There are others like us out there!
RW: How long have you two been married? How long in an open marriage?
Marla Sue: 9 years and I guess it's always been open but I didn't start playing around until we had been married a while.
RW: Does your open marriage cause any problems?
Marla Sue: Not really, it's great, except for times when some guy finds out and he figures he has an automatic right to you because you sleep with other men. Or sometimes I might meet a guy who becomes a pain in the ass.
RW: Whose idea was this open marriage, yours or your husband's?
Marla Sue: Because it started when we were dating I guess we sort of agreed on it. Actually, we talked about it even before we were married, but I didn't feel the need at first. Then a few years went past and I kind of started missing the kind of life I had before.
RW: What kind of life was that?
Marla Sue: You know, dating, going out with new, interesting guys and having sex if I wanted to. Marriage kills all that, but to me the question is why does it have to? My husband agrees that marriage shouldn't mean you suddenly have to live in a cage, or something. It shouldn't be jail.
RW: Sex is important to you?
Marla Sue: Sure, isn't it important to everyone?
RW: Do you think open marriages can create additional problems in the relationship?
Marla Sue: Maybe, but that can happen in any marriage. I think it made ours better.
RW: How so?
Marla Sue: Well hell, I like it because of the way guys take me out and all. I enjoy knowing I'm attractive to other guys and the way they chase me. It feels good. And my husband likes to hear what I do in bed with guys so it helps him out too.
RW: Do you recommend an open marriage to others?
Marla Sue: Not for most people. Most people are really hung up about stuff like sex especially the religious types. It's not for everyone especially jealous people. But Steve and I enjoy it and we both get something out of it -- not to mention the guys I see.
RW: I take it Steve's not jealous.
Marla Sue: We've had little spats over it, mostly in the beginning before we agreed on some ground rules, like always knowing where I was and with who, and that I won't have sex with a guy unless he knows about it first.
RW: So he has to approve of the man?
Marla Sue: Sort of. He doesn't really approve but he can veto someone I guess you could say. Like with my boss, he doesn't like him and he said, "No way" and I didn't sleep with him.
RW: So that was the end of it.
Marla Sue: Sure! Look, other women would kill for the freedom I have. I'm not about to screw it up and I don't want to lose Steve. So I have to respect what he wants too.
RW: Your husband is a good provider and treats you okay?
Marla Sue: Sure, he treats me great. Otherwise I wouldn't have married him or wouldn't stay with him. I had a lot of other options too.
RW: But, he doesn't fill all of your sexual needs.
Marla Sue: That's probably twisting things. He's a good provider, he's a great person, and I love him. The sex is fine but I also need more sometimes and I need a certain amount of freedom.
RW: You like sex and sexual variety, I think I got that part. But what's your husband getting out of this?
Marla Sue: [pauses] Yes, that one's difficult. Most guys don't share like Steve. Really most guys would have served me with divorce papers for even bringing it up. [pauses again.] But not Steve. He seems to get off on it. I never have figured out why but I don't worry over it either. It's enough to know that what he wants fits in with what I sometimes need. We feed off each other like that.
RW: If you have an open marriage, then I suppose he has sex with other women.
Marla Sue: No. He's not interested in that and has never asked about it. I seem to be all he can handle.
RW: If they're really interested, most men can find the energy for someone new.
Marla Sue: Steve wouldn't be interested. At the beginning I had to figure out what he wanted so I could get what I wanted. I guess it was about then that I discovered how he liked to hear about the way guys were drooling over me. He said it made me more of a prize. And he enjoys it when I talk about what happened, sexually I mean.
RW: But most men would want to keep that "prize" to themselves.
Marla Sue: Yes, I know -- God, do I know! -- but Steve is different. I kind of sensed that right off. He has faith in our relationship. But even if he didn't, I knew he would go on without being destroyed by my affairs the way some guys would be. He enjoys it too much. It's part of his sex drive I think.
RW: You don't seem to be too clear on what Steve's getting out of this.
Marla Sue: Well, it's like my sexual experiences transfer to him and he doesn't need his own with someone else. He lives through me maybe. Frankly, I don't think he's near as interested in sex with anyone else -- actually doing it I mean -- as he is with me having sex with someone else. He gets turned on by my sexual experiences and I don't hold anything back in talking about them -- you know, the details.
RW: So this is not a regular open marriage where the husband has other sexual partners? If it only involves you, it sort of makes you what's commonly called a hot wife or dating wife.
Marla Sue: Yea, I guess.
RW: Does your husband have sexual performance problems?
Marla Sue: No really no. Only occasionally but all men do sometimes.
RW: And you've learned to solve when that happens by talking about your sexual experiences with other men, which seems to put someone else in your marriage bed.
Marla Sue: That's twisting things again. I see what you mean; so maybe. But for Steve it gives him an extra boost in our bedroom no matter what. We talk about it almost every time he and I have sex together.
RW: So you get most of your sexual satisfaction outside of the marriage?
Marla Sue: Yes, I guess you could say that. But not because Steve doesn't satisfy me. He does, but in a different way. When I'm with Steve I'm more satisfied emotionally. Sleeping with other men can be more satisfying physically, sexually. It's also something I want; maybe even need. Even when Steve and I were dating I was sleeping with other men.
RW: Did Steve know this?
Marla Sue: Yes, and he had no problem with it. I guess that's when I decided he was different and that I had to marry him before someone else got him. Like I said, other women would kill to have my freedom.
RW: So it's all about the freedom?
Marla Sue: Hmmm. Some, but not all of it, I love him very much too. He is a good husband. But having the freedom makes the rest of the marriage more enjoyable. I don't feel like I'm restricted and I can enjoy being married and still have much of my old freedom.
RW: If tomorrow Steve said this open marriage thing is a mistake and it has to stop, would you stick with him -- still love him?
Marla Sue: Yes. Damn right! He's more important than these other guys -- even though I would miss the sex and all. I would just get a hobby or something, but I couldn't lose him.