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prototokyo's avatar

Are there open relationships that arent based on just getting more sex?

Asked by prototokyo (47points) April 6th, 2010

I am in an open relationship, but have never been with anyone else, because if I proposition someone, and am honest about my other relationship, it makes me seem like a scumbag. But I am more interested in having loving relationships with all people, not just trying to get lots of sex. My partner and I love each other, and just want each other to be happy, and dont want to put limits on that happiness. How do we make it all happen?

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23 Answers

Lightning's avatar

There are open relationships based on money. But sex is the main course.

What do you mean how do you make it happen? Both of you are in a happy open relationship from the sound of it. What is the issue? Is only your unsatisfactory or does your partner share it too?

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not clear what you mean by open. My husband is free to ask his friends and co-workers to lunch, male or female. He is a priest, and often counsels women. Is that what you mean?

hug_of_war's avatar

Do you want a polyamorous relationship?

faye's avatar

I don’t know how. I would never want my partner in a romantic relationship with me and anyone else. Friends, certainly.

nikipedia's avatar

I think you need to rephrase your question.

FutureMemory's avatar

@YARNLADY generally it means you have sex with people other than your “main” partner. I think.

jerv's avatar

Yes. Despite popular opinion, sex isn’t the end-all-be-all only reason for a relationship.

YARNLADY's avatar

@FutureMemory Then why does the question say arent based on just getting more sex? To me that seems to say not based on sex.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Open relationships are all about sex. A relationship without romantic or sexual elements is called a friendship.

So hey if you want to bang other people and your partner is cool with it, that’s between you two, but let’s call it what it is. It is all about sex.

DarkScribe's avatar

If not for sex then there is no need to be “open”. All other relationships are acceptable within marriage.

jazmina88's avatar

i have 3 men…..and still like living single.
1 companion…..emotional pal of 30 yrs
1 spiritual companion of a year HOT
1 soulmate of 30 years

the soulmate is out of state…..doesnt like the companion, wont tell him about the other one. He still wants to be special.

is this open because he wants it? You dont have to pick up guys, just to do it. Find the really hot ones. Let them pick you up

jerv's avatar

@DarkScribe Not always, at least not for some people. You may have heard of (or possibly know) of the jealous people who forbid their partner to even have friends.

You seem to assume that all people are rational and sane. That is a mistake!

DarkScribe's avatar

@jerv You seem to assume that all people are rational and sane. That is a mistake!

Yes – how could I after several years of internet access. I will reverse my opinions on sanity immediately!

FutureMemory's avatar

Yes – how could I after several years of internet access.


DarkScribe's avatar

@FutureMemory Yes – how could I after several years of internet access.


Sadly, it is more than two decades now. God, I am getting old. (But they say that getting old is better than the alternative.)

Idknown's avatar


Open relationships are clearly stated that it is not exclusive.

If he wants to be special, and you don’t tell him because of it, but see the other guy… you’re cheating my friend.

Open relationships are mainly about being able to flirt and bed other people. Some people live for the flirt. Yeah, maybe you want two loves – which is totally possible. But as @Captain_Fantasy said – let’s call it for what it is at first brush.

prototokyo's avatar

It seems that “open relationship” only means one thing- sex and swingers. What I am trying to test is a non monogamous relationship. Neither my partner nor I want to have limits placed on us, and knowing this keeps us both happy and not feeling claustrophobic. But I cant ever test the “openness”, because anytime someone I meet finds out about my partner, the possibility of having a “special” friendship is gone, unless I am very forward about it-thus the “scumbagginnes” I guess we are seeing that it is about sex, mostly. But it is also true that without sex, or intimacy, relationships are kept pretty surface level. Maybe I just want to retain the feeling of independence I once had, with the security of a strong relationship?

nikipedia's avatar

Wow, what an ignorance-filled thread.

Open relationships are not all about sex unless the people in them want them to be. So to everyone erroneously claiming they are, I am really curious on what basis you’re constructing your incorrect assumptions. Presumably all of you judging and criticizing open relationships aren’t even in them. Get over yourselves. Sheesh.

DarkScribe's avatar

@nikipedia Open relationships are not all about sex

If they aren’t sexual in nature, what is the difference between an open relationship and any normal friendship? I have many female friends, some quite close – but nothing of a sexual nature. What would require me to class my marriage as an open relationship if sex isn’t an issue? I am really curious.

nikipedia's avatar

@DarkScribe: Open relationships can be about sex, but they can also be about intimacy, companionship, romance, meaningful connections, etc. The same things that drive people to have monogamous relationships drive people to have polygamous relationships, with the sole exception of a need for exclusivity/ownership over another person.

DarkScribe's avatar

@nikipedia they can also be about intimacy, companionship, romance, meaningful connections,

With the exception of romance which usually has a sexual component (even if unfulfilled) all these things are a normal part of friendship. It would seem that by some people’s standards my wife and I live in an open relationship – though we regard it as very close and secure. We both have very good long term friends of the opposite sex, as well as shared friends of either sex.

prototokyo's avatar

What do you do with your close friends, whom are not your wife? Can you go out to dinner together? Walk in the park? Other things that might arouse suspicion from your wife, or romantic notions between the two of you? And in regards to the original question, how did you meet these other friends?
I think i agree with you, however, that if there is no romantic/sexual intimacy, it is just friendship. So i wonder if that would be enough to give the feeling of independence to a person?

Idknown's avatar

@prototokyo By “Special Friendships” you mean Friends with Benefits? (Which means sex)

I think the real question you should be asking yourself is – what does independence mean to you?

To me – independence means I can do what I want without my SO coming down on me and asking why. Why this, why that. It is not having my SO ask me where I am at all times, and what I’m doing. That’s independence. And most SOs won’t give you that – they’ll want to know where you are and etc.

@prototokyo for your response to @DarkScribe.

I have a close friend that’s not my girlfriend. My ex (go figure). We go have dinner at least once a month, and my girlfriend knows I love my ex, not romantically of course – but I dated her for 8 years – I love the woman. We don’t do walks in parks, but I’m sure that can be arranged if I wanted it to.

The point is – my girlfriend trusts me, or at least is trying to trust me, with my ex.

Just yesterday, I was at a networking event and I was meeting tons of women, some of which had asked me for my number and email (for networking purposes of course). There are many ways to meet close friends of the opposite sex. I think in the end – it all comes down to the trust your partner has in you – IF it’s not about sex.

My gf is okay with me seeing my ex, dinners, movies, etc. She’s NOT okay with me sleeping with my ex. We don’t have an open relationship.

Open relationship to me means you can seek romantic interests outside of the one you have. It means to be able to have a girlfriend, and then date another one. By date, I mean pay for movies, kisses, all the bases if you know what I mean, are allowed. As @nikipedia mentioned, sex is not a pre-requisite, but it is allowed. Intimacy between two romantic people is different between two friends. I love my ex, but not like I love my girlfriend.

@nikipedia I don’t think this is an ignorance filled thread – you have yet to prove your point. I think @DarkScribe‘s explanation that romance has a sexual component, fulfilled or not is a good point.

If we are ignorant, please do make us better.

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