My husband Flick and I decided to take a swing (hah! get it?) at ethical non-monogamy this year. We've been happily married for the past 18 years, and like all couples, have had our ups and downs, both emotionally and sexually.
Over the past 8 months or so, after a fairly serious sexual slump for many years where we were really infrequent, we've had some of the best sex of our lives together. It's hard to say exactly what changed, though really it is likely due to multiple things.
1) I'm in my 40s now and just started to come into a confidence that has never been there before. I started masturbating several times a week with a cadre of toys, watching a lot of gay porn, and writing a ton of slash fiction. I'm able to own my sexuality in a way I never have previously, and it's pretty amazing. I feel sexier than I ever have, and a friend who's known me for two decades recently told me that I'm hotter now than I was when he met me at 20.
When I was young, I was so insecure. I've got pretty severe anxiety, so I always imagined that if my sweetie were to do anything outside our marriage, he'd immediately leave me for someone else. I've come to own my awesomeness since then and know that he'd be a fool to leave all this, and I know that if it came down to it and he did leave, I'd be okay. I'd be incredibly sad, but I'd be okay.
2) My husband came out of a depression he'd been suffering through for a few years, started exercising, and is generally taking better care of himself. He also started watching porn specifically to get turned on, rather than always masturbating to it, just to keep his sexual energy topped up. He also changed his attitude to being able to imagine feeling desire once we started fooling around, rather than only having sex when he was craving it. Previously, he'd essentially been refusing to make dinner plans because he wasn't hungry that second.
3) Due to all my porning and slash-fic writing, I developed a real love of male bodies, especially penises. Until recently, I'd bought into the typical attitude of women that penises are ugly and silly. But spending so much time writing in great detail about handjobs and blowjobs, about texture and feel and taste, I really got into peen. I really got into giving head, not as an obligation, but because I wanted dick in my mouth. I started craving my husband, and he started feeling really sexy, and that just cascaded into awesome sex.
4) We saw the incomparable Dan Savage live and listened to him talk about how everyone wants to fuck other people. It was a lightbulb moment and freeing ourselves up to admit that shook off some of the pressure that monogamy puts on couples. Also present at the show was an MD named Lori Brotto who talked about how it's actually spending too much time together and not having excitement and adventure in a marriage is what kills it. Getting energy from outside attractions can really rev up a marriage, rather than tearing it to pieces.
So, yeah. We're giving this a try. Even the tiny steps we've taken so far have been pretty phenomenal for our sex life and our relationship in general. We're talking so much more about everything in our relationship. There's a nervousness and excitement (and insomnia, unfortunately) that hasn't been there for years.
I'm excited for the adventure...