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Q: It turns me on to permit my significant other to enjoy other men. As long as she is safe and the guy treats her with respect, I can support her desires. I think it shows an incredible trust in our relationship. Do you think a couple can have a long lasting loving open relationship? -- Mike

Dr. Susan: My opinion? Something usually comes along to muck up such relationships. You haven't said whether this openness is still in the planning or fantasy stage or whether your partner has already begun to be intimate with other men. Have you talked about how she'd feel if you decide to reciprocate and enjoy other women? Are you as free from jealousy as you imagine you are? Have you considered what you really mean when you say you trust her? In other words, do you trust her not to prefer someone else's sexual technique to yours? Do you trust her to remain fully committed to you no matter who else she meets and sleeps with? How much detail do you want to know about her adventures? Would you be helping her locate men who would be safe and trustworthy and respectful? Are all of you going to have frequent blood tests for various diseases? I know, I know -- I'm being a spoilsport. There are people who claim to be able to manage open relationships and, I suppose, get their need for variety met quite nicely. Just be sure you're both honest at every step of the process, and if you really care for one another, be ready to change the rules or stop the experiment altogether, if necessary.

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