Of course! The issue is not the openness of the relationship, but the values associated with all the partners in that relationship, starting with the “4 C’s”:
If a man (or woman) wants to enjoy love at any level with a number of partners, he is simply choosing an inclusive relationship rather than an exclusive one. Sexuality may or may not be part of the equation. Many people fulfill various emotional, social, and intellectual needs throughout their lives—parents and children, co-workers and friends, lovers and confidantes. We include them because we value their input and the pleasure we get from their company.
Openness does not necessarily mean cheating. Cheating, which is dishonest and controlling, is what leads to the jealousy wrongly associated with the concept of an open relationship.
However, openness does require talking about desires and wants before any relationship is established. There is absolutely no upside to leading anyone on. A commitment to caring about the other person’s goals, too, is critical.
Good men talk about their desire for an open, inclusive relationship before acting. They get enthusiastic agreement, and possibly even participation, from all parties involved. They don’t lie, and they don’t hide, even if they already have a partner. If an open relationship is important to them, they should be able to pursue it as long as no one gets hurt.
Perhaps this is why the original “swinging” community started as part of the US Air Force pilots looking after each other’s wives. Not knowing if or when they would return, the pilots instead dealt with reality by considering what their wives might need, who they could trust to take care of them, and looked within the tight-knit circle of fellow pilots with the same “4 C” values who grappled with the identical issue.
Good men can bring good values to an open relationship, just like a monogamous, exclusive one. It is no worse, and in many respects may be better, than most relationships, which now end in horrendous breakups and divorce. It is amazing that in this era of tolerance of every other kind of sexual choice, multi-partner relationships, especially committed polyamory, are still denounced and considered illegal.
We too often default to the sensationalistic, expected reactions of horror and hurt when exposed to just the idea of an open relationship. In my experience, the best men are often in an open relationship with the best women, under the radar, away from the media spotlight.
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