What is an open relationship?

The first post here. For those that have been in or are currently in an open relationship of any kind, the following information may be old hat. But for those unfamiliar with the different types of open relationships I’ll recap the basics here.

An open relationship is any relationship (usually between two partners) where the participants are allowed to have sexual or otherwise intimate relationships with others. Open relationships take on many forms, the most common being:

Open relationship or marriage: This is where one partner or both date others, usually without their primary partner being an integral part of the outside relationship.

Swinging: This is where a married or otherwise committed couple includes other couples and singles in their sex life. This can be through swapping partners in foursomes or moresomes, or just including another single for a threesome. In a swinging relationship sex is usually the focus and intimate, loving relationships are not the norm.

Polyamory: This is where a person carries-on more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamory differs from swinging and “open marriages” in that much of the time all three or four or more people involved are either mutual lovers or at least good friends. Some polyamorous relationships include cohabitation and others don’t.

Mrs. Scribbens and I started our open relationship status through swinging, mostly to allow her to experiment with her bi-side. We started by having sex with other couples but along the way included a female or two. Eventually we met a single guy that was just the thing we needed. An emotional relationship developed between Mrs. Scribbens and him, and although at first such a thing was absolutely terrifying to us, when it happened it seemed absolutely natural. In fact, our relationship got better between us because her emotional needs were shared between two men. I no longer had to shoulder everything, and she no longer expected me to.

That was our first excursion into polyamory. There have been many swinging partners in between, and many of them have become very good friends, but we are always open to a polyamorous relationship developing. The idea of each other having someone else in their life that helps complete them is not threatening, but rather exciting and welcome. We love each other greatly, and feel that others only add to that, the idea that Love + Love = More Love. And it does.

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