From Monogamy To Open Marriage is a weekly column devoted to the discussion of pursuing sex and love outside marriage.
When the decision was made to “do something” with other people, I wondered how we’d go about this. We didn’t want to deceive anyone and pretend we were interested in a standard relationship. We were not going to lie about our marital status. At the same time, we weren’t sure of what we wanted. A one-time thing? Something steady? Separately? Together? Both? Neither? Everything?
Where does a married couple find others who are interested in casual relationships with married people? And how do we find people whose interests and expectations match ours?
We have never been the type of couple who frequents clubs or big parties, and we aren’t exhibitionists, so the thought of going to a swinger club was not at the top of our list. After creating profiles on a couple of different sex-positive sites and sifting through all the information that’s available, I thought I ought to try attending a munch.
Yeah, I know. It’s a weird word.
Munch on who? On what? A munch is a social gathering for people interested or involved in BDSM and other fetish lifestyles. There are also munches specifically for polyamorous people. These gatherings are always in a safe public space where there is no pressure since everyone is there just to socialize. You can walk in and walk right out if you want. You can stay for ten minutes or stay for the entire time. People are friendly and welcoming because they know that it’s not easy to walk into a gathering like this when you’re new.
Part of me started wondering if I should do this at all. If our sex life didn’t feel like it lacked anything, should we open this door? Should we let in others? Should we make things more complicated?
I met Drew at the second munch I attended. He was friendly and slightly awkward but genuine. He was single and not seriously looking for a relationship. He identified as polyamorous, and he enjoyed casual play. We got together about a week after we met and it was probably one of the most awkward “dates” I have ever been on in my life. I don’t know what made me think I could sit down with a stranger and practically interview him to see if he would work as a fuck buddy. I thought we’d talk about what we might want to do if we decided to meet again. Instead, we talked about work, our upbringings, education, and various life experiences. It was much like a real first date, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I figured I might as well move forward with what I set out to do and I made plans to go to Drew’s house a few days later.
I gave my husband his address and contact info. A quick search on the internet (who doesn’t do this?) revealed no red flags. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the tax records on his home reassured us that he was a normal functional person with too much to lose in exchange for the thrill of the murder or mutilation of a married woman. Taking a step away from monogamy is scary in its own way, but for the most part, we felt safe.
I approached my first time with Drew with no expectations. Part of me thought that it might all be a waste of time. Part of me was excited about the thought of different hands navigating my body. Part of me started wondering if I should do this at all. If our sex life didn’t feel like it lacked anything, should we open this door? Should we let in others? Should we make things more complicated? I started to worry and obsess on all the possible consequences. As I was driving to Drew’s house, I called my husband and said something I say to my kids all the time:
“Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.”
I sat in the driveway adding more confusion and apprehension to our conversation, even though I had already decided I wanted to go through with the experience. While I bantered, my husband assured me that he trusted my judgment, then reminded me that I shouldn’t do this if I were not sure. I thanked him. I said goodbye, and I told him I would call him later. Then I got out of the car and rang the doorbell.
(to be continued)