Louka and Em met during a social drink at the Erasmus Pride. “When I saw Louka at the bar, I thought, ‘Wow, that one is cute. I’m going to flirt with them,’” Em says. Unfortunately, Em heard afterwards that Louka was in a relationship.

They saw each other again a few months later at a party. At the time, Louka’s relationship was over. “So I thought, ‘we’re back in business,’” Em laughs. After the party, Louka invited them to a picnic at Kralingse Plas. “We stayed there until 2am chatting and laughing with each other.”

No brownie

They didn’t want a relationship, but their feelings only got stronger. Image credit: Own photo

Em was in a long-distance open relationship at the time. During the summer holidays, when Em’s then girlfriend came to visit, Em took her to a get-together at Erasmus Pride. That night, Em and Louka – together with Em’s girlfriend and a group of friends – ended up in a club. “While dancing, Louka challenged me if I dared to kiss them,” Em says, “so I kissed Louka while I was dancing with my girlfriend.” Louka adds: “And then I kissed Em’s girlfriend.”

After Em and their girlfriend broke up, the two spent even more time together. “We both really didn’t want a relationship because we were tired of the hassle around it. But we enjoyed each other’s company and realised that our feelings for each other were only getting stronger,” Em says. One day, Louka texted if Em wanted to bake a brownie together. Em came over. “But the brownie never happened,” Louka laughs. The next day, Louka came to Em’s house. “And they never left since, so we kind of live together now,” says Em.

Open relationship

The couple have an open relationship. That means they are allowed to have intimate relationships with other people, as long as they put their relationship first. It’s the first open relationship for Louka and they enjoy it immensely. “I like the freedom. We enjoy each other’s company, but we also enjoy other people’s company, why can’t we have both?,” says Louka. “We tell each other who we are seeing, but we don’t need to know all the details.”

Strong bond

“With Louka, it feels like home,” Em says when asked why their relationship is special. “They give me a sense of safety and security.” Louka adds: “We have a strong bond, it’s like we can finish each other’s sentences, we think the same way and can predict how the other will react,” Louka says. “With them, I can be vulnerable, but also strong and protective.” Louka puts their head on Em’s shoulder. “And Em always smells very nice.”

* The surnames of the interviewees have been removed for privacy reasons. The surnames are known to the editors.

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