Some friends and I recently stumbled on the topic of monogamy as we listened to our girl vent about her messy breakup. In the midst of the bitch-fest, I asked what she would look for in the next guy, and her response started a heated debate: she said she was looking for her “person,” but that she wasn’t ready to restrict herself to sex with one dude for the rest of her life. While my friends and I discussed the concept of pledging one’s being and one’s vagina to one man, I found my arguments emerging in favor of open relationships.
Call me crazy, but here are a few reasons why I think it’s possible for couples to have open sex lives, while nurturing a loving relationship.
Monogamy breeds deception
When a couple enters an exclusive relationship, deep in the throes of passion, the bond is exciting enough to hold their attention to one another. But over time, as those feelings fade, they start to notice other men/women in the world. Maybe they feel a twinge of attraction. But then they recall their commitment to remain loyal to their partner, immediately feel guilty, and never mention their wandering eye to the person they claim to be honest and open with.
But where does it stop? This attraction to other people is natural, but covering it up feels wrong. After all, is it reasonable to expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to limit their sexual desire to you, and only you? By masking your attraction to others, and deluding yourself into thinking he/she doesn’t have the same thoughts, aren’t you engaging in a dangerous deception? And what for?
Sex and love aren’t mutually exclusive
I most appreciated my friend’s point about how two people can be deeply committed and in love with one another, while trusting their bond transcends sex. I also agreed that two consenting adults are fully capable of engaging in a sexual relationship that’s absent of romantic love. So why have we, as a society, decided that sex and love are mutually exclusive? Why should a couple forgo a pleasurable act simply because society says it’s limited to their “marital duties?”
Open relationships could boost the couple’s intimacy
While I’m all for keeping things spicy with your partner, I think there are limits to how many tricks a couple can pull out of their bags to keep things interesting in the bedroom over the years. Simply put: monogamy forces individuals to abandon the excitement brought on by a sexual encounter with someone new. If we can find a loophole that allows people in a relationship to get a taste of something fresh every once in a while, couldn’t that help them rediscover their attraction to one another?
I wish I had more to go on than theories and ideas here, but I don’t know any couples in an open relationship to give me the inside scoop. Or do I? All you monogam-ish folks out there, please, share your success story! Because I have a LOT of questions.