Last week I wrote about how it all started. Today, I'd like to address where we've ended up - at least in terms of what to call what we're doing.
There's a lot of labeling in our world. It's certainly easier to judge someone when you can shoehorn them into a box and slap a label on the outside. Parents are helicopter parents or they're under-parenting. You're an atheist, a Christian, a Buddist. She's a whore, he's a misogynist. In the world of sexual identity, labeling is rampant, even amongst those hesitant to label. There are monogamists, or the monogamish. Swingers and polamorous couples. Swingers might be same room or separate room swingers. You can be bisexual, straight, gay, transgendered, bi-curious, asexual and more.
I am bisexual - I'm just as turned on by women as I am men. And if I were not married to a man, I could certainly see myself having a long term relationship or marriage to a woman.
We consider ourselves in an open marriage. Sometimes I call it polyamory. The traditional definition of polyamory means couples who engage in multiple relationships, and those relationships are more than just sex. The traditional definition of swingers referred to couples who would hook up with other couples, sometimes frequently with the same couples, but not have a significant emotional relationship with those partners.
We're good friends with some of the couples we've partnered up with, so the old fashioned swinger label isn't a perfect fit for us anymore. We're not hooking up with them every weekend (who has the time?) but the lines between friendship and sex is blurry.
We did have a point in time where we had a third in our relationship, another woman. We had our own independant relationship with her - not a threesome only. It was our tiptoe into polyamory, where each of us could have an independent relationship with another person, for romantic friendship or even love. We'd like to explore this further, but like our single friends looking for Mr. or Ms. Right, it's hard. Imagine how much harder it is for us!
Ultimately, slapping a label on something often means believing there are rules to how you should behave to live up to that label. We like to set our own rules, but I'm not averse to these labels if it helps further discussion.