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Musings on Open Relationships

Updated on November 19, 2015

"I believe that trust is more important than monogamy..." Savage Garden sings in their classic hit Affirmation. There seems to be a subculture in the gay community, one that entices and revolts me. I'm talking about the men who are in or want an open relationship. My feelings on the matter are mixed, on one hand it seems really awesome and on the other it makes me wonder why these guys want a relationship. The debate within me was raised once again when Mo'Nique did an interview this week about her own open relationship.

Now I am a firm believer in people doing what makes them happy. If having multiple sex partners is something that pleases you, go for it. However it strikes me as incredibly odd that these same men who want to be able to be with other people, try to slut shame those of us that are single. At this point in my life, I choose to be single, though there is someone I am interested in. Not the point of the post, recently I was talking to a guy on Grindr. He was upfront that all wanted was sex, and I told him that if he didn't have a boyfriend then that would be fine. However since he has a guy, I am uncomfortable doing anything with him. This seemed to set him off because next thing I know, there was a barrage of insulting messages in my inbox. One of them read: "I am in a relationship. What can you say about yourself? At least I'm not some slut looking for cock on grindr!" For a minute my impulse was to take a screenshot of our messages and send it back to him with the caption "hypocrite." I didn't though, one of my friends talked me off of that ledge. But it does make me wonder, if you want peen from the hook up apps, why bother having a boyfriend?

Then a few of my fans from my Gossip site, sent me the Mo'Nique interview. Somehow what she said made sense, even if it does sound like the open relationship was more her husband's idea than hers. The quote that stuck out the most to me was this: "That's the Western way to do it. I originate from this place called Africa and what I know of African kings, tell me about one of them that just had one wife. Do you know any of them? I don't." There is a part of me that wonders if her husband feels the same. Would he be as accepting if she told him that she wanted to bang other dudes? For that matter what would Grindr guy's boyfriend say?

My biggest fear is contracting HIV. I know in this day and age being positive is not the death sentence it once was. Yes I use condoms every time. EVERY TIME. I had to make this statement to my doctor when I went in for a separate issue. But condoms are not 100% effective, if you think they are just look at the back of the box. Charlie Sheen came out as being positive this week and says he is safe all the time. Grindr guy said the same thing, his caveat was that he didn't use them with his man. This seems an awful lot like playing STD Russian Roulette. If both Grindr guy and his boyfriend are sleeping with other people, the chances of them contracting and passing the disease on to other people are exponentially higher than if they were in a monogamous relationship.

Yes I realize that made me sound old and close minded. I'm not. I am curious about the mechanics of an open relationship. There must be a lot of trust that goes into one, both parties have to be honest about their extracurricular activities right? For me though, the fantasy and the thought of being with one guy but being able to sleep with other guys is enticing. Yet like a threesome it seems like the fantasy is better than the reality ever could be. Maybe.

It seems like I worked through my thoughts on open relationships. Yet I am still as confused on the issue as ever. What do you guys think about open relationships?


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