In this round of #SpillSesh, I reached out to some of my followers who are currently or have been in open relationships. I wanted to get a variety of perspectives on how these relationships work in practice. We often see so much stigma and heated debate about being open – so why not hear it from the people who actually have tried it? Our third and final interview, also anonymous, discusses a current open relationship where the partners have a ten year age difference and live in different countries.
- How long ago was your open relationship, or are you still in it? And how long is or was the relationship in total?
We met four years ago, we became open about one and a half years ago and I am still in the relationship.
- How did you meet the person?
We met on Grindr 4 and one month later we started a monogamous relationship.
- Was the relationship open from the start or later? Did you have to be convinced or was it something you always wanted?
It was monogamous in the beginning, even though he never deleted Grindr. I am not sure if he ever cheated on me during that time. We became open because I received a one year job offer in a different country. My partner is ten years older than me (I’m 25), and he told me that he wanted be to live happily while I was away. He wanted me to experience everything and so we discussed being open while I was away. We never really had rules for our open relationship but we are happy with it.
- What was the best part of the open relationship?
Feeling totally free to have sex with anyone I want.
- What was the most challenging part of the open relationship?
Not being jealous when I see my partner chatting with other guys and also knowing that he does some things with others that he doesn’t do with me.
- Did you hook up with others together or separately? Did you feel jealous ever and how did you deal with that?
We currently hook up separately, but we want to do a threesome or a foursome one day.
- Did you feel pressure that if you changed your mind about the open relationship it would be over?
I don’t think either of us would want to change it for now. I have more sex than my partner so if he suddenly wanted to go back to monogamy, it would be pretty hard for me to reduce my sexual activity.
- Did you feel that the person who wanted the relationship to be open was in control?
Yes, but even though my partner brought it up I always wanted to bring it up but was afraid to mention it.
- Did you see being open as a permanent relationship structure or just doing it as a phase or to help a problem and that it would eventually go back to monogamy?
It started with my job offer for one year in another country and my partner did not want me to feel stuck and not experiencing thins while I was away. He is ten years older so he already felt that he had experienced a lot. At first we decided to try it for four months and discuss it. After the four months, we decided to stay open. It could be a phase but I don’t see it ending anytime soon.
- Do/did you share the fact that you were open with friends or family? Were you proud or ashamed of it?
I was open with one friend and I’m really proud of it, but since it is so taboo it is hard to bring up with a lot of friends. As men, I feel that we need to have sex all the time so it’s easier to just be open and honest about what you’re doing than have to do it behind your partner’s back.
- Did the open relationship come out of one person cheating without the others knowledge?
No, it was because I was going to live to another country. We never cheated without the other’s knowledge
- What are your tips for someone considering an open relationship?
First of all, remember that an open relationship is only sexual (in my opinion) so NEVER trade in your actual relationship with your partner just for a quick hook up. Every time you are with your partner be with him, do not open Grindr or try to flirt with other guys. Enjoy your partner when you are together, and when you’re alone then you can seek others.
- Any other thoughts, comments, advice, tips, regrets?
Discuss everything with your partners. Being open is not only for gay people, I have many heterosexual friends who are also open and very happy. To be open, both people should be completely sure about it and just keep it sexual. Do not involve your feelings – if you want feelings involved then you should consider polygamy.