Woman who sleeps with other people shares strict 'rules' to make sure her relationship works
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A woman in a non-monogamous relationship has revealed the strict rules that she and her girlfriend follow to make it work.
Summer, 28, says that she knew for quite some time that 'monogamy wasn't for her', and always found it a little 'stifling'.
So, as soon as she learned about ethical non-monogamy, she decided it was for her.
And when she started dating her now-girlfriend Lucy, they gave it a try.
BTW, ethical non-monogamy just means any sort of non-monogamous relationship where everyone involved has given informed consent to be involved, whether that's an open relationship, polyamory, or anything in between.
Explaining why she has had her doubts about straightforward, society-driven monogamy, Summer wrote for Insider that the idea of being with one person forever is 'improbable and a little scary.'
And although she does want to love just one person forever, maintaining her sexual freedom is just as important.
So, after falling for each other, Summer and Lucy decided to give ethical non-monogamy a try - and they've now been together for five years.
Together, Summer says, they'll 'swipe through Tinder together', tease each other about crushes and hype each other up about dates.
But there are some strict 'ground rules' that they've both sworn to follow so that things don't get messy.
For example, rule number one is: "Keep sexual activities to one person at a time unless otherwise discussed."
That's key, not only to maintain trust and peace-of-mind, but to make keep track of sexual health.
Another major rule, which you'd imagine would be a little harder to monitor, is: "We can't fall in love with someone else."
A third rule, which is definitely easier to maintain, is that giving or getting hickeys outside of the relationship is a 'big no-no.'
Summer wrote: "We consider skin marks to be very personal and see hickeys as a special in-house activity."
Finally, and probably most importantly, if either of them feel uncomfortable with something, they have to talk it out.
Offering an example, Summer wrote: "This happened when I mentioned the possibility of spending the night with an outside partner.
"We didn't discuss that possibility early on, but when we finally did talk about it, Lucy said she was uncomfortable with the idea."
In that way, their relationship is constantly growing and evolving alongside them.
It all sounds pretty healthy as far as non-monogamy goes, but Summer has said that their friends definitely have thoughts on their less-conventional relationship.
"Some think our [relationship] is too restrictive. Others find it too easygoing and would prefer tighter boundaries."
But the couple don't expect everyone to follow their lead.
Summer explained: "We wrote this relationship just for us, and we know it's not for everyone."