If you're under the impression that being in an open relationship is just "cheating with permission," get that out of your head, stat. Ask anyone who's been in an open or polyamorous relationship, and they'll say it's about much more than just sex — it's a lot of communication, a lot of trust, and a lot of checking in with your own personal boundaries. And just like monogamous relationships, no two open relationships are exactly the same. All that said, yes , being in an open relationship can mean more sex, and it can also mean changing the way you have and think about sex. To learn more, four people who've been in open relationships shared how their sex lives changed after ditching monogamy. Your partner might introduce you to something you realize you love.
5 Signs an Open Relationship Could Be Right for You | SELF
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Bars, minds, peanut butter jars. Well, many nonmonogamous folks would argue relationships belong on that list. The second and more common definition, says that open relationships are one type of nonmonogamous relationship under the Ethical Nonmonogamous umbrella. Here, usually, open relationships are thought to occur between two people in a primary relationship who have agreed to open up their relationship sexually — but not romantically. Sex educator Davia Frost notes that often people who are polyamorous see it as being an integral part of their identity, much like some people see being gay or queer.
What to consider before suggesting an open relationship
Open relationships fall under the larger category of consensually non-monogamous relationships. They are relationships in which one or both partners can pursue sex, and sometimes emotional attachments, with other people. Open relationships differ from swinging, in which partners have sex with other people at parties and where the relationships are purely sexual.
That definitely doesn't always mean that you want to act on those urges—that might seem like a bad idea for a variety of reasons. But in some cases and for some people, acting on these thoughts with the blessing of their partner is a really attractive idea. Enter: non-monogamy.