Thinking of opening up--not sure if he would go for it
Hi all. New to the forum. I'm 22, female, engaged to my fiance whom I've been with for over 4 years. We will be getting married on our next anniversary.
We have been struggling with many issues. A big one is that for several years I was on the Pill which completely killed my sex drive, and even now after being off it for roughly a year and a half, I do not fully have my libido back. Prior to starting the Pill I was masturbating at least once a day, and I remember having a lot more sexual desire at the start of our relationship. I still love my fiance, but I know I am not meeting his sexual needs. I will have spurts every once in a while where we have sex twice in one week or something, but in general if it were left up to my sex drive we would probably have sex once a month, if that. I miss being able to feel sexual and sensual, and I don't like the discord that my sex drive being out of whack had caused. He is always asking and I am always saying no.
In regards to opening up our relationship... I would have no problem with opening our relationship, and I would gladly let him be with a woman whose sex drive matched his own. I've even told him recently that if he ever got the desire to have sex with another woman, I wish he would tell me and we would talk it out and he would have my blessing, because I do not want to sacrifice the solid, loving relationship we have just because he has sexual desires for someone else. He was surprised that I said so, and said something very brief to the effect that it doesn't go the other way (that he wouldn't do the same for me with another man).
The challenge is that I actually do want to be able to have sex with other men and women. We got together very young and both of us have limited sexual experience (he was a virgin, I had only had 1 one-night-stand with a man). I feel like part of my lack of sex drive is both of our lack of expertise in the bedroom. (EDIT: I should add that I've been unable to orgasm with either of my partners, though I'm perfectly able to do so alone.) I also feel like the rest of our lives is a long time to spend just having sex with each other. I want to have the variety of experiences that sex with other people could give me. I want to have three(or more)somes as well, which he has been open the idea of as F/M/F but not really M/F/M.
The real kicker is that thinking about myself sleeping with other people (and thinking of him with other people) has actually sort of turned my sex drive back on, at least a little bit. I actually tried to initiate sex the other night for the first time in a loooong time (though he was exhausted from work and not really in the mood for once, so we didn't). I'm also struggling with the fact that there are two different people who I would like to be with if we DID open up, and I haven't spoken to either of them about my "crush" on them, but I get butterflies around them in a way that I haven't with my fiance in a very, very, very long time. I have missed that NRE with my fiance, and I feel like it is coming back again with him by virtue of being interested in other people as well.
I don't know how to tell him that I'm really interested in opening our relationship. I don't know how he would take it. I don't know if now is the right time. Instinct says maybe we should wait until we're married, or maybe we should get our own sex life revved back up to where it should be before I try going off with other people. I am worried that if we did open up, it would be him doing it because I want it, not because he's genuinely OK with it. I'm worried he would see it as a threat to our relationship. Most of all I'm becoming frightened of the idea of being chained into monogamy for the rest of my life. I want to be with him in a relationship, in a marriage, for the rest of my life, but do I seriously want to be locked into a monogamous sexual relationship for 50+ years? That's a long, long, long time and I feel like if I don't experience all that life offers I am wasting my life away. I'm not looking for a romantic relationship outside of what would be my primary, although we have discussed causally that we could see ourselves in a polygamy type of situation with more than one wife or making it a romantic threesome...
We are also not currently the best with communication. We hurt each other's feelings a lot, and he is big about teasing me which I don't always mind but sometimes it gets to be too much. I want to communicate better whether we open up or not.
This has gotten long because I really need to get my thoughts out somewhere. Any thoughts are appreciated. I'm afraid that trying to open up will ruin our current relationship.
I'm sorry this thread posted twice, the first time it asked me to re-log in so I didn't think it went through. Mods can delete this one, or the other one, doesn't matter.
Welcome to the forum!
Your kind of situation is not an easy one, although I will say that if you are really feeling the urge to explore polyamory (or rather nonmonogamy) with your boyfriend, it is not a good idea to wait until you are married. If this is something that is going to end up being a dealbreaker for one or the other of you on either end, you don't want to have to go through the hassle of a divorce in order to go your separate ways.
The best thing you can really do is talk to him about it. It might be difficult, and he might not react the way you want him to, but he cannot process the information or give any thought to it unless you tell him up front and honestly what it is you are looking for. You have told him you are okay with him having sexual interactions with other females, but it sounds like you have not expressed that you really would like that freedom to explore as well.
There are a number of books on the subject available to buy or to check out from your local library. Opening Up by Tristan Taormino and The Ethical Slut are two of the more popular ones out there. If you two absolutely want to avoid emotional connections with more than one person, you may want to look into the swinging community. Swinging is very different from what most people would consider polyamory, but the community is set up to help keep people from falling in love.
I will also put out a red flag for you right now. If you are interested in keeping all outside encounters strictly physical, then you need to avoid the people that give you the butterflies. You already have some emotional/romantic feelings for these people, and those will probably be intensified if you get involved in a physical relationship with these people. If you do want to explore or pursue people in your social group or who give you butterflies, then it is a good idea to talk to your boyfriend about what the two of you will do if love becomes a thing with another person.
One of the most important things to keep in mind right now is that you need to do what is right for you. If monogamy isn't right for you, then you need to address that issue NOW before you go any further in this relationship. You need to give him a chance to process what you are telling him and to think about whether that is a world he can share with you or not. The possibility of losing him may be daunting, but it is far less scary than building a life together for years and years in a marriage and then having all this spring back up in your face. The earlier you get things like this sorted out the better. Do your best not to avoid looking at it anymore.
If he is willing to talk to you about it or explore the issue, many states and cities have local poly groups that meet up regularly and these places can be a great resource to learn from people who are actually living the life. My fiance, my boyfriend, and I have found the local group to be very helpful for finding other people to relate to and ask advice from.
I would also say that if your relationship is rocky or has other issues at the moment, that those do need to be addressed, open or not. Relationship counseling is usually a really good thing for couples to learn how to work together and break down each other's defenses. If you are having problems relating to each other, then these need to be resolved whether you are mono or poly.
I wish you the best as you start to explore this facet of your personality and start to figure out if it is something that will become a part of your identity or not. Face this time in your life with courage. It will not be easy, but you will probably mature a lot in the process and come out on the other side much more equipped to deal with other difficult life situations. Feel free to PM me or respond in this topic if you have any more questions or just want to talk. We are about the same age and I know in my hometown it is hard to find young poly people, so I'm willing to be an ear to listen if you would like. :-)
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