This Is What’s Actually Wrong With Open Relationships
Monogamy will probably ruin the world sometime, if it isn’t already destroying us all little by little, but the rise of the “Open Relationship” has not been without its fair share of victims. “Open Relationships” and the “Experimentation” that comes with them run the gamut in terms of what the word actually means. For couples who are approaching love, sex, and desire with a more liberal, maybe liberatory perspective, “experimentation” could be one person in the relationship who is exploring their sexuality, or maybe for others it means practicing an open relationship. But, whatever “experimentation” means for any of us it’s important that we consider the feelings of not just people who are involved in our primary relationship, (you know, you and the person you were initially dating–the personal relationship that creates the circumstance under which casual sex with the same gender, or threesomes becomes “experimentation” instead of just sex) but those who we entangle in our lives as satellite lovers or “thirds” as well.
Experimenting with different people means bringing a whole other person into your emotional world, whether you understand it that way or not. I see so many people these days who praise the idea of an open relationship based on “mutual respect” of both parties involved, but simply do not take into account the feelings of the other person that is being roped into this– while proverbially known as a “side piece”, it’s important to remember that anyone you are hooking up with outside of your open relationship is a human with feelings too. Not just side dick or side chick to be tossed around, played with, fucked and set aside. Unless, they’re completely up for that.
Take for example, any of the many girls I’ve come across who packed up their rooms and came to college, reluctant to break things off with their long term high school boyfriend (god knows why). While in college, they have some sort of one off experience and realize that, hey, “Maybe I’m not entirely straight”. This is a wonderful discovery– at least, I think it is because frankly being straight seems entirely boring and and unfulfilling, but I digress. Armed with this new revelation, these girls would open their once monogamous straight relationships to go out into the great gay world to find Established Lesbians who they would then have sex with, often times not fully disclosing their situation. I’ve seen this happen so many times, and ultimately, once the girl in her relationship decides she is able to answer to herself whether or not she is actually gay or bi, she discards the Established Lesbian who, admittedly could see the event coming from a mile away, but is hurt by the whole messy affair nonetheless.
I’m tired of consoling my Established Lesbian friends who took chances on baby gays in straight relationships, fell in love even if briefly, and then were left to do all the cleaning up by themselves. I’m also tired, being a queer person myself, of being solicited for threesomes, of being a component in someone’s compartmentalized fantasy. There are respectful ways to go about finding a “third,” or an Established Lesbian to help you come out of the closet and come into Your Big Grown Up Gay Self, without stomping all over our feelings. Some of us would be happy to come along with you on whatever little “experimentation” journey you’ve planned, but it’d be nice if we knew all the details first.