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Open Relationships


Guest Monopolizer
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Guest Monopolizer

I have only been having gay sex for about six months and, much to my surprise, met somebody about four months ago who is now my "boyfriend". Something Rod said on another thread about desire for sex with strangers not negating long standing feelings and commitment to one's partner made me want to ask for additional comments on this subject. Since meeting my boyfriend, I hired the fabulous Reed Parker (with help of this site), and had 5 or 6 oral encounters with guys at the gym or guys I met over the internet. But, I feel terribly guilty and think along more traditional lines that I am doing something that is very bad i.e. cheating.

 

My questions are as follows:

 

1. How does one manage to negotiate an "open" relationship with his partner. especially if you've never talked about the subject with him?

 

2. One can surmise from reading a lot of posts that there are men here who have long term relationships that are sexless. How did you negotiate having sex with outsiders and keep the relationship going?

 

3. What is good for the goose is not good for the gander. How does one avoid being jealous when his partner is having sex with hunky strangers and is not invited?

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Monopolizer:

 

I think the answers to your questions are probably different for everybody who's living in an open relationship. Here's how it happened with me:

 

Me and my BF first got together in 1962 -- 38 years ago. He's 13 years older than me and while this didn't make much difference in the beginning, it certainly became a factor as time went by.

 

Nearly 25 years ago, he was put on very potent blood pressure meds and for all practical purposes became impotent. Yet he was still extremely possessive of me and resistant to opening up the relationship. Another 10 years went by during which I was quasi-celibate, only straying on business trips, about 3-4 times a year. It was on these trips that I had my first experiences with escorts.

 

Finally, I decided that we had to open up the relationship -- or end it. Two things happened simultaneously: we started seeing a gay psychologist for "couples therapy" and I started being more open about my affairs. We agreed that I would never bring someone else to our house for sex.

 

I now see escorts fairly regularly as I already have a primary relationship which I want to preserve. I also travel more often -- to places like Acapulco, Montreal and Thailand -- to take advantage of the opportunities that exist there.

 

However, my BF is now 74 and in quite frail health -- so it's becoming necessary for me to spend more time at home.

 

I guess the bottom line is that all relationships evolve over time and it's hard to predict exactly how and when the changes will occur. If this evolution didn't happen (at least in my case), our relationship would have ended years ago.

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Guest Matt In Vancouver

LAST EDITED ON May-27-00 AT 05:28PM (EST)[p]There are as many answers to this questions as there are people: )

This is tough terrain, I for one have a really hard tome being in an open relationship, strange considering the type of work I do: )

The only suggestion I can offer is communicate communicate communicate! If you don't know what each others thoughts are on the subject, how do you proceed?

I guess I'm doomed for singledom, as long as I'm an escort that is, because yes if I were in a relationship the other person would definatly want to 'play' as well, and I am a pretty jealous person.

That all said, I think a healthy open relationship is possible when a certain level of trust and understanding are present. But talk about it with your partner and set clear boundaries as to where your comfort levels are. These are not always written in stone, as the relationship progresses, these boundaries can change, but you need to talk about it a lot.

my totally unprofessional opinion.

Matt

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LAST EDITED ON May-27-00 AT 05:37PM (EST)[p]Hi sweetheart. The guilt you are feeling is largely do to your secrecy. Since you're hiding something, you feel bad about it. Believe me I understand that. I hid this profession from my boyfriend for a full year. Boy did that play on my mind.

 

One way some people avoid the "jealousy" is to integrate the openness into their relationship. Share a guy simultaneously, or privately. You can either "stray" together, or "stray" apart, maybe with the same guy, and compare notes afterward! But other couples agree not to discuss what goes on after they have agreed to the open relationship. Not good. Silence can lead to jealousy and mistrust.

 

But you really should honest about it from the beginning, or in your case, from now on. If you are hiding your activities it's not an open relationship, it's just cheating. The guilt is the hardest part. The rest should be easy. -Hagen

-RH

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I'll venture some additional thoughts:

 

1. I don't think an open relationship can survive if the only "glue" holding the relationship together is sex. If the relationship has greater depth and involves a true emotional committment between the partners, it has a chance.

