As the play with the other guy progresses the reality of having another person in the scene is starting to be apparent. As so often the fantasy and the reality are not the same, and reality is harder and more nuanced.
The other guy is aware we have an open relationship, that I know everything that goes on between them. There are no real secrets between Sandy and I, nor could there be. But Sandy and I have talked and fantasised about this kind of relationship for several years and are deeply aware of what open means to us. To us it means we come first, that she loves me, respects me, fancies the pants off me. We have history, children and a future that neither of us would walk away from. I don't think he fully understands this yet. He understands open in theory yet as far as we can tell cant quite believe it. He says he wouldn't share a woman like her if they were together. Thats fine and understandable but that and similar comments show that he is far from understanding that we aren't sharing the part of her that makes us a couple in love. Its very hard to be sure because like so many men he isn't that open about feelings, but occasionally we wonder if he realises that Sandy fooling around is not in any way indicative of a flaw in our relationship.
We also know that he has become very infatuated with her. Easy to do, Sandy is an absolute gem, her personality shines bright. He is in the honeymoon stage where she can do no wrong, he hasn't seen her flaws, the aspects of her that in her own words would drive him potty and make them unsuited in the long term. He is getting rather romantic and every now and then Sandy has to back off and make the boundaries clear. Cue a slightly hurt backtrack as he says that he is a big boy and capable of looking after himself. We are sure he is, but fundamentally he seems the type to fall in 'love' easily and even if he can survive it not being reciprocated we still don't want to hurt his feelings. Its a new relationship (theirs that is) and like all new relationships it takes a bit of time to settle down and find its boundaries. We are going through that stage now. I think that if this aspect of it doesn't settle down soon Sandy will put an end to the whole thing, for his sake. The next few weeks will be key.
Due to the feelings he has for her and the fact that he just isn't comfortable with that kind of thing I need to stay off the scene. There will be no watching while tied in the corner, no listening on the end of a phone. I will be lucky to get the odd picture. Our fantasies would ideally include me more, but as so often once you start this process you don't always get quite what you wanted. So I enjoy imagining what they are up to, she enjoys telling me all about it. The rest will have to remain a fantasy. Not that this ruins the experience, its still fun, but its not the fantasy ideal.
Finally he seems to be a long way from understanding real dominance and submission. He doesn't know that we are in a d/s relationship and Sandy doesn't think she wants to tell him as she suspects he would get an incorrect impression on me. Not knowing she is dominant means that a large part of who she is nowadays is a mystery to him, and though she intends to tell him a bit about that side of her character its not something she thinks he will grok. (who remembers the term grok, does that make me a real geek?) Again this is not unexpected, it takes people years in this scene to understand the nuances of a d/s relationship, and the nuances of a dominant or submissive character. 'Vanilla' people just think of it as a sexual thing.
So all of this sounds vaguely negative. In fact apart from the possibility that his feelings for her are too strong the rest just is what it is. It needs to be worked through, and Sandy and I work with what we have.
Its a lot of fun, but lets be honest and open about the trickier aspects.