His Say

David Smiedt weighs in on why open re­la­tion­ships aren’t the best idea.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Why three­somes just don’t work.

We think we’re so mod­ern and en­light­ened and sex­u­ally savvy – at least com­pared with the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. We drop phrases like “money shot” with no more of a raised eye­brow in re­sponse than “noo­dles” or “laces”. Porn – for bet­ter or worse (usu­ally) – is a daily fact of life that we’d be naïve to deny.

In this sup­pos­edly “been-there-donethat-ho-hum” so­ci­ety, an­other topic which was once con­sid­ered a taboo is be­ing re­vived: Open re­la­tion­ships. For those who don’t know what they are, you may want to take a seat. Open re­la­tion­ships hap­pen when two peo­ple in an ex­clu­sive re­la­tion­ship agree that they can sleep with oth­ers while re­main­ing in said re­la­tion­ship. At the risk of com­ing across like some stuck-inthe-mud, neo-con­ser­va­tive, yes-please-but-only-in-mis­sion­ary-po­si­tion sex­ual con­ser­va­tive, let me tell you why I think open re­la­tion­ships an aw­ful idea.

Firstly, the de­sire to ‘branch out’ usu­ally stems from sex­ual dis­sat­is­fac­tion in ei­ther party. In other words, they want more sex and of­ten, with other peo­ple. This is a com­mon re­la­tion­ship hur­dle but most folks usu­ally find some kind of com­pro­mise – by which, I mean mas­tur­ba­tion – be­cause the multi-faceted na­ture of a com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship out­weighs the oned­i­men­sional plea­sure of an or­gasm. I’ve had plenty of the lat­ter but they’ve never scaled the ben­e­fits of be­ing with some­one in more than one sense. You see, no mat­ter how much we try to jus­tify with the “it’s just sex” ex­cuse, the in­dis­putable and in­ti­mate fact is that it’s way, way more than that. Sex­ual in­ter­ac­tion is a nega­tion of the con­cept of ex­clu­siv­ity, un­less there is a fi­nan­cial ar­range­ment in­volved (but that’s a dif­fer­ent ar­ti­cle for an­other day). Os­ten­si­bly lov­ing one per­son but act­ing on your lust for an­other, cheap­ens the first while ser­vic­ing the se­cond – es­pe­cially since two peo­ple rarely ‘brain­storm’ the idea of an open re­la­tion­ship to­gether. It’s usu­ally at the be­hest of one per­son and de­liv­ered in the form of an ul­ti­ma­tum: “My sex drive is very high. If you don’t take the req­ui­site ac­tion, I’ll have no choice but to look else­where for re­lease.”

This is where the sedi­tious par­a­site takes hold. They’ll say it’s not their fault (their sex drive is re­spon­si­ble) and it’s your prob­lem to fix. But, they have a choice – they can keep their good­ies in their trousers, and just make reg­u­lar with­drawals from the spank bank.

At its core, an open re­la­tion­ship is not a democ­racy, but a dic­ta­tor­ship. Both peo­ple have the­o­ret­i­cal “free­dom” but it’s usu­ally only one party that’s ex­er­cis­ing it. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not diss­ing sex for sex’s sake – if both par­ties feels the same way, then I’ll gladly light some can­dles, un­cork a bot­tle of wine, and wish you all the best. How­ever, all the other stuff that comes with a re­la­tion­ship and grows over time – the trust, the phys­i­cal con­nec­tion, the abid­ing in­ti­macy – is un­der threat.

There’s a rea­son you’ve never meet a cou­ple who say, “Why, yes! We’re in an open re­la­tion­ship, and it’s work­ing out bril­liantly.” It’s not that they’re em­bar­rassed or afraid that peo­ple might judge them – it’s be­cause they don’t bloody work.

It’s a mat­ter of ei­ther or.

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