If someone were to ask me that question, what would my answer be? What exactly does enhance even mean?
Well according to a quick Google search, it means: intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of. A list of synonyms: increase, add to, intensify, heighten, magnify, amplify, inflate, strengthen, build up, supplement,augment, boost, raise, lift, elevate, exalt.
So as I look at all these descriptive words I would say, “yes, it does enhance my relationship.” Now, how does it enhance my current relationship. Well, to start off my past relationships have been pretty typical of what some would consider normal…boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl marry, boy and girl are (sexually) monogamous.
Here begins the issues. Being raised in the traditional, Christian household that I was, there were certain standards that were to be upheld within the realm of marriage. Sex outside of marriage was frowned upon, as was porn, or anything else deemed immoral in the eyes of the church. On the other hand sex was supposed to be this amazing sacred bond only shared between you and your spouse. In a nutshell sex was bad and good, right and wrong, evil and heavenly depending on how you had it and with whom.
So sex was supposed to feel completely awesome with a husband/wife, but completely guilt ridden and bad with anyone other then him/her?! Somehow that just didn’t make sense. So, as I said earlier, that is where I began to have issues.
In my previous marriage even though I loved my husband, and we had sex plenty of times, we didn’t discuss fantasies, or role play, or watch porn together, or “look” at others of the opposite sex, because this went against what I had been taught.
It was okay to have sex with my partner as long as it didn’t venture into anything immoral. So here I was living how I had been taught yet there seemed to be something missing. Something that was hidden. Doesn’t really fall within the definition of enhance does it?!
Fast forward to today and it is hard for me to recognize that woman. The one too afraid to be her true self, the one who was convinced there was something “wrong” with her, the one who loved being in a relationship but also felt a desire to express herself sexually without giving up that relationship. The woman who didn’t know about “swinging!” The one who didn’t even know it was an option.
And what an option it is!
My current relationship is built on a completely different foundation then any I have ever experienced. One that hinges on honesty and trust.
In order for me to even entertain the idea of opening up my relationship to include others I had to first come to terms with my own view of sex. I had to open up all those files in my head that said sex was dirty, that good girls didn’t participate in those activities, that talking about fantasies let alone acting on those fantasies were taboo, that I would be “damaged goods” if I gave into those desires. All those files had to be seen for what they were…lies! Make no mistake those files were deeply embedded within, so time and patience were necessary while I “emptied” and began to refill those files with truth.
Even though I believe I am 100% responsible for my life, it was nice to have the support of my partner while I tested those truths. Once the doors of communication opened and I was able to speak freely and honestly about whatever was important to me at that moment without being judged was very liberating to me. To have someone love me while I was talking about trying something I had been taught made me less of a person was inspirational. Fostering a relationship that also allowed that communication to materialize into reality was unconditional love at it’s finest.
Instead of my partner wanting to control and conceal me, he wanted me to be the best I could be. To strengthen our love through compersion…understanding that it is through all of the above synonyms that bonds deepen and the relationship does indeed become enhanced!
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.