If it weren't for the rules, and the willingness of two people to respect each other by following those rules, alternative relationships would simply self-destruct. It would be relationship anarchy. Occasionally, the rules are even broken. And sometimes that's ok, too. After all, every hook-up is different than the one that came before, and so with that in mind, all romantic and sexual encounters should probably be judged independently of one another.
In the vast majority of instances, those of us involved in open relationships are by no means swinging naked from the chandeliers at all hours of the day and night. We are not diving headfirst into a writhing group orgy every Friday and Saturday after work. We are not necessarily in the practice of shagging perfect strangers in the men's room of a dark-lit club. In fact, being in an open partnership hasn't been about random sex so much as it's been an incredibly intense emotional education.
Hollywood rarely depicts sex accurately: near-instantaneous, always-simultaneous orgasms? Sheets that conceal only naughty bits? But they get at least one thing right: the act is often hot and the aftermath is often messy. And that's not even getting into polyamory or open marriage. Even the most fun threeway can wind up as complicated as Y Tu Mama Tambien or Wild Things. That Ky Henderson advises you set terms of a threesome to try to save feelings of jealousy and self-loathing and unpleasant realities like sexually transmitted disease and social stigma.