“So, what if he took the train home tonight,” I asked, “and saw some woman he wanted to fuck?” I’m standing in my 8-inch heels in the mirror-lined dressing room, brushing the last lap dance out of my hair and applying lip gloss. “And then he goes back to her house,” I continue, “and has sex with her. How would you feel?”
Rosalie smiled. “I’d be happy for him, and proud of him.”
“You wouldn’t be jealous?” I asked.
“Not at all!” she replied. “I fuck other men. It doesn’t have to mean anything. And I trust him.” She was so matter of fact, so self satisfied and confident, that I couldn’t find words to ask her any more about it. I couldn’t imagine feeling that way about my partner if he were to sleep with someone else. I could only imagine crying, slamming doors, packing boxes and wanting to peel his cheating skin right off of his unfaithful body.
“It’s actually really hot when he fucks someone else,” Rosalie added, as she made her way to the tiny door that separated the dressing room from the stage. I was astonished. I was aroused. I was confused. I was 22.
Now, at 35, with over three years of an amazing open relationship under my belt, I fully understand what Rosalie meant all those years ago. And the more I learn about open relationships, and myself within one, the more I understand that I wasn’t ready, at 22, to take on the work and trust that such an arrangement requires. At that age, I was convinced that if my boyfriend spent too much time around an attractive woman it would make him want to throw his dick into her regardless of the consequences. I also thought that if my partner did throw his dick into another woman it meant that he wished I looked different, and didn’t love me anymore. Ahh, youth. Where do we learn these things we think we know in our early 20s?
I can’t blame it all on age, though. Rosalie was actually a year younger than me. She was also a stunner- long dark hair, huge dark eyes, full lips, beautiful breasts, the works. She had graced the cover of our monthly national strip club magazine earlier that year. Her looks also caused confusion in my young mind. She was so incredible looking, why did her boyfriend need to sleep with anyone else? Obviously I had not yet begun my delightful discovery journey into the biology of human sexuality. I’m tempted to say that I wish that I had had the knowledge and confidence to start experimenting with open relationships in my 20s, but I’m not sure it if would have been successful. Learning from Rosalie that such relationships could exist planted a seed that grew into a decade-long fascination with the topic. It took a long time until I felt ready to explore opening up, and it also took that long to find the right partner to try it with.
At 22, I had already had a lot of fun and crazy sexual escapades, but there were still so many more that I had not yet experienced. Perhaps many of the things I had already done at 22 would take another person many more years to try. Perhaps some of the things I had already done would never be comfortable for another person, regardless of their age or other experiences- posing for explicit, toy-penetration nudes, phone sex, being a stripper, same-sex dalliances, fucking in a boat, in a bar bathroom, in a dump truck.
It’s wonderful that we live in a world with so much to offer sexually, in a time when activities outside the strict vanilla box are more accepted by everyone. It’s exciting that one’s sexuality and sex life can be (nay, should be!) a divine, changing, complex and utterly thrilling journey. We must keep in mind, though, that no one else walks our same path. What you’ve done for 20 years might be new and scary to someone else, and the other way around. Let’s learn from each other, and teach each other, and trust that new sexual worlds are waiting around every corner. Where would you like to explore next?