The Benefits of an Open Relationship

If you and/or your partner have been considering opening your relationship, you likely have a ton of questions about what makes it work. In this two-part series, we will take a look at the advantages and potential problems, that come with choosing to have an open relationship. We will start here with the positive results I’ve seen come from them, and in the next blog, we will dive into some of the potential pit falls of an open relationship.

The Benefits of an Open Relationship

The reason why many people choose to have an open relationship is to create some sexual variety in their life. It may be that you and your partner have a few different sexual interests, libido, or even ability. There are also non-sexual needs that can be met in an open relationship, such as emotional connection with some one who understands your interests. Another pro is that opening the relationship can ignite new sexual excitement in your primary relationship – even occasionally opening the relationship can bring a spark to the monotony of sex with the same person, day after day, year after year.

Discover new interests. Engaging in sex with others can help you, and/or your partner discover new sexual interests as sexual partners have different needs and interests that you get to explore as well. This includes different ways of kissing, touching, flirting and performing sexual acts, that you can then, if you choose, share with your primary partner.

Reduced resentment. Variety allows you or your partner to engage in sexual activities your primary partner isn’t interested in, or is not able to do. For example, if one partner is interested in a kink or fetish the other isn’t, it can be explored in an open relationship. Another example is in the case of a partner being interested in being with another gender, or involved in a threesome. With an open relationship, you or your partner is free to explore these things without the resentment of feeling like you have to participate or “take one for the team”.

Increased intimacy. Couples are often surprised to find that opening their relationship increases their sense of intimacy. This seems counterintuitive, but many find they begin to have deeper and more honest communication about their sexual wants and desires, and, when they receive acceptance for that, a greater sense of intimacy is developed.

More fulfilling. No one person can completely fulfill all of another’s wants, needs and desires. Open relationships allow each partner to be appreciated for their unique fulfillment of needs and reduce resentment when a partner doesn’t meet a need.

If you are considering opening your relationship, it’s important to understand how to successfully navigate it so that you have positive results, rather than destructive ones. With over 20 years as a therapist specializing in alternative sexual expression, including open relationships and their various forms, I can help.

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