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  • richardharkness33

Are open relationships one of the last societal taboos?

The question I’m going to ask might be controversial…

Are open relationships one of the last societal taboos when it comes to relationship types?

Full disclaimer here up front. I’m married in a heterosexual monogamous relationship and always have been. I have no first hand experience of being in an open relationship.

What I HAVE had is the privilege of getting to know many people who are in open relationships.

Firstly what do I mean by an open relationship? I’m referring to a couple that have intimate and or romantic connections with others outside of main relationship in an open and consensual way. This is often referred to the umbrella term ‘consensual non-monogamy’ which covers many different variations within it.

Something that is clear to me after many of these discussions is that people in open relationships often have to face a hard choice:

Live in secrecy and have be highly guarded about their activities and live much of a double life other than when around those also in a similar situation. They have to be very careful about who, where and when they let others in on their secret.


Come fully into the open about who they are and risk ( and sometimes do ) lose friends and family that no longer want anything more to do with them.

There are so many myths around open relationships, perhaps too many to get into here, but these are not universal truths and many, many people in open relationships that do it well have incredible communication skills, honesty, playfulness, deep love for their partner(s) and YES lasting relationships.

But for those of us not in open relationships with no curiosity about it and we are sure it will never be for us - could we at least begin with not poking fun at those who chose to?

I’m not sure what this looks like but here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Stop making a joke out the idea that people are swingers.

  2. Stop using the term ‘cuck’ as an insult to men.

  3. Start being more open and learning a little more. Be curious.

  4. Be more respectful of others lifestyle choices.

Because the reality is this. There is a good chance you know, have known or will know someone in your social circles who is, has been or will be in a consensual open relationship.

What do you think? Do you think it’s one of the last big taboos?

three hands of different colours and genders holding each other in a triangle

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