Science says

“Groundbreaking” study identifies traits of people most likely to try open relationships

2016 study found that 41% of gay men reported that they were either in, or have previously been in, an open relationship. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Bisexuality tries to identify exactly what sorts of people and personality types are more likely to engage in open relationships and why.

A team of researchers from Purdue University and the University of Maryland interviewed over 100 LGB people about their attitudes toward open relationships, or “consensual non-monogamy” (CNM) and their findings will blow. Your. Mind.

Related: Just How Many Gay Men Are In Open Relationships? These New Stats May Surprise You (Or Not)

Researchers discovered that people who are more open-minded, creative, and imaginative tend to be more willing to engage in CNM:

[O]penness to new experiences and conscientiousness were robust predictors of attraction to multiple-partner relationships among LGB individuals. People who tend to have active imaginations, a preference for variety, and a proclivity to engage in new experiences (i.e. high in openness) hold positive attitudes toward CNM and greater willingness to engage in these relationships.

Meanwhile, people who were more “conscientious” (a.k.a. high strung, narrow-minded, neurotic, etc.) tend to be less into the idea of sharing their partner with others:

“[I]ndividuals who tend to be very organized, neat, careful, and success driven (i.e., high in conscientiousness) perceive CNM negatively and have less desire to engage in CNM.

Researchers add that these people also tend to be “less geared toward sensation seeking” and “less willing to violate social norms involving monogamy.”

Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada"

None of this is particularly surprising to us; however, researchers did make one somewhat unexpected observation: Extroverts tended to hold more negative views toward consensual non-monogamy than introverts, though many were still willing to try it out.

Researchers believe this may be due to the fact that extroverts tend to care more about what other people think of them, “which could be an underlying reason why extraversion was not related to positive attitudes toward CNM.”

Related: Man asks boyfriend for an open relationship and he says no… Now what?!

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32 Comments

  • Danny595

    The “study” showing 41% have had a “open relationship” at some point in their lives is not a study. It was put out by a magazine called FS, which never released the survey or the methodology. Most likely, this was an online poll of its readers, which (like Graham Gremore) is useless. This same magazine has published other “survey results” – never releasing the full survey and never disclosing the methodology or the sample demographics. These results never match the results from published, peer-reviewed studies. Thanks to Graham Gremore for, once again, making us all dumber for having read his crap.

    Open relationships are characterized by selfishness and pleasure seeking. It’s true that the people in them might be more focused on variety and trying new things. Eventually, the “main” partner becomes old and it becomes time to try new bodies. A sad approach to love and life.

    • Juanjo

      I agree that I would like to know the methodology and other specifics of the survey. That said, you engage in a lot of unsupported opinion yourself. For example, “Open relationships are characterized by selfishness and pleasure seeking”. Let me know when you have verifiable scientific data to support your claim because it looks to me like someone is bitter about a past experience.

    • ChrisK

      Ha. Before I even scrolled down to comments I knew this one would attract Danny the bitter like a fly to shit. Our very own morality and vice cop.

    • Danny595

      ChisK – I’m young, monogamous and happy. You’re 50, promiscuous and very angry at life. Maybe if you had chosen love over copulating with strangers, you would be doing better now.

      I am not your morality cop coz it’s too late to teach you right from wrong. Others however, may learn to avoid the mistakes that you have made.

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    • jorge1853

      The beginning of Gremore’s article explicitly states that they are discussing an article from an academic journal. The abstract is publicly available at the link presented above and most people connected to a major university will have full access to the article, methods, and data behind the analysis.

      On the opinion side, I’m a 50something gay man and I’m mystified that self-identified queers still can get so hostile about one another’s personalities and behaviors. I helped set up at my local Pride festival yesterday, and one of the vendors was a group from HRC. I don’t know if they are still uncomfortable with drag queens and transsexuals, but I hope not. The movement really does take all kinds, and petty squabbles like the one in this thread disregard the most challenging and valuable part of our minority status: we cross-cut almost all other demographics.

      I just don’t see why self-acceptance has to come at the cost of hostility to different ways of being queer. Monogamy does not inevitably become boredom and promiscuity can most certainly be a part of a healthy personality. In a thread/article like this, I’d like to see in a discussion is some efforts at long-term analysis of related studies from the late 1960s to today. The homonegativity thing could well be best analyzed by investigating relationships to age cohort, socioeconomic status, family religious status, and population density.

