People in open relationships get a bad rap. We’re accused of being crazy. Swingers force people out of their homes. We can’t be trusted at your local drinking establishment. Hell, even a reality TV show about swinging is controversial, as if Snooki and The Real Housewives are great role models.
If all of that wasn’t enough, in an older episode of “Law and Order,” one character alleges that another, the wife of a swinging couple, will try to steal her husband. Naturally, people in open relationships stalk those who are not and seduce them, using any means necessary.
The “open” in “open relationships” should clue in those not in the community. Our relationships thrive on openness and honesty. Good lines of communications are crucial. Any reasonable advice on swinging includes, in some variation, the sentiment that for this to work, people are going to have to talk to each other a lot. And I mean a LOT. Stock up on tea and throat lozenges.
We discuss our openness with our partners. Many couples only engage in “extra-relationship” sex with one another. We have rules – rules that we have talked to death and discussed in detail. Rules that forbid cheating and deceit (unless you’re doing it wrong).
I don’t know any members of the community who would condone being the “other” in a closed relationship. Most communities frown pretty heavily on members who reflect badly on the group. Those of us in open relationships have a bad enough reputation without harassing a bunch of vanilla-ites.
Since the keystone of an open relationship is being “open,” it’s a bit absurd to worry about someone in an open relationship trying to sleep with your spouse in lieu of, say, every other person they interact with. It’s a lot more likely that your wife or husband is sleeping with a co-worker or the pool boy than some random swinger.
And, ya know, something like half of all marriages experience infidelity. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.