How to have Multiple Partners without being a Jerk
Open relationships are a hot topic right now. From representations in shows like House of Cards, I Love Dick, Orange Is The New Black, and the web series Unicornland placing non-monogamy into the mainstream. If you're contemplating having a polyamorous relationship here are some tips for poly-etiquette. To ensure you aren’t a jerk while you figure out what you want and what you don’t.
What is non-monogamy?
To answer this question we must first look at monogamy. The practice of setting up with one person for emotional, physical, sexual and financial needs. In stark contrast to this there is “fucking around” where you have sex and intimate moments with multiple partners but are not serious with any single one. Non-monogamy is not a no-rules fuck fest. It involves parameters to ensure all parties involved are not misled or hurt.
Polygamy can be any variation of intimate relationships involving more than two people. It can be a relationship with one partner and the ability to have “hall passes”, securely dating multiple partners separately, having a multi-way relationship such as a threesome or foursome, or just the occasional “unicorn” joining in on sexual adventures. Non-monogamy prides itself on being a healthier solution to build a family or spread out sexual and emotional needs so they don’t fall on just one person's shoulders.
It’s not as easy as Porn makes it look.
In a monogamous relationship you have needs, wants, tastes and preferences beyond that, there are schedules to work around. Now imagine that doubled and the additional emotional giving that may be required. Don’t jump ship simply because you think its an extra regular hole, it’s also an extra human's wants and needs that need to be catered to.
It’s not a pass to be a dick
Non-monogamy is not a pass to cheat or be dishonest, to flirt with another when it can hurt that special someone’s feelings. Non-monogamy is meant to be mindful, communicative and fulfilling. It’s about welcoming people into your life, not using them up and then throwing them out.
If you’re contemplating it, there are some questions to ask your partner before taking the leap in the article Cheating vs an Open Relationship.