Is Sexual Fidelity the Most Important Part of a Relationship? Thoughts on Non-monogamy

Recently a new sex partner asked for my advice on how to deal with three women he was “seeing,” each of whom was interested in having a monogamous relationship with him. Being as how we had just had “no strings attached” sex, I asked him if he was really able to handle truly being monogamous. His reply was (as I expected) a sheepish “No.”

It came out that he was more interested in one of the women than he was in the other two, but that she also had commitment issues. So I suggested that he consider an open relationship, one in which he did all the “girlfriend” things with this woman, but which allowed for both of them to still have the option of sex with other people—provided that there was no emotional involvement.

This was an apparently novel idea for him, and he liked it. I explained that they would need to negotiate the ground rules of their relationship (for example, he was okay with her having sex with other men as long as she didn’t talk about it) and they would have to keep the lines of communication open. After he left, I wondered to myself: If we didn’t have the expectation that our “committed” partners would be able to fulfill all of our sexual needs, could we be free to simply enjoy the closeness and commitment of a relationship based on emotional instead of sexual fidelity?

[Read the rest on Clutch Magazine.]

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  • JayGee

    I think one’s ego, emotions, and insecurities would eventually sabotage that blissful arrangement. I can’t see it working for a couple in the long term. While one might be able to accept that their partner derives only physical pleasure from the “others” initially, at some point, they would want to be their partner’s “everything.” It would take a serious paradigm shift (like some Sister Wives shit) for most monagamous-krats to stay happy on the “poly-” train.