Gay Relationships: Monogamy Or Open – What Really Works?

Published: October 8, 2012

IS MONOGAMY always the answer or could an ‘open relationship’ be better for you and your partner?

The first time I heard the phrase ‘open relationship’ I cringed at the thought of it. Why on earth would someone want to be in a relationship and at the same time what to hook up with someone else?

At that time I was bathing in the glorified illusion of my morality and the ideological deceit of ‘happily ever after’. I won’t try to claim I can speak much about morality, but hey, I was in a monogamous relationship for one year.

I will never try it again.

I have nothing against people choosing to stay monogamous. However what I have issue with is that we are made to believe this is the only option when it comes to relationships.

University of Missouri experts say ‘consensual amorous relationships exist when two individuals mutually and consensually understand a relationship to be romantic and/or sexual in nature’.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines relationships as ‘an emotional and sexual association between two people’.

So it is clear that relationships are expected to be consensual, mutual, emotional or sexual with the possibility of romance. Things are not always that simple.

I can’t say if my parents’ relationship has any of the components listed apart from ‘sexual’. My mum is the second wife in a polygamous relationship. So she has no choice in that relationship. Neither does my step mum who has to put up with sharing her husband.

Of course, our understanding of relationships has evolved. As I said I was brought up in a polygamous relationship – not the best all round and to be fair most of us would have preferred something different.

However, I was also made aware of the ‘better option’. The ideal and desirable option the Bible would have us believe in. Monogamy.

In that belief system, the concept of monogamy was created in the Garden of Eden when God created Adam and Eve (actually I don’t do that creationist bullshit, but for the sake of this argument I will stick to the story).

The idea was that Adam would love Eve till death parted them and Eve would submit herself to Adam and worship him. I can guess what many women reading this will think and, yes, I agree completely.

However the concept of monogamy has come under threat as humans have developed a taste for sexual freedom and liberation. More and more people irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity are experimenting with different types of relationship.

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