After making our “Coming Out” announcement, we were flooded with more support and kind words than we ever anticipated. We were also asked a ton of questions surrounding our dynamic. We live openly and honestly and are happy to share our insight with the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same.
Rather than answering each question privately, we thought it would be nice to have a Q&A section where all the great questions we’re being asked can be included for everyone’s benefit. We recently polled our friends on Instagram and Facebook and posed the question, “Ask us anything about open-relationships”. Below are some of the questions asked along with our responses.
We felt it would be best for each of us to answer these questions since we both have opinions on them and it’s important to hear both perspectives for a complete picture. To make it a more interesting exercise for ourselves, we didn’t read one another’s responses until we finished answering all the questions. We’ll continually maintain this section and will add new questions as they are asked. We hope you enjoy, please feel free to comment or ask questions!
How did it all get started?
Jason: This is a great question, and one that many people ask when they begin considering this journey. It especially rings true if just one individual in a couple is having thoughts but unsure how to bring it up to their partner without creating new problems.
In our case there were several contributing factors, I could write a novel on each, but to synopsize, a few very important things occurred within a period of time that was very transitional for me.
1) I was shot several times by a gun wielding gang banger, who was fresh out of prison for other violent crimes, in downtown San Diego. Having a handshake with death like that was an eye opening experience. Suddenly I began asking myself if I was living the life I was meant to. I wasn’t thinking about open relationships, more so, “am I proud of the person I am?” The answer I came to, was no, I was not happy about the person I was or the way I was living. I knew there was more to life than I was seeking out. I’ve always felt a greater capacity for love than I allowed myself because at the time, being tough, strong, and unafraid were tenants I lived my life by. I came to realize it was foolish to make these a priority and they all stemmed from a negative space in my heart.
2) My daughter was only one and still a very new addition to our family. As I began taking a closer look at my life, the levity of the responsibility of hers became crystal clear for me. This little angel sent from heaven would emulate me, she would want to be like me, and my actions would severely impact her life. Again I asked, how can I improve myself? I was taught all the traditional values of a standard monogamous relationship coupled with a very Christian upbringing. I had always waged a war of wanting to connect with more people (physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically) but feeling like it wasn’t ok because the beliefs I was raised on wouldn’t allow for such thinking. I had to ask myself, did I want to perpetuate the beliefs I was raised on, and didn’t agree with, in my teaching to my daughter. Again, my answer was an emphatic no, I knew there was a better way and I wanted to find it.
3) Our marriage hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. We’ve encountered trauma, distrust, lies, and infidelity previously in our relationship. At the root of it all, was an inability to communicate our desires and what we wanted as individuals. To be able to express a desire for something but feel unable to do so can be maddening. Opening our communication and creating a safe space to converse without fear of a negative reaction was the key we were missing. Once we found the ability to talk about all the thoughts in our head, trusting the other person wouldn’t have a negative reaction was incredibly liberating, and we also discovered many of the things we were thinking aligned perfectly.
So the short answer to this question would be, it all got started when we learned to effectively communicate honestly and without fear of a negative response.
Aubrey : It’s difficult to identify an exact moment where this started. I consider it more a moment in our journey where we both realized we had been walking the path laid out for us and it led to a life that started to feel less fitting. We both had skeletons in our closet that needed to be freed and we knew we had to figure out how to do so. We didn’t enter our marriage under traditional standards. We married on a beach in Tulum with few people and even less tradition. I vividly remember only caring about how to always make this love story work. It’s not the type you throw away, give up on or forget about. If I couldn’t make a life work with Jason, I couldn’t with anyone. These are still my core values. We wrote our own vows and haven’t broken them. We never promised each other monogamy or obedience. We did promise to love and cherish each other, which I understand today more than ever.
