Newish, confused, seeking advice
So I have been scouring the forum and reading lots of input and it seems like everyone here is really great at giving advice and I have hit a roadblock in my relationship and thought this would be the right place to seek help.
My boyfriend and I are in our mid 20's and have been dating for over 4 years, I love him desperately, he is my partner, my best-friend, my idol, my confidant, my brother, my lover, my beautiful amazing boy. We have a very supportive and communicative relationship. He truly is an angel.
But, yes there is a but, we suck at sex together. He was my first and through a series of traumatic family problems and stress we never really got the chance to connect completely sexually. We never had a lot of sex in the first place because it was very painful for me and we had an intense amount of stress in both of our lives. Of course, as the years have gone by we have had less and less sex. It slaughtered my confidence and I constantly questioned him about why he wouldn't have sex with me and why he would never initiate to which he never had an answer. Lack of sex however was not worth breaking up to us, we love each other more than what sex could ever give us. Mind you, that doesn't mean I want to live without it either, cue our discovery of polyamory.
About 2 years ago I borrowed 'the ethical slut' book from a friend, and on our drive home I explained to him the main idea of the book.
I finally had the guts to pose the question, "What if we just aren't sexually compatible?" We had a long talk and he offered that if I wanted to sleep with other people I could because he didn't want to deny me sex in my life (since he was the only one I had ever had and that whole situation wasn't working out very well). OF course in return I had to offer him the same, I couldn't imagine in the situation being one sided like that, and I felt it was fair that he should be able to sleep with other women. ( I honestly just want what would make him happy)
But when the question came up of how we would deal with these other people in our intimate 'territory' we both were at a loss. I would feel insanely jealous and insecure if I knew he was with another women because I wanted him so badly to be with me and could never get that to happen. He said he would also feel similarly. We both acknowledged that it was just our EGO and that we truly did want each other to be happy, so we improvised an extreme Don't ask don't tell policy. We simply would not ask about it and would not talk about it. AT all. (Keep in mind we both had never done any research on the topic or knew anyone who was polyamorus so we didn't really know where to start)
So soon after that I had sex for the first time with someone else. Someone I thought I could trust because we were good friends, but it turned out rather horrid. I thought it was maybe just this particular person so over the last 2 years there have been others.
As far as I know, my partner is clueless, and I think he'd like to stay that way but I am having a really hard time with it. I've realized our arrangement is not safe, it is not constructive and it is not healthy and I really want to talk to him about it but I am so afraid.
I'm afraid he will ask who I have been with and be hurt by my answers. ( He is extremely judgmental of other men and feels no one is good enough for me.) I promised these other men it would remain confidential as well for their peace of mind. I'm afraid that because it was so long ago he will not acknowledge it as something acceptable for me to still be doing. I'm afraid it might drive us apart, and I'm afraid I will hurt him by confirming that I have been with other people. There is nothing more painful to me than upsetting him or feeling like I am the cause of some pain he is experiencing.
I know it has to happen, but I just really don't know how. I don't know where to start and I really have no way of telling how he will react. I don't know when would be a good time and what the best damage control will be. I most of all just don't want him to go sour on me, I want him to communicate with me and be open and honest but I am worried this situation has the potential to bring out his most stubborn and unsharing self.
ps. I know some of the ways I've worded things may not be politically correct or maybe contradictory but this is not meant to be an argument for my choices, merely an expression of what has happened, is happening and how I feel.