You need years an years of experience to start shooting without a meter and it is still "dangerous".
I want to be sure of my exposures. Not guess and rely on the fact that film is forgiving.
This article is quite interesting:
Shows ISO 400 film shot at ISO 25, still looks fine, you don't even lose the highlights too much. Slide film would look pretty awful though.
I guess I'm not understanding what you want.
Part of the challenge/advantage of wide open shooting is the selective nature of focus; the subject is sharp, the rest is not, naturally.
I have the 35mm f/2 Nikkor O and 50mm f/1.4 and find my subjects quite sharp when shot open, as long as I have focused well.
So is the issue focus, depth of field, or .... ?
Lots of fun and great work has been done in very "primitive" or "guessed at" exposure control situations. For example; Ansel's Moonrise, and with hand shuttered Petzvals, Brownies, Disposables...
One of the true joys of shooting negatives is the ability to ignore the camera and just shoot.
This is not to say that we can't or shouldn't try to manage the process/exposure, just that perfect exposure is in no way a guarantee of good photos.
IMO good content trumps perfect exposure every time.
Most times, alternate camera exposure settings simply mean alternate enlarger exposure settings for me.
Conent is obviosuly extremely important but it is called PHOtography (phos=light) for a reason.
Shooting wide open really pinpoints your skills as a photographer.
Focus becomes critical, and it isn't so much that you are IN focus - the real concern becomes WHERE you're in focus. And that changes a lot based on how far you are from the object you are focusing on. It takes some trial and error to come to terms with where focus is appropriate, and how to get enough focus in that area to make a satisfying negative.
I personally like a 25mm aperture for portraits, for example. That means f/4 for a 100mm lens, f/2 for a 50mm lens and f/1.4 for 35mm lenses. (100/4 = 50/2 = 35/1.4 = 25). That determines your depth of field. So shooting a 35mm f/2 lens wide open is going to give you an entirely different depth of field than a 50mm f/1.4 lens; your depth of field will be a different by a factor of 4. So if you want consistency in your work you should probably consider a 50mm f/2 and a 35mm f/1.4.
Either way, all technical terms aside, shooting wide open is where most lenses show their anomalies the most. Vignetting, sharpness fall-off, etc become pronounced. That could yield interesting results if used appropriately, or it could look like crap. But I can guarantee you it will look interesting.
With that said, you probably are better off exploring the full potential of the lens. You could, for example, set up a portrait session with a friend or something, and just do static portraits shooting at different apertures. Print all of the different versions and figure out what you like the best. Or shoot landscape at different apertures and print those negs. Just explore the lens and see how you like it best. No need to subscribe to a single way of shooting.
My two cents.
The way I understand the OP, the problem is "soft" images, the opposite of sharp, not exposure latitude. I'm not sure where metering comes in to the query.
"Wide open" and "soft" are just the physics of optics and functionally unavoidable.
You can pay enormous amounts more $$$ for a lens to marginally improve the results, say for a 1.2 lens. RF lenses may be sharper wide open than an SLR lens, closer to the wider angles and losing the advantage at the tele ends.
IMH experience a 1.2-1.4 lens gets acceptably sharp at 2.8. The speed advantage just buys more headroom especially at f/2.8-4. My Olympus 35RC is as sharp at its wide open f/2.8 as my Yashica Electro GSN at f/2.8, though the latter can shoot as fast as f1.7. It's just that f/1.7 is a touch less sharp.
The advantage of the RF is no mirror slap, so one can usually shoot a full stop less shutter speed handheld.
The known method to rectify is to use faster film or push the film, and shoot less wide open. You then have to battle grain at the process/print phase.
Yes, they tend to be expensive, but not always. Choosing carefully is always a good thing....
For example, while I wouldn't actually consider the Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 AIS "soft", but if shooting at full aperture is a priority, there are much better lenses out there (as someone else mentioned, I'd look at Zeiss ZF, if staying with Nikon bodies).