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open relationship

(102 Posts)
pinkpaws Mon 25-Feb-13 19:53:34

Hi just a thought so much drama we all seem to have about being faithful if we could keep are feeling about loving and spending are life with someone and the need to have sex with someone else apart how much less drama would we all have. let me know if anyone agrees.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 25-Feb-13 21:53:36

Plenty of people have happy, non-abusive open relationships. Plenty of people in monogamous relationships are unhappy and/or abused/abusive. It's not how many or how few people you have sex with that makes you a good person: you can be an arsehole whether or not monogamy matters to you.

Though it's worth considering that monogamy is a social construct set up by men to control women (which is why all the propaganda about how women are the ones who want monogamy exists - just like all the stuff about women are the ones who really want marriage when marriage benefits men far more than women.)

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 25-Feb-13 21:56:51

Sure. I'm just trying to say, no-one should assume it'll suddenly solve all the problems, make an unpleasant partner suddenly turn nice, or absolve you of the need to try to be nice. Obvious, I guess.

abbeynationall Mon 25-Feb-13 22:29:09

OP, do listen to CuttedUpPear regarding grammar winkgrin

Charbon Mon 25-Feb-13 22:35:05

Why do you want to 'push a few buttons' OP? Didn't you want an objective, intelligent discussion?

FWIW this hasn't pushed any buttons for me. As long as people are honest with eachother about having sex outside their relationships and there is equal opportunity for both and no coercion exacted, there's no difficulty.

But I think it's naive to think that if the default was polyamory there wouldn't still be some people who chose monogamy, or who liked keeping secrets, or whose eroticism was sparked by the illicit nature of secret encounters, or who didn't enjoy being 'chosen' as a special and exclusive partner. Mainly because sex (like any other activity) doesn't happen in a vacuum uncontaminated by other aspects of human nature and individual personality traits.

TDada Mon 25-Feb-13 23:13:25

Diff format will give diff benefits and challenges. Main thing is respect, care and absence of abuse whatever format you choose.

BOF Mon 25-Feb-13 23:21:17

Good points, Charbon.

AnyFucker Mon 25-Feb-13 23:25:02

That's nice, dear

ArtVandelay Mon 25-Feb-13 23:25:39

I'm afraid I just see extra people/relationships as a drain on my time and emotional resources. I want more time to myself, not less smile

No problem with people who enjoy this but it's not for me!

cronullansw Mon 25-Feb-13 23:30:09

A vote in favour of SGB's comments.

Been there, having done that, currently not doing that, still happily married.

AnyFucker Mon 25-Feb-13 23:37:25

I think it's really sweet what a massive crush you have on sgb, nsw grin

izzyizin Tue 26-Feb-13 00:26:12

You think your topic has 'pushed a few buttons'? Hardly the debate of the decade, is it?

I know several couples who are in long term commited relationships who are open Open to what? One night stands with randoms, sexual dalliances with friends and friends of friends? Deeply meaningful sexual relationships with others which last considerably longer than a wham, bam, thank you ma'am encounter?

The key element is that they respect each other massively If they 'respect each other massively', are we to assume they also trust each other implicitly?

If so, the fact that each partner would not do anything or see anyone without the agreement of the other partner would seem to give the lie to the above as any relationship which places restrictions on the parties to it cannot be said to be 'open'.

WafflyVersatile Tue 26-Feb-13 00:33:02

All relationships have rules. And in any relationship rules can be broken. The OP is risibly simplistic.

WMDinthekitchen Tue 26-Feb-13 00:34:42

I do hope your knowledge of safe sex is better than your grammar.

pinkyredrose Tue 26-Feb-13 03:23:29

WM why attempt to derail the thread by picking bones at the OPs grammar?

nooka Tue 26-Feb-13 04:09:27

For me the problem is all to do with context. I don't know very much about open relationships, having never met any couples who (openly) said that was their bent. However I remember thinking that in theory polygamy shouldn't be a problem if everyone was happy. However in practice it appears to be used mostly in ways that have a very bad impact on women and children, and is of benefit only to top men in very patriarchal communities. So I'd worry about how open relationships work in practice - are both people in the relationship really happy, or is it just a way for one of them (most likely the man) to do whatever they like without worrying about the feelings of the other person. In a society that is still very chauvinistic my suspicion is that it's not all a bed of roses and that it's usually the woman who gets the bum deal.

That's not to hold up monogamy as the answer, I just don't think that the best way to manage people who have affairs is to have one yourself and declare open season. S no I don't think it would lessen the drama.

Selba Tue 26-Feb-13 04:13:34

Where are all these other people who want to have sex with me??they seem to be hiding

LessMissAbs Tue 26-Feb-13 12:51:44

I can't help thinking open relationships are for people who can't admit their relationship is at an end, who fear divorce, and who are scared of taking the risk of being single. At least I think divorce and starting anew is a better option, but then it depends how much you prize financial security over being happy in a relationship.

