What the heck are the rules when you decide to open up your relationship? How on Earth do you even start to figure out those rules? What if you want to change the rules? The very first thing you and your partner may have to do is develop some new skills...communication skills. If you cannot even talk about the fun, sexy stuff you want to do with others, how the hell will you ever actually do anything with those as yet met others? For Wade and I, one of the best ongoing lessons of opening up our marriage has been the communication! This more open, honest communication has permeated all aspects of our relationship, not just the sexy talk.
So where does one begin? You obviously must begin by talking to your partner about fantasies. Does every fantasy have to be acted upon? Not if you both don't want it to be! But, I can almost guarantee, that some of those fantasies you both would find intriguing enough to want to explore. So, here is the point where the rule setting comes into play. You have to be completely honest with each other about your own boundaries. One word of caution though, you also need to assess your own insecurities and jealousies to see if any of these initial rules are being fueled by your own personal fears. It's okay to need and want to guard your heart and your relationship. The important thing is understanding where those feelings are rooted. Open relationships are also not a panacea to fix what is broken in your relationship. It will only crack wide open that fissure.
So, how do you start? Figuring out your rules and boundaries is like learning to tango. You slowly feel your way through some basic steps to begin. As you keep building on the basics, you find you can handle more complexity in the dance. You won't be the master of the ballroom when you are first learning the tango and the same will happen as your learn how to be ethically non-monogamous. You will trip a bit, sometimes look awkward, and bump a nose or step on a toe. With lots of honest communication and a sense of humor you will find that rules and boundaries and the ongoing communication about yours are your allies in being successful in your Lifestyle journey.
Here are a few questions to start the dance:
1. Why are you interested in getting frisky with other people? Do you want to explore fantasies, another aspect of your sexuality, like bisexuality or are you interested in kink?
2. What scares you the most when thinking of sharing yourself and/or your partner with others?
3. Where are you at RIGHT NOW?
So ask your partner to "dance" and start talking. I remember when Wade and I first started having those conversations that lead us to the lifestyle, it amped up our own sex life way before we even got around to playing with others! And please know this, wherever you are in what is comfortable to you, that is fantastic! You are the captain of this love boat and only the two of you can decide what is right and when. Check out our Podcast Episode #5, The Joy of Wade, to hear us wax poetic about our rules and boundaries and how they have evolved.
Enjoy the Adventure!