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More on openness August 1, 2010

Posted by Leah in Autobiography.
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A reader who is considering opening up his relationship with his girlfriend asks about sexual equivalency and whether he is making a one sided bargain.

These remarks are intended to elaborate on my thoughts in an earlier post. I think a casual heterosexual hookup is easier for a woman to find than it is for a man. This goes double or triple when the girl is attractive, as the reader’s partner appears to be. If I wasn’t after kink as well as sex, I wouldn’t use Craigslist or its counterparts.

The way the equivalency issue worked for us is that while I had more sexual partners in total, the boyfriend had more frequent sex with his regular partners. When I left the US, in addition to the boyfriend, I had a dominant regular, a sometimes kinky but much of the time vanilla regular, and one night stands and short lived flings with friends and CL types. I liked the variety. The boyfriend had two, or rarely three, regular lovers on the side. He saw them on a schedule. He and I would mess around sexually most nights in bed, though we didn’t always go full on. When we were naked together, it was difficult for either of us to keep our hands off. His cock is my favorite pacifier. I liked having it in my mouth, if only for a few minutes before sleep. About half of our sex, or slightly more, was with each other and the rest with extras. I met my regulars every couple of weeks, sometimes only once a month. I consider them good friends. We don’t need to be with each other all the time. Though I am very close to one of his lovers — I sort of introduced them, in fact — threesomes with the boyfriend were infrequent occurrences. He had his relationships, and I had mine. The numbers balanced out roughly. We were scrupulous about keeping the sex safe.

Without the other as a fulcrum, we are both sleeping around with frequency now. He is actively looking for new partners to add to the two that he has. When he visits me in a few weeks, I wonder whether we will return effortlessly to our old patterns. It hasn’t been that long, but things are, undeniably, changed.

Because with time and familiarity sex improves, I want regular partners in London as well. Frank fills the vanilla role for the summer, but this is a temporary situation in which I got spectacularly lucky as I picked him up essentially at random based on looks and the book he was reading. The criteria for being a regular are sexual compatibility and friendship. It’s a lot like dating, which is never easy, particularly when there is also a filter for kink. On personality grounds, the only people here who might have proceeded to a second date are an older American businessman passing through and a man with an unfortunate medical condition.

I want to emphasize that what suits me will not work for everyone even if we are after the same thing in the end. The boyfriend and I started out having multiple partners and simply didn’t shut these activities down when we got serious with each other. We are also both highly non-jealous people — but even so an element of this creeps up from time to time. We love each other and I miss him terribly, but neither of us is busily plotting a life together. If we are still dating several years down the line, then we can discuss marriage and kids and where to put the dungeon. Other folks will be at different places and consequently will need to find their own equilibrium.

I encourage people having a conversation about openness to first of all keep the lines of communication open and to discuss fears, misgivings, hopes, aspirations, and desires with honesty and candor. Finding another couple to swap partners with or visiting a sex club together may be a way to begin in which the issue of sexual equivalency is minimized. Sex can be a grand experiment. Love has a way of enduring. Good luck to us all!