Thank you all for your comments and questions about my recent blog "Open Marriage Benefit: A Three-Parent Household." I thought that this week I would answer one of the questions I received based on that piece. MaliMali asked, "Is she mainly your girlfriend? Is it like he comes home to two wives? Have you ever shared a boyfriend in your marriage?" The answer, after the jump.
The economy has forced me to do some corporate writing alongside my "real" work which means deadlines and company politics and stress. Combine that with a spouse who is in town for less than 48 hours a week and who wants (and needs) to do little more than rest during that time and you're likely headed for the looney bin—or worse. But because I am in an open marriage, a polyamorous relationship, a polyfidelitous vee, I am not alone…at all.
You're in an open relationship, and you have both a husband and a girlfriend. What if your girlfriend or you or your husband all fall in love with someone else? According to polyamorist Jenny Block, "although they are very good friends, my husband and my girlfriend are not in love or involved with one another. And my girlfriend and I are very much in love. The thing is, we don't think of love as a limited commodity. So, falling in love with someone else is not so much of an issue."
What would you do if you found out that the mom you shared carpool duties with was a dominatrix at night? Or what if that cute couple next door wasn't really a couple—but a threesome or a foursome? How would you react? Well, you better get used to it, because all across America, in sleepy suburbs just like yours, moms are hiding secrets. Meet Robyn. She's a 44-year-old mom of three and a polyamorist who's currently involved in loving, intimate relationships with three men. And she's open to more, time permitting.
Originally posted at http://notyourmothersplayground.com Here’s a fact I’ve realized lately: I’ve dated / slept with way more people since being married than I ever did when I was actually single. Looking back on my real single life is a strange exercise. Steph and I have been together since I was just about 21 so my single days are far behind me, plus I was younger then and times have changed. Still, I have enough single friends to know what dating is like nowadays and I wanted to reflect on the differences between being actually single and single(ish). (Dating while in an open relationship.) The first obvious difference is that being Ish, I’m already coming home to somebody. The ’sense of urgency’ that I’ve seen so many people go through is lifted. I don’t have any questions of “Is he (or sometimes she) the one?”. That position is filled and if I’m looking
Love Bytes: three must click sex, dating and relationship links. Star Trek v. Star Trek porn. [Buzzfeed] Is there a limit to how loud you should be in the sack? [Lemondrop] She has crushes on other guys. Her boyfriend's just fine with that. [Em and Lo] It was my roommate's 21st birthday a few Fridays ago, so my roommates and I decided to throw her a massive birthday party at our apartment. My boyfriend opted to chill in my bedroom for most of the night, while I mingled with the throng of intoxicated co-eds crowding our kitchen. Several cocktails later, I found myself considering hooking up with four different guys and one girl. At least. And every time I had even the slightest urge to stick my tongue in someone else's mouth, I would go into the bedroom and slur to my boyfriend something along the lines of, "There's a cute boy/girl in the kitchen and I sooo want to sleep with him/her." He would respond by smirking, patting me on the back and saying, "Go for it."
When Big Love came out, we all thought it was pretty silly. To start with, we all consider ourselves to be one family, not three separate but connected families. The ideas that plural marriage is restricted to the one man and several wives model—and that it has to have a religious basis—are both ridiculous. We also don't consider the political jockeying, the backbiting and the attempts to get more of the husband's attention or money, to be loving behavior. If the youngest wife is so insecure, she should go find herself a nice monogamous man.
My girlfriend was browsing Facebook and found herself "face to face" with friends from her childhood and from college, all with wives or husbands, and babies and houses. And when we went to bed later, she cried. "Sometimes, I just want to be normal too," she said to me with sad, green eyes. "I want to put up pictures like that. I don't want to have to explain myself. I don't want to worry about what other people think." It made me sad. Really sad. Here was this incredibly strong, intelligent woman who was feeling pressured by these images of supposed normalcy and correctness. She felt bombarded by messages that seemed to be about the "right" way to do things and made her feel as if all of the love and happiness we have was, in that very instant, wrong. It's hard not to feel that way when the conventions that everyone accepts are staring you in the face, taunting you. "You don't have a husband. You don't have a baby. Your girlfriend's married. You should be ashamed. You're doing it wrong," their happy pictures and messages seem to say.
"Monogamy Is Good, And It's Here To Stay." I was leery about this piece the minute I saw the title. But as soon as I read it and saw the word "fad" used to describe the kind of relationship that I have been deliriously happy in for years (and the kind hundreds of other people I have met have been in for decades) I knew I was dealing with a classic case of fear and misunderstanding—a dangerous mix. I thought I might simply reply in the comments section, but I quickly realized that I had way too much ground to cover. So, below I have gone section by section in responding to Ms. Cline's piece.
Thinking about open marriage or non-monogamy? According to this author, monogamy and women are a good mix. "If history can teach us anything, the open relationship bandwagon will come and go, which is a good thing because most women still benefit from and prefer monogamy. Why? Women still generally do more work in relationships than men do and openness requires even more diligence than a regular relationship; women are taught to care more about relationships and risk more for them than men, so non-monogamy raises the stakes more for us. And, despite today’s female open relationship proponents, it’s men who typically initiate and prefer non-monogamy."
On October 4, 2008 Jenny Block spoke at the Poly Pride Rally in New York City. The rally was part of Poly Pride Weekend, a gathering for polyamorous people, those who maintain multiple loving relationships at the same time. Jenny is the author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage, which all started on Tango, in her essay, Portrait of an Open Marriage.
I finally watched the CW's new 90210 last night, and it was better than I thought it would be. I saw the fourth episode, "The Bubble" (you can watch the full first and second eps on the CW website).The relationships on the show are for the most part pretty predictable. There's a love quadrangle between four high schoolers who are dating each other's ex's. (Which begs the question: are friends ex-boyfriends off limits? And can you be friends with your ex?) Then there are the old-schoolers, Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh. Kelly is teaching at West Beverly high and has a baby; check out the clip above to find out who the father is. Brenda Walsh is back in town too, but, at least in this episode, doesn’t have a romantic storyline.
Opportunities for intimacy are all around us, and they don't need to be sexual. (But they certainly can be…) We can have intimate moments with family and friends and they need not have naughty overtones. But we can also have intimacies that are rooted in sexual desire, and having and desiring and pursuing those relationships need not be precluded by our marital state. I hope that everyone who is married has intimacy with their spouse. But I also want to dispel the myth that marriage is the only thing that can provide "true" intimacy.
I'm in a relationship where we put all of our cards on the table. We are honest about our feelings with one another, and we're honest about our feelings about other people. Every once in a while he tells me that a really cute redhead cruised him at the coffee shop. I respond by showing him a dirty text message one of my guy friends sent me. The result? We just laugh at each other, then have amazing sex driven by the attraction other people have for us.
Are you curious about an open relationship, but not sure where to start? Maybe you've talked about open marriage with your partner but don't know how to move forward. Below are seven steps to help you begin opening up. Remember: all relationships are unique—one size does not fit all. Use these tips as a guide, but do what feels right for you.