What are your thoughts on open intimate relationships? If you don't know what these are they are basically a regular boyfriend girlfriend, boyfriend boyfriend, or whatever relationship, but one or more of the people has multiple sexual partners. I myself have only been in open relationships since highschool, and I feel that both partners in a relationship should have the option of other sexual partners until it is stated otherwise that the relationship is exclusive. I also do not feel that it is necessary to know about all of the other persons sexual partners unless you agree to that or if the relationship becomes exclusive.
As for myself I like the idea of total consensus regarding the introduction of new sexual partners. I also think that it may be wise to have ground rules to limit exposure risk of STI's.
It depends on what works for you, but you have to have some ground rules. Avoid pitfalls and diseases, etc.
Several years ago in Texas I met a woman who (like myself) had recently became single. Once we discovered we were an item, she decided that I had to tell her names of everyone I had ever had sex with. I refused and told her I would never ask her those things at all.
It should be the same in an open relationship unless it's by agreement and a part of that relationship.
Absolutely not, Not up for negotiation. You want to go mess around? Find somebody else who wants your rent money.
I have talked with a few people that have had open relationships and even swinger relationships and it starts to fail when one party no longer wants to participate. That leaves everything open to lies and deciet that is detected by the other party. Most often this leads to divorce or a parting of ways.
As for relationships being hard enough as it is, no truer words were ever spoken.
Wanted to add that you might consider reading The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton and Jane Hardy. I found it to be an enlightening book discussing the ups and downs of various types of open relationships.
I'll heartily second your recommendation of The Ethical Slut. Easton and Hardy seek to reclaim the term "slut", to be a positive term for someone of any gender who has the courage to live by the conviction that "sex is nice and pleasure is good for you."
Sexual relationships between consenting adults is no business of anyone outside the relationship/s. If two people, hetero- homosexual, want an open relationship, that is up to the parties involved and is none of my business. If two people want an exclusive relationship and want to marry, then I expect them to adhere to the agreement of exclusive marriage. I don't know if there is such a thing as an open marriage agreement. If one person wants out of the agreement, it needs to be faced and dealt with.
The only concern I have is that anyone who has a child has to have the commitment to raise that child or release custody. If the person who partnered in the conception is available, then the first priority is that the child/ren have safety, security and stability in their lives.
I have worked with too many confused and frightened kids and underdeveloped adults who grew up in conflicted homes and I in no way require mother and father stay together in the "interest of the children" even as they continue to have unresolved problems and conflicts. Children are very plastic and able to settle in when they have their basic physical, mental, emotional needs met.
... the first priority is that the child/ren have safety, security and stability in their lives.
I actually know a couple of kids who are thriving with the three polyamorous parents they've had all their lives (two women and a man, who also have other partners in their lives).
People also vary as to what relationship styles we want. Some know they want to be monogamous with anyone they're "serious enough" about; others are comfortable with various forms of responsible nonmonogamy -- which could include deep emotional involvement with more than one person; which could be open or closed to sex with people outside the main group... there are many right answers! You're right that there's a lot of religious and cultural pressure to conform to the One True Model of relationships. :-)
Thanks for all the replies, so far I haven't had any relationships where the girl absolutely hated the idea of me having other partners. And one of the girls I've dated even slept with another guy during out open relationship and it didn't bother me at all because I understand the need to have some variety. By the way some of the ground rules I have for my open relationships are as follows, feel free to use them if you want ;)
1. No "catching feelings" for people outside of the realtionship
2. No sleeping over at other peoples houses/ having other people spend the night at your house
3. The main partner takes prescience over anyone else (ie if two girls text me for sex at the same time I must fulfil my girlfriends needs first)
4. No romantic dates with people outside the relationship, casual dinners are okay on occasion.
5. No "going out" with people more then your girlfriend/boyfriend Unless your significant other doesn't really like going out
6. None of your partners can keep things at your house other then your main girlfriend/boyfriend
7. Do not text or call your partners more then your girlfriend/boyfriend
8. If your significant other says that certain people are off limits, such as their sister, cousin, friend, mom, co worker, etc.. Then they are off limits no exceptions.
9. Always use condoms with people other then your girlfriend/boyfriend.
10. No going down on other girls.
11. No having other people at your house more often then your significant other.