Real Talk w/Terry

SWINGER’S CLUB ANYONE?

A few weeks ago, I briefly watched a portion of a daytime talk show where they were profiling cheating spouses. There was a wife on the show who was tired of the swinger’s lifestyle and wanted out. The husband however, did not want to let go of the lifestyle. At that time, I was not sure how the “swingers’ lifestyle” operated, but this particular couple invited other partners into their marriage for pay. The man stated that he never had relations without his wife being present. And that this was only for pleasure/leisure, he insisted that he was not having an affair with another woman.  The wife was not fully convinced that her husband was not having an affair. After listening to their interview for a few minutes, I was inclined to research the swinger’s lifestyle. And I was quite surprised at how popular this alternative lifestyle is.

Swinging, graduated from wife swapping – a now antiquated term, is defined as non-monogamous behavior among married couples or those in a committed relationship where they have sexual relations with other partners. These hook-ups can take place in informal gatherings, at formal Swinger Club locations or at planned Swinger events. This lifestyle is thought to be born of the 1960s sexual revolution that came about as a result of the birth control pill and better treatment for sexual transmitted diseases. Research conducted since 2000 shows that there are approximately 15 million people who consider themselves Swingers and swing on a regular basis.

I personally do not understand the appeal of opening up your bed of intimacy to other partners. I’ve actually addressed this phenomenon as it relates to marriages in a previous blog post “Open Marriages” (http://terry411cato.com/2012/02/). Some argue that it’s for the excitement, for a change, or as the husband on the talk show for leisure. Me personally, I think opening up the marriage bed to other partners invite in all sorts of problems.

What are your thoughts – what do you say?

Open Marriages

The topic of an open marriage has darted in and out of the media quite a bit lately. First GOP Presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich’s second ex-wife stated in a recent interview that Newt asked for an open marriage that would allow him to have both a wife and a mistress. And most recently, reports state that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore may have had an open marriage in which one comedian jokingly stated that what started as a threesome, turned into a twosome that didn’t include Demi.

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First off, let’s define an open marriage. Wikipedia defines an open marriage as one in which the partners agree that each may engage in extramarital exual relationships, without this being regarded as infidelity. There are many different styles of open marriage, with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse’s activities. Open marriages place high value on honesty, especially of needs and wants.

The history of open marriages date back to the sixties when the term “open marriage” referred to a person’s choice in selecting their mate based on personal preference and not social prohibitions. In 1972, Nena O’Neill and George O’Neill wrote a book “Open Marriage” that evolved the term open marriage to mean that each partner has room for personal growth and can develop friendships outside of the marriage. The chapter of their book titled “Love Without Jealousy” discussed the possibility that an open marriage could include some forms of sexual relations with other partners. This thought process led to the present day definition of an open marriage which is a sexual non-monogamous union.

The idea of an open marriage has legal and emotional ramifications. In some states adultery is illegal, thus a spouse engaging in extra marital sexual relations would be committing a crime regardless of their partner’s consent.  Additionally, like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, eventually an open marriage may lead to isolation and jealousy. And the very idea of an open marriage to appease one or both spouses may eventually lead to a divorce.

I personally do not get the rationale of an open marriage which goes against a basic principle of marriage, monogamy. If you’re agreeable to an open marriage, why get married instead of continuing to date? What are the benefits of being married if your spouse can be shared? Furthermore, the track record of high profile open marriages seems to often time lead to a divorce anyway.

Some notable people in open marriages:

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