    • Gaytaffuk

      Hi Danielle!

      It’s great to see you back, sad that you’ve not learned anything from our previous discussions, still getting your panties in a bunch over nothing! And wow, just how rude and patronising can one person be, I’m almost ashamed to call you a friend? It is ironic that you are denouncing and quoting survey results when you are the one who promises them to prove your argument and then does not!! You’re such a mass of contradictions!

      I love this bit –

      ‘Open relationships are characterized by selfishness and pleasure seeking. It’s true that the people in them might be more focused on variety and trying new things. Eventually, the “main” partner becomes old and it becomes time to try new bodies. A sad approach to love and life.’ – as a self proclaimed monogamist how do you know so much about open relationships? If you have never been in an open relationship you seem to be jumping to a lot of conclusions you cannot possibly support from experience!

      Your next comment seems particularly nasty –

      ‘I’m young, monogamous and happy. You’re 50, promiscuous and very angry at life. Maybe if you had chosen love over copulating with strangers, you would be doing better now.’ – you seem to be making a lot of assumptions about ChisK’s life and relationships. Don’t do that, you just come across as nasty and bitter, in fact you sound the opposite of young and happy, you’re the one that sounds old, bitter and angry at life! Also the point of an open relationship is that you can have a loving relationship and enjoy some ‘on the side’ fun, sounds the best of both worlds to me! Saying ‘copulating’ makes you sound like Sheldon Cooper, obviously without the massive intellect!

      This bit sounds particularly patronising, especially when you know it comes from a 22 year old (supposedly) with what appears to be sod all experience of life –

      ‘I am not your morality cop coz it’s too late to teach you right from wrong. Others however, may learn to avoid the mistakes that you have made.’ Wow what a patronising view of people you have Danielle, it must be nice to sit on your gilded throne and look down on the lesser scum below!

      What gives you the right to teach others right from wrong? You sound like one of those right wing bigots preaching from their sanctimonious pulpits on a Sunday (and cruising for boys in toilets the rest of the week!).

      You have NO RIGHT to dictate how others live their lives, when are you going to learn that?

    • ChrisK

      As my dad used to say. You can BS some of the people some of the time but you can’t BS all the people all the time. You’ve been on this site under many other troll names for the last 10 years at least. Hardly the young kid you’re trying to BS everyone now with.

      The reason I know this is because you go after certain editors like Mark anytime he tries to post info on gay men, sex, and hiv. You’ve been coming at him with a vengeance under different troll names for many years now. Danny595 is just your current troll name. Basically this and many other things give you away. Anyone who doesn’t fit your fascist world vision will always attacked.

      You’re insane and that will never change no matter what you’re currently calling yourself.

    • ChrisK

      @Gaytaffuk. I have to say that I’ve never seen such a hateful man as this “Danny595”. He’s posted over the years and it’s always to attack and post the most hateful judgmental crap you’ll ever see.

      He’s also not as young as he wants you to believe. I’ve come up against “danny595’s” different names for many years now.

    • Danny595

      Jorge1853 – I was referring to the sentence which reads:

      “A 2016 study found that 41% of gay men reported that they were either in, or have previously been in, an open relationship.”

      That study (the 2016 one, not the one about open relationship characteristics) was not a study, but a bogus survey from a magazine with a history of publishing survey results w/o disclosing the survey questions, methodology or demographics of the respondents.

      @ChrisK – Sorry, viejo, I never even heard of this place before last year. I joined up to post a comment on a post about one of my favorite TV shows. The insane dude who has been posting here for years is you. At age 50, you have nothing better to do in between bouts of diseased-ridden, loveless sex.

    • ChrisK

      “Danny595”. Funny that you’re spouting all this morality BS when you can’t be honest. The only truth is that “Danny595” was created this last year. You are so full of shit.

    • ChrisK

      Lastly I’m not offended by your attack on my age. I know you’re you’re not that young either. No one young would talk the way you talk. That takes a lifetime of bitterness to create that kind of monster.

    • ChrisK

      You’re last name was Jacob23 till Queerty banned it. Same exact BS.

