Washington Post: "I’m into building deep and loving relationships that add to the joy and aliveness of being human."
Front and center on the Washington Post's website this morning is "Married, but not monogamous," about the open-relationship trend and the rapid success of the new dating site Open Minded. The Post published the story two days ago on the front page of the paper's Style section and also on the web. Presumably it's the lead item on the website two days later because it made the list of the site's most-read stories. It's the only one of the top five that's not a news article.
Pepper Mint tweeted, "Somehow manages to not mention polyamory."
How to break free from monogamy without destroying marriage
By Caitlin Dewey
Illustration by Edel Rodriguez
...Open Minded isn’t quite like Ashley Madison, the unapologetic dating-for-cheaters service that expects a billion-dollar valuation when it launches its impending IPO. It also isn’t quite like mobile hook-up app Tinder, where — according to one recent report — as many as 40 percent of “singles” are secretly . . . not.
Instead, says Brandon Wade, the site’s pragmatic, MIT-educated founder, Open Minded is a new kind of dating site for a newly mainstream lifestyle: one in which couples form very real attachments, just not exclusively with each other. He expects swingers, polysexuals and experimental 20-somethings to use his site. But he guesses that most of his 70,000 users are people like Jessie: Those in committed, conventional relationships, who realize that, statistically speaking, few modern couples stay with a single person their whole lives.
...In 2010, Jessie approached her husband with an idea she called “ethical non-monogamy.” They would stay together as each other’s primary, lifelong partners, but they wouldn’t rule out other relationships — as long as they happened openly. Jessie has shown her husband her profile on several dating sites, including Open Minded. When she returns from her weekly date with one of her four extramarital partners, she tells him as much, or as little, as he likes.
...More and more women will make this choice or consider it, [relationship researcher Helen] Fisher expects; it’s in keeping with decades of widespread social change and women’s empowerment. Just 30 years ago, when Jessie was in her 20s, the average woman married at 23 and had her first child within the year. Her mother’s generation didn’t even leave the home. The majority simply raised kids, preached chastity and finger-waved their hair.
“That’s all sliding away from us,” Fisher said. “We’re shedding all these agricultural traditions . . . [and] returning to the way we were millions of years ago.”
Internal data from Open Minded would appear to back that up: Thus far, most of its self-declared “monogamish” users are under 33....
Read the whole article (May 26, 2015).
Conservatives are unhappy. Newsbusters ("exposing and combating liberal media bias") writes, WashPost Promotes the 'Evolution' of 'Forsaking Monogamy':
This being the Post, there is no space for critics of the "evolution" of online adultery Web sites or their users. [Author Caitlin] Dewey promoted the “non-monogamous dating site Open Minded,” where her married female subject, Jessie, advertised, “I’m into building deep and loving relationships that add to the joy and aliveness of being human.” She talked her husband into “ethical non-monogamy.”
The Post also used the term “monogamish,” the cutesy term of radical gay sex columnist Dan Savage to describe the married-but-cheating lifestyle....
I have problems with some actual sloppy journalism that should never have made it into the Post. First, Dewey says (unsourced), "Just consider the number of married men who have partners outside of their marriage — more than 40 percent in the United States." I might believe that 40 percent will have some kind of affair or fling or sex-worker transaction sometime in their entire marriages (though the numbers quoted for that are actually all over the map) — but 40 percent of American husbands "have partners outside of their marriage" right now? Send that lady back to science reporting class!
Second, read this takedown posted by yr_mom on reddit/r/polyamory:
What a horseshit article.
"In the caveman days, humans teamed up in non-exclusive pairs to protect their children. Later, as people learned to plant crops and settle in one place, marriage became a way ... for women — who couldn’t push heavy plows or carry loads of crops to market — to eat and keep a roof over their heads."
Has this author ever seen a photo of a modern-day African woman? They do all the plowing and carrying loads of crops to market -- in addition to hauling water and firewood and raising the children. Marriage doesn't exist because women are/were in need of big strong men to do the farming.
Link: Women do over 50% of the "agricultural activity" and produce 60-70% of the food in modern-day Sub-Saharan Africa
Meanwhile, Bustle continues its open-relationship pieces with What Are Open Relationship Rules Like? Negotiating Non-Monogamous Boundaries, In 8 Steps. These are not rules but actual good advice, IMO, for things to talk about when having these discussions. Looks like the writer has been reading poly literature.
Lastly, Dan Savage just posted about a word distinction to keep in mind:
Polyamorous relationships and open relationships are two different things. Some poly relationships are open, but many poly relationships are closed — that is, three people (or more) are involved with each other exclusively.... The reverse is also true: Not all open relationships are poly. Two people in an open relationship may allow fucking around with other people with the understanding that there will be no dating or — God forbid — falling in love with anyone else.