Open Relationship?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 11:56 AM GMT
    I've recently begun seeing someone who lives at the other end of the country to me.

    I'm based in the UK.

    We've been together almost 3 months now.

    The reason we decided to have an open relationship is simply that we both have high sex drives. And there are times when we don't see each other for 3 weeks. So I assumed I'm just being realistic. And it isn't a problem for me.

    Anyway. We recently went away together for the weekend. I returned home yesterday. And he is staying for an extra 2 days.

    Anyway. We both have our own individual gaydar profiles. And when I logged on last night I noticed he was online. And he had changed the Area on his profile to the area where we were staying.

    Now the impression I was under and that we had discussed was that the reason for having an open relationship was that the periods of no sex would be hard to manage.

    It now just feels like it's so he can have sex with other people when ever he wants.

    Do open relationships actually work? And are they worth it in the long term?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 12:21 PM GMT
    Whatever floats your boat. icon_biggrin.gif

    Some guys here are in open relationships, maybe they could help.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 29, 2008 12:35 PM GMT
    You open the "can of worms" and it can come back and
    bite you.

    I would make sure the relationship is defined the way you want it and the boundries are set. I know of several couples who have an open relationship (so long as done together) and sometimes not. The problem comes when one defines it one way and other other has a differing interpretation.icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 1:35 PM GMT
    You really need to sit down and talk with him about when and where it is appropriate to get some booty on the side. Whether you are in an open or a monogamous relationship, everyone needs to sit down with their lover and discuss what constitutes cheating. For your relationship, is sleeping with another guy while you both are in the same town is cheating? For a monogamous relationship, is cybering cheating? Is porn?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 2:32 PM GMT
    You do need to talk, to him, and have some guidelines in place, and have the same understanding of them.

    I have two long term relationship's. I live with one of them, and have for 15 years. his American.

    I also have a long distance relationship of 9 years. he is in Moscow, and I Down in Oz. Both my men know of each other, but rarely talk to me of one another. Yet our understanding is. I can root with whom ever I want. as can they. I don't bring em home, nor does the guy I live with.

    It works for us. I have not one, but two long term relationship's. But I fear some shit is going to hit the fan, when I go to Russia next year. I will deal with this then.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Apr 29, 2008 2:36 PM GMT
    Would you let your partner have full and unrestricted access to your bank account? No? Sound crazy?
    That's essentially what you're doing with your health in an open relationship.
    It's all fun and games until someone sero-converts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    A lot of Guy's who have been together for a long time have open relationship's l hear but l could not go down that road ever? But that's just me maybe?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2008 12:35 AM GMT
    An open relationship works best when both members of the couple want it equally. If one person wants it and the other does not then the relationship is put under a lot of stress.

    MunchingZombie is right that communicating with your bf is very important about this topic. Then again communication period is very important in a relationship!

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    Open Relationships? icon_rolleyes.gif For some people it works just fine... For us others, yea not so much. I'm way too possessive for that. I'm yours, you're mine - that's it, no one else gets to have it. icon_wink.gif

    I've had relationships with people and circumstances have torn us apart in terms of locations. It sucks, it's not easy.

    Some I did the long distance thing with, but over the years I came to learn (for me) that if it's not meant to be, then it's not meant to be. So I've let people go based on that.

    Sounds kinda harsh, but realistically how can you have a relationship when you hardly see the person? At least I can't.

    Don't misunderstand me, it's not because I need sex. I perform perfectly fine on my own, thankya. But not being able to be with that person would torture me. icon_redface.gif

    To not be able to touch them, hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, wrestle with them - I need that with someone I'm with. So for me, I'd rather hurt a lot all at once then to hurt slowly and achingly over time.

    /soapbox

    For you... it sounds like the nature of your open relationship was never discussed. Just 'Open' pretty much means 'anything goes'. I know some people in open relationships where they just 'play' with other people. No anal sex, oral at the most. For others, it's like a free-for-all.

    I'd talk to him, if I were you. Communication is key in ANY relationship, regardless of the nature of it. Maybe if you explain how you feel, and what you had in mind with this 'open' relationship and just how open it is?
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    May 04, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    a relationship is how the two (or more) people involved define it. and therefore you are going to want to sit down and hammer this one out with your partner (not us)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2008 2:08 AM GMT
    swimbikerun saidWould you let your partner have full and unrestricted access to your bank account? No? Sound crazy?
    That's essentially what you're doing with your health in an open relationship.
    It's all fun and games until someone sero-converts.

    Seroconversion is more of an issue when cheating occurs. If you have an open relationship, that means using protection all the time, with your own partner as well as others.

