I learned early on that a secondary relationship is, for me, too emotionally taxing and time-consuming.

But what I didn’t realize is that even flings can be a balancing act, as it’s hard to find someone with needs similar to mine.

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.

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.

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.

My galoshes squeaked against the freshly cleaned marble floor. Later that night, under the auspices of sloe gin in Adams Morgan, my friend’s very attractive, russet-haired colleague followed me into the (one-person! I took the Chinatown bus back to New York feeling better about my sexual self than I’d felt in years, although I was still apprehensive about how this would all turn out.

Ryan and I continued to have sporadic, once-every-few-months sex while I sought extramarital prospects in bars, through friends, and on the Internet.like it was an episode of Room Raiders, his sturdy frame, buzzed hair, and citron soccer jersey stuck out.From the moment I heard his almost scarily deep belly laugh and found out that he, too, grew up in the yawning northern suburbs of Atlanta and had a propensity for bar fights and tasteless jokes, we were best friends.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.There’s definitely social stigma associated with openness.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.