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Name: Opus
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Love without Limits

“Hollywood couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have agreed a pact on extramarital sex. Have they discovered the key to a successful marriage?”

Well this is an interesting headline; I’m more interested in the subject matter of the article than in the subjects. We’ve all thought about it, whether in a long-term relationship or in a marriage, and we will probably go on thinking about it – and many acting on it in secret. My question is does this open style of relationship really ever work.

The article mentions a few famous people who do or did live this way, such as Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, who was in an open marriage for 34 years until his wife find out about his affair with a 22 year old Swedish student. And according to his daughter Nina, the actor Tom Conti has been in an open marriage for many years. “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera also had an open marriage premised on a socialist rejection of a bourgeois institution.” The TV presenter Joan Bakewell had a seven year affair with Harold Pinter which inspired his play Betrayal.

Before I continue perhaps you’d like to take a peek at these statistics. These figures show that there’s a lot of cheating going on, I’m not surprised at all.

Some people just love cheating, I was reading a separate article in some magazine last week about a guy who aims, yes aims to have sex with a different woman at least once a week. He is married to a beautiful, intelligent wife but needs the thrill of anonymous dirty sex. I mean this guy is just having his cake and eating it, a bit too much cake though. But I digress.

Given the nature of sexual desire should we truly expect ourselves to be monogamous? When you first enter in to a new relationship its all lusty passion and sex, then the relationship deepens and the sex becomes emotional as well as passionate, and you fall in love, which is wonderful of course.

However, sexual desire is sexual desire; does it turn off simply because you are in a loving, intimate relationship? I don’t think so, what happens is many of us choose not to act on our desires because we have been conditioned to see this as being unfaithful, and because we would not want to hurt the one we love or lose their trust and respect. Just as many choose to cheat.

What if this was flipped on its head, what if it was seen as normal to act on your desires, I’m not talking promiscuity here. I’m talking about when you meet someone and you connect with them on a mental level and you also desire them (sort of like when you meet someone new), but because you’re already in a happy relationship/marriage you’re not looking to start something new, but you would like to experience sex with this person.

If you had a pact with your partner, you could discuss this, you let them know who it is and they either agree to it or they don’t. Would this work and if acted on what would the outcome be? Would there be jealousy? Would trust become an issue?

If at the beginning of a relationship we can separate love and sex, why can we not do this further down the line?

posted by Opus at 18:51

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