It’s not that my partner isn’t enough

Image for post
Image for post
Photo of author by @austinfassino

Many people wonder why I want to be open. They ask, “Why aren’t you just happy with what you have?”

“Why can’t you just commit?”

Some people may even go as far as to add: “Well don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work out.”

I get where these people are coming from. If I truly loved my partner, I should be able to give up the possibility of other people for his sake. I should find contentment in what I already have.

As Mark Manson writes:

“It’s only by rejecting alternatives, by giving up certain freedoms through making commitments, that our freedom becomes meaningful. For instance, when you commit to one partner, part of the significance of that commitment is the fact that you have given up the freedom to commit to other people.” …

Resist the temptation to be optimistic

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Friend: “I just got fired.”

You: “Well you’ll figure something else out soon.”

Friend: “Ah, I hate this haircut.”

You: “Don’t worry, it will grow back eventually.”

Friend: “She dumped me.”

You: “There are other fish in the sea.”

If you live in the English-speaking world, these exchanges probably sound familiar to you. In our culture, it’s common to answer stress or pain with optimism. Words of hope.

Even in the saddest of stories, we crave a silver lining, a happy ending. Otherwise, those stories somehow feel wrong, incomplete.

But sometimes there is no silver lining. At least no obvious one. …

With more freedom comes more responsibility to take care of your needs

Image for post
Image for post
Photo of author by Austin Fassino

When it comes to romance, independence is sexy whereas neediness is well, just not. That’s why I’ve always tried my best to want but never to need.

But I’m learning now that sometimes it’s okay to need something. And when you do, it’s vital to ask for that something.

Especially in a non-monogamous relationship where the rules are not already laid out for you.

For example, recently with my partner Flo, I realized in order to feel safe, I had to be a little needy. Here’s how it worked.

I stated a boundary

Flo is going on a date this week with a woman he just started seeing. When he told me about his plans, I felt excited for him but also insecure. And I communicated those emotions to him. …

I like being a sub but only when I can become someone else

Image for post
Image for post
Photo of author by Austin Fassino

As Matt and I kissed on the street outside a bar in Brooklyn, he told me he suspected I was a sub.

I blushed. “How do you know?”

“Because when we kiss and I squeeze your waist here,” he said as he grabbed the juicy flesh just above my hips, “you moan a little bit.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant. At that point, I had little experience with BDSM.

But I liked the way he grabbed me with force. And I was curious, to say the least. …

The meaning of scarcity depends on us

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

The other day, my partner was sexting another woman on an app (we’re in an open relationship). With their permission, I read their conversation.

And it got me excited.

It wasn’t what they’d specifically said to each other. Or the pictures they’d exchanged.

It was the way his conversation with her made me see him differently.

Suddenly, he wasn’t just my boyfriend who I see every day as we quarantine together. He became more illusive, an autonomous being, wanted by other hot and ready partners. And thus not available to me anymore at the drop of a hat.

And that was sexy. …

Harness the spirit of non-monogamy with your monogamous partner

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

Most of us want to be monogamous with our partners. We want to be romantically exclusive with our one and only.

But we also yearn for thrill and novelty. We want to feel the butterflies that come along with being with someone new.

But how can we have both?

Well, that’s where being monogamish comes in.

By playing with the spirit of non-monogamy and the swinger lifestyle, we can bring back the excitement we feel at the beginning of a relationship. And we can do all this while staying physically monogamous.

Here are 12 ways to experience the thrill of non-monogamy without actually opening up. …

How we women can avoid the Thomas Shelbys of the world

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

While watching the Netflix show “Peaky Blinders” the other night, something struck a nerve. It was, of course, the love story.

In the third episode (minor spoiler alert), Thomas Shelby, gang leader, “hires” Grace, bar maid, to be his date at the horse races. And, long story short, in order to close a business deal, he ends up purposely putting her in a position where she almost gets raped.

But in the nick of time, he realizes his moral failing and stops her from getting hurt.

Afterwards, Grace scolds him for putting her in that situation. Then asks him why he came back to save her. …

Tread carefully with other living breathing humans

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash

A few nights back, Flo informed me that he had just been sexting with a bisexual woman on the kinky dating app Feeld.

He handed me his phone and I scrolled through their conversation. She said she was in bed eating an edible and wanted a (graphic) picture of the two of us together.

She also sent a topless photo of herself from the neck down, touching the waist band of her red panties.

As I laid on my stomach in bed next to him scrolling through the conversation he’d had all on his own with this other woman, I started to feel tingles in my nether regions. …

I confronted my boyfriend’s mom and it felt so good

Image for post
Image for post
Photo of author by Austin Fassino

For the last two weeks, I’ve been quarantining with my partner’s mom (and him) in his childhood home. And last night, the tension between us finally reached its breaking point.

We’ve all been working from home. She in her office upstairs. Flo and I at the big table in the kitchen. They have an espresso machine in there. It’s perfect.

But only for about 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes in, just when I’m getting into the zone, Mom comes downstairs to make coffee, asks Flo a question, and a minute later asks another one. Finally, she leaves.

Love is giving, but lust is selfish

Image for post
Image for post
Photo of author by Austin Fassino

In society, women are traditionally the caretakers. We bare children, breast feed, and do most of the housework.

But in the bedroom, we must learn to be the opposite. To have good sex, we have to leave our day-to-day roles behind, and be a little bit more selfish.

Leave the need to be clean, proper, and maternal behind, and, instead, be with our own sensations and pleasure.

According to a sex therapist and best-selling author of Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel, “the secret of female sexuality is how narcissistic it is.”

But what does this mean practically? What does it mean for a woman to be
“narcissistic” in the bedroom? …


Sarah Stroh

New Yorker living in Berlin. I overshare stories about sex positivity, love, and non-monogamy. Get more details on my monogamish life 👉

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store