What does it mean to have an open relationship? Monogamish, swinging, polyamory, there are many terms that could describe open relationships. How do you know if this kind of relationship is good for you? Some people find themselves drifting toward being more open minded after a specific sexual experience, like a threesome. Threesomes are often the gateway to swinging lifestyle. One reason to avoid opening your relationship is to attempt to repair damage caused in the past due to infidelity or abuse. Take heed, open relationships are not for the faint of heart. It takes trust and faith in each other to achieve the benefits.

Start off with listing your boundaries, have an open minded discussion. Be willing to listen as easily as you speak. You may not expect what you hear your partner state their fantasies or kinks are. Don’t react with judgment or you risk having your partner clam up. These discussions should be a safe place to be real without ridicule. Be prepared to evolve and support your partner in exploring together. You should never do anything you are uncomfortable with, however, supporting your partner doesn’t mean you have to partake. You can evolve into a ‘separate-play’ relationship or you could just observe. There are many ways to accommodate fantasy.

Stay realistic, setting too many rules can be a recipe for disaster. Boundaries and rules can be different. Especially when you are new to swinging, you don’t necessarily know how you will perceive certain feelings or jealousies. Boundaries are good guidelines to set, hard rules can often be stringent and interfere with your mindset. You always have the right to stop everything no matter what is happening. You have free will, you are never required to anything.

Communicate! You can’t talk too much! After playing with somebody, reflect together on what happened. Share your thoughts, good and bad. Share how things made you feel, what turned you on and off. This is the time to be vulnerable and real. If your mind and heart could be completely naked this is the time for that to happen. Sometimes you may reflect on a swinging experience for a few days or even recall it months after it took place. Take advantage of these times and let it stir up the sexual energy that comes from being completely open with each other.

You will meet friends and people from all walks of life in the swinging community. Reach out to a sex therapist if you want professional advice. There are also communities that support those that are new to the lifestyle. We Gotta Thing offers a great example of a community that offer chats on different topics with others in the lifestyle community. You can expect valuable advice from others who have ‘been there’. It is a safe place to meet friends and get great information. You will find your tribe, just be patient!