Alt Lifestyle

Our Open Marriage

Amber and I have gone through many conversations, many revisions to our relationship rules, and finally since November 2020, we have come to a point where we have solidified as much of this as we can. In short, Amber and I have a set of core rules, that both of us abide by, but at the same time, have personal rules for each other that work dynamically with our personal needs and wants. The core rules are for both of us. The personal rules dictate, in a reasonable fashion, what each partner permits the other partner to do.

So what is a semi-open marriage? Specifically for me, I am permitted to engage in a sexual, intimate, and romantically casual relationship with anyone I want, so long as that other person want it as well. However, we do have a list of people each partner can disapprove of. The disapproval list is for ‘under extraordinary circumstances’ that either partner does not want the other partner to engage sexually, intimately, and/or romantically casually with a particular person. Here is that list:

Veto List          
      Zero SAWOI  
Name Relationship   T1 T2 Notes
Mable H. Former FWB     x

You might know Mable from a previous blog entry. Basically, Amber isn’t particularly fond of her, because she thinks Mable is judgmental and a hypocrite at the same time. However, not to dictate my relationships completely, Amber put Mable on T2 (SAWOI), which stands for “Sex Acts Without Intercourse”. Meaning for example, Mable can give me a blowjob, and I can fondle her tits, but I can’t penetrate her pussy and ass with my cock. Mable is the only one on that list.

Amber however is particularly fond of Kari and Pascale, because as far as female friends go, they are the closest to me. Furthermore, another main reason why my wife is particularly fond of these two, is because she feels they would be drama-free, and are pretty straight-edged when it comes to understanding where they stand in all of this. In other words, their expectations of ‘us’ are accepted from the get-go. We can be in love and be friends. We are not defined by what we can’t become, but instead, we are defined by what our relationship entails. This is in opposition to how Lisa feels about a relationship like this. To her, our relationship is defined by what we can become. That is why we are solely platonic friends, even though she wants to have sex with me and have intimacy in her life again, on the notion we can never be more than just lovers, because she wants exclusive marriage or long term commitment in a monogamous relationship. That is fine, but I just wish… Okay, I’m ranting in the wrong blog post!

Anyway, so what does our core rules look like?

1. Honesty about our own feelings in this marriage, and intentions about our engagements with other people.
2. Use good judgment when seeking engagements. They must respect us and be decent so that our life is drama free.
3. Never give anybody else the feeling that they could be equal to your primary partner.
4. Never tell your partner things you want to do with an outside engagement that you are not doing with your partner.
5. We should never view our partner’s outside engagements as rivals or treat them as such.
6. The outside engagements should never become a nuisance to spouse by being invasive or disrespectful.
7. We need to keep safe from STDs. When engaging with somebody not entirely known or who has other partners, which condoms will need to be worn until we know we are safe for certain.

And more specific to those core rules, the following dictate specific circumstances:

The Primary Relationship

Concept: Marriage takes precedence over all major circumstances. We should always consider our partner’s desires or needs more than anyone else’s. At the same time the partner cannot be an asshole towards the other lover or friend. This is especially true if the outside relationship presents an urgent or uncommon situation.


Concept: Flirting is permitted towards anyone unless otherwise noted. Flirting is a combination of verbal and gesture-based arousal meant to tease and attract, but not lead to actual sex acts. Making-out on the lips is strictly prohibited, but a peck is fine.

Sex Acts

Concept: Partners are able to engage in sex acts with outsiders, unless disapproved by the spouse. The details of the engagement are up to the partner. Partners must always be safe. When engaging with somebody who is not that well known or has other sexual partners, then condoms must be worn.

Engagement Within View Of The Spouse

Outsiders When a partner engages in any form of intimacy with an outsider, they should always keep the comfort of the spouse in mind. For example, when it’s time for a spouse to go to bed, then the bed shouldn’t be occupied, or we shouldn’t do things like coming home loud and drunk with somebody else in the middle of the night.


Concept: Partners should not keep secrets of the external relationships from either spouse. However, secrets shared between individuals in those external relationships are none of either spouse’s business.

Spending Time With Lovers

Concept: Not more than one day per week, unless under special circumstances such as a weekend road trip, should be spent with the external relationship.

Special Circumstances

Holiday Flings When going on a holiday without the other spouse, casual encounters are permitted.

So there you have it. Remember, cheating is breaking the rules of a relationship. If your relationship permits you to engage others intimately, then there is no cheating involve. Also, at least for me, cheating isn’t a capital crime. There are instances in which I believe cheating is justified. You can read about my thoughts here, titled “What is wrong isn’t always the wrong thing to do“.

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