I'm in a loving, long standing long distance relationship, but I am tired of us being sexually frustrated when we're apart. I want both of us to explore safely and maintain respect for each other. Do you think it's possible?

Oof. This is always a tough one. In my first relationship, we were long distance for a year, as I moved away for college and she returned to her hometown for a while. After that year, we moved to the same city and lived together before the relationship went terribly wrong several years later. The time apart was shitty.

Violet did the same with her high school boyfriend, but in much different circumstances. He was a long-standing cheater that had been caught over and over. But they were still tenuously together while she explored other people's (ladies, dudes, dudes and ladies) bodies across the country. It also didn't make things much easier.

So while exploring was happening in one of our cases, in both, the relationships didn't pan out the way we'd hoped. So who's to say what works in this case. Typically, when we think about open relationships, which is essentially what you're discussing, we think about Tobias Funke from "Arrested Development":

However, that's just a sitcom. So who's to fucking say. Obviously, many of our readers and Twitter friends are proving that open relationships can totally work. For certain relationships, they elevate that emotional connection while allowing the physical connection to come from elsewhere. And then sometimes together.

We know a handful of people that have tried the open relationship that have really backfired. Typically, one person isn't being as honest as they should have been, or getting as much out of it as they expected, and that strains on the relationship, building tension, putting a gap between the two people and in a lot of those cases, leading to the demise of that relationship.

But not ALL cases. Sometimes it works. And both people communicate. And let their true feelings be known. Hopefully that's where the two of you can get to in your explorations.

Overall, it's not something that we're interested in. While adding a third person for a night sounds like a delightful idea that we might go for at some point, finding those people outside of our mutual bedroom just isn't something that appeals to us. And with us, you're talking about a relationship with a massive lack of jealousy, founded on mutual respect and love.

It's because of that, we'd ultimately recommend that you discuss this with someone that is in a practicing open relationship. "Sexy Sadie's Confessions from My Open Marriage" is probably a good place to start.


Good luck with whatever you decide, we truly hope this all works out the way you both desire!

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