5 Different Non-Monogamous Relationships

I love my girlfriend with everything I have, but she is far away and I find it hard to feel my sexual needs are adequately being met by masturbation over the phone or Skype. How do I approach the idea of having playmates, but keeping our relationship to just the two of us?

This is a great question, thanks for asking! 

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Many couples are finding that ethically non-monogamous relationships work, and work well. There are a whole variety of non-monogamous relationships out there. Some you may have heard of, and some may be new to you. While people may interpret these words differently, this is how I interpret them myself.

1. Swinging

Swingers might practice more socially organized non-monogamy. They might attend groups where partners or couples swap. They may attend swingers clubs, where one might have sex on site (or on sight, wink nudge.)

2. Polyamory

Polyamorists might value the intimate and loving parts of their relationships more than just the casual sex aspects. Someone who is poly believes that it is possible to love more than one person at once.

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3. Cuckoldry

A cuckold is now often referred to as a man who gets off on the idea of his female partner having sexual contact with someone other than himself. This female partner is sometimes called a “hot wife.”

4. Open Relationship/Marriage

An open relationship or an open marriage has less strict definition in my mind. An open relationship is a relationship where the partners involved have discussed and found ways to include others in their relationship in some way. Sometimes this means one or both partners will have casual sex partners. Sometimes it means there is another relationship within that relationship (such as another girlfriend or boyfriend.)

5. Monogamish

Monogamish is a relatively new term coined by Dan Savage. It describes relationships that are mostly monogamous but not entirely. An example would be a couple who considers themselves monogamous but, as is becoming popular, they may engage in threesomes occasionally.

Ethically non-monogamous

Basically, ethically non-monogamous relationship is a fancy way of saying that you have created a relationship between you and your partner/s that suits all of your needs, but does not necessarily follow a traditional relationship model.

I believe that all relationships would benefit from questioning the traditional relationship model by asking themselves what they want and need. In your case, your long distance relation struggles with physical intimacy needs.

I think it’s important to remember that when you do open your relationship to someone else that you are opening your relationship. You are, in some way or another, involving them in your partnership. Even if you are keeping you relationship separate. For instance, you will have new conversations about trust with your s/o, and safety, STDs, and protection.

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You also have to consider the other person or people involved. Where would you find a new partner and would they want the same casual arrangement as you? This can be difficult to find, particularly if you are going to be honest about the fact that you are in a relationship and aren’t looking for anything serious.

Some couples I know go for a don’t ask don’t tell model. While I have never particularly advocated this model, it does work for some.

I would suggest that you ask your partner about this and see what she thinks. Does she too desire playmates? If not, does she understand and support your desire? Depending on how these questions get answered, you may have to start asking other questions. Like how you can continue having your needs met, or if this is the right relationship for you.

I think it can be a good idea if the time is right, the people involved are right, and the spirit of the idea is right. A conversation about how you feel and brainstorming potential solutions with your partner is a good place to start. Good luck, and feel free to submit further questions as you get involved in this process.

Have a question about sex, love, or life? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and ill answer it on my blog.

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