By Thomas Whitfield
I’m in a monogamous relationship. We’ve been together for a bit over a year. Recently my boyfriend told me that he wants to sext and jerk off with other guys on the phone, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I have no desire to do that with other people, but I feel like I have to do it too if he’s going to or it wouldn’t be fair. I haven’t done anything like that with someone else in a long time, and it just doesn’t appeal to me. I do understand why he wants to, though; it used to be fun for me. If I let him virtually hook up with other guys, do I have to come up with something else I want to do too? Like a trade? -Male, Gay, 24
When negotiating the rules of a relationship, the first one is that everyone in the relationship should be satisfied. What that doesn’t mean is that everyone has to be satisfied in the exact same way. If you’re OK with him engaging in that behavior, and you don’t have any desire to, then let him do it, and don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to. Second, be very clear with him about what you do and don’t want to know about. For example, do you want to know when he’s doing it and who with, or would you prefer to know nothing? Third, maybe there is a trade you want. It doesn’t have to be sexual.
My boo wants to open up our relationship, and I’m pissed about it. When we started dating we were both VERY clear about how we only do monogamy. Fast forward to six months later and suddenly he wants us to be open. I’m like, WTF dude?! I definitely get urges to be with other guys, but I don’t want to act on them, and I feel like he lied to me. Now I’m in love with him, and he wants to change the rules. Part of me is afraid to let it happen, and another part of me is afraid that if I don’t then we will break up. I’m also just like, if I open this door, what’s the next one that’s going to open? What if we can’t shut it after? -Male, Gay, 25
I can completely see why you feel like you were lied to. Six months of dating is pretty quick to have changed views on monogamy. However, this is where you are now: He wants to make the relationship open, and you don’t. If you had been together for longer, I’d say to try it out, a trial period, and have open communication. But, it’s still pretty early into a new relationship, and I kind of think you should just move on. If you feel like you’re being forced into an open relationship and it isn’t what you want, you’re going to be miserable.