    My relationship has been open 10 of its 15 years. There were at least six months of discussion before actually opening it.

    Opening a relationship at the outset, before trust has been established, would be problematic for me. As everyone else suggested, you need to establish a clearer understanding of your agreement by talking with him about it.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    May 04, 2008 6:46 PM GMT
    obscenewish
    Seroconversion is more of an issue when cheating occurs. If you have an open relationship, that means using protection all the time, with your own partner as well as others.


    Serovconversion is an issue when you engage any sexual contact (e.g.,oral,anal) regardless of cheating or using protection.
    Low-risk sex does not mean no-risk sex.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2008 11:53 PM GMT

    SwimBikeRunSerovconversion is an issue when you engage any sexual contact (e.g.,oral,anal) regardless of cheating or using protection.
    Low-risk sex does not mean no-risk sex.

    Way to change the context. Maybe I misunderstood you, but let's see. You made this statement:

    "Would you let your partner have full and unrestricted access to your bank account? No? Sound crazy?
    That's essentially what you're doing with your health in an open relationship....It's all fun and games until someone sero-converts."

    That is not an expression of relative risk that accounts for the use of condoms. It basically says: open relationship=no limits=likely seroconversion.

    I replied that seroconversion is MORE of an issue (not "not an issue") when cheating occurs in a relationship. The reason is that people who claim to be monogamous are more likely to not be using protection with one another. They also are less likely to admit they have had unprotected sex, since having outside sex at all violates their fundamental commitment. I've seen numerous men sero-convert because their "monogamous" partners didn't admit they were cheating and had sero-converted.

    I guess it hardly needs to be said that all sexually active men not in relationships basically have the same sex life as someone in an open relationship -- arguably more risky. You can see where your absolutist argument would lead. That's why I think it has little to do with actual risk.





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 12:30 AM GMT
    Whatever makes you happy. When it comes to my relationships I like to think of it in terms me, him and us, but I couldn't for the life of me say that I love them... it's a bit selfish, but it's honest.

    I know of what I concider to be rare cases when guys have managed to maintain a healthy, if not healthier bond because of it, but they were able to work at it and we able to put themselves aside. More power to them and their fun with revolving doors.

    But who knows... maybe someday I'll be someone else and I'll be able to deal with my commited partner's latest conquests - LOL!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 12:51 PM GMT
    I agree with obscenewish. It does make more sense that open relationships with the partners agreeing to practice safe sex all the time are less at risk to seroconversion than when cheating occurs in monogamous relationships. In which case the cheating party wouldn't even admit it, putting the cheated party at risk without him knowing it.
  • bradsmith

    Posts: 175

    May 06, 2008 12:57 PM GMT
    A relationship is a gradual building of trust...hopefully coupled with love. It's my opinion that knowing someone for 3 months has not been long enough for you two both have built up a sufficient level of trust or understanding to consider an open relationship without a concomitant agreement to practice safer sex with others...and each other.

    As other's have stated above...an open relationship is defined by the parties involved. It's a very natural thing for you both to spend a lot of time talking about this topic...with each other...because, in the end, it doesn't matter what any of us think...you guys are the one's trying to build a relationship...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    Once you start down this path you lose something in the relationship; can you ever really trust each other again? What about precautions, STDs... for some playing might seem worthwhile at first but in the end may become an addiction.. you may find that you need extracurricular activity regularly...what does this mean to a committed relationship? Just be honest and look out for yourself is the only adivce I can offer.
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    May 06, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidOpen relationships never have any measurable integrity. It's all about sneaking around, lies and deception.
    Kick that bullshit to the curb if you ask me.


    I'm not into open relationships for myself but I think the point of them is quite the opposite of what you're saying - there is no sneaking around, there are no lies and there is no deception, you are free to have sex outside of the relationship. I have been friends with a long-term couple (9+years) in an open relationship and it works for them. They clearly love each other, they're upfront about what they're doing and they wouldn't prefer it any other way. To each their own.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    I personally think open relationship are sick, they make us look bad to every other community
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    I couldn't do an open relationship. I am insecure enough as it is, but what if my man decided, while playing around, that he found someone he was more intouch with. That would break my heart.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    MuchMoreOpen relationships never have any measurable integrity. It's all about sneaking around, lies and deception. Kick that bullshit to the curb if you ask me

    Uh, how is it sneaking around, lying and deception if by definition the relationship is open? It means nothing's hidden. Perhaps you are speaking for your own experience in an open relationship. I don't think you need to waste your time measuring the integrity of other people.

