Monday, November 1, 2010

Negotiated Infidelity

Honestly- I couldn't even think of a better title, so let's go with what we're talking about.

On Friday, I was watching Dr. Phil. And now while I think he's kind of nuts most of the time he says things that make sense- just goes about it in a weird and confusing way. But basically on Friday he had some interesting guests on. First off you have a wife, who's angry and hostile. Then you have a husband, who is kind of dick head material but is clearly sick of wife's angry and hostile crazy. Then you have the mistress who is in love, but doesn't want to rock the boat. And then you have Holly Hill, author of the book Sugar Babe. I haven't read the book but I want to. It's on my ridiculously huge list.

But the gist of Holly's argument is that variety is the spice of life. Just because you're married does not mean that you have to live an unhappy and possibly unfulfilled sex life. Some people require a lot of sex. Some only require hand jobs. Some like to watch/look at porn. Some just want to go out with somebody different with no strings attached. Her view is that, if you love your partner, you should be willing to be accommodating to them. Even to the extent of allowing them to sleep with other people, go out on dates, watch/look at porn, etc as long as you come to some basic agreements. Which is called negotiated infidelity. Basically- as long as you know about it, and have given permission it's ok as long as they stay within the barriers you've set up. (Examples like no cuddling, nobody hotter than your partner, nobody with a high social status, etc)

It's also called an open marriage/relationship.

And to be honest? I'm torn. I can see it from both sides. While people get married with the intentions of being with that person only and you expect them to be faithful... sometimes it just doesn't happen. Sure, everybody goes into it with a positive attitude. But life happens. Kids happen. People change. You might not want to leave that person but in the back of your head you sometimes think about the guy you saw at the coffee shop. It's not like you want to start a relationship- you just want something new and different. How many marriages or relationships have ended because someone has stepped out? And when you really look at the reasons? It's not because their stressed out at work, sick of dealing with teenagers, having a bad day... it's because it was new. And forbidden. And they thought they could do it once and be done. But they get caught and all hell breaks loose.

I don't know if I'd ever agree to let Matt step out of our marriage. I do know that after being with him for eight years, married for six, things certainly are not like they were. We don't love each other any less, at least I don't, but it isn't nearly as exciting as it once was. Because life has happened and it makes it hard. And our own interests changed. It happens. And I don't know if I'd really be able to have sex with someone other than my husband. It might be nice in theory...but maybe when it got down to it, I'd chicken out. I don't know.

But here's what I know. Ladies- if you are making your husbands ask you to watch or look at porn? You have some serious self esteem issues that you should have worked out long ago. Dang. You know he can't snag a porn star and nor would he really want to. It's a damn fantasy and get over it. Enjoy it with him and you'll both be happy. There is NOTHING wrong with your partner, lambwhores and goatsluts, if your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend hangs out with someone of the opposite sex. Seriously. If you don't trust your partner enough to do that then you have bigger issues at stake. I do nothing and go nowhere without Matt knowing what I'm doing and who I'm with and where we'll be because I respect him as my husband. Not because he demands to know. He trusts me to not do anything stupid, and if I did he knows I'd fess up. I haven't yet and don't think I will.

With that- have I been cheated on? Yes. Have I ever cheated on anyone? No. And when I think back at the times I've been cheated on.... it's not the physical act that angers me. It's the fact that my partner didn't tell me they needed more from me. That they didn't give me the chance to be a partner for them. If you step out on your marriage or long term relationship it's because you aren't getting something from the one you're with. And if that's the case- you should talk to your partner. And maybe they won't be able or willing to step up in that area... and in that case I see where an open relationship would make sense.

So while everyone in the audience of Dr. Phil was appalled and crucifying Holly Hill- I was at home cheering for her. It's not that she's saying to sleep around and be a free balling whore- it's that if you aren't adult enough to communicate with your partner what's working, what's not, what you need more of, etc.... then MAYBE you shouldn't be in a relationship.

I'm curious to hear what you all think. It's definitely a polarizing topic but I can at least see both sides of the fence. Even though I'm not sure what side would be better to be on.


Anonymous said...

