Dating was never something that I wanted at the forefront of my life, but at the dawn of our openness, I craved experiences, seeing potential fuck buddies in my periphery everywhere I turned.

This soon tapered off, and I became more realistic and also more discriminating.

By the time we got married in 2008, we were barely having sex at all, and we weren’t talking about it. But our problem was not that we craved a voyeuristic adventure; I wanted sexual intimacy that Ryan was unable to provide.

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He’d spent his twenties working as a bookie in Costa Rica and cohabiting with call girls, then moved to Providence at 28, working as a sommelier before stumbling into a poetry masters program.

Sex was more of an afterthought than something that drove our dynamic.

Standing alone beside a birch-bark canoe in the lobby of the Smithsonian’s Native American History Museum, watching masses of white flakes swirl and smash into the ceiling-high windows, I called Ryan.

It was nine-thirty in the morning, and the museum was deserted. “And I think we should try what our friends are doing, or something like it.” And without any hesitation, he agreed.

Kind of like homemade pasta or reading a Grace Paley anthology or wearing more than one sequined item at a time.

I married my best friend, and after six years of being together, he remains my best friend, and I get to have an incredibly rich existence full of rye-fueled political debates and long walks through unfamiliar parts of Queens, a first reader for every piece of writing, someone with whom I can scope out handmade leather belts on Etsy till three in the morning.

I’ve also been on benign dates to the Botanical Gardens, discussing the finer points of kittens and 4Loko.

There was a time when it seemed like every guy I dated suggested simultaneous sex and TV-watching.

But for us, being open has brought active conversation, dynamism, and a new appreciation for our connection.

Sex isn’t even remotely the most important part of a relationship, but it helps me feel human, enhances my vitality.

Both of us are self-identified straight people, but I did have a lady start making out with me at a bar in the West Village, and I didn’t say no.