    NfernoI personally think open relationship are sick, they make us look bad to every other community

    And of course our relationships should be public-relations tools for the promotion of YOUR concept of community. But you know, the 50 percent divorce rate makes the "community" of heterosexuals look so bad. It's enough to make you want to be part of the gay "community."

    Freaky
    I couldn't do an open relationship. I am insecure enough as it is, but what if my man decided, while playing around, that he found someone he was more intouch with. That would break my heart.

    I appreciate that you speak for yourself rather than making a general assessment, Freaky. I think this is a usual resistance to open relationships and one reason I could never be in one until we'd established trust.

    But the fact is that you are just as vulnerable to your mate meeting someone else in a monogamous relationship.
    Both types of relationships are a commitment to one another as life partners. The sexual arrangement is different but it's an individual decision about the role sex is going to play in a relationship.

    Every time this subject comes up here, people like Nferno and MuchMore take it upon themselves to make a summary judgment of others based on their own morality. In the same way that gay marriage won't affect heterosexual marriage, my having an open relationship has nothing to do with your relationship.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    May 08, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    obscenewish said
    It basically says: open relationship=no limits=likely seroconversion.


    No but I would say:
    open relationship = harder to control limits = higher potentital for seroconversion


    obscenewish said
    I guess it hardly needs to be said that all sexually active men not in relationships basically have the same sex life as someone in an open relationship -- arguably more risky.


    What I'm trying to say is that by limiting your partners, you reduce the risk of infection.

    One problem with open relationships is that it provides the illusion of safety. Partners in relationships are probably more likely to engage in risky sex with each other.

    obscenewish, I've been in two open-relationships and dodged the bullet as my ex seroconverted. It was until that point that I realized how unaware of the risks I had been taking.

    Clearly, a truly monogamous relationship and infinitely less risky for the transmission of diseases than a truly open relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    swimbikerunhat I'm trying to say is that by limiting your partners, you reduce the risk of infection.

    One problem with open relationships is that it provides the illusion of safety. Partners in relationships are probably more likely to engage in risky sex with each other.

    obscenewish, I've been in two open-relationships and dodged the bullet as my ex seroconverted. It was until that point that I realized how unaware of the risks I had been taking.

    Clearly, a truly monogamous relationship and infinitely less risky for the transmission of diseases than a truly open relationship.

    And I've been in TWO supposedly monogamous relationships where my partners sero-converted. It's a miracle that I did not seroconvert myself. (In one case, we were practicing "negotiated safety.")

    I would never have unprotected sex again, in an LTR or out of one. If two men in an open relationship are having unprotected sex with one another, that's just dumb.

    But I still do not follow the logic that makes an open relationship, where everything is above board, less safe than being a single, actively sexual person. Your original post suggests that infection is inevitable and uniquely so. Experience tells me that exactly the opposite is true.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    May 08, 2008 8:14 PM GMT
    obscenewish said

    But I still do not follow the logic that makes an open relationship, where everything is above board, less safe than being a single, actively sexual person. Your original post suggests that infection is inevitable and uniquely so. Experience tells me that exactly the opposite is true.

    I'm guessing that in reality, people who are in a relationship (open or not), living together(or not), etc. do engage in unprotected sex more often than people who are single.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2008 9:21 AM GMT
    I seriously can not understand why men here who are NOT in open relationships would make a judgement like it is 'sick' or 'based on lies and deception'.

    Like Freakyninjamonkey, I am probably the monogamous type. Not because I am possessive but because I am insecure.

    And yet I can definitely see how open relationships could work for other people.

    Muchmorethanmuscle, you obviously equate open relationships with cheating, which is impossible because of the nature of open relationships themselves LOL. Like obscenewish and innerathlete said, you need to study the concept more and not judge it based on what you THINK it is. I, for one, was ignorant of open relationships before I started learning more about my sexuality. One of the members here, bradsmith, has kindly explained what it is and what it entails. And it isn't remotely like anything you've implied it to be. Frankly, I find guys who can be secure in open relationships much more mature than guys who cling to monogamy simply because of cultural and moral ideas of what a relationship is ought to be, not to mention that ugly little dealbreaker - possessiveness.

    Nferno? WTF are you concerned about how we look like to every other community for? In case you didn;t notice the mere fact that we kiss and have buttsex with men is enough for them to hate us. So it's all about image now? How definitely very shallow... am I right in assuming you also hate the fem community?

    Anyway, tom bombadil, my preciousssssssssss icon_lol.gif , I agree with everyone here that you need to TALK about it with your partner. It doesn't sound like you and he agree on the exact same points. In fact it sounds like you're only being forced into it. If it's not your cup of tea, don't force it.