"Ethical cheating" using OpenMinded.com, on Kansas City TV news
"Ethical Cheating"? I hate that phrase. Cheating is unethical by definition. What's ethical isn't cheating by definition. But we're going to see more of this kind of talk, as more mainstream people try swimming the poly waters while loaded down with unexamined cultural-assumption baggage.
In this case, a well-meaning mid-America TV news program profiles an apparently nice, well-meaning local couple who are hunting for their (female) third using the Las Vegas-based dating site Open Minded. Watch the segment here (3:45).
The text story on the station's website matches the video pretty closely:
Ethical cheating: Inside look at the polyamorous lifestyle
By Ellen McNamara, Anchor
Liz and Garrett have been... married for more than seven years. They say their relationship is strong but something is missing. That something, they say, is another woman.
...Liz and Garrett’s polyamorous lifestyle is in the minority but not as much as you may think. New York University estimates five percent of American relationships practice some form of “consensual non-monogamy.”
“It wasn’t like we went out looking for this. It kind of fell into our lap,” Garrett explains.
A few years ago Liz and Garrett had a friend. She spent a lot of time with them and soon the three found themselves in a romantic relationship. When that part of the relationship ended, the couple realized they missed her and wanted a similar relationship with someone else.
“We’re not looking for somebody to have threesomes with and one night stands. Yes, sex would be a part of the relationship, the way it is for a marriage, but that’s not the primary thing,” Liz explains.
Liz and Garrett are on the dating site Open Minded. The site launched in April and promotes polyamory, which means being romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. It does not promote polygamy.
“We like to call it, ethical cheating,” said Brook Urick, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas-based site. “There are so many people who are in relationships who are unhappy. They’re cheating and being adulterous. It would be lot easier if they were just in an open relationship and be honest about what they want with their partner.”
About 40 couples in the Kansas City area have signed up along with 70 single men and 60 single women.
Urick adds, “I think the public doesn’t understand polyamory. People are very vanilla. Very modest.”
Dr. Doug Greenens, a psychiatrist in Johnson County, said there is no evidence that supports monogamy as a healthier way to maintain an adult relationship....
Just don't call it ethical cheating! Read the whole article (November 17, 2015).
Vice magazine ran an interview in June with Open Minded's founder, Brandon Wade:
Having Sex with a Bunch of People Might Save the Institution of Marriage
[Originally titled, "The Man Behind the Original Sugar-Daddy Site Is Investing in Polyamory"]
By Toby McCasker
Brandon Wade is a 44-year-old MIT grad with a receding hairline and glasses.... In recent years the former software engineer has founded WhatsYourPrice.com (where men bid on first dates), CarrotDating.com (where men offer "incentives" in return for a rendezvous), and the original sugar daddy hub SeekingArrangement.com. Now, he's taking advantage of a growing public interest in polyamory with his latest venture, OpenMinded.com.
Brandon Wade and his wife.
Polyamory is when a relationship involves several people and couples. It's not cheating because everyone is in on it, nor is it a basic open relationship, as all those involved are emotionally invested. Brandon noticed and capitalized on this cultural shift by creating a site to match couples who want to keep it tight while playing fast and loose, and not let their network of open relationships interfere with their marriage. Although guilt-free open relationships sound like a pretty sweet deal, he's quick to point out that getting everything you want actually takes more work and communication than just sticking with one person....
He does say some good things:
"Open relationships are really not simple. People think, Wow, these are hippies sleeping around like nobody's business. There's a lot of communication, and a lot of emotional consideration, as well as mental processes before people can successfully engage in open relationships. You go back to the basics of brutal honesty: communication, communication, communication...."
"...So polyamory is unique because it's more about building a sort of community, rather than just each person having a series of relationships. But I feel that connectivity would bring so many issues. Well, you'll be interested to know I'm working with my legal team on a pre-dating agreement. It's like a prenuptial agreement that we'll be making public, hopefully by the end of the year, so that people who are about to start dating each other can negotiate the conditions and terms and put them on a piece of paper. That way, when they do break up, things can be done in a cordial and organized manner."
The whole interview (June 30, 2015).