Sociable 

Dear Minerva,

I love hosting friends, and want to have people over, but I fear that having a strong personality and a reputation as someone who likes to have 'fun' while openly partnered leads people to not come over when I'm not seeking more than friendship. How do I balance friends in town, keep a reputation from going out of control and also explore sexuality when it's wanted?

—Sincerely, Sociable

Dear Sociable,

One of my favorite quotes from Gone with the Wind seems appropriate. Rhett, upon hearing Scarlett commenting on the dangers of doing what she wanted versus what was expected, says to her, "With enough courage, you can do without a reputation." I suggest applying this to your life, especially if you are going to be openly partnered and in an open relationship. When inviting others over, simply refer to it as a "friend's night." That defines the expectation for the evening. The hard truth of living openly is that some people are just never going to "get it" but that shouldn't stop you from extending the invite. If someone doesn't want to come to your house for a social call because of your open relationship, then you don't want them there anyway. If this were me, I'd start out with inviting a few friends over on a semi-regular basis so that they can get comfy with being social. Sexuality is powerful so I have no doubt that if your friends want to explore something further and know they can, they'll let you know.

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