    • ChrisK

      Here’s something you wrote in 2014. Anyone who pays attention knows you hate the word Queer. You may change names but you’re writing is very consistent.
      Jacob23
      Calling gay people “queer” is a hostile act, regardless of the supposed “reinvention” or “reclamation” of the word. If an individual wants to refer to himself as queer, that is his business, but when that label is equated with being LGB, then it becomes something to resist.
      July 8, 2014 at 6:07pm

    • ChrisK

      Your hatred of Mark also gives you away. You are a liar and you’ve been called on it.
      Danny595
      King has written that people should celebrate having HIV (not overcoming it or coping with it, but having the infection) and that gay people should accept STIs as part of gay life. He’s vile.
      August 22, 2017 at 12:08am

      Jacob23
      Like a lot of people, I enjoyed Mark King’s post about his dad. But IMHO, Mark King himself is one seriously warped individual. His website is one of the most chilling and nauseating things I have experienced since I saw Silence of the Lambs.
      June 22, 2015 at 11:06pm

    • Gaytaffuk

      Hi ChrisK,

      You make some very interesting points about Danielle, one of my pet peeves is:

      ‘…you go after certain editors like Mark anytime he tries to post info on gay men, sex, and hiv. You’ve been coming at him with a vengeance under different troll names for many years now. Danny595 is just your current troll name. Basically this and many other things give you away. Anyone who doesn’t fit your fascist world vision will always attacked.’

      Danielle and I have had a number of ‘discussions’ about effeminate men. This seems to be a major trigger point for her (hence why I like to feminise her!!! childish but fun!) she really gets her panties in a bunch over any article supporting any man who doesn’t fit Danielle’s heteronormative view of the world.

      I have expressed my belief that this is due to ingrained internalised homophobia which is, again, a trigger for Danielle. You’re right she does tend to go after certain writers, I, like you, can normally predict which articles will have one of her nasty comments under it! I also agree with you about her age, she stated in one discussion that she’s 22, I find her level of bitterness very difficult to believe in one supposedly so young!

      I do find it amusing when she makes huge assumptions about others like:

      ‘Sorry, viejo, I never even heard of this place before last year. I joined up to post a comment on a post about one of my favorite TV shows. The insane dude who has been posting here for years is you. At age 50, you have nothing better to do in between bouts of diseased-ridden, loveless sex.’

      Does she even know your age? I assume that is just one of her rediculous assumptions? Nasty attack there with the ‘diseased-ridden sex’ ( I assume she means ‘disease ridden sex’, grammar isn’t her strong point!). Also what is ‘viejo’? I presume it some sort of American insult but not being too familiar with the vernacular it has me stumped, sounds very camp though! This statement is also a good example of how old and bitter she sounds!

      It’s nice to find a fellow Danielle fan, long may she post!

      Danielle – I know you’re reading this, I am disappointed you didn’t reply to my comments on your post, too much of a challenge for you?

  • bbg372

    This article is filled with double-speak.

    Respondents do not obsessively fantasize about sex and/or sexual situations, they have “active imaginations.” They are not easily bored with a single partner and/or are promiscuous, they have “a preference for variety.” They are not sexually compulsive, they have “a proclivity to engage in new experiences.”

    Meanwhile, respondents characterized as “conscientious,” which literally means “dedicated, devoted, faithful, and honest,” are described as “high-strung, narrow-minded, and neurotic.”

    This “study” is garbage, and Graham Gremore is garbage for publishing it.

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    Looks like another attempt to promote promiscuity. Yeah, this “study” is probably rubbish.

    Sex should be a part of building something together. That only happens with commitment between two people.

    • Danny595

      Yes!!!!

    • Gaytaffuk

      Hello King of Shit, unusual name! Reflective of something?

      ‘Looks like another attempt to promote promiscuity.’ you really think promiscuity needs promoting? I think it’s doing VERY well by itself!

      ‘Sex should be a part of building something together.’ Nope! Sex can be whatever we want it to be, a quicky between strangers, a threesome, foursome or one hundred-some. You are in NO position to dictate what other people do with their genitals, we are consenting adults so keep your nose out of others lives!

      ‘That only happens with commitment between two people.’ well that’s obviously untrue as sex happens all day, every day, all over the world without any commitment, good luck trying to stop that happening!

      Danielle – NO!

    • KaiserVonScheiss

      @Gaytaffuