Mar 12, 2012

Marriage: Open for business?

In today's hyper-sexed environment which bombards our senses with sexual images, ideas and temptations, the concept of having an "open marriage" is one that is a growing issue. It isn't always a good OR bad thing, but rather a lifestyle choice -- and let's face it, everyone and every marriage is unique, so who are we to say what can or cannot work. When the concept of an open marriage is mentioned, it's usually greeted with scoffs and guffaws. It's true that it can be the opening of Pandora's box for some people, but not everyone. I believe that whether an open marriage can be successful relies on these very important variables.

Variable #1
BOTH husband and wife need to be in complete agreement to said proposed idea. If it's more one person's desire and the other is just agreeing out of sheer need to please the other, it's not going to work. Be honest with each other and talk about what it would mean for the future of your relationship.

Variable #2
The best way this type of marriage works is if it was someone that was understood BEFORE you even got married. If you went into the marriage with a firm belief in the whole "one penis for life" idea and now you're changing your tune, there is more likely a much bigger problem within your marriage that perhaps should be addressed first. What has changed?

Variable #3
If you have someone very specific in mind when the idea is proposed, this is a huge red flag. Basically, you're casually asking for an open marriage, but really what you want is permission to fuck that guy (or woman) that you've been fantasizing about for months. Ouch. This will only lead to affairs that involve emotional attachments and the inevitable end of your marriage.

Variable #4
If you have a tendency to be the jealous type (and don't be in denial, some are much more than others; be honest with yourself) then odds are in favor of this arrangement failing. If you are 100% comfortable with your spouse's unwavering devotion to you, in the emotional and commitment sense anyway, then you might have a try and see how things go. The moment that comfort level is lost, it's time to stop and focus on each other.

Variable #5
You need to be able to successfully separate love and sex. Again, this is not something everyone can do. You have to be a true blue hedonist that only seeks to gain maximum sexual pleasure in their life with a variety of people. This goes back to variable number two - if this is who you are, odds are in favor that you were like this prior to your wedding, and your spouse should have been fully aware of this before hand.

And finally,

Variable #6
If you are proposing an open marriage because the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night is yearn, or even ache for some form of sexual gratification, odds are you might be bordering on a mild sexual addiction, (or severe case if you are needing to have sex with Rachel Uchitel or Mindy Lawton when you have a tall drink of Elin at home) and should probably be asking for help, rather than seeking permission.

If you and your spouse manage to tick all the right boxes and enjoy a successful marriage, whether it be open or monogamist, then rock on! Personally, marriage is tough enough as it is with just two participants.

And my husband knew full well what he was getting himself into; he had 4 years to back out.
Ahem.

Anyways, I don't claim to be Doctor Phil or anything, but these are my two cents; take it or leave it. I will be joining Talk2Q on his Talk Radio on Tuesday at 10pm EST. How exciting is that?! We will be addressing these issues and other juicy sex related debates. Come listen in and contribute, either by calling in or via live chatroom!

If you are reading this after Tuesday, March 13, 2012, you can still listen in to the archive.
(Future link inserted here. How fucking organized am I, seriously!)

24 comments:

  1. My marriage is a monogamist type, in addition to finding out the rest was not for me, I also find that marriage is tough enough as it is with just two participants, as you well described it.

    I have friends with open relationships and marriages and it works for them.

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  2. I can't imagine an open marriage, but my husband's much lower sex drive is killing me. We're newlyweds! What category is that?

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  3. Very good points there, Lady E! Every marriage works differently for different people, but it's important to know what you're getting yourself into before you make decisions such as to have an open-marriage. If it's something that you and your spouse are both mutually confident of, then so be it. The worst is when people use 'open-marriage' as an excuse to cheat or denial about sex issues within a marriage.

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  4. Yeah, what Karen said. Moar sex, please, husband! I don't really have an interest in sexy times with anyone else--except with you, as you well know, darling Lady E.

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  5. I agree with your assertion that a relationship is difficult enough between two people.

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  6. If the "Rainman" ever proposed an open marriage I'd make him well aware that I'd bring in the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost coz' he'd need every damn one of 'em to save his ass!

    Open marriage? How 'bout open door, get your ass out? - Unless of course he wanted to bring in Ryan Gosling.. ;)

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  7. @Handflapper

    Agreed! Both my hubs AND you need to step it up. LOL

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  8. The whole open marriage thing isnt quite my cup of tea, but if it works for other couples then more power to them. :)

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  9. Interesting convo here Lady E. As a single person, I've kicked around the idea of going into my next marriage (should there be one) in an open concept, at least having the discussion. I'm good at sex for pleasure's sake and am emotionally void so that works well on the check boxes. But alas, finding a guy that could be equally as unattached to others but hopelessly devoted to me in all ways needed in a marriage? I think I might have a better chance of riding a unicorn.

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  10. UGH. Sounds like WAY too much work.

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  11. Congratulations on your new position! As for open marriages, I can hardly be bothered to have sex with my husband, never mind rustle up the energy and enthusiasm for someone else. But, horses for courses and all that...

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  12. @Kayla

    HAHA. Well, if all the sexy ducks are in a row, it should be OK, but that rarely happens.

    @VBinC

    Yes, and all that. Neigh!!

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  13. What is this "sex" you speak of Lady E? Lol! Can't wait to talk to you Tuesday!

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  14. Open marriage sounds like way too much work......

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  15. Well, you know about Saturdays at 10pm, SO...odds of something as exciting as this in our household are about zero. BUT, it's fun to fantasize. However, I am way too jealous, so I doubt it would work out. Where's the post about your marital arrangement, huh? Huh?

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  16. Hmmm . . . open marriage immediately brings out the knee-jerk reaction in me that the guy is being a douche. Unless it's the woman asking, and then for some reason I'm o.k. with it.

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  17. Oh my, I don't think I could ever do an open marriage. Your variables are spot on. I am just not that type of easygoing girl, I guess.

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  18. "If you and your spouse manage to tick* all the right boxes and enjoy a successful marriage..."

    *I read this as lick. Ahem.

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  19. Well I have been in an open marriage and we are not currently actively participating but we do talk about it. We did not go into marriage planning it, it just kind of happened. We are still here and together. I think the thing that worked for us is our partners were people we saw outside of just sex. They were friends all of them. That was just an extension of our already close and intimate relationships..

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  20. That's awesome dude!! You're a celeb! Can't wait to hear you!!

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  21. Zut alors! Even managing myself is enough of a chore.

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  22. This is really well thought out! I'm not in an open marriage, but every relationship is different. You can't judge anyone for the decisions they make that are right for them.

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  23. What a nice topic! I really enjoy reading your blog. By the way from the tips you mention above it seems that you are knowledgeable enough when it comes to this matter and I'm really grateful that I come across to your blog. Hmmm for me open-marriage really depends on the agreement of both parties. Since it is an increasing issue nowadays and some of my friends are into it and it really works for them. In my case, I'm a monogamist type and I want a one woman guy because for me open-marriage is cheating though you both agreed but I do believe that married should be valued for God's sake.

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