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Opening up a long term marriage?


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#1 Happycamperanon

Posted 17 January 2020 - 07:59 PM

Long time member, going anon and you'll soon see why.

I've been married to my DH for over 20 years and we love each other dearly.  We have what would be described as a "strong marriage". He is a wonderful life partner and father. Our sex life has been quite good and average about 3 times a week. Sure, there have been ups and downs, but now that the fog of raising small children is lifting we are becoming more adventurous in the bedroom. Which is good. We are both very fit, and ok in looks dept.

Over the past few years I have come to realise I  also find women attractive, much more so than  men. I often fantasise about women during intimacy. To be clear, I still find DH attractive, and he's doing very well to be in his mid 40s.  A few weeks back, after years of veiled messaging to DH, I finally admitted this openly. I thought DH would be upset and repulsed, but no, he was happy and accepted this is who I am and how I feel. Fast forward a few conversations (mostly during s*x) and it looks like he would be accepting for our sex life to open up to others.

It seems very exciting in theory, I'd love to explore it and am lucky DH is letting me, but is it really possible to keep it to just sex with a third party? This "detachedness" is exactly what I'd be after.  How do you even choose a third party? I'd say approaching a known person or existing friend is a bad idea ... so I wont be.  Is hiring a sex worker the emotionally safest thing? Has this happened to your relationship and how did you navigate it? Should I just keep it to porn, fantasy and "dirty talk"? I'm well aware of the fallout if this all goes wrong.

So many questions. I've opened pandora's box now and I'm not sure how to navigate from here. I know I'll get a diverse range of answers and viewpoints and am happy to receive PMs if you feel uncomfortable or unwilling to discuss openly.

Thanks for making it this far.

#2 little lion

Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:16 PM

I’m interested to hear people’s answers too.

I guess there’s also the decision/discussion about whether you’d swing (together) or seek out experiences as individuals.

#3 Mrs Claus

Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:31 PM

I think you could keep it to ‘just sex’ if it was a one night stand type situation. I think once it’s more then once with the same person that’s when it could get messy

#4 Kallie88

Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:44 PM

I think if you're both open to the idea then I would start by seriously talking about what you each want, what your boundaries are, and go from there.
How would you feel if after trying it out one was keen to continue and one wasn't, for instance?
Would you be more comfortable with different one off people every time, or could a steady third party just for sex be safer and more enjoyable?
What are you both going to be comfortable seeing the other do with someone different, will your dh have sex with her as well, or do you want to limit a third parties involvement to things like oral/ kissing etc.

Obviously you don't need to answer any of these here, but I imagine some very frank conversations like this will be important if you want to go ahead with this. Good luck

#5 27plus

Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:49 PM

From my experience it didn't  work and damaged our relationship. We are still together but not the same. I am resentful because he was the one to initiate the same scenario and blames me somehow. You do it with the forethought of losing what you have now

#6 **Xena**

Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:34 PM

I think this is a hard one because there is no real way to know how it will go and once done cannot be undone. Some people find it really works, adds some spice but the relationship stays the same at its core. For others the reality isn't the same as the fantasy and can breed some resentment.

I don't know how most couples do it but I got approached in a bar once by a couple. They said they were both attracted to me and asked if I'd be interested. I said no but they gave me a business card in case I changed my mind. It made me feel awkward so I don't recommend it :lol:

Edited by **Xena**, 18 January 2020 - 07:36 AM.


#7 Silverstreak

Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:13 AM

Ooh, this is a tricky one!

I'd be laying down some firm boundaries beforehand. E.g. Is your DH going to have sex with this third party and if so, how will that make you feel? Are you going to see other people as a couple, or independently? What happens if one of you develops an emotional attachment to the third party?

Personally, I don't think I could do it. For me, sex is something that I share with my partner and only my partner. We are at our most vulnerable then, in some ways and he is who I trust.

Communication is the key here, I think. I think it would be wise to hire a sex worker and take it from there, rather than picking up a third party from a nightclub etc.

