There was a dude on Reddit today who proposed an open relationship with his girlfriend, only to have the whole thing blow up in his face when his girlfriend managed to score vestigial lovers and he couldn't do likewise. Any normal person will tell you that, unless your name is Gene Simmons, open relationships are always destined to end badly for you.
But there are still a couple of stubborn, free-loving fart-sniffers out there who have deluded themselves into thinking an open relationship can totally work. That Reddit user's fiasco reminded me of this old steaming barrel of dipshit humblebragging from Vice writer Monica Heisley. Heisley is in an open relationship, you see. And her open relationship is GREAT! There's sex, and sex with other people, but also HONESTY. Open-relationship people keep it realer than you do, you see. The only problem is all the nosey neighbors out there who keep asking Heisley about her open relationship. GOD THOSE PEOPLE ARE JUST SO LAME!
Of the issues we face as a pair, I’d say the most annoying one is knowing that, after divulging our relationship choices, it is the only thing that people want to talk about for the rest of the night.
You know why it's the only thing people want to talk about? Because it's horseshit. People like this are constantly DAZZLED by their own sexual postmodernism. Even the great Dan Savage has been one of those people who looks down on monogamy as being totally passé:
Men were never expected to be monogamous. Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitarian and fairsey.
He's right about male nature, of course. I am a man, and underneath my supple exterior is a roiling sea of repulsive sexual urges. The existence of that particular male id is not exactly news to the rest of the world. In fact, it's usually used as a cheap excuse for the average sleazebag out there trying to justify cheating on his wife or ladyfriend. "It's just in my nature, baby!" Savage is only putting an enlightened spin on it.
Whenever people like Heisley or Savage talk about their kickass relationship arrangement, the implication is always clear: I'm living the life you wish you could live. Not only do they have a more fulfilling sex life than you, but they also have a more trusting relationship with their partner because of it. I call Jenny before I go nail a waitress, so we're cool! They have it all, you see. And there you are, Mr. Married Guy, stuck with the short end of the stick forever. Loser. There's the implication that no man can stay faithful to a woman or wants to, which is as cheap and tired a stereotype of men as any female stereotype out there is of women.
Yeah, men have urges. No shit. The whole POINT of marriage or some other monogamous relationship is sacrificing acting on those urges because you love another human being. Marriage isn't, "I love you, but I still need to make MY dick happy, so I'm gonna go home with the occasional road beef. Oh, but I ONLY love YOU for reals forever!" My compliments to anyone who can achieve that kind of emotional prioritization between multiple lovers for 40 or 50 straight years. I'm sure that always works out well.
Marriage has existed for a very long time, and the whole "please don't bang other people" condition is an integral part of it. Trust me, if open marriages and relationships were ever gonna become a widespread phenomenon, it probably would have happened by now. Even though gay marriage has become widely accepted, the conditions of it are usually just the same as in plain old marriage: I'm with one other person forever, and that's it.
We are still relatively Puritanical when it comes to such things, and it's not because society is, like, repressing us, man. It's because having that one person in your life that you love and trust and that ONLY YOU get to love and trust gives you the security and confidence to have a happy existence. So yeah, don't be surprised if people pepper you with questions about your "free" relationship, or if people laugh at your stupid Reddit confession. It's amusing to listen to someone bullshit themselves for an hour.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Drew's new Kindle Single, The Rover, through Amazon.
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