I am of the opinion that in all modern long-term gay relationships there comes a time when the question will be asked: Should we consider playing around with other people together? I often find that there are usually two camps of arguments around this. There are those who prefer the safety of committed monogamous long-term relationships and then there are those whose sense of adventure is piqued by the possibility of introducing a third or fourth person into the bedroom. While I orientate myself with the latter camp’s line of thought on most days I have experienced incidents where fooling around with other people in a long-term relationship has affected the relationship negatively. So, I want to draw from personal experience in order to offer advice for those couples out there who are considering opening the borders of their relationship for a bit more fun.
The first thing I want to stress straight out the gate is that in order for a couple to be able to navigate this open space safely, there has to be honest and open communication between the both of you. When introducing a third or fourth person into the mix it is vital that both partners are able to converse and connect on their own terms to the person or people the couple want to get involved with. I say this because it limits jealousy between the couple as long as both partners remain open and honest.
Another thing that’s important is a sense of clearly-defined boundaries. The third or fourth person coming into the bedroom needs to have a clear set of boundaries, knowing what is off limits sexually and personally, what isn’t. Having these frank conversations limits the chances of awkward bedroom incidents that could turn the night into a rancid turd. With boundaries comes the conversation about protection and condom-use. To protect your partner and yourself it is imperative to talk about the protective measures you two are taking when introducing other people into the sexual dynamic between the two of you (whether people say they’ve been tested or not).
Most importantly, one must be mindful that entering into an open relationship will inevitably manifest insecurities, doubts, fears and jealousies that have to be dealt with and spoken about as soon as they arise. If there is a strong foundation of trust and openness between the two of you then entering into this kind of playing field can be a pleasurable experience.
Entering into this kind of relationship space can be a fun and exhilarating act as well as an intimate way to bond and get to know your partner on another sexual level. In fact, I would go as far as saying that some men are aroused at the sight of their lover enjoying sex with someone else. So, to those couples out there considering opening the doors of their bedrooms slightly, I say enjoy the experience and enter into it with your eyes wide open: knowing that honesty and integrity is the name of the game.
Jarred Thompson is a contributing writer for Anova Health Institute. These are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.