 

2. It's probably easier to "open up" a relationship after a few years -- rather than right at the beginning. By then the sexual passions have probably cooled a bit and the relationship may have been strengthened by such external factors and buying a house, pets, etc., together.

 

3. If only one of the partners is having outside affairs, he should resist the temptation to brag about his accomplishments. That's sure to increase the jealousy.

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I can't totally agree with Losgaten (The Cats?). I do agree with (Rod I think it was) that the most important thing is to communicate honestly with each other at all times. Remember the gap your secrecy about your love life in general opened between you and your parents until you talked with them about it? Same gap here if you keep your mouth shut. So, if it is right for the two of you at the beginning, don't wait a few years to start it. However, you might decide that's it's going to be right for the two of you in a year or two. If that's your decision, wait it out honestly and keep talking (though not annoyingly often about the same subject) to see if the timetable changes.

I think that one thing that you can do together is to cruise the park or bars and talk about which of the other men turn you on. That way you will both get used to not being the only one who turns the other on. And you might have a lot of fun teasing each other as you find that his type isn't your type. And that his type looks a lot like you. (They often do.)

A common sense of humor is much more important than being sexually hot to each other in making a relationship work.

Never take him for granted. Always know that whenever he is making love to you that he has chosen at that moment that it is you he wants to have sex with. And when he is having brakfast with you and neither of you look your best, it is you whose vulnerability he has decided to accept and you he decides to be vulnerable to at that moment.

Have you seen that funny movie about the priest and the rabbi in love with the same woman? Do it, and listen to the old priest's advice.

And it does go the other way, too. My lover and I decided just last week that we want to explore monogamy together for awhile.

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Relationships

 

The comments about each relationship being different are so true: my own experience is both similar to and different from most previous comments.

 

My lover and I were monogamous for about two weeks; then we both admitted that we were sexually attracted to other people and intended to have an open relationship, or else we would not be able to make it survive. We were very clear that our love was NOT based on sexual attraction but on much deeper affinities, and we had to trust that we could not be broken apart just by a hot number. Nevertheless, jealousy is not something that can be controlled by reason, and we learned by trial and error that we were better off acknowledging that each of us was having sex with others but not discussing it in any detail. At one time or another each of us had "affairs" that were more than one night stands, but it became apparent to us (and eventually to our other partners)that we were not going to separate because the bond between us was stronger than even the passion we felt for someone new. After about ten years together we stopped the affairs and limited ourselves strictly to sex with strangers. That's when escorts entered the mix; they have been my main sexual outlet for about 15 years now.

 

I think it's natural to feel guilty about sexual promiscuity, especially when one is young, because the value of monogamy is so strongly impressed on everyone in a Judeo-Christian-Muslim culture like ours. However, I think that emotional faithfulness is much more important than physical restriction, unless one partner can't bring himself to separate the two. You do need to talk with your partner about what each of you honestly feels, and work things out from there. Relationships founder because people think they can't depend on one another, so if you can't trust one another (and right now you are feeling guilty because you feel he can't trust you), then your relationship is on pretty shaky ground already.

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Guest Monopolizer

RE: Relationships

 

LAST EDITED ON Jun-01-00 AT 02:19PM (EST)[p]Wow, guys! Thanks for all your kind and insightful answers. While it will be hard to broach the subject of an open relationship with my boyfriend, I know that it has to be done.

 

This forum really is a fantastic source of information, support and fun. I am amazed sometimes by the humor, knowledge and wisdom of the participants. I guess I shouldn't be, since in the words of Edith Massey in Female Trouble, "If he's smart, he's gay..."

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  • 1 month later...
Guest SBaker

RE: Relationships

 

My boyfriend doesn't have a roving eye. He doesn't go looking for sex. If he's horny (when I'm not around) he jerks off. However, I seem to have constant attraction to different escorts anytime - and my boyfriend knows that. Him being an escort once and only quit after we got together. I try to assure him that he will neven be replaced but I think he doesn't believe me.

 

Meanwhile, so many men, so little time.

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