There are some things you just don’t say to your partner. Expressing your desire to sleep around is probably one of them, but I talk openly with my boyfriend about it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s taken a lot of practice, but I’m finally figuring out how to have that conversation and still maintain love and trust in our relationship.
Total honesty is non-negotiable in my relationships. I’ve always been one to speak my mind and nowhere is this truer than in my relationships. If I’m sharing my life with someone, I want to really share my life with them. Total honesty is one of the most important things in a partnership for me, and without that, I’ll always feel like we’re keeping each other at arm’s length. If that means telling my boyfriend I want to have sex with my hot coworker, so be it.
Trust is what makes it all possible. It’s not always easy to be transparent with the person you love. There are many parts of me that I’m insecure about sharing and it’s only possible to do so when there’s a huge degree of trust involved. My partner and I have gone through a lot together and every new challenge that comes our way is an opportunity to build that trust up even more. I feel lucky to have met a man that I feel so safe with and who feels so safe with me.
I’m done repressing my sexuality. I grew up in a religious environment that shamed me for my sexuality. I’m not about to go through that again. It’s taken me years to undo the guilt-based belief systems I used to hold, and now that I’ve embraced myself as a sexual being, I have no desire to go back. My sexuality is a part of me and it’s pointless to repress that. If I feel desire for somebody, I want to accept it even if it’s not something I’ll end up acting upon.
It starts with self-acceptance. I know it’s harder to be honest with my partner about these things when I don’t fully accept them in myself. Sometimes I fall back into the habit of judging my desires and feeling shame and guilt about wanting someone else. In these times, it’s impossible to talk to my boyfriend about it because I don’t feel confident and comfortable with my own thoughts. I end up downplaying them, making excuses, or just not saying anything at all. I need to accept myself before I can be fully honest, otherwise, I’ll always be looking for his acceptance and short-changing both of us.
It’s totally normal to want other people. As much as we’re fed the happily-ever-after story, it’s naïve to think that none of us will ever look at another human being again once we’ve found The One. I recognize that it’s normal to want other people and that it doesn’t mean I don’t love or desire my partner. As soon as I started to see that, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was able to relax into my desires, without guilt or shame.
It actually brings us closer. Sharing these thoughts with my partner is a huge practice in vulnerability. I feel like I’m exposing my inner world to him and it can be a scary and exhilarating process. Opening up to him like that without knowing for certain what his reaction will be makes for some pretty intense feelings. Every time he meets my confessions with acceptance and love, we get closer than we were before. There are times he expresses fear or insecurity when I tell him about my desire for someone else, and I try to give him the same compassion and acceptance. It’s a beautiful exchange.
There’s power in my words. Actually saying out loud that I want to sleep with someone is terrifying and liberating at the same time. Owning my own desires so unapologetically is an incredibly empowering experience. I’ve been so trained to repress any desires that were deemed inappropriate that finally putting them out into the world feels like a revolutionary act. It can become addictive to be so unashamedly honest!
It’s a two-way street. Of course, I’m fully aware that my partner has the same thoughts that I do. It would be short-sighted and selfish to think otherwise. I try to offer him the same space of love and acceptance that he gives me. He tells me about his desires for other women and while it can sometimes be challenging to hear, I truly appreciate his honesty and trust. It can also be really exciting to hear his thoughts and, against all odds, it can lead to deep feelings of joy in me. Who would have thought?
We’re navigating the practicalities. Once you bring all this stuff out into the open, the question of what to do about it can hang in the air. We’ve experimented with polyamory before and are finding our way through this new and exciting phase of our relationship. It’s one thing to hear about your partner’s desires to sleep with other people, but experiencing it in real life is a whole different ballgame. We’re both committed to figuring it out one step at a time.
It’s not easy but it’s worth it. There isn’t really a playbook for this, which means we’re figuring it out as we go. There are years and years of social conditioning to work through and that can make this whole thing pretty challenging. It can take a lot of energy to first be honest with yourself and then honest with your partner about things that are really scary to say out loud. Still, I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re discovering the liberation of being completely transparent and there’s a great joy in that. It makes it all worthwhile.
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