the just sex. My lover said to me once, that ‘lovers are chosen’. And there is something about that. Something about a person you love, allowing themselves to be with other people, but still choose you at the end of their day to hold and love, somewhat differently.
That is beautiful.
True, the fear of losing your lover to someone else is real-but let’s face it, it can happen anyway, whether or not in an open relationship. People leave all the time-for reasons we can name until all the stars burn out of the sky.
Then there’s the different dynamics that can play out.
You are in an open relationship. But maybe because you live in a country where queers are hunted for sport, or maybe because you are not attracted to other people around you, you are not sleeping with anyone but your lover.
But your lover has other lovers.
And it feels skewed-because the point is to allow ourselves the freedom to fuck around.
But like you can break your hand beating a donkey that has decided not to move, you can’t force desire, you cannot measure out lust and drink it like shots.
I know I can’t.
And often my lover is the only person that I want, even when I’m not the only person she desires.
It is not a competition.
Open moments in relationships are not vouchers that have to be spent or else they expire and you, ‘miss your chance’, so to speak.
Trust me, it’s a journey to get to this point, to this realization.
And maybe it is because I have come from a history filled with monogamous relationships that didn’t work out, despite total and complete sexual fidelity, that I want to be in an open relationship.
Sometimes, I feel that sexual fidelity is given more importance than it should.
We possibly attach our own sense of worth to our partner’s sexuality and sexual expression.
This happens to the point that we feel like when or if our partner has multiple sex buddies, they are ‘giving away’ something, or an experience that you want for yourself.
Here is really where your interrogation should begin.
Why value ourselves in relation to the sexual lives that the people we love lead?
Other important elements to your relationship are: trust, gentleness and love.
Maybe for you it’s also sexual fidelity, and that too is okay.
Sometimes open relationships happen in phases. There might be a request from a partner to close the relationship and have a monogamous one for a while, and then open it up from time to time.
That too is cool, as I said in the previous post it needs a conversation and consensus, but personally, I just like options.
I like knowing that things can change-and that I can have a say in the changes and that they won’t fall on me like tropical coconuts. No. There is room for monogamy in open relationships. But there is also room for polyamory. So always keep an open mind and heart as things shift-because, they will.
So, like I said-there are no rules I can prescribe that will guarantee everlasting love and happiness in an open relationship.
There are so many reasons to try or to investigate different ways to love and be loved, different ways to lust and be lusted after. And the truth is that we do not know how we can love and be loved until we try.
There has to be a willingness and an openness in this ‘trying’, and there always has to be honesty, first with yourself and with your person/people. So far so good I’d say. I have learnt a lot about myself from being in an open relationship and being open to sharing a lover.
I have learned that I can be jealous-and in ways that I have never been able to express. Like punch the wall and delete your Facebook account jealous [for the record I didn’t do this, but such thoughts did cross my mind though].
But I also learned how to sit in this jealousy and interrogate and investigate where it comes from.
How much of it was me and how much was feeling inadequate in the presence of another lover?
I learned to stop making everything about me (and the thought that I cause my partner to behave a certain way) whilst also self-blaming.
I also learned that I deeply appreciate the honesty that an open relationship can come with.
I say can because it depends on the people, you have to want to tell each other truths that can sometimes be painful about other desires.
You then talk through the truths and find a middle ground or a crack for compromise. I realise that it takes courage to tell someone you care deeply about that you desire someone else, that there was/is something about another person that drew them in and they acted on their desire.
I appreciate this because I want to be able to tell my person that I am attracted to other people and that she would still wish to be with me. I like that, in my situation-there’s a conscious choosing of lovers.
It can be a deliberate allowing of desires, which can make the bond in the primary relationship stronger.
I also like knowing that should my partner develop a taste for all things kinky and BDSM, that she can go and get that kind of sexual fulfillment (which I will most likely fail miserably at) from another lover.
Less pressure on me.
But I still get my Sunday morning brunch and my night cuddles, occasional ‘I love yous’ and birthday cake.
There are different ways to try and be happy-and this is one.
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