Ask James: ‘My BF Has Suggested An Open Relationship… What Do I Do?’

James Kavanagh answers your questions as only a gas bitch can.

My boyfriend of four years has suggested an open relationship because he feels it might spice up our sex life. I don’t know if I’m sold on the idea and need advice… Roisin, Galway

I know couples who are in open relationships and they are the happiest couples I know – hardly any fighting and perhaps ironically, jealousy is at a total low. The general rules I gather are: no discussing the sex you’ve had with other people unless this is agreed upon (some couples get turned on by their other-halves’ sexy stories). Secondly, no friends or people from the inner circle. And of course, STI tests must be taken between each ride and always wear a condom.

If you’ve seen the new video game Black Mirror episode, maybe the way they handle it might work: one reoccurring date per year (or month) where both parties can go off and get the ride. But think long and hard – it’s not for everyone, and just because he wants it doesn’t mean you have to want it as well.

I’d love to start sharing my life on Instagram like you do. But I’d be a bit embarrassed to begin. Any tips? Anne, Dublin

The key to engaging social media (well, IMO) is being as real as possible. You know the way you might have a work/professional personality and then one you have exclusively for friends and family (AKA the real you)? Well, the latter one is the one you need to share on social media. People want realness these days, so don’t try to share a you that doesn’t exist because people sense it immediately and won’t wanna watch. As for being embarrassed, that’s unavoidable. You just have to DO IT and then it just weirdly fades away. One day you just don’t care and it’s v easy. Good luck!

There’s a lot of talk lately about do I or don’t I take my parter’s name when getting married… What are your thoughts? Shonagh, Dublin

While I’d never give up my name, I would never, ever bash someone else for taking their lover’s name. Each to their bloody own! But each person is almost like a personal brand (for total want of a better phrase), and you spend your life carving and chiseling out yourself and your name is like your business card. Why suddenly give it up? In the case of ‘what surname do we give the kids?’, I’d give them double barrels – v fancy and they’ll sound dead posh and aristocratic. Gorge. But as I’ve said, it’s up to the individual. You do you, sweetie, and don’t listen to no one.

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