Is It Ok to Open Up Your Relationship to Other People?
I never knew that having an open relationship was an option for me until my ex suggested it 5 years ago.
Growing up in the conservative state of Missouri, I was never exposed to the "swinger lifestyle" community and didn't know anything about it.
The one image that did come to mind for me with swingers were the key parties from the 1970s where everyone would throw their keys into a bowl and the ones that you picked out was the person you were going to have sex with that night.
Little did I know that there is so much more to swinging and open relationships than that concept.
I haven't been very public about my experiences in this area yet. I still hold onto a lot of shame especially growing up as a Lutheran where something like this wouldn't be easily accepted.
But I know it's something that I want to be more vocal about this year. I believe that everyone deserves to be educated on the various types of relationships that can exist and not everyone should be forced to choose a monogamous married relationship.
One cookie cutter model can't fit everyone at the end of the day.
Knowledge is power hence why I want to start speaking up more about the sex positive community.
When I was in an open marriage and we went to sex clubs on the occasional weekend, we met the most amazing and kindest married couples.
The people that it attracted were very open minded in all areas of life and some of the least judgy humans I have ever met.
I was also surprised to see high power career oriented people at these clubs. I met dentists, anesthesiologists, lawyers, actors, doctors, CEOs, bankers, therapists, millionaires and all kinds of successful people that hung out there.
I thought it was going to be all about the sex but it actually wasn't. It became a tight-knit respectful supportive community for my husband and I at that time.
Recently there was a person in my life who asked if I would ever choose another open relationship again. When I said yes, she frowned and stated that she wished I wouldn't associate with "those" kind of people. Her reasoning was that, "they all have problems in their marriage and that's the only reason why they are in an open relationship in the first place."
This couldn't be further from the truth.
Choosing an open relationship I think is one of the most loving actions you can do for your partner.
To me it says, "I know that I might not meet all your needs physically or emotionally and I'm open to including other people in this relationship who can be there for you when I can't." ~ That's the greatest sign of love and trust at the end of the day for me.
Actually I'm in an open relationship right now and it's going really well. I love the honest communication that it requires to host this kind of partnership.
When I was living in Seattle it felt ok to talk about this topic due to the open-minded community, but going back to the midwest makes me nervous. Will I face judgement and criticism there? Perhaps. I don't think we can ever completely escape judgement. But that's ok because I've seen the benefits of having an open relationship for myself and feel grateful that it was introduced to me as an option no matter what anyone else may criticize it for.
It didn't work out for me and my ex but we were having problems long before we decided to start swinging. That's why I'm excited to try this all over again by building upon from what I learned in the past and using my emotional intelligence that I have gained since then.
I will also be writing about this topic in my book that will be released in the next year and diving into the full story.
So I guess my takeaway here is we shouldn't judge something that we don't know that much about. Let's stay curious and ask more questions even if it's not something we would choose for ourselves.
Having an open relationship is a really great option for some people but nobody is telling us out there it's ok to even have this as an option.
It's not for everyone. But people should at least feel like they get a choice in how they want to design their lives. We shouldn't all be expected to want and need the same things.
Ever since I became more public about having a history of swinging, I've had tons of people who have reached out to me telling me about their own adventures in the lifestyle. This tells me that there are a lot of people out there who are experimenting but aren't talking about it because it's such a taboo area.
If you're reading this and have been curious about experimenting with open relationships for yourself than reach out to me. I'd love to hear your thoughts! It's such an exciting topic and is so much more than just about having a passionate bedroom life with other couples at the end of the day...
As a woman, you have my permission to play and enjoy your sex life. There is nothing more powerful than a woman who enjoys having sex and knowing how she likes it!