I didn't see it, but my mother did. She told me all about it because she like, thinks Dr. Phil is a God. I think he is a major dick, but has some good interesting guests on.

I PERSONALLY could not deal with it. I can see how it works for some people, but certainly could not work for me.

If I knew my Joshua had slept with someone else, I would super glue his dick to his leg.

I can promise you that.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

You know... I would be a lot more worried if Dustin was having an emotional relationship with someone than if he was banging her. I mean, yeah I'd be mad but the emotional thing is SO much worse.

I don't think I could ever sleep with someone else. And I don't think I'd be okay with Dustin sleeping with someone else. But I can definitely see the author's point of view. It's not the craziest thing in the world. And maybe if some people did have an open marriage there would be less divorce and less broken homes, you know?

That said, I still stand by my claim that if Adam Levine ever asks me to jump his bones I will do it. And Dustin is okay with that because he can totally have Kate Beckinsale if he wants.

Kevin Michael said...

Wow! That is the greatest idea ever!

Everyone, especially us guys, feel the need for variety. It's ingrained in our DNA and it's difficult to constantly resist the urge to fuck anything with more chromosomes than a chicken.

I think it's brilliant. 90% of guys who cheat, aren't doing it because they don't love their wives or girlfriends, they arent doing it because they love someone else, they're doing it because she's probably hot and its something new.

I have to read this book. Great post!

kimberrleigh said...

I complete agree with you. My last ex, M, signed up for a porn site (, its still very fresh in my mind....) and I wasn't upset he was talking to these girls (yes, I found the site when I was doing homework on his computer..) but that he a) didn't have the balls to say that he needed something more and b) he didn't tell me he did this because he was a scared immature boy.

While I don't think I'd be comfortable with my man(my FUTURE man, haha still looking!!) being with another woman, I think viewing porn is completely acceptable. It all just depends, ya know?

Ruth said...

I think it is for the couple to decide. If both of them are OK with it, that is all that matters.

The post just reminds me of this guy my husband works with. He claimed he and his wife were swingers, but apparently someone forgot to tell her that.
When fuck buddy #2 showed up at his house she threw him out.

audreygeddes said...

While Holly was right in saying that married couples need to find out what satisfies each other in bed, I disagree in seeking other partners or pornography to enhance your sex life. This can create even more problems, include sex addiction, which can ultimately lead to divorce. Grace Adams, who has a blog called, Looks Great Naked, went through a situation with her ex with his sex addiction. In fact, her blog is about discovering that your identity does not come from your spouse. She's a very humorous, down to earth writer. You should check her out!

____j said...

I definitely don't think I'd ever be comfortable 'letting' Aaron sleep around with another woman. I get that some people are okay with that, but it's just not my cup of tea. If he ever asked me/brought this up to me, I'd probably just suggest that we not be together anymore. I couldn't handle it. Anyway, if he wants to 'look but not touch', I don't care.

Donna said...

I would not want a man that needs to see other women. I desire my relationships to be one to one. Accepting others in their choices is fine. These relationships happen for many reasons. These topics are too complex for an hour show. Thanks for opening the topic on your blog.

Donna said...

Thanks for opening this topic on your blog. It is difficult to cover the scope of it on an 1 hour television show. I desire a commited marriage. However, I think it is imnportant to understand others. Life is complex.

Kim Lockett said...

If there are indeed people out there in need of more than what marriage offers them... then they should get hitched with other people that want more than what marriage offers them. I would never be in an open marriage or relationship. That is probably one of the reasons I'm not marriage yet. But, honestly, I couldn't even put up with the idea of my man wanting another woman. Even if he didn't touch her.

My man used to get defensive when I would get upset about girls hitting on him with me right there. He told me I didn't trust him and blah, blah, blah. It got to the point that I thought something really was wrong with me. But, then this guy I knew started hitting on me and my man found out and boy did he hit the roof! He start apologizing to me and told me he now knew what went through my head when girls hit on him. Lol. I know he wouldn't want an extra woman in his life. And I know that I wouldn't have TIME for an extra man in my life.

Annah said...

Although in theory I'm sure this idea sounds peachy, once it's put to practice it won't be as simple. Letting someone else be a part of the picture will open up a can of worms bigger than the Himalayas.