#8 lizzzard

Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:52 AM

I am a bit surprised after being married so long and obviously quite sexually engaged, that you haven’t discussed this scenario before now! Why did you think your DH would react negatively to the idea in the first place? It’s great that he has been supportive in principle at least.

I would suggest being a little bit cautious of translating fantasy into reality. In my experience (from my younger days pre-marriage) the practicalities and drama might outweigh the benefits. It’s also the sort of thing you can keep in the ‘possible option’ category for a few years - you don’t have to act on it right away. Sometimes the possibility and hypothetical planning can be a lot of fun too.

Edited by lizzzard, 18 January 2020 - 07:53 AM.


#9 Dianalynch

Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:17 AM

Feeling a little hot and bothered reading this thread...

#10 Ivy Ivy

Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:35 AM

Are there books or blogs about this topic written by those who have experienced it that could educate you on the issues to consider?

Also in some capital cities there are swingers clubs guests can visit.

#11 steppy

Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:53 AM

If I was going to do this I'd go the paid professional route. You have no control over the third person and what they bring to the mix. You want someone who never wants to see you again.

#12 No Drama Please

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:02 PM

I’d also think a professional sex worker would be a good first choice. Then you can both experiment in a safe environment without worrying about any emotional connection clouding things, or any mutual attraction building between one of you and the new person.

#13 Freddie'sMum

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:05 PM

Are there counselors you could talk to before starring this OP? In my mind there would be so many issues to negotiate first - and some pretty strong boundaries in place for the two of you - before you throw caution to the wind.

#14 Mollyksy

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:11 PM

My instincts are similar to Steppy as a paid third party should hopefully be the easiest to never see again if that's how it goes down. I agree with PPs about being clear with the plan. Is it just you and the third person, is DH watching? Participating but just with you? Or is DH going to join in with both of you?

I'm with Xena too, I've been approached at a gay bar by a couple who had come with that express purpose and it was awkward. Hence my leaning toward a sex worker.

I also wonder how you explained it to DH. In your OP it was like you arent really attracted to men anymore but are still to him. I'd be concerned that would play on him. It's different to a 'I'm attracted to women too' I think. So you may start to be some insecurity in your DH. He may start to fixate on stories of women who leave husbands for other women. And there are lots of them! Do you think you'd singularly or jointly benefit from counselling? Do you think this is you starting to float an actual desire to be a lesbian but in a more palatable bite size gradual way? I dont mean to offend you but it has happened and its like womens brains are more comfortable feeding a bit at a time to them and others.

Just all things to think about before you take the plunge. But hey, it sounds fun! So if you both want to, and have actively consented, go for it! And tell us lol how you went!!

#15 Romeo Void

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:11 PM

I can't imagine the success rate for an open marriage being greater than 50/50 (if not less). There's a reasonable chance your marriage won't survive it. So the first question you need to ask yourself is....how would you feel if your marriage ended?

Edited by Romeo Void, 18 January 2020 - 12:12 PM.


#16 #YKG

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:36 PM

In some relationships an open agreement can work, in others it’s a disaster.

You both need to be on the same page, set boundaries like for example no bringing anyone to the family home. Both need to be open to discussing issues. It needs to be right for both of you not just one. Am open and honest discussion is probably the best way to go to start.

You’ll need to decide if you both want to play together or play separately with other people, how you’ll both deal and navigate any jealousy. Are you wanting one night stands or ongoing with same people. It’s a lot to discuss.

You both need to do what both are comfortable with and be ok with it. If he’s not comfortable then don’t push it.

Good luck

#17 Oriental lily

Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:21 PM

To me its x treme  sports without a safety harness .

yes it might be a massive thrill , but without the safety harness the crash will be life changing .

and without hindsight there is no way to have that safety harness in place .

There is no way to pause rewind and change what occurs .

its a massive risk .

whats to gain ? Sexual gratification ? Getting your rocks of in a  new way ?

only you can decide if the risk for that is worth it .

and if you didint think there was a risk that it could be a train wreck then you wouldint have asked the question .

