Friend and lover: open relationships

Answer is right before his eyes

Savage Love

I'm a 38-year-old straight male in a long-term relationship. We have two children, still quite young. I am not sure what killed the intimacy of our relationship, but my spouse and I have been physically disconnected for years. This led to some rather sleazy adulterate behavior on my part. We recently discussed the topic at length (at which time I informed her of my indiscretions); we have decided to remain together for our children because we work well together as parents and we are pretty good friends. We have also decided to "open" our relationship.

We both seem to want the same thing: a companion of the opposite sex, a friend and lover. My spouse has one. It is someone I am acquainted with, and I know him to be a fine, responsible person. I have been looking for someone — I even posted an ad online — but no luck. I should mention that I am very good-looking, in superb physical condition, charismatic, and highly educated.

All Too Human

Don't let modesty prevent you from listing modesty among your many qualities, ATH, as the chicks really dig that modesty stuff.

OK, so ...

You're looking for a companion of the opposite sex, a friend and lover, someone who understands you're committed to staying in your marriage for the sake of the kids, someone you know to be responsible and trustworthy, someone who gets the whole open relationship concept ...

How about the wife?

I know, I know: You two physically disconnected after the births of your children (all too common), you engaged in some sleazy adulterate behavior, wocka wocka wocka. But that's all out in the open now and you've decided to stay together because you're good parents, partners, and friends, and you've opened the relationship up to seek friends-with-benefits, as the straight people call 'em, or fuck buddies, as we gay people like to call 'em.

But why not have sex with each other, anyway?

Not exclusively, of course. It's important that you leave things open at least for the time being, ATH, because openness may help your wife realize that a person can be married to Person A, have sex with Person B (and perhaps Persons C and D, as well), and still be a good, loving, present spouse to Person A. If she's at all introspective, ATH, your wife will come to this realization because that's what she herself is doing. She's having sex with another man, while at the same time being a good and loving wife to you and a good and loving mom to her kids.

Once she has this realization — that love and commitment, and not sexual exclusivity, is the important bond that you two share — she may be able to forgive you, really forgive you, for all your pre-open-marriage sleazy adulterate behavior. And you may be able to restore your sexual connection, even if you never become completely sexually exclusive again.

In the meantime, ATH, there are many more frustrated married men out there seeking sex online than there are frustrated married women seeking sex online. But since your deal with the wife doesn't exclude mutual friends and acquaintances — look who she's with — then there's no need for you to troll online exclusively or at all. Be open and honest with friends and acquaintances about your situation and your search. If you really are the superb, charismatic, and highly educated piece of ass you claim to be, you'll soon be fielding offers from single female friends and/or secretly frustrated married female friends.

I recently read on Wikipedia (which knows all) that you own Ann Landers' desk. I'm just wondering if you use it when you're doing your own writing.

Curious Wikipedian

Wikipedia doesn't know all, CW. For instance, the site incorrectly lists my age: I am 34, not 43. And that picture of me they're using? I may have to sue.

But I do own Ann Landers' desk. I bought it at auction after Landers passed away — after securing an OK from Ann Landers' daughter, Margo Howard — and when I'm not writing Savage Love in a bar or an airport, I write at Landers' desk. And let me tackle the obvious follow-up question: I've never had sex on Landers' desk, you sick fucks.

To ask Dan Savage a question, write to [email protected].

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