Dahlen Tue 26-Feb-13 12:59:27

I think open relationships only ever work when they are negotiated at the start of a relationship between two people who consider themselves totally equal and who have very similar outlooks about sex, boundaries and relationships. In that context, they can - and do - work exceptionally well.

One of the reasons they can go wrong is because they are often preceded by several years of monogamy. The sexual boundaries of the relationship are then changed, which can shake the foundations of the rest of the relationship. Quite often, it's suggested by one partner and the other is persuaded into it by a desire not to lose the relationship. That immediately creates an uneven playing field, dooming the relationship even when the 'rules' are discussed and agreed.

ErikNorseman Tue 26-Feb-13 13:02:17

OP has form for goadyfuckery elsewhere btw.

My twopennorth is that sex and love aren't the same thing, but sex is essential for love (IMO). For me, casual sex is very different from partner sex. I can see how people can compartmentalise and have both. However I find I have a very powerful sexual jealousy and it's not something I would want in a relationship. I also find casual sex much less fun than partner sex. Or rather, it's awesome the first or second time, then the shine wears off and then you have nothing left. With couple sex there is more going on so if the sex hits a lull you have a foundation of intimacy to build it back up again.

In summary- open relationships not inherently wrong, but not for me.

Dahlen Tue 26-Feb-13 13:05:21

I also think it's easier to agree to in principle than it is in reality.

If you're of the opinion that sex can be totally divorced from emotion - which many people are - it's easy to see how you can maintain a long emotional relationship with one person and have sex with others without damaging that primary relationship.

However, practical concerns can get in the way. For example, even using barrier methods it is possible to contract STDs. So as well as considering your own sexual health, you have to consider how to keep your spouse/partner safe. What about pregnancy - either of one of the partners in the primary relationship or one of the secondary sexual partners? Do you have a rule where you only have sex one time with other partners so that you minimise the risk of a emotional connection developing? And so on.

AnyFucker Tue 26-Feb-13 13:16:31

Usually these "edgy" threads (or at least trying to be edgy) threads are started by Goady Fuckers.

A "That's Nice, Dear" is the most appropriate response, IMO

firesidechat Tue 26-Feb-13 13:39:30

Apart from all the obvious answers, ie love my husband, don't want or need sex with anyone else etc, we also have grown up children who would be embarrassed and devastated beyond belief if we had an open relationship. It would be naive to think that they would never find out and why oh why would I do that to them. Our relationship isn't in some sort of vacuum that has no impact on other family members.

I can't see an open relationship having much to do with respect either, but that's just a personal opinion.

eccentrica Tue 26-Feb-13 14:00:05

I agree with AnyFucker. I have no issue with polyamory or its derivatives (have dabbled that way myself from time to time) but I do find the people who shout about it on internet forums usually quite tiresome and attention-seeking. There are many more interesting things about someone than who you do or don't have sex with.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 26-Feb-13 14:24:06

Hmm. The thing is, people who reject monogamy do sometimes get frustrated with the ignorance and bigotry of monogamists, many of whom behave like unthinking mildly homophobic heteros. All this 'I don't care what you do, just don't flaunt it' actually means 'Please pretend you don't exist, I can't cope with anyone being different.'
People who prefer open or polyamorous relationships would, on the whole, prefer just to get on with their own lives, but the heteromonogamous often won't let them. You get: people seeing you with someone other than a person they know/believe is Your Partner and sticking their beaks in, to the extent of refusing to believe you that your relationship is consensually open and harassing one or more of your partners about the fact that you are 'cheating' and that the partner 'needs to get some self respect' and punish you. You get endless clammy-handed invitations to get some therapy for your rejection of monogamy. You get people not wanting their DC near you in case you make sexual advances to them (as though anyone who goes to a swingers' club or is in any way unusual must be a predator who targets children...)

So people stating their preferences openly and wanting to defend themselves against stupidity is not such a terrible thing.

nooka Tue 26-Feb-13 15:55:28

The world would probably be a better place is more diversity was accepted, that's certainly true. I can imagine all those things happening very easily SGB, and they do sound very similar to homophobic attitudes (you can't really want to live like that types).

I just don't think that the answer to the 'drama' of people being unfaithful is simply to move to open relationships, thus legitimizing the behaviour of the cheating spouse. I imagine that sometimes the problem is that the cheating partner has got themselves into the wrong sort of relationship, but I'm not at all sure that many people who cheat would be happy to have a relationship where their partner was also free to play.

For a truly open relationship to work I imagine that the bond between partners has to be stronger and based on significant levels of mutual respect and equality. I would have thought that until wider society embraces the idea of everyone as autonomous and of equal value that's fairly exceptional.

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