I'm a married man in an open marriage. My wife has two friends she sees on the regular, but I'm struggling to find an extramarital date of my own. I met a woman at a bar recently, and we really hit it off. We plan to meet soon, but the topic of relationships hasn't been breached yet. Although she very well could have a boyfriend, I didn't exactly explain that I have a wife, as the upcoming plans were not necessarily romantic in nature. Looking back at our conversation, however, and observations from a third party who was accompanying me at the bar, make it clear that she was pretty into me.
My broadly stated question, applicable to myself and many others I'm sure, is this: When should a married man in an open relationship be open with others about his...openness? For my wife, it's a topic that doesn't seem to deter others from pursuing her. Guys will say, "Oh, you're married? That's cool, so your place or mine?" But, wanting to be honest with other women, it's a subject that has scared away 100 percent of the women I tell/want to be involved with.
Am I doing this wrong? Some websites say I shouldn't tell the woman until the third date or when things start to get physical. Is a little bit of misdirection OK, or should I trust my gut when it tells me this kind of behavior might backfire on me?
Struggling In Denver, Not A Fun Time
P.S. Let's ITMFA!
You could sidestep the disclosure issue by seeking out women like your wife—that is, women in committed-but-open relationships who are looking for sex friend/friends.
But in answer to your question...
You might be doing something wrong—I haven't seen you in action—but many straight men in open relationships have the same complaint: their wives/girlfriends have no problem finding dudes down to fuck married women but they can't find women who feel the same way about married men. It would seem that women are likelier to regard "married to someone" as a dealbreaker/crotchparcher.
The understandable temptation for men in your shoes, SIDNAFT, is to withhold "married to someone" until after you get into another woman's pants. It's a passive deception: a woman you meet in a bar or on an app assumes you're single, unattached, and available; all perfectly reasonable assumptions based on societal norms and your behavior. So by not mentioning your wife, SIDNAFT, you're taking advantage of those norms and assumptions and any woman you do that too is going to feel duped and angry.
So, yeah, that shit is gonna backfire.
But immediate disclosure? That backfires too, as you know. So what to do? I have in the past advised people who are kinky, HIV+, or open to allow someone to get to them—just a little—before the big reveal, e.g. before laying their kink cards/serostatus, or spouse on the table. Someone who might've immediately rejected a kinky/poz/partnered person because they believe kinky/poz/partnered people are dangerous/diseased/immoral might be inspired to reconsider their biasses. They might weigh the person they've come to know—just a little—against their prejudices and decide to give it a chance. (Which is not to say that irrational prejudice is always the problem; some people have perfectly good reasons for wanting vanilla or unattached partners.)
But STIs and spouses absolutely, positively must to be disclosed before a relationship becomes sexual. While I think a person can wait a few months to disclose their kinks—it can take time to demonstrate to someone that you really like and can do vanilla too—the wife, if not disclosed immediately, must be disclosed on or before Date #3.
Openness only works when it's working for both partners. While getting her male partner laid is not the responsibility of a woman in open relationship, helping him—if she can—may be in her own best interests. If her husband/boyfriend becomes jealous and jealousy curdles into resentment, well, that's gonna undermine the primary relationship. So a willingness on a woman's part to attend swingers events or play parties with her male partner or to vouch for him if another woman wants to check in with her first (to make sure the husband/boyfriend isn't lying) or to make an introduction when and where she can—are any of her male sex friends in open relationships? are the women they're with looking to get laid too?—are all proactive steps a woman in an open relationship can take to help out her male partner. It's not about her being responsible (for getting him laid), it's about her being supportive (in his efforts to get himself laid).