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How do couples in an open relationship navigate in the vanilla world? How do you balance sexy activities with vanilla life?
Balance in the dictionary states “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” When it comes to living in an open relationship, I believe that you should do whatever feels right to you. There is no “perfect” balance or way to be in the Lifestyle.
The definition of balance is something that will vary from couple to couple. If you have kids, if you are “out” as a non monogamist, if you have a conservative career...all these things that make up “you” will determine what the right balance means for you.
For example, once you start making more friends in the Lifestyle community, things like kids birthday parties or vanilla parties come up. Some people may choose to not have these worlds cross while others may welcome the overlap and the chance to hang out with both muggle and LS friends. Both choices are fine!
Balancing Lifestyle activities with your primary relationship is another example. What you desire for balance can be tied into your rules and boundaries. Hall passes (playing alone) may make it easier or more difficult to balance life and the swinger lifestyle. I know couples who like hall passes because it’s easier to balance kids and play. And some felt it took away the intimacy they craved with their partners.
What you define as balance can evolve and change too!
Just like rules and boundaries as you grow, as your relationships evolves and as you explore more so does your definition of balance. I can see this example in myself. We recorded an episode about balance in the lifestyle in 2015 and what balance meant to me then is a lot different then what it means to me now!
James and I are always redefining what balance means to us. Sometimes we feel like we are in the sweet spot and other times we feel like jugglers with 100 pins in the air! Because of this we have put into practice some guidelines in our relationship to help feel more balanced. These aren’t for everyone but they do help us and we hope it may help a few of you out there too!
Decompression Days - these are huge for us! The day after any play we like to spend together reconnecting. Sometimes we can have the whole day together and sometimes it’s just the morning. But whatever we get, we savor!
Constant Communication - We make a point of talking about everything! We talk about how we are feeling, what happened at work, which couple we find sexy, what a new fantasy may be, something that turns one of us off...I mean it never stops! Our constant communication really brings awareness to the balance that we both desire to achieve in our lives.
Coming Out - This changed everything for us. It was so difficult for us to find balance when our family didn’t know what we were up to. We had to hide trips, events and lie about plans and it just didn’t make us feel good. When we came out to our family they didn’t push us to tell more about our sexy trips and also understood if we weren’t able to make Sunday dinner because we were hosting a n event the night before. Although it was intimating to do, it worked out well for us!
Schedule Everything - We have a shared calendar with EVERYTHING in it from muggle appointments to recording our radio show. Planning ahead and getting organized helps us so much in balancing in our lives and also provides us with a way to see where our time is going. We highlight (colour-code) LS activities, date nights, appointments, business meetings, etc. so that we can see what areas are in overdrive and what ones need more attention.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you as you navigate your way through non monogamy. You can also check out our podcast we recorded in 2015 HERE about The Balance Between Good & Naughty.