#18 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:51 PM

Id assume there are websites for such things where you could find somebody with similar interests.

Ive known a few people in open relationships. The ones where it didn't work were the ones where one partner was initiating it and the other wasn't that keen.

#19 gruidae

Posted 18 January 2020 - 02:09 PM

Aside from the potential complications to your existing relationship, I think you'll find it extremely difficult to find a same sex attracted woman - even a polyamorous one-who is willing to go into this knowing it's just to use her for sexual gratification without emotional intimacy and it's going to be mastabatory fodder between your and your husband.. You have no idea just how many of us have been approached in exactly the same way by "bi-curious" women in heterosexual pairings like we're all just dying to sleep with anything with ovaries.(Hint- almost all of us to the point it's a cliche) Go the sex worker route if you must but please don't go out into queer spaces fishing in a way that exotifies us and reduces us down to our sexual orientation. We're all sick of it.

#20 Dadto2

Posted 18 January 2020 - 02:13 PM

 Oriental lily, on 18 January 2020 - 01:21 PM, said:

To me its x treme  sports without a safety harness .

yes it might be a massive thrill , but without the safety harness the crash will be life changing .

and without hindsight there is no way to have that safety harness in place .

There is no way to pause rewind and change what occurs .

its a massive risk .

whats to gain ? Sexual gratification ? Getting your rocks of in a  new way ?

only you can decide if the risk for that is worth it .

and if you didint think there was a risk that it could be a train wreck then you wouldint have asked the question .

Good analogy and I agree. Probably one of those things that is better as a fantasy for a lot of people. Not saying it wouldn't work, it does for a lot of people, but yeah big risk, you probably need to be 100% sure you are both on the same page.

#21 76 others

Posted 18 January 2020 - 02:17 PM

Been married 20 years here and been open for 8. It works for us. We are both bi. No way would i go to a sex worker. It wouldn't do it for me if the person didn't legitimately want me. There are lots of sites out there.

#22 Oriental lily

Posted 18 January 2020 - 02:59 PM

I just remembered I read Demi Moore’s autobiography on a recent plane trip . The downfall of her and Ashton Kutcher relationship was her agreeing to introduce a second woman in to the bed ( she admitted to feeling insecure about being with a younger man and wanted to appear cool ) .

The result was Ashton thought it was the floodgates for an open relationship so thought sex outside their marriage was fine .

It was not .

op I guess you have to consider what feelings you would have if you DH also has some fantasies that don’t necessarily involve you ?

can you be certain that he can remain emotionally unattached if he pursues these fantasies during and after an encounter ?

Reading your op again you also said he sounds keen during sex . How would he feel the morning after when to be crude not horney anymore ?

Edited by Oriental lily, 18 January 2020 - 03:00 PM.


#23 liveworkplay

Posted 18 January 2020 - 03:32 PM

I think you need to explore just what type of open marriage you want. There are lots of different types and lots of variations within types. Do you want just sex? a "friends with benefits type thing? or a relationship that compliments your marriage? There are a lot of good resources out there on the net. This might interest you... https://www.morethantwo.com/

#24 AuntyJJJ

Posted 18 January 2020 - 03:56 PM

We have been open over ten years. Your question is how do you find people? I only look online as I wouldn’t be interested in men in my community/ or where I live or with connections to my life as a mother and wife.

I have strong, long term sexual friendships with many men, some for decades, some I met before my husband, but all are long term and so incredibly transformative for all of us..they open up my potential my world my whole life

My arrangement is less common in that I explore and have adventures but my husband does not, or at least not with me as he’s not interested in that. It’s very common to open up marriages - just most people don’t discuss - and most couples play together

#25 IShallWearTinsel

Posted 18 January 2020 - 04:39 PM

I think you would need to have some pretty set ground rules before enlisting the help of a professional.

I have friends who are poly, or have open marriages and it's worked for them.




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