by Dan Savage
on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 8:29 AM
When I say that—non-monogamy can strengthen a partner bond—people's heads explode. How could having sex with someone else make you feel closer to your spouse? Like this:
Just adding my voice to the group of women in support of your stance on monogamy. My husband and I have been reading you and listening to your podcast for years, and were steeped in your excellent, compassionate outlook on relationships. When the need came in our marriage for a little variety, it was easy to have a conversation about opening up our marriage and negotiate reasonable terms. We'd heard lots of examples of normal non-monogamous relationships on your podcast, so it didn't seem like a loaded issue to us. It was great to just be able to talk about our sexual desires (for each other and other people) without feeling like we were hurting each other just by bringing it up.
Our sex life was already great and I could have had sex with just my husband for my whole life if I "had" to. But I don't have to, Dan. I have to thank you for making my life just a little bit more awesome. Soon after negotiating an open marriage, I slept with a co-worker a few times. It was fun. My husband enjoyed the sperm competition feelings this brought on, and everything was great.
Later on in the year, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and while I was excited, I lamented the end of my hyper-sexual years. Soon I would be a mom, I thought, fat and tired and unfuckable. When I told my coworker the news, however, he confessed that pregnant women turned him on! Long story short, I'm nearly seven months pregnant now, horny as hell, and am being satisfied by two hot men. This has been a wonderful time in my life.
I know we're going to have good times and bad times in a marriage of 50 years or more. But if good times are this good... how could I ever consider leaving my husband? He's been my biggest cheerleader as all these wonderful things happen to me. I had a solid marriage, but non-monogamy has made it even stronger.
Too bad there are social stigmas to being openly non-monogamous. I suspect this kind of arrangement must be pretty common, and people just aren't talking about it. Or, if it's not common, it should be.
Simple gratitude—and not having to see your spouse as the end of sexual adventure—can make a marriage stronger. Not all marriages, of course, not yours, certainly. But some.