About Open Fidelity

Open Fidelity describes a new way of thinking about faithfulness in sexual relationships – a way that doesn’t assume that faithfulness means monogamy.

Many people find monogamy impossible but still want to be honest and responsible in their relationships. Open Fidelity is one way to reconcile these two things in one ethical way of living. It is also a good way to enable partners to fulfil their deepest desires in other ways than monogamy.

Fidelity – or faithfulness – basically means keeping the promises you have made. This means:

  • having your partner’s needs in mind in all your decisions
  • working with your partner to fulfil the deepest desires that you both have
  • being honest with each other at all times about what you really desire, even if that means sex with someone else

Sexual relationships can be faithful in this sense while allowing partners to pursue what they most desire, even if that means sex with someone outside the relationships. Open fidelity means making realistic promises that you can keep, and then keeping them.

If you are open and faithful, there is a world of possibilities to try. You and your partner (or spouse) could have short flings or longer-term lovers as well as your committed partnership. You could try swinging, going to sex parties or meeting another couple. Or you could seek out several long-term loving relationships – also known as polyamory.

It isn’t easy, but it is possible and it can be wonderfully rewarding.

Please note that Anna is not currently working on the Open Fidelity project, but this website is remaining online in the hope that it is helpful to some.

8 Responses to “About Open Fidelity”

  1. Congratulations Anna. The blog is a great move. I look frward to reading and commenting.
    Very Best Wishes,

  2. This is great Anna, well done, I think it’s such a good idea, and I’m so excited to have such an important (for me) blog to read regularly, thank-you. Love, Silverdawn.

  3. Thanks Anna for your thorough caring and intelligent approach to these matters of love and fidelity, which have come to me at a crucial point in my life where i see hope for saving my marriage again. I feel the support of people out there like you who are living and owning a feeling and sense i have had for ages, but not managed to make happen in my marriage for fear of the negative emotions and jealousy. To share others experiences of this gives me hope for love with truth again

  4. I’m so glad this is being useful for you, Michael. Do feel free to ask questions by commenting on any of the posts – you may get useful replies not just from me but from other readers. Others might also like to hear more about your experiences and difficulties if and when you are ready to write about them.

  5. [...] artikkel siterer også forfatteren til boken “Open Fidelity”;dr. Anna Sharman. Sharman er ingen hvemsomhelst innen poilyamori;hun har forsket på polyamorøse forhold i flere [...]

  6. Below a review of the zine “With open hands” published by Leeds-based Godhaven Ink. Godhaven are an interesting outfit who have alos published articles on polyamorous parenting and other aspects of polyfidelity. Warmly recommended to all travellers in love! Check them out at http://www.godhaven.org.uk

    x tomas

    “With Open Hands” started life as a love letter. Paxus from the zine publisher Fingerbook Project was told by his lover that she didn’t mind him seeing other people but didn’t want to do it herself. Then she met Chuck. Finding it complicated and uncharted territory, she asked Paxus to help her avoid mistakes he’d made.

    He wrote a detailed, thoughtful, encouraging and long letter. With the help of friends, his response was expanded to become the excellent zine With Open Hands.

    The key thing about open relationships is that they accept the uniqueness of the situation. Each relationship is different, and each evolves over time. Yet, there are certain problems that are common to people first trying open relationships, and there are approaches and ideas that can help steer them round.

    Always compassionate, this zine is really useful for anyone keen to keep their love as bright and free as can be.

    As we’d got a dodgy 58th generation photocopy, before reprinting we decided to retype the text, rescan the images and lay it out from scratch. In typing it up, Merrick found there were things to add, points and aspects and ideas that followed on from the original text. So, in keeping with the anti-copyright spirit of Godhaven Ink and Fingerbook Project, he just wrote them in to create this considerably expanded edition.

  7. [...] artikkel siterer også forfatteren til boken “Open Fidelity”;dr. Anna Sharman. Sharman er ingen hvemsomhelst innen poilyamori;hun har forsket på polyamorøse forhold i flere [...]

  8. Thank you for this site, especially the stuff on jealousy! More please