Two of our contributors are asked to take opposing stances on an issue and present a case for their viewpoint. Comment and tell us who you agree with or what you believe or think! The topics are suppose to elicit a response and start a conversation in comments. Enjoy!
Topic: Open Marriage
She Said (Gucci Mama):
I'm a pretty smart girl. I mean, let's just face it; I'm brilliant. But, and this may surprise some of you, there are some things I just don't understand. One of those things is this concept of "open marriage". It seems there are many couples who just, ah, have sex with other people! Sometimes while everyone is right there in the room. Is it naive that this shocks me? I just have no frame of reference for this kind of thing. I can't imagine.
Maybe it's that I've been devastated in the past by infidelity. Maybe it's because it's my hopelessly romantic (in clear spite of my real world experience) belief that sex between a man and his wife is about more than physical pleasure. It's about connection and intimacy and expressing love that is saved for just one person. I don't understand, if one is in a relationship that is connected and intimate and full of love - as most people open marriages say they are - then why look elsewhere?
I have other questions. Some are just logistical, like, how does one go about finding other couples who want to participate? It seems the potential for rejection and humiliation and maybe even being ostracized is pretty significant. I wonder if anyone ever gets jealous, seeing or knowing about their spouse with another person. And then, what about the kids, if there are any? Do they know about the lifestyle and if so, what does that teach them about the value of commitment and love and the sanctity of marriage?
I just don't get it. Splain it, NV, baby.
He Said (Nolens Volens):
Not trying to be a smart-ass here, but I wanted to get the definition of what the phrase "open marriage" means so I can 'splain better.
As seen on Miriam Webster online, the definition is "a marriage in which the partners agree to let each other have sexual partners outside the marriage" and MW lists the first appearance of that phrase in print as early as 1971. That's clearly different than being a swinger - definition of "swinger" on MW is "one who engages freely in sex". That word has been around since 1543.
How is that different? The concept of open marriage is that the partners have to get approval first before having sex with someone. Swingers tend to go together and they tend to do whatever they feel comfortable doing. I'm also saying that it's not always the case with every swinger or with open marriages.
I must confess that I am not a typical swinger or participant of an open marriage. I would say that ours is more of a part-time open marriage. We do not play with others without expressed permission by either one of us. We may have people who would love to play with either me, my wife, or both of us, but we do not cross the line.
For my wife and me, this is a marriage enhancer. We've been together almost 12 years, 10 married, and we're much more physically in-tune with each other now and emotionally bonded than we were before. Would we have become so bonded without opening our marriage? Perhaps. We'll never know.
There are no feelings of jealousy or rejection because this is a mutual arrangement. We enjoy sex SO much (and my wife is bisexual) that we want to share it with others. We don't have sex with just anybody, either. She and I have developed a very long list of rules over the years for our partners and we follow them, to a T, no matter what.
As for my wife, she has told me that our intimacy is just as sacred now as it's ever been. The idea of saving yourself for just one person is still an idea we hold dear, we just chose to express it differently. My wife's not as passionate with others as she is with me, her emotions aren't the same, she's not as free with her body and her desires as she is when there are just us 2. It's the same for me. I can't ever look at or have sex with anyone else the same way as I do with my wife.
How's that as an explanation? ;)
Okay... comment away!
1 year ago