We had hit the lowest point in our relationship around the time our daughter was born. It seemed like there was a new challenge around every corner and we both felt discouraged and unhappy. Not only were the circumstances trying but most of my unhappiness stemmed from the fact that I would look Jason in the eyes and could see he wasn’t happy. He and I both wanted to be. We wanted to hold that flame and space for each other that makes us feel so united and alive, but something was missing. During this low, we had sought out counseling and our therapist said, “We need to do an autopsy of the broken marriage”. This resonated with me on a deep level. It meant we had to dissect our actions, beliefs, emotions and set a path for recovery. We had to do this together, requiring us both to take accountability for all of those things and set a new course of honesty and a new framework for how we love. Otherwise, we would continue to fail at happiness.
A very large part of our discussions through this “rough patch” as we call it, were based in desire, love languages, sex and communication as it pertains to those things. We both recognized we weren’t fulfilled and there was so much that needed uncovering. I was resistant and timid when talking about these topics. Talking about sex made me uncomfortable and I tended to stay private with my feelings. I didn’t want to hear what I could be doing better or how I could have let him down. This resistance served as a perfect opportunity to set an intention to listen thoughtfully, and do my best to communicate openly. Once we really started to dig in, I felt a surge of hope. The more I learned of his desires and thoughts, the closer I felt to him. The more he asked me the hard questions, the more liberated I felt and the more anxious I was to let him truly know me.
The short answer is, it started when we learned how to talk to each other.
Q: Do you share a partner or have multiple?
Jason: This just depends on what level of organic chemistry exists. Neither of us ever try to force a situation or engage with others with an underlying expectation. Friendship is the only thing we both hope to find in others. Beyond that, anything physical is just icing on the metaphorical relationship cake. We’re as happy to make platonic friends as we are intimate ones. Sometimes we both connect with an individual or couple, while others just one of us does. In either case, all that matters is that we are finding happiness. I’m happy when she’s happy and vice versa. Even in the case that she’s engaging in something I’m not particularly thrilled about, I know that if she’s doing something, it’s because she wants to and I trust her judgment.
Aubrey: I have been asked this question multiple times and sometimes find it difficult to answer, as it’s posed. We share many things with each other. We share our thoughts and feelings, we share our belongings and experiences, we share jokes and food etc… But, it feels unfitting to say we share a partner. Sharing implies we have some jurisdiction or possession of that thing, person or experience. It feels like that partner is up for division between parties. We see each relationship as unique and don’t compare or classify/label them. We have met people who we both connect with, tremendously, and we are fortunate enough to have developed some lifelong friendships as a result. We have had connections where one of us gravitates towards more than the other. We have had physical chemistry with others together and independently. We have found people come into our lives for a reason, a season or forever. Our goal is to find more forever’s, and those can really only exist when we both are in connection and relationship with that person and/or people. We value our reasons and seasons as well. Our paths were meant to cross and we feel happy with the growth and freedom to move forward.
Q: How do you handle jealousy?
Jason: Probably the most frequently asked question and most misunderstood. It is my opinion that jealousy is an emotion, it’s inevitable, and it plays a role in all our lives. Many people often misunderstand our type of dynamic and say things like, “Oh I’d do it too but I’m just too jealous”. Friends, we are victim to the same emotions you are! Fear, distrust, jealousy, ego, etc. are all emotions we can’t just get rid of, they are part of the human condition. Where we differ from the rest is a matter of perspective.
When I feel a pang of jealousy, which I do from time to time, I simply take a moment to ask myself the “why?” of it all. Why am I feeling jealous? Is she intentionally hurting my feelings? No, that’s not it. Does the person she’s engaging with offer something I don’t, or can’t? Sometimes this is the case, and then I remind myself that I don’t need to fulfill every aspect of her happiness but I can support it. It’s awesome that others can give her something that I can’t. Whether it’s a talent, an adventure, something sexual, it doesn’t matter, if her happiness is paramount, then I can look at this feeling from a new perspective and find pleasure in things that would normally make me uncomfortable.
