Written by Benjamin Goldman, LMHC

You’re navigating an open relationship—maybe it’s even newly open. How do you figure out anonymous sex with your partner?

There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for open relationships, but having conversations to figure out how to best navigate your relationships requires vulnerability, self-awareness, and for you to get real about what turns you on. You can feel safe and validated while you and your partner feel sexy! In determining the guardrails of your open relationship, you’ll probably find cruising and anonymous sex can actually be a  helpful first step in opening your relationship.

Cruising can be a good way to test the waters of your open relationship. Since cruising is anonymous, your encounters are purely sexual, which means it likely won’t step on toes in your primary relationship with your partner—you’re chasing lust, not love. Rather than spending days going back and forth with whomever you’re planning to fuck, cruising offers a more direct, in-and-out way to step into non-monagamy that’s easier for both partners.



Before you cruise, it’s important to set boundaries with your partner—what’s ok, and what crosses the line. In a committed non-monogamous relationship, there's an opportunity to take advantage of a new kind of trust, honesty, and intimacy

Navigating an open relationship isn’t about making a list of who you can and can’t fuck. While rules and clarity about things like a “no-fly list” can be helpful, having discussions about the nuances of your open relationship should be a connecting and aligning exercise. Get honest with your partner and yourself—if you’ve always secretly hoped to be a whored out hole, it’s time to speak up.  

It’s important to bring your fantasies and fears to these conversations. You don't have to voice everything at once, but the most successful open relationships validate your desires and concerns rather than ignore uncomfortable topics.


Once you have a foundation of helpful rules, anonymous sex could have a place in your relationship. Establishing rules and being prepared doesn’t mean creating a play-by-play for every sexy scenario. It’s about identifying risk factors and using appropriate caution.  

When it comes to anonymous sex, risk and pleasure go hand in hand. There are many queer people who struggle with compulsivity and addiction which manifests in sex. It’s easy to pig out once you’re allowed to—and there’s nothing wrong with getting piggy. 

Still, there are safety considerations to think about when having more anonymous sex in your open relationship. Getting regularly tested for STDs and STIs, staying up to date on your PrEP/doxy-PEP, and other medically recommended sexual healthcare is crucial. Taking preventative measures for your mental health when exploring is just as important as taking care of your physical health


Coupled with communication, cruising can help your open relationship work more successfully. Here’s why: 

Kinky? Cruising is a way to explore a fetish or kink in an open relationship. Perhaps someone in an open relationship has an understall fantasy. Maybe someone wants to play out an extreme submission fantasy, and wouldn’t feel comfortable with their partner watching. 

Don’t ask, don’t tell. In some relationships, having a component of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is important for a variety of reasons. Cruising can be a helpful way to give access to other sexual partners but in a more discreet and situational way.

Keeping up appearances. Some people in open relationships have a lot of priorities in their lives: children, professional reputations, and community, to name a few. They may not want everyone to know they're also a cum dump! Staying anonymous can be an important part of juggling the rest of your life and priorities.

Testing the waters. For new open relationships, cruising is a way to explore what it might be like to fuck around with other people. Cruising can be a way to test how comfortable you or your partner(s) are with the boundaries you’ve agreed to.

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