I think that the peoblem with people is that they don't make an effort to work on their marriage, or jump into marriage too quickly without being truly in love and then they think they can find some magic potion to "spice it up". Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

True happiness (Whether in life or in a relationship) comes from hard work, not from a quick high. Those are my two cents. But I'm single (and happily so) <--- so what the fuck do I know?

thotlady said...

My dad used to say there is no such thing as a platonic relationship between a man and a woman, one always wants more.

In all my relationship experiences and friends relationship experiences that has always proved to be true. It may take some time to see it through to fruition, but one always wants more. They might not always admit it openly, but I have found that it usually is true.

If two people want an open marriage, then they probably are not ready for the marriage commitment.

My two cents worth.

Shirley said...

I understand the concept in theory but I think it would be very difficult to "open" your marriage and then expect there to be boundaries. I want to be the woman who fulfills my husbands needs. And I don;t know if I could get over the hurt that would come with knowing he wanted to go somewhere else.

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

I think that is up to the couple but it must be a mutual agreement and there can be no jealousy and on equal terms! Easier said than done.
I can see the reasons behind it and I have friends who have such relationships. For me, I am not sure that I would like it in my marriage. However, the fantasy of it all...*grins*

Aimee said...

This is something I too go back and forth on and I know my long term boyfriend (he is up there^^ Kevin) would love for me to instigate an open relationship. There are times that I have almost done it too.

Its difficult thought because I like to be #1 and that is the main reason that it is such a difficult notion for me to agree to. I mean I know I would be #1 obviously because I have been with him for 3 years and I am the gf not the lovers/random booty calls/whatever else you want to call them. But its true. Humans are not monogamous by nature.Its something we have become because that is what society expects. It might be a good thing to have an open relationship because variety is important and often times relationships end because one or both of the people feel stiffled, trapped, confused, and/or bored. I dont see anyhting wrong with an open relationship if there is 1) Communication and 2) It goes both ways.

Now would I ever have an open relationship? I highly doubt it but you never know. There are times I go out that I wish I was single. Not so I can have sex with some random dude but so that I wouldn't feel guilty dancing with someone or if someone was flirting with me I wouldn't have to be so hostile. There are even times I wonder what it would be like to kiss someone. So it goes both ways. But I think the #1 reason I probably wouldnt do it is how people would judge me... I should be stronger and not give a fuck but I do... And #2 it comes down to that whole insecure thing again. BUT none of my reasons against it are because I view it as wrong.


ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I support the idea, but I have the advantage of knowing people that it works for. It requires complete trust & total honesty regarding the rules set up if it is going to work. I've always thought it was kind of mean to ask one person to be all things & meet all the needs of another. That is a hell of a lot of pressure to put on someone you love.

I've been with my husband for 21 years. Do I want to step out on him? Confronted with the reality of doing it, probably not, but I can see how the idea has an appeal. If he wanted it and we agreed to some ground rules I might be able to get my head around it.

Anonymous said...

I would say that for me and my husband this is a no way. In part because of how we grew up and in part because of our own challenges we have overcome as a couple.

I get that it works for some people, and I respect it . . .but I sure don't understand it. If all you are looking for is a little "variety" is there not a way you can achieve that with your partner? I guess that is the part that confounds me the most . . .the number of people who say they are in an "open" relationship when what it really is, is that they want the convenience of two sides of one coin. And jealousy - I don't care what anyone says - will happen at some point by someone. Nature of the beast.

Julie H said...

What's the point of being married if you are going to be with other people? Might as well get divorced, then you can be with whoever you want.

That said, I have told my DH that I wasn't happy with things and if it was ok for me to go get them other places. He stepped right up to the plate.

Communication is key I think!

Another David said...

I can see how that would work for some people. I think if I were with the right person, it could work for me. I dunno, the only thing is that it's soooo much easier for girls to get laid than guys. Like, if a girl wants more, she can go to a bar and she's pretty much guaranteed to have sex with someone that night. If a guy wants more, he might be able to pick up someone that night, but more often than not it's going to take a few weeks of effort. Or maybe that's just me.