I firmly believe jealousy is a self-inflicted wound, and with the right mindset, easily overcome. My advice to anyone experiencing jealousy is to ask themselves the tough questions. Ask yourself, why am I jealous? Do not allow yourself a cop-out answer like, “because I don’t like it” or “it makes me uncomfortable”. You still haven’t reached the root of the problem. If you find yourself answering your questions with ambiguity, simply add the words “but why?” to the end of your answer and keep going until you reach the source. I’d be willing to bet, insecurity lies at the root. This is not to say I’d be ok with anything, remember the most important detail, if she’s doing something, it’s because she wants to. Who am I to intercede her happiness, especially if the source is my own insecurity? Personally, if there’s something makes Aubrey happy but makes me unhappy, I need to find out why. Nine times out of ten, I’m being petty and losing sight of the bigger picture.
Aubrey: When we first talked about what involving others would look like, jealousy wasn’t really on the forefront of my mind. Fear of loss and the unknown were my primary concerns. My fears were mainly rooted in whether or not this would be something we could come back from if we decided to walk out our thoughts and fantasies. I couldn’t really grasp the idea of seeing him touch or care for another woman but it didn’t make me jealous. I just didn’t know how I would feel without trying it. I felt trepidation but not really jealousy. Our first encounter with another couple was at a pool party and it was the first test of my jealousies. They were experienced and made things really easy and fun. When I saw Jason connecting with her, any negative reactions were mainly rooted in feeling self-conscious about being affectionate in public. My fears have almost always been about how we will be perceived by people outside of our taboo dynamic. I’m not saying I’ve never been jealous. There have been times where we cross into new territory and my knee-jerk reaction feels like jealousy. Then, I ask myself the question “what exactly is it that you feel?” The answer has never been “I’m afraid of losing Jason”. I can usually identify the source of jealous feelings instead as feelings of insecurities when moving past comfort zones. I really take a lot of pleasure watching him connect with people. I don’t feel like an outsider. I feel like a participant in something that is making him happy, even if I’m not around for it. It is through our bond, communication and openness that we can even experience these connections, so instead of jealousy, I think we practice gratitude that we continue choose each other.
Q: How did the topic get brought up and agreed upon?
Jason: Fun story… we were watching the HBO series Westworld. To any that don’t know, the premise goes something like this. Everything takes place in the future. Through technological advances, robots in the likeness of humans are made with an artificial intelligence comparable to that of a human. A place called Westworld is created where there are tons of AI robots living; they are all programmed to be part of a story. People living in the “real world” can pay a nominal fee to go to Westworld where they can immerse themselves in this land of robots and AI, and become part of the programmed story. Here they can live out their wildest fantasies, and engage in whatever behavior the want to. Because it’s impossible to commit a crime against a robot, and because they are completely programmable, many people attend Westworld to live out fantasies and desires they can’t normally engage in “real-life”.
That being said, Aubs and I love that show and were watching it one night. I asked her, “Hey if you could go to Westworld, what fantasy would you want to do?” She thought about it a while and then said, “I think I’d get in a bar fight”… A bar fight? I asked her if she could engage in her wildest fantasy, what would it be, and her response was a bar fight? Knowing where my own head was, this was not at all the response I thought I’d get! It must have been obvious because she immediately said, “What’s wrong with that?!”
I began laughing. I know her so well and knew the reason she chose a bar fight. For those that don’t know, Aubrey is a very accomplished Muay Thai fighter with over ten years of solid experience. She would never want to harm someone in the real world and would pretty much never engage in an actual bar fight. So the idea of testing her abilities on some robotic humans would be exhilarating for her. Also I should mention, in Westworld, the robots can’t actually harm the patrons (well… they aren’t supposed to anyway…)
She asked me what my fantasy would be, to which I promptly replied, “I’d have orgies!” She wasn’t surprised one bit and chuckled. I saw her expression change as she began considering new fantasies. Then she told me one involving herself and two men. My head just about exploded, I couldn’t believe I was hearing what she was saying. My sweet little innocent wife, (who at the time I didn’t even know if she masturbated) just told me about a fantasy involving not just another man, but two? I immediately replied, “Ummm, let’s DO THAT!” I was so turned on that she opened up to me so deeply, my desire to make her happy overrode any pangs of jealousy that arose in my stomach.
She looked at me tentatively and said, “Oh no babe, it’s just a fantasy, I don’t actually need to do that.” To which I replied, “You can live any fantasy you want with me babe, let’s make it happen” And so we did, and that was just the beginning.
