Being Open-Minded in Open Relationships

“Hey, can we FaceTime tonight? I have something to talk to you about,” read my text. His (let's call him Tinder Boy) response, all the way from Austin, Texas, was “Sure, of course.” And so it began.

“So I met this guy today,” I started. “It was crazy. There was definitely a spark between us, and we’ve been texting. He’s going to come see me this weekend.”

“Okay,” he responded.

What followed was a week of empty, angsty, sad, lonely texts. But I wasn’t doing anything wrong. He had been dating someone else way before I started exploring other people. But when he was seeing another girl, I was sad, jealous, lonely and a wreck too. And now I was doing that to him.

I met Tinder Boy late this summer. He was in my hometown visiting his brother from Austin, and I was bored at home dreaming of the summer romance I never had. We spent three days in our own universe. What started out as a why-the-fuck-not date ended in a teary separation at the airport. We decided to hold on to the magic we felt, not minding the states that seperated us.

We spent weeks giggling over FaceTime, sending (sexy) Snapchats and texts filled with emojis, pining over the next time we would be together. Then, late, late one night he bought a plane ticket to visit for the weekend. Just two months into our non-labeled, non-exclusive, minorly-obsessive relationship, I flew all the way to Austin for fall break, and we spent five days in domestic bliss. 

Hey … so what are we now? Are we still open to seeing other people? Are we going to actively pursue it? What are the boundaries? What if we ended up falling for them? What do we share with each other, and what do we keep to ourselves? These questions were among many during a very inconclusive conversation.

I love you, and I want to talk to you as much as I can. We will be open to seeing other people and cross that bridge when we get there. No labels, no restrictions. Let’s just go with the flow. Easy enough, I thought, nodding my head in agreement. Sure, he's in school at the University of Texas, Austin, where there are literally thousands of friendly, beautiful women. Meanwhile, I go to the Claremont Colleges, where there are maybe two, three guys walking around that I might be remotely interested in—while drunk.

But being so busy at school with my friends, schoolwork, and other college things, dreaming of my long-distance lover was exciting and fun.

Who cares if I only have sex for a weekend every few months? I went years of my life without any sex at all! So, I left Austin feeling tingly, happy, sad, horny and less alone. I spent the following week in my post-honeymoon state, just trying to get through the next few months until winter, the next time we knew we would be together.

Ironically, it was during my Tinder Boy cloud that I met Boy #2. Boy #2 is from Ohio, spending the semester in L.A. working in the music industry. From the moment we started talking, I felt the electricity between us, and so did he. We wasted no time, and he started visiting me every weekend. I am filled with mystery, excitement and a big penis whenever we are together. 

As someone who has never consistently had sex with even one person in my life, I am now double dipping with two guys I am REALLY into. It stuns me how easy it is to be infatuated with two people at once, and how my feelings for one don’t affect my feelings for the other. Sometimes when I am alone in my room and they text me at the exact same time (happens more often than not), I can’t help but laugh, get horny and get confused all at the same time. It’s fun.

The squeaking of my dorm bed beneath mine and Boy #2’s bodies had barely stopped ringing in my ears before Tinder Boy bought a plane ticket to spend Thanksgiving with my family and em. It suddenly became very real to me: I, Penny Tration, am going to be boning two totally rad and sexy musicians in the same week.

The first time that Boy #2 was on top of me, grabbing at every piece of my body, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to the last time I'd been laid. It was just two weeks prior, and in Tinder Boy’s apartment in Austin. We were having goodbye sex in the last moments before my ride to the airport arrived. Through the tears, moans and thrusts, I was dreaming of the next time I would be touched. Then I remembered who was on top of me, where I was and what I was doing. Whoa. 

–Penny Tration

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