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How open should I be? 

I’m an open relationship. When do I tell prospective girlfriends? Plus: My sex life is boring but working, is this a good or a bad thing?

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Q I'm a 27-year-old straight guy who's been in an open relationship for six years. I often seek out extracurricular activities, but I am unsure of how to bring up my situation without doors closing. I wrote to a seduction blogger who often writes about open relationships, and his advice was to not mention it until I've had sex with the girl a few times and to not bring them to my apartment that I share with my girlfriend. This feels contrary to my nature, which is very straightforward, but is it perhaps the better method? Indeed, many of my "potentials" have been scared away when they learn of my relationship status. What are your thoughts? --Straightforward Honesty Offends Potentials

aIf your goal is to maximize the amount of pussy in your life without any regard for the feelings of the women who happen to be attached to those pussies, SHOP, then you should definitely take the advice of the PUA ("pickup artist") blogger. But that's only if you wanna be a huge asshole who gets tons of pussy. If you wanna be a decent dude who gets more than enough pussy, then you'll listen to me.

Tell "potentials" after the third hang/date/whatever. Let them get to know you a bit, then spill---before fucking but after they've made a small emotional investment in you. They'll be more likely to reconsider prejudices they may have against guys in open relationships after they've gotten to know a semi-straightforward one and perhaps be less quick to slam the door.

But unless it's a clear case of drunken-one-night-stand/NSA encounter, no lying by omission ---no matter what the PUA/POS blogger says. Most single people up for fucking a new person not once, not twice, but a few times are seeking someone with long-term potential. There are lots of single people out there seeking sex for sex's sake, of course, but a majority of sex-for-sex's-sake types are hoping to leverage it into something more at some point. And most single people make the quite reasonable if not always accurate assumption that the people they're fucking are also single---otherwise they wouldn't be fucking them, right? If you neglect to inform the women you fuck that you're not single (you've got a girlfriend) or emotionally available (you're in an open relationship, not a poly one), you are knowingly taking advantage---and needlessly! There are plenty of women out there who are in open relationships, as well as women who are looking only for sex.

q I'm a 30-year-old straight woman, and I've been with my male partner for four years. The sex has gotten predictable. But it's also gotten better in the sense that I orgasm a much greater percentage of the time, now that he knows my body and what I like. More orgasms for me are great, but in the service of that, we've fallen into a "tried-and-true" rut, which I don't think is good. I try to switch it up sometimes, and I surprised him with some sexy lingerie last night...and I got self-conscious, started to worry about whether I'd get off and then didn't come. I know he really likes it when I get off, but I don't want for us to have such a limited repertoire. My feeling is that I should not worry about my orgasms and focus on spice and variety, but I think that if we go too many times without me coming, it might be a downer for his boner, too. So which do we give preference to: variety or orgasms? --Rutting Or Undertaking Totally Interesting New Experiences?

a Your "tried-and-true" repertoire may feel like a bit of a rut, ROUTINE, but it's a successful rut. You both enjoy the sex you're having, and you come way more often than you used to. There are worse problems---and all you need to solve your repertoire problem is perspective and patience. You have two competing and conflicting interests: You want to come regularly (because of course you do) and you get off consistently when you stick to your routine, but you also want to shake up your routine and try new things. But trying new things---even something as low-stakes as fucking in frillier underpants---makes it difficult for you to come. My advice would be to relax and give yourself permission to not come when you're trying something new. To stave off frustration and/or self-consciousness, ROUTINE, constantly remind yourself that new things you both enjoy will be incorporated into your routine. And when things that work for you both join the ranks of the tried-and-true, you'll be able to come while you're doing them. This is a problem that solves itself.

q My best friend has a girlfriend of two years. They break up a lot, and he has slept with plenty of other girls over the last two years. I've had a crush on him for about three years, but I never made any advances. We did have a threesome with a girl in March, but it was all about the girl and nothing happened between us guys. He got back with his girlfriend after that. Then last month, he and I had sex with each other. We had been drinking, he initiated it and neither of us came. It was awkward, and we didn't talk for a week. Then we bumped into each other, and he came home with me and we had sex again. I came this time, but he drank too much and couldn't. Then three weeks ago, I initiated it and we did it again. This time he came. The next day, he said that the "gay sex stuff" had to stop. He said he felt like he was cheating on his girlfriend. I agreed. I still want to sleep with him. I can tell that he has had sex with a guy before---it slid in pretty easy and he kept saying how good it felt. I'm so confused! --Boys Easing Sex Tension Secretly

a Maybe it would help if you told your friend that you're not having gay sex---you're having hot, sweaty bi sex, just without an accommodating/exonerating girl present.

You might wanna look around for some other guy---maybe even a gay one---who you can have a crush on and slide into. But I'm not going to push you to do that, because it's clear that you've got feelings for this guy and at the very least he's got Feelings While Drunk for you. And while I should probably scold you both for fucking around behind his girlfriend's back, BESTS, I have a hunch that you're a bunch of very young adults. So you're getting a pass because this kind of bullshit is often a necessary and clarifying rite of passage for kids who are still figuring out who they are, what they want and who they can and cannot trust. But in the meantime, BESTS, enjoy sliding in.


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