Monogamy isn’t for everyone.
Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, asexual or anywhere else on the spectrum of sexualities – there are many different relationship types, styles, and designs.
According to a recent study, one in five Americans has been in a non-monogamous relationship.According to a recent study, one in five Americans has been in a non-monogamous relationship. Click To Tweet
Here are three examples of non-monogamous relationship designs:
In the United States, swinging was the first organized form of modern non-monogamy. It was a hidden subculture. In the 1950’s, swinging coined the term “wife swapping,” which usually happened at super upscale, affluent parties. By the 1980’s there was a convention created for couples who swing, and over 1,000 couples attended.
Swinging is a thing that a couple goes and does together – it’s like swapping dance partners. Its a little bit out an out-dated term. Most couples would typically use terms like open and poly, as we talk about below:
In 1972, a couple named Nena and George O’Neill proposed an alternative to swinging. They called it an open relationship or open marriage. An open marriage is based on an agreement between both partners that each of them can have sex with other people. This is what Dan Savage calls, “monogomish.”
There are a lot of different ways an open marriage can look. Some couples will share their experiences with other sexual partners, while some have a don’t ask/don’t tell policy. In fact, we know someone who hates giving oral sex, so she is okay with her husband receiving oral sex from other women – because it pleases him.
There are many many reasons why people choose to open their relationship up: mismatching sex drives, evolution, biology, curiosity, an agreement that sex is just sex, one partner is bisexual and wants to continue to have sexual interactions with both genders… the list goes on and on.
It literally means “many loves.”
Being polyamorous is being open to the possibility of your partner(s) having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time, with full knowledge and consent by all partners involved.
Ultimately, polyamory can look many different ways. One example is a polyamorous triad, three people who have committed to each other; This triad could be closed (meaning monogamous) or open. And, then some couples consider themselves the primary dyad and then have other relationships with people – outside of the home as well. (There are of course many more unique situations as well!)
What is best for you?
Only you know that. If you have questions about any of the information above, please comment below or bring them to our awesome community to discuss. Finally, if you’re into reading, here are some recommendations from us about the topics:
- The Ethical Slut
- Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
- Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
- More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory
Most importantly, communicate with your partner about this. Do you feel as though you don’t know how to bring it up? Not sure how to breach the subject? Grab your free WWC Communication Scripts – they’ll help you find the words you’re looking for.