Open relationships are still very underground and lowly regarded because they do not follow the rules of serial monogamy. Those rules being it is okay to date and have multiple sex partners, but only if there is a definite break between relationships.
Even though open relationships are underground, they are prolific. The most common question I am asked by forty-something couples is around “swinging”. Their motivation to ask is mostly out of curiosity and titillation. When I probe as to why they are interested, their response is they do not want to get a divorce but are not happy with their present sex life.
To give a sense of how this trend is picking up momentum, in Calgary, conservatively speaking, there are at least a few thousand couples engaging in some type of open relationship. In bigger centers like Vancouver or Seattle, the number jumps to tens of thousands.
The question now is what is the happy medium? Obviously there are pros and cons to both meeting one person and making it work regardless and being able to “shop till you drop” until meeting the right one. As well, can Canadians ever be able to accept open relationships as a normal part of a couple’s sexual life?
One thing is certain: monogamy has changed dramatically over the last eighty years.
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