Together and Sleeping with Other People: When Your Partner Doesn’t Cut it Anymore

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Messaging around sex and relationships is everywhere, and it isn’t always constructive. I often get asked questions about the normalcy of certain kinks and fantasies, or more generally, the proper amount of sex one should be having. These questions about normalcy are disheartening because — without trying to sound like a broken record — sex is a broad term for a multitude of experiences that should not feel normal

They should be exciting and pleasurable

If “normality” is the aim of your sex life, I’m afraid you may be disappointed by society’s definition. If you come from a similar culture to mine, it sounds a bit like this:

[Monotone voice of old white dude:] Sex is conducted within a union, traditionally a marriage between a male and female, whereby the male (penis) penetrates the female (vagina) with the intention of reproduction.

Oh, and it’s done in missionary.

If that floats your boat, great! But most of my audience is looking for something a little less rigid, binary, and…domesticated.

Being in an ethical non-monogamous relationship, I find the request for this topic — sleeping with other people — very appealing, especially since it contradicts all messages of normalcy surrounding sex and relationships.

Wanting to go outside of your marriage for sexual experiences is what I am all about! Literally, that’s what this blog was born from. In saying that, I understand this desire can feel daunting, even relationally apocalyptic. 


Because it goes against most of our conditioning. Even so, I am here to say this desire is common, and might benefit your relationship…

Sex and Marriage

According to numerous resources, between 16% and 20% of marriages in the USA are sexless. The reasons are plenty, and it isn’t always correlated with unhappiness.

As a married person, I discovered that the man whom I desired and fell for is now the man I split responsibilities with. This may seem obvious, but what a lot of us don’t consider is responsibilities aren’t sexy.

Speaking about bills, job searching, budgeting, parenting, buying groceries, cleaning the house, staying alive, aren’t great precursors for turn on, and yet they are ever-present.

As human beings we crave connection and intimacy to varying degrees; however, craving connection and intimacy with the person who leaves the toilet seat up, or their dirty dishes in the sink, can feel, at best, apathetic, and at worst, cringey. 

To desire someone outside of your relationship may be your desire’s way of staying active.

There may also be higher stress over sex in long-term relationships, especially if the topic isn’t communicated well. Novelty sex might be the answer to fulfilling desires without revealing certain vulnerabilities to this new partner. 

In other words: a new sex partner has never seen you sick, or cry, or worry about life; you’ve never argued with them over a purchase you’ve made. You’ve never forgotten their birthday. Their sole purpose is momentary pleasure

This may all sound dim, but to assume our partners can fulfill our every need for the rest of our lives is a bit of an overstatement, a gamble.

Truth is, not every couple who reported a sexless marriage finds it painful or difficult. In fact, there are couples who are quite at peace with this. In saying that, if you are someone who does find sexlessness painful or difficult, understand that you aren’t alone, and there are things you can do about it…

Boredom and Desire

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I watched a reel by Dr. Zhana yesterday, whereby a follower asked if women are more easily bored or struggle more with monogamy than men. Her response:

That does seem to be the case indeed…Women’s sex drive seems to be more dependent on outside, external, contextual factors compared to men (whose sex drives are steadier). Women seem to fluctuate more depending on these factors. Some of the major contextual factors that influence sexual desire are novelty, excitement, and quality. Often in long-term monogamy, sex becomes boring and routine…often it’s not even that good and women’s desire tends to drop more quickly for their partner than men’s. If you give women a new partner, their desire will shoot back up.

In her post, Dr. Zhana reminds us that empirical knowledge on this is limited; however, “there is non-negligible evidence to suggest that women’s sex drive and attraction are less suited to strict long-term monogamy than men.”

What is so interesting about this information is it proves monogamy isn’t suited for everyone, and that’s okay! 

Although this specific excerpt was about women’s desire, I also have guy and non-binary friends who are far happier in monogamish and polyamorous relationships.

Boredom is what it is, and it can occur in the happiest of relationships. It’s just a matter of figuring out the why behind the boredom or lack of desire…

To Wander or Not to Wander

Here is my thought process on the matter…

It isn’t realistic to think your partner will remain content in a sexless relationship if:

  1. You’ve had an active sex life prior and enjoyed it
  2. They’ve communicated their desires or frustrations about that sexlessness, to be met with continued disinterest

At the same time, I believe relationships function in waves, and understanding where each partner is during specific phases is important. Let me explain…

If there is a life event such as childbirth, injury, mental health episode, high-stress situation, or loss, it may not be the right time to negotiate sex terms with your partner.

For those who aren’t amid a serious life event, and are wondering if sleeping with other people would benefit your relationship, let me ask you this:

Is your boredom or lack of desire a symptom of disconnection? Could allocating time together help rekindle desire for your partner?

Perhaps you feel very connected to your partner, but still have this gripping sense that you want more. Remember who is writing this article — I was (am?) this person. 

My relationship was as strong and desirous as it could ever be, and yet, there was this deep longing for something else.

If you resonate with that, do some self-reflecting:

  • Is your desire to sleep with other people new? Can you trace it back to other moments/relationships in your life?
  • Could communicating with your partner and scheduling more time together reduce the desire for sleeping with other people?
  • If yes (or maybe?), what kind of time do you need with your partner? How can you make this a regular thing?
  • If no, how would you define your ideal relationship structure with your current partner? Other people?

The Three Ethical Paths

Fantasizing about sleeping with other people is not uncommon! Depending on how deeply you desire this, you have one of three ethical options:

  • Continue fantasizing about it, and let that be enough
  • Speak to your partner about your desires and decide if there is a way you can both find pleasure in renegotiating the structure of your relationship
  • Understand that your current relationship does not offer the life experience you need, and consciously uncouple

There is a fourth option, and too many people take this path out of fear or lack of tools: infidelity. I do not encourage this. I understand this is a difficult conversation — trust me, I’ve been there — but it can be hugely rewarding for you and your relationship.

Sometimes if we are honest and have a bit of faith in our partners, they show up in massive ways (thanks James).

Until next time,

Fuck well, friends! (Or at least, talk about it!)

Quean Mo xx

P.S. Resources on having the conversation and opening your relationship:




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