So what is it about open relationships anyway
I am making my way through a relationship I never imagined I would be in, which is hard. As a person who believes in science, I am educating myself about open relationships, to give the thing a bit of context and to assist myself on this journey I found myself on. Until now, I´ve read the Ethical Slut, The Truth by Neil Strauss, a book written by this “guru” living with his five wives in Croatia and organizing sex parties where people fuck without condoms, I`ve watched countless hours of Dan Savage and Esther Perel on Youtube and I`ve read blogs, watched vlogs, surfed the forums. By no means am I claiming that I`ve studied every perspective there is (nor is that my intention) but what I gather so far is that as I read these books and blogs I often times feel attacked for believing in and wanting monogamy.
Monogamy, as presented by supporters of polyamory, is an unnatural prison built out of fear and insecurities, which can only exist in a society where women are a lesser people, and will crumble, because people are not built to mate for life and sooner or later one or both of the partners are going to succumb to that ever present itch which makes us, in the long run at least, utterly incapable of not having sex with literally everything that walks around and can give its consent. Open relationships on the other hand, are pictured as the enlightened sibling to monogamy, full of mutual respect, freedom, trust, open communication and oh so much love, because they are about taking the love that exist between two people and sharing that love by way of genitalia among all gods´ sexy creatures. Because, as they like to point out in the Ethical Slut, love is the only thing that you get more of if you distribute it among multiple people (herpes, anybody?).
I postulate now, that the above is horseshit.* Allow me to start at the end, and ask in the immortal words of Tina, what´s love got to do with it? Sex and love can indeed go hand in hand, but they also very often have absolutely nothing to do with each other. And if I am insisting in a relationship which continues to hurt me (which is something poly-friendly authors admit freely — it does fucking hurt when you know that your lover is out there making intimate memories with somebody else, no matter just how free your spirit runs) because I love my partner so much that I want them to have everything they want, am I really proving my love for my partner, or am I proving a very real lack of love for myself? And what about the other person, the person who I just fucked and whose bed I´m now leaving because I don´t want to wake up next to them, I want to wake up next to my partner? Have I just not reduced this person, for all their complexity, into a pair of tits and a vagina or a good dick? So how exactly is this loving behavior from my end and in which way am I multiplying the love in the world by objectifying my fellow human beings and throwing them away after I´ve had my needs taken care of? What I see here is not love, but extremely selfish behavior, a product of a me-me-me-always-me society, where sex has fallen victim to inflation, due to over-exposure and a sense of never ending supply.
Another thing that these books like to tell me, is that I as a woman, am somehow supposed to be freed of the male oppression through fucking freely and putting my sexuality out there. That the concept of monogamy was created to hold me down. That I want an open relationship just because I am a woman, and women get bored in monogamous relationships, and women were built for having as many sexual partners as possible because this gave them a better shot at procreating. However, what I see and hear at sex parties suggests differently. What I see is half-naked women on drugs, being fucked left right and center. So how exactly is this behavior counteractive to a society who raises its little girls thinking that ass-out, tits-out is the only way to get and please a man? Are we not already telling the women of the world, that no matter what you are doing, your goddamn job is also to be sexy? How is sex party behavior any different to what main stream media is selling? Sure, a Nikki Minage or a Taylor Swift Song will stop just short at portraying an actual sex scene (or maybe even not anymore, I don´t know, I haven´t payed much attention to modern day TV and advertising) whereas real life does not, and sex happens, but I can´t help but see that this is all just another manifestation of how women are told to be: half or completely naked, with open mouths and legs up in the air, ready to go. It´s real life imitating porn, and we know which gender porn is made for. And while I don´t care what people do, who and where they fuck, I will find the idea of this type of behavior somehow serving as liberating to women everywhere far fetched. I don´t see it as anything but but playing into the role that is asked of us: to be the fun, sexy girl, always available to men. And just as there are women at these parties, who are indeed experiencing a PERSONAL sexual revolution, there are also women in the mix who are at these parties, doing these things because they are important to their partner. All the power to both cases here, but what I´m saying is that we are not fucking our way to a feminist revolution.
On the subject of monogamy being boring and a fake construct I say this: I find it exhilarating and very much interesting in furthering my sexual education with the man I love. I´ve had sex without feelings and I`ve had one night stands and while some sex was ok, perhaps even good, it was never as good as the sex I´m having these days. So why exactly is going out and finding new people to have sex with superior to working on the sex life I have at home? Maybe one day I will wake up and be bored as fuck of Boyfriend´s penis, but I doubt it, because we work at making it interesting and fun, making it more interesting and fun in the process. And for those who are going to point out that Boyfriend wants an open relationship even though I claim the sex at home is grand: our sex life is not his reason. Maybe I will go into those at another time. But to round this up with my final point, diving into the reasons why he wants a free pass to fuck around and still play house with me, Boyfriend is also discovering some really real holes in his soul, which he is trying to fill with women and food. They started, as most shit is wont to do, in his childhood, through a messed up relationship with both of his parents. Like I said, a topic for another day, but for now I would only leave you, the smug poly people of the world, who are telling me that I´m silly for believing in monogamy, with a question: is there perhaps also something missing inside you too?
To conclude, I really do not care about other people´s business and where and how they chose to run their relationships. I simply can not subscribe to the idea which is being sold to me about open relationships: that they are somehow the better choice. They may work for some, fine, but I feel that much of the advertisement for them is based in fake assumptions. And if I chose monogamy for myself, that does not make me a hopeless romantic, or silly, or delusional or a fool. It just makes it my choice.
*This entire article is about having sex with people outside of a two-person relationship. Relationship constellations which include more than two people are excluded.