Aubrey: It was a process to openness. It all started with simply talking. Jason was definitely the driver in encouraging thinking outside of the box we had been living in. He would ask me hypotheticals that I took as trick questions. It took some time for me to loosen up and have fun with naughtier conversations. We were not too far out of having some really dark times and I didn’t want to say anything that could cause damage but he always kept it light and fun. The first real breakthrough we had was while watching Westworld. A show where you could live out your fantasies at an amusement park made up of robots. He asked what I would do in Westworld and to be honest, my first thoughts were naughtier in nature but my reality as I knew it said, “I’d get in a bar fight”. He seemed somewhat disappointed that it wasn’t sexually based like his answer. That led into the conversation of whether or not I have those types of fantasies. After some patience and coercing, I let him in on some of the things that have danced around in my head. When I gave him examples of sexual fantasies I had played around with, I’m pretty sure he jumped on the bed and yelled “Let’s do that!” It was as sincere of a reaction as it could possibly get. Seeing that he truly had a desire to explore made me feel more excited to express more desires and actually begin the process of how to fulfill them. His enthusiasm inspired my enthusiasm and it’s been a wild ride since then.
Q: Starting an LS podcast?
Jason: At this time we haven’t made any plans to get this going, we still have a lot to learn about that arena. Our desire is to spread a message of love and inspire others to do the same though, and if this seems like a way we can better do that, we will certainly explore it as an option. For now, we’re happy to be interviewed and speakers.
Aubrey: It is definitely on the list of things we are interested in pursuing. We don’t have the following, equipment or know-how at the moment, but our hope it to realize that someday. We firmly believe there is a misrepresentation of our community and it’s highly stigmatized. Our goal is continue to break the narrative of how open relationships are perceived by the mainstream, to serve as support and guidance for those entering their journey, as well as share with those who are walking alongside us.
Q: How did you explain to your spouse that wanting other people isn’t from being discontent?
Jason: This circles back to having the ability to communicate with one another in a safe space. We both acknowledge that we want to spend our lives together, we never want to intentionally harm one another, and we both want to make decisions that are in the best interest of our relationship. Without that as a foundation, it would be near impossible to freely express our feelings to one another. We would inevitably hold back and prevent the complete transparency necessary for these types of conversations.
With that as our guiding light, it was as simple as stating exactly that. We don’t seek to have fulfillment in areas we need in our lives by others. Instead, we feel like our bucket of love is completely full and we desire to expand the size of the container and allow for a space where more people can live. We acknowledge that any experience we have with others will always pale in comparison to what we have together. We never fear someone else can replace one another. A few things I remind myself as reassurance that nothing we do can threaten our relationship at its core are:
1) Nobody will love her more than I do: We’ve experienced so much together and our lives are intertwined, not just in this life but also in whatever comes next. It would be impossible for someone else to fill the space I am in her life.
2) Nobody else will love our daughter more than I do. The idea that someone else could be a better father to our peanut is laughable.
3) Sex with others will never be in the same league as sex with me. This isn’t my attempt to bolster my own ego and I don’t make that statement because I think I’m so good in the sack. I can confidently say this because what we experience together is not of this world. We connect physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to a degree I never knew possible. I know she feels the same for me so I have the ultimate confidence.
Aubrey: I don’t think I realized I wanted other people until I had the opportunity and freedom to. I only felt guilt any time my eye would wander toward someone I was simply organically attracted to, which sucks! To have to keep your head down for fear of wrongdoing towards your spouse can be a very restrictive place. Jason has always cleared a safe path for me, in all compartments of our life together. This was no different. He allowed me and encouraged me to explore my inner desires and sexuality. Prior to being open, my thoughts gravitated towards “if he wants somebody else, he doesn’t want me anymore”, which is why I would feel withdrawal instead of jealousy. It wasn’t until he suggested I explore my fantasies with another man that I knew it wasn’t really about what he wanted for himself. This was about us. Our first experience was with another man. I could have hated it and shut it down for good and he would have been ok with it. For him, it wasn’t about him wanting anyone specifically. He wanted us both to be able to talk to each other about what we want without judgement or backlash. He showed me through his actions rather than words which answered most of my questions and laid fear to rest.
