Opening up your relationship can be a daunting prospect. We live, after all, in a world that glorifies monogamy, and tells us that the ‘best’ and ‘right’ way to love, and to organise our family life is in a ‘for your eyes only’ kind of way.

But for many of us, the thought of only having sex with one other person ever again feels stifling. Not having another sexual option can even be a reason someone leaves a solid, healthy long-term relationship.

If you’ve had these thoughts, you’re not alone. A recent study showed that 81% of people surveyed had fantasised about being in an open relationship at least once before.

What’s more, for women, long-held myths that we are more inclined to monogamy than men can make the guilt of our desire for others even more intense. Ever found yourself interrupting your own daydreams because you feel disloyal?!

So given society’s stronghold on our monogamy, how do you start going about asking your partner to explore a more open dynamic?

Starting to Open Up

To start with, you need to assess how open you are at expressing your individual desire in the first place. Do you have a celebrity crush, for example, and does your partner know who it is?If you’ve never admitted you fancy Rita Ora, for example, this is a great place to start. You could even play a game, taking it in turns to guess who you think your partner fancies. This can be revelatory in multiple ways. It shows if your partner is perceptive and in tune with your desires, and also if you are both comfortable enough with dropping hints about who else you might find attractive.

 So far, so easy? Try moving on to enjoying some mutual fantasy together. You can do this by watching porn you both like together, by reading erotic stories together, or even by enacting a role play which references you having a fantasy lover or lovers.

The trick is to go slowly with this. If you’ve never explored mutual desires together you’re going to want to feel your way into this several times over before you both feel fully relaxed and comfortable with the feelings it stirs. 

Remember to talk about it after the sex, too. There might be some feelings of guilt or fear that come up on both sides, which is totally normal. Reassure your partner of your commitment and thank them for going on this journey with you.

Maybe it will take several weeks, or maybe several months, but when you’re ready, the next step is to express to your partner that you’re interested in exploring your bi desire with another person. If you’re unsure how your partner is going to react, being non-specific about when can be a good way of expressing yourself, a semi ‘coming out’ as it were, without scaring the horses - after all, stepping over into reality is a bigger step than role-playing or confessing a crush.

Introducing Skirt Club

Been met enthusiastically? Then dare to make it concrete and introduce the idea of attending Skirt Club. Consider how involved you want them to be at this stage. Is this a journey that you want to go on by yourself, a private night for your delectation only? Or something you plan on returning home to talk all about? It’s worth deciding that for yourself before you mention the idea of attending a party.

Once you’ve floated the idea, be as transparent as possible at this stage about the night. Show them the website, the blog and any relevant reviews and reassure them of your safety. A really nice part of the plan could be for them to pick you up afterwards or meet you somewhere for a drink. Perhaps you’ve even discussed the possibility of them exploring something sexual with someone else too while you’re attending Skirt Club.

Setting the Rules of Play

But regardless, the main thing to discuss before one or both of you experiments with someone else is how far it’s going to go. What are the rules of play? Are you both comfortable with you kissing and touching someone else but not getting fully naked, for example? Would being naked with someone else be ok? If so, where abouts will you let someone else touch you? Where will you touch them? Are there any rules about props or toys?

 These can seem like really clinical details but you’d be surprised how most of us can have strong preferences for things we’d like to keep between just us and our partner. In fact, keeping certain acts back can even be a really good way of differentiating the sex too. Plus drawing up boundaries that you are both comfortable with is a vital, respectful part of opening up your relationship.

Boundaries and consent

One word of caution - when you’re starting to open up about your bi desires, it can sometimes seem like a good idea to mention any mutual friends or contacts that you fancy, for context. Generally though, it’s not. If your partner thinks you’ve been excessively fantasising about Jemima from Accounts, or even real-life flirting or interacting with her, that could lead to some deep questions about boundaries and trust. The beauty of something like Skirt Club for many is that you are meeting people you usually have no everyday interaction with in the first instance. That can help to make a real clear distinction between this aspect of your life and the rest, at a pace that suits you. And if you happen to make fantastic life-long friends with someone who becomes a trusted playmate, even better!  

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