When I met my husband, Paul*, we were both waiting tables in LA. I was 23 and he was 28, and we were both trying to get our acting careers off the ground. I knew from the start that he identified as bisexual – in fact, the first night we hooked up he was in a relationship with a man.
I was extremely skeptical at first. I figured that if a guy was with another guy, that meant he was gay. My friends told me I was crazy to think otherwise, but the way Paul kissed me and handled my body that night in my apartment, I knew for sure that even if he liked guys, he was very much into women too – and really into me.
As things heated up between us, Paul broke up with his then-boyfriend, and we started dating exclusively. He was upfront about the fact that being with men was something he didn't want to give up, though, and I was okay with it. In fact, having these open discussions about sex led me to admit out loud for the first time that I was curious about what it would be like to be with a woman.
We were dating for just three months when we moved in together, and after six months, we agreed to an open relationship with certain rules. Primarily, we had to always tell the other person where we were going and who we would be with. There was a lot of freedom but no secrets – and our devotion was to each other first and foremost.
With that kind of trust and transparency to ground our relationship, we both had a lot of adventures – together and with other people. I did have a few experiences with women, and although it was fun, the encounters made me realise I mainly want to be with men – sometimes more than one at a time! The first time Paul and I had sex together with another guy, it was strange to see him going down on a man. But ultimately, I found it really sexy that he was so confident and open about what he liked.
After three years of fun and exploration, Paul surprised me with a ring. We decided we were done being with other people and wanted to give a traditional monogamous relationship a go. I knew it might be hard going from so much openness to a "regular" relationship, but we were moving to a new city (New York) and decided it was time to settle down. The first two years of our marriage were pretty uneventful: we worked, travelled together, and continued to have great sex – only with each other.
Then I met Oscar. Oscar and I were doing an off-off-Broadway show together. He was funny and very flirtatious. We almost crossed the line and kissed one night while out for drinks after the show. I told Paul about Oscar and he said that if I wanted to go for it, he would be okay with it. What I didn't anticipate was that Paul and Oscar would go on to have their own relationship – both sexual and emotional.
After Oscar and I had sex on our own for the first time, it was actually my idea for him to go on a "date" with Paul and me. The first time they met, I could see that there was chemistry between them. We had a threesome, and it was both enjoyable and extremely weird for me. When Paul and Oscar kissed I could immediately tell that it was intense, and that it might be more than just a hookup.
After that night, I felt really insecure. What if Paul liked Oscar better than me? The three of us started hanging out a lot, and it wasn't always just about sex. We saw movies, had picnics in the park and started to develop our own rhythm of being together. After a few months, we started introducing Oscar to friends as "our boyfriend".
A lot of people wonder what our life is like, and for the most part it's normal. Paul and I go to work, come home and eat dinner together when we can. We do a lot of things with Oscar, like go drinking or to parties on the weekend, but sometimes it's just Paul and me, and sometimes Paul and Oscar go out together. Oscar and I are usually intimate only when Paul is there.
I don't feel like I'm sharing my husband – in fact, I feel like I have two times the love and friendship. These two great guys worship me, and none of us feel like we have to sneak around or cheat to keep our sex lives exciting. I could hook up with other people if I wanted to, but right now I'm just enjoying things the way they are. As for Oscar, he sometimes dates other people too, and we're totally okay with that.
Of course I sometimes still feel insecure, like last week when I came home from a trip and found Paul and Oscar in bed together watching Netflix. I wasn't jealous about the sex but rather the intimacy. But then Paul and I still have a lot of our own special moments, and so do the three of us. It's not a traditional marriage by any means, but it works for us. As long as we are all happy, Paul and I have no plans to stop seeing Oscar. We're not sure if we want to have kids yet, but if we ever do, Oscar would be an amazing uncle!
*All names have been changed
This article originally appeared on Prevention.