Q: If one of you wanted to go back, do you think you would still be happy being monogamous?
Jason: Great question! Early on in our openness, we talked about contingency plans like this. What do we do if one of us isn’t content and wants out? At the time, we always said that if one person was unhappy, we’d shut it all down and resume our “normal lives”.
Over time however, we learned certain truths that can’t be unlearned. For example, we both know we have the capacity to love others, to be attracted to them, and desire them for a variety of reasons. If I were to tell Aubrey I want to shut everything down, I’m sure she would, just as I would for her, but that wouldn’t shut those feelings off for her and I’d know it. And if that were the case, what good would it do to hold back the person I love most?
I almost feel like at this point, it would be impossible to walk away from it because it’s so much deeper than fulfilling sexual fantasies, it’s about the way we live our lives. It’s about the way we interact with others and a deeper level of connecting and communicating with one another. Not to go on too much of a tangent but we’ve been vegan for several years. We didn’t make this decision lightly and spent a lot of time doing research before committing to it. After certain truths became apparent to us, it was impossible to un-know those truths. It would actually be impossible for us to go back to a carnivorous lifestyle because we have so much conviction in the way we live now and feel more evolved in our growth; it would be a step backwards to relinquish that thinking. We feel the same about our lifestyle as it pertains to our relationship. We like where we’ve grown and want to continue searching for new ways to expand our growth.
Aubrey: This is a question I have two different answers for.
1. There was a time where this question wavered around in our heads and stayed on the table. I would wonder whether this was a phase or a matter of sexual fulfillment that we may grow bored of. Through our exploration, we no longer believe we are monogamous by nature. We are no longer the same couple we once were. Our old marriage died a while ago and we were reborn into a different mindset altogether. There have been and will be times where one or both of us aren’t interested in putting forth time and energy towards new extramarital endeavors, but it likely wouldn’t be matter of becoming monogamous again. We have grown to a place where we understand our capacity for love, and human connection is far beyond what we gave ourselves credit for. To become what we were would mean we lose the relationships and life and love lessons that now nourish our souls.
2. There are two definitions for monogamy.
-the practice or state of being married to one person at a time.
-the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner
I consider myself monogamous with Jason, in one sense of the word. He is and will always be the one of his kind. He will be the only one I ever marry. He is the only person I have a family, life, future, past and untouchable devotion to. My world ceases to exist absent him. The freedom to dictate how we manage our relationships with other people doesn’t take away anything that we have built together. The other loving relationships we have developed continue to grow my capacity to love him. I don’t believe our connection, bond and love is made from the same fibers as anything else we are ever likely to experience outside of each other.
Q: What percent of your sex life would you say is with your spouse compared to other people?
Jason: Balance is a very important factor. I look at it like this; there are only so many seconds in a day and the way I choose to spend those seconds’ matters. Time is our most valuable currency, spend it wisely because it’s non-refundable.
Aubrey is my favorite person on the planet. If I’m spending time away from her, it’s because I desire something personally or for our relationship. The time spent with others should be regarded wisely. If I’m away from her too much or don’t feel connected physically, I make sure to connect again before engaging with others. We have sex with one another on average once or twice a day. Sex with others is sporadic and definitely doesn’t compete with the amount we have together. I will say though, having sex with others has us clambering to reach one another and reconnect again because the sex we have together after an experience with others takes us to new levels of mind blowing ecstasy.
Aubrey: Comparatively speaking, it’s pretty low. We are active as bunnies at home. We regard sexual satisfaction and desire as one of the highest priorities in our household and our daughter will grow up understanding that, as well. Being that we are not in this to “spice up our sex life”, our moods and preferences kind of change with the scenery. There are times when we feel like being more active than other times. There are people we connect with who we want around more often. There is no formula we follow. We maintain very open lines of communication and we always check in to make sure we are feeling good at home before investing in other people. Even when we are with other people, it still feeds back into us. We always talk about our experiences and it only fuels our fire!
Q: Do you sometimes stay overnight with partners?
Jason: Yes we do. It all depends on those individual connections of course, but we don’t see any issues with this. I look at it like this, if I’m ok with her spending time with someone, learning about them, desiring them, and getting physical with them… why would I draw the line at sleeping beside one another? Because they may wake up and have more sex? I hope they do, I’ll enjoy hearing about how happy she was when I get the debrief later.
Aubrey: We do. Not very frequently, but it’s not because it’s a problem. We don’t set arbitrary boundaries and are happy with however the other person decides to spend their time. If he is staying overnight with someone, it means he is enjoying his time spent, which makes me happy. Also, I take those opportunities to watch weird movies, eat junk food and do face masks on myself.
Q: Do you two discuss details about being with other partners or intentionally not share?
Jason: Oh I LOVE hearing about her exploits, it really turns me on. I know how happy she makes me, so I imagine the person of her affection experiencing the same magic I get and it makes me really happy, the more details the better.
We do something we call debriefs. Maybe it’s the former SWAT operator in me because at the end of any mission, we’d come together as a team and have a very real conversation about how things transpired. We never held back and hit each other with an honesty and realness you wouldn’t believe. Ego was checked at the door and a very real conversation would take place as a team. What worked? What didn’t work? What concerns where there? What do we do to avoid mistakes in the future? All of it designed to improve progress in the future and make things safer.
The same theory applies to our sexual endeavors. We always touch base after an experience and debrief the situation, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the insanely sexy.
Aubrey: We definitely don’t operate under the “I don’t want to know about it” mentality. We love to know all about it! In fact, if there was ever a person who said “don’t tell Jason”, my response would be “byyyye”. Our marriage is the heartbeat of all else. Neither of us desire to keep things private and the idea of intentionally not sharing feels like a cutoff.
Q: Can a single person be in an open relationship?
Jason: I like this one because there are many (single males in particular) that identify as “open”. Often, what that really means is, “I’m single, and open to having sex with your wife, but wouldn’t be capable of the same if the roles were reversed”.
That’s not to say all single people feel this way, I only mention it because it’s a reality we encounter often. People throw the term around loosely to position themselves in groups who truly are open for their own selfish benefit. If someone claims to be open and they are single, I assume they are searching for a counterpart and just haven’t found one. Or, like in the case of many single males, they are using jargon they don’t understand for personal gain. They’re easy to spot though, and I weed through them like a high powered DeWalt weed wacker.
(Side note: isn’t it funny we still call this tool a weed “wacker”? It would be like calling a hammer a nail banger or a drill a screw twister.)
That being said, yes, a single person can definitely identify as open if they live by the same principles. For example, should something ever happen to me, I doubt Aubrey would ever go back to a monogamous relationship. Her perspective is different now, so even as a single woman, I would consider her open and she would most likely search for relationship compatibility surrounding this sort of openness.
Aubrey: I think a single person can be in an open relationship with themselves, which is to be valued. The main reason I can be in an open relationship with my spouse is because I’ve learned to be in an open relationship with myself first. I’ve done a lot of diligent work to learn who I really am. Through many hours of introspection, conversation and experience, I no longer have to deceive myself. I am open with myself, which translates into my marriage and other relationships. With an open mind, similar principles and the right connections, surely an open relationship with another person or people could be on the horizon.
Q: What’s an area of growth you’re personally working on now?
Jason: I spend a lot of time thinking about the direction of our future. When it comes to our sexual “bucket list” we’ve been there done that and checked all the boxes. That’s not to say we don’t sometimes have a new one, but we’re pretty good about checking them off as we dream them up.
What’s next regarding our own personal growth and development will be the way we teach our daughter about these principles as she continues to grow and develop the capacity for deeper understanding. I could write about this for hours, but for now I’ll say it like this; I love the way we live, I’m proud of us, and proud of the daughter we’re raising and seeing our beliefs modeled in her behavior. The way she interacts with others so lovingly, always seeking to make a friend, and free of jealousy. I want to continue growing our comfort and understanding and the ability to communicate it effectively with her. Timing is everything, and when she’s ready for new growth in understanding as it relates to this topic, I’ll know it.
Aubrey: Going public with our lifestyle has been monumental in the trajectory of our life’s direction. We knew once we were “out”, we can’t go back. It has been scary, exhilarating, freeing and sometimes confusing. We want our story to be a positive influence on those around us, even for those who have no interest in the open dynamic. We grew tired of hiding when we feel so happy. Because this is the beginning of a new chapter for us, we are focused on helping normalize this way of life so that the beautiful souls who live in secrecy may have a bump of courage. We have met the most incredible people, have drawn inspiration from strong couples, experienced life in a way we never thought possible and we are definitely putting our energy into growing that community. We want to protect what we have built and make sure our little one knows what love looks like, even if it’s outside of the norm. We hope by the time she can understand, it will be more socially normal.
Q: Do you have boundaries:
Jason: At the onset of our openness, we had quite a few. I can break it down better with an analogy.
As an explosive breacher on the SWAT team, it was one of my duties to create explosive charges capable of doing some heavy damage. I loved it because it was exhilarating. On one hand it was extremely dangerous; after all, I was handling enough explosive material that if I made a mistake the potential to instantly vaporize into a fine pink mist was very real. On the other, it was 100% completely safe if I practiced all the safety measures and protocols. As long as I didn’t over step, paid attention, and stayed within the parameters of what is safe, the outcome would always be the same, success.
I viewed our interactions in the lifestyle much the same. We set certain precautions and boundaries in place to keep ourselves safe, and as long as we stayed within those parameters, we’d always reach success.
Initially we would only engage with others together. All chats were group chats where we could see what everyone was saying, nothing was occurring without the other person knowing. In time we learned this wasn’t necessary. I trusted her to communicate with people as if I was there and she felt the same as well. Abandoning that rule was beneficial because not only did it strengthen our trust together, it also showed others we were confident as a couple. And when you exude that level of confidence in your relationship, those that would consider undermining it know they wouldn’t be successful.
We do have some rules in place regarding our safety. For example, Aubrey’s phone has an app called Life360 on it. I use this to track her whereabouts if she’s going on a date with someone. We discuss what the plans will be before she heads out, and I check in on her via text and Life360 to make sure she’s ok. I know there are some guys reading this thinking, “No way dude, there are too many weirdos out there” And to them I say, trust her. She found you; she must have a pretty good head on her shoulders. Trust her judgment when meeting others. Aubrey would never put herself in a compromising situation that isn’t safe for her well-being and I trust that.
We always use protection when playing with others. STD’s are something we had to consider when entering this world; they’re a very real threat. We educated ourselves on each of them specifically to have a more complete understanding. I find it funny, and slightly offensive, when people assume open-relationships are more susceptible to STD’s than the average single person dating on Tinder. Trust me when I say, we are probably more selective in our play partners, we look out not for just one another but everyone in our community, and we get tested regularly. Can you say the same of the single girl or guy you just met on an online dating app? Didn’t think so.
As far as sexual boundaries, we never instituted any of these. I know some people have rules in place like “no kissing” etc. This felt counterproductive to us. After all, we’re engaging in this because we have relinquished control over one another. We don’t feel people should possess one another and imposing rules on the way they play with others goes against that principle. I’ve heard some people say, “Ya but we like to keep some things sacred for just us.” That’s awesome, and my response is always do whatever feels right in your relationship because there isn’t a right or wrong, just preference. However, I would urge people with these sorts of rules to find the source of them, and to make sure you’re both in agreement for the same reasons. If it’s stemming from a place of insecurity, spend some time asking yourself the “why?”
Aubrey: We don’t really operate under a set of rules or boundaries. We did in the beginning, which I think were necessary as we began our exploration. Providing a safety net can be helpful when journeying into uncharted territory. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. We found, in time, rules were counterproductive to growth. We didn’t have reason behind rules, which makes them fears, not rules. Our standing rule is to communicate. If we don’t communicate effectively, it’s likely the only time we will run into problems.