My Open Marriage: the skinnyPosted: August 18, 2013
My husband and I have an open marriage. We have been married 7 years, and I guess you could say, we’ve caught the itch. Or at least, I have. Our open marriage is one-sided. My husband has the right to exercise his option to play outside of our union, but at this time he chooses not to do so. This is largely because he is not nearly as sexual as I am–which is a huge part of why we are open in the first place.
I am an incredibly sexual person. I really can’t get enough. I have a lot of curiosity and a need to explore the different facets of my sexuality. My husband is pretty much good with vanilla sex, and not only has no desire for kink, but also has a bit of an aversion to it.
I spent the first seven years of our marriage frustrated and dissatisfied. We would go weeks and even months at a time without sexual contact. No amount of make-up and lingerie and straight-up throwing myself at him would change it. If he wasn’t in the mood (which was often), then it wasn’t happening. And this is still the way it is.
It’s not that we never have sex, or that he isn’t good at it. We do have sex sometimes, and when we do it is great. My husband is a creative and sensitive lover who isn’t satisfied unless I come multiple times, and who thinks of positions that would have never even occurred to me. So when it’s good, it’s good. It’s just that it’s not enough.
I was tired of lying in bed with him, aching and seething because he wouldn’t touch me. It caused problems–it hurt our marriage. Screaming and crying over this issue was not uncommon for us. Promises would be made, but not kept. While a woman can just suck it up and have sex regardless of whether she is aroused or not, it’s not as easy for a man. If their equipment isn’t cooperating, it is not going to happen.
Not only that, but it hurt my pride. When someone agrees to have sex with you when you can tell they don’t really want to, it stings. It kills the mood. It makes you feel as though you are not sexy. I don’t want a pity lay. So I would refuse, and the fighting would resume. To say it was devastating would be an understatement. I was slowly dying.
And then, in conjunction with all of this, we started to question our beliefs. We had been devout Christians, even marrying at 21 because we felt guilty for having sex. But we are thinkers. We ask questions. We challenge the status quo. And a lot of things about our belief system stopped making sense to us. My husband realized that he was no longer a believer, and then a year later, after a lot of digging and research, I reached the same conclusion for myself.
Without a book to tell us what our moral standard should be, we were free to define it for ourselves. We agreed that monogamy is nothing more than a social construction. It has its purposes and is not necessarily a bad thing, but non-monogamy is equally moral and ethical and right. We decided to open our marriage so that both of us could have our needs met.
A few close friends know about our agreement, and they are not impressed. They do not necessarily think that what we are doing is wrong, but that it is dangerous. That I could fall in love with someone else, or resent my husband for “making” me go to these lengths to get my needs met. Because they are my friends, they think that my husband is in the wrong. That he should suck it up and have more sex with me and pretend to like it. That he needs to get over his hang-ups and be more open to different sexual experiences.
His friends, I’m sure, would say that I am wrong. That we took vows, and that I need to honour them. That sex isn’t everything, and it’s not like we never have sex, and I should just invest in a couple of good vibrators and a collection of porn and remain faithful to my husband.
Here’s the thing, though. I love my husband, and he loves me. One of the most beautiful things about our marriage is that it is based on mutual acceptance. He loves my kinky slutty self, and I love him in all of his vanilla-ness. We don’t need to change each other. He doesn’t need to be all things to me, and I don’t need to be all things to him. I am not going to force him to attend an orgy or have anal sex if the thought legitimately makes his skin crawl. And he is not going to force me to go through the next several decades sexually dissatisfied because he doesn’t want to do what I want to do.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t working. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with our marriage. It doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. My husband is my partner in life, but he doesn’t own me. He is my partner, but I am free, and so is he.