It doesn’t matter if it’s swinging, polyamory, an open relationship, or something in between. Learning how to progress sexually in any relationship can be challenging. However, those who want to pursue sex relationships with other partners are not uncommon. An estimated 70 million Americans have practiced some form of “non-monogamy” at some point in their lives. And, as time goes on, relationship structures are continuing to change and evolve.
The great news is, because of the growing attention, alternative relationship structures are receiving some real research. Sex and relationship therapists are learning all about the things that do and don’t work for these relationships. And, in this article, we’re sharing seven expert tips for successfully maintaining sex relationships with other partners.
7 Expert Tips for Maintaining a Sex Relationship with Others
1. Have a Solid Foundation in Your Relationship
Your relationships, whether purely sexual or romantic as well, should be established on a firm foundation. This requires constant communication with your partners, consent, and a willingness to speak up. In fact, a “solid foundation of trust and connection” is required, says psychotherapist Tammy Nelson.
2. Keep Communication Open
As mentioned above, frequent and open communication is vital for having a successful sex relationship with other partners. For example, sex therapist Courtney Geter says that when communication is a priority, it “creates and enforces respect and boundaries. These are critical components for a healthy relationship.
3. Set the Ground Rules First
What turns you on? What are you not willing to explore? Setting some ground rules between you and each of your partners before having sex is extremely important. Doing this helps regulate expectations and establishes a line of communication. Sexpert Tracey Cox says some of the most common rules include:
- Protection is a priority
- Arrive as a couple, leave as a couple
- Pushiness is not allowed
- Never, ever ‘take one for the team’
4. Make Sure to Think about Aftercare
Sex relationships aren’t only about sex; there is still a before and after. Consequently, psychosexual and relationship therapist Sarah Berry says it’s crucial to think about aftercare. Open chats and gentle hugs can be helpful, as well as establishing a set of rules. You should consider some of the following questions:
● Will the guest be sleeping over? In the same bed?
● Does your contact remain open after you separate?
● Can you meet up with this person alone?
5. Do Your Research Together
Open sex relationships look different for everyone, which is why research (prior and continued) should be kept a priority. Sex therapist and research Cristine Milrod says that research can look like “visiting forums or engaging in conversations with other swingers first to get an idea of expectations and possible issues.” This can be a helpful step for setting rules as well.
6. Ease into the Lifestyle
When it comes to exploring sex relationships with other partners, slow and steady wins the race. Sex therapist Sue McGarvie says that it’s best that you don’t feel pressured into the lifestyle, or that your expectations aren’t too high. Consider meeting with potential partners for coffee or over video chat before signing up for anything crazy.
7. Explore Your Feelings
Open sex relationships aren’t just about feeling good and having fun; your feelings are also an important part of the equation. Susan Wenzel, a sex therapist, says that it’s important to explore any negative feelings that might come up. Jealousy or fears of abandonment are common, and it can be helpful to see a therapist to explore the root cause of these feelings.
Keeping up with Sex Relationships Should be Fun and Exciting
Figuring out how to progress sexually in a relationship can come with its difficulties, but for most people, the end result is worth it. Maintaining a sex life that is fun and fulfilling can come with so many benefits, individually and in your relationships. Thankfully, as more research surfaces, you can make sure to do it the right way. Make sure to visit the SwingTowns forum to read relatable stories and connect with real-life people just like you.