A new trend is happening in relationships, says New Orleans-based psychotherapist Michael DeMarco, where younger couples are totally open to talking about — and having — more than their main sexual partner.
It’s called consensual non-monogamy.
“So there is a concept of consensual non-monogamy that people in relationships are starting to talk more about as a way to maintain intimate connections but allowing the people in a relationship to explore their sexuality in a way that is openly communicated,” DeMarco tells Personal Space, adding that the point of the new dynamic is that no one is considered having cheated if they were open and honest about what they planned on doing.
“People are not wired to be monogamous, that is, sexually faithful,” he says. “We sort of half-assed choose to be monogamous/sexually faithful until we end up cheating, and then lying about it. Then we break up, and the pattern repeats.”
DeMarco says the problem is, with cheating and sexual infidelity being such an emotionally wrought concept and experience, an odd thing can happen.
“People can sometimes find the breaking of that taboo arousing,” he says, and acting on it can help the sex life of both partners in the relationship.
“In sexological literature, there is something called troilism, which is finding the act of sharing your partner sexually arousing,” he explains. “There is also being sexually aroused by the shame, or presumed shame, from your partner having sex with someone else.”
Hey, whatever floats your boat.
But, experiencing outside sexual relationships inside of your relationship with your partner is becoming more common, and if it’s done in a tasteful way, it can actually help the relationship last.
“The point is, more and more people are talking about non-monogamy in a way that doesn't cause hurt feelings — and they're talking about it because it does seem like many of us are wired to be titillated at the idea of our partner having sex with someone else,” DeMarco says. “Instead of jealousy, we have a word, compersion, which is feeling pride and love that your partner is being sexual and/or intimate with someone else. You're happy that they're happy.”
He explains that getting to that place is the antidote to jealousy, and a much more rational way to maintain a relationship rather than just forcing sexual fidelity to one person from now until the day you die.
“The invention of monogamy benefited heterosexual men, and little else,” he says.
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