With all the non-chalance and insignificance of sexual relationships in the current age, and pretty much since the dawn of man, there are so many different avenues in which people can partake in inexclusive relationships. The only difference now is there are different “categories” upon which we can classify said inexclusive relationships, but it all boils down to one thing- sex with other people.
You get to “have your cake and eat it too, the more the merrier, greed is good, why have one when you can have ‘em all”, etc.
Then you’ve got the accompanying fuck buddies, booty calls, undercover lovers, Mr. and Mrs. I Want to Have an Affair, FWBs, etc. However, one thing I don’t hear people discuss very often is the open relationship.
An open relationship is usually classified as one in which both people involved feel they are “committed” to each other however, they see people on the side or in tandem and attempt to dictate “rules” and “boundaries”. Like “no sleeping with so-and-so behind my back”, no kissing, no feelings involved, etc.
Some people claim it works out great but I have trouble myself believing it. I would argue that unless you’re that freaky guy Sting and his wacked out wife and you’re off your rocker on coke and quaaludes 23 out of the 24 hours in a day, an open relationship is relationship suicide.
Unless of course killing the relationship is the actual intent. Which brings me to my point- no one willingly wants to sabotage anything that to them, means the world- which is what a good relationship should mean. So logically, one could argue the open relationship itself doesn’t mean shit because most casual relationships don’t.
It’s no mystery I’ve never been involved in a sexually open relationship with anyone because I believe in meaningful, committed and mutually respectable relationships. And those generally don’t include having other people interfering with and potentially ruining all the things that make a relationship enduring and fulfilling- like trust, true love, and an unparalleled bond.
The innocence, intimacy and sacredness in the relationship is forever lost and is replaced by the unknown and many other variables.
How can you truly love someone when there are other people in the way? For a lot of people it’s already hard enough to be monogamous and remain faithful in a committed relationship.
I’m not a casual woman. I highly value intimacy, and the pleasure and beauty derived from sharing myself with one special man. One that I have to be INSANELY attracted to and/or damned near head over heels crazy in love with before I’ll even entertain the notion of going to bed with him. It’s not everyday you find this type of intense attraction and to me, sex just isn’t worth it without it.
Additionally, a healthy sexual relationship is about mutual respect, trust and understanding. It’s hard to be respectful when we are allowing others to intrude where they shouldn’t, it’s difficult to trust someone 100% when other people are in the way, and it’s hard to be understanding when people don’t respect common boundaries. And I have trouble digesting there are any clear boundaries when you let other people have sex with the person you love.
Being in agreement with having an open relationship dictates the terms are negotiable and therefore void.
A good friend of mine and her now common law ex-husband were in an open relationship. It was the classic patriarchal setup in which he was the strong male figure and she was the submissive. Mind you, it was never him and another man in their trysts- it was always her, him and another woman. There were distinct lines drawn for her and none for him and he could very much do as he pleased. And much of the time, he did.
It seems that traditionally, this type of relationship is always to benefit the needs of the man- like women are dumb and dependent Holstein cattle, who need a guide and some assurance that their only purpose sexually is to fulfill the needs of a man.
I’ve been reading an enthralling romance novel by Lora Leigh entitled “Forbidden Pleasure”, which is as far-fetched and unconventional a romance novel can get (as far as any I’ve read). In short, it’s about two incredibly handsome masculine males in love with a beautiful woman. And ironically, this is my, and many a straight woman and gay man’s ultimate fantasy.
The story was, of course, written by a woman but where most of the dictates of an open relationship are concerned, 99 times out of 100, it is always to benefit the stereotypical insatiably sexually macho aggressive male.
My friend and her now, ex-beau stayed together for 10 years and while they frequently engaged in sexual relationships together with various women, her husband often tried to engage in other various separate secret/covert relationships. And he also did so blatantly, right to her face. She was “okay” with everything he did yet ultimately, their relationship crumbled.
Reminds me of the disastrous marriage between pornstar Tera Patrick and her ex-husband Evan Seinfeld. She wanted him to “share with her in the delight” of being a pornstar along side her and sleep with gorgeous women. Well, guess what? When she told him to pick their marriage over being a pornstar, he chose to remain a pornstar. Really what did she expect? And how fucking stupid can you be?
Still I have to give my friend’s ex-husband some credit for being the manipulative bastard that he is. But I also have to refrain from admonishing my friend an innocent victim. She signed up for it. She signed the dotted line in agreement and signed away any inclination to renege on her permissiveness to allow others come into their bed the first time and every time thereafter. Why would her husband suddenly cease to not take advantage every chance he gets?
Sure it’s a lot of fun, it’s very exciting and it’s adventurous. But after it’s all over with you have a decent sized mess to reconcile after the adrenaline winds down and the endorphins wear off. What happens then? From what I’ve heard, the very same thing that happened to Tera Patrick and my poor, dear friend.
You get to share in all the jealousy, grief, heartache, bullshit, and eventual pain that is inevitable of which you cannot and will not remain immune.
The closest thing I ever got to an open relationship was one evening back in high school, my douchebag ex and his cousin wanted to “swap” me with another girl the cousin was dating. I didn’t agree to it but unsurprisingly that didn’t stop my ex from unrelentingly begging and pleading for it.
Even though I stood my ground and said no, he pursued her anyway. I unexpectedly walked in on him and the other girl making out in the bedroom. I immediately saw red. I was crushed, angry, shocked, insanely jealous, sad, and psychotic all at once. I was screaming, jumped on him and started swinging, throwing fists and acting like the biggest piece of drama queen crap I ever had in my life. I was absolutely miserable. Aside from this incident there was maybe one other time my entire life I found myself so seething angry. Sadly I wasn’t even attached to this boy- I didn’t love him and we’d broken up shortly after. Yet, I was very, very hurt and deeply saddened.
It’s no exaggeration that I was traumatized by the incident. For many years, I was highly insecure and uncontrollably jealous and as a result, my future relationships were often dismal and chaotic because of my inability to trust. I knew it was bound to happen and that’s why I didn’t agree to it to begin with. He betrayed me and went on anyway, and I suffered greatly.
I guess some people can numb themselves (or convince themselves that they can) with drugs, alcohol, Viagra, and by forcing themselves into becoming emotionally detached. Yet it’s no mystery there is such hypocrisy that many people historically become emotionally attached when they have sex- casual or not. And it’s not just women, it’s men too.
I’m simply of the belief that people are deluding themselves- that they are unfazed, emotionally guarded and in control and therefore, perfectly capable of taking part in an open relationship. If people were in such control of their feelings and unaffected by the ramifications involved in an open relationship, then how and why do things often end up so badly torn apart?
The open relationship is a euphemism for “I want to screw other people but I don’t want to cheat by doing it behind your back”. Yet to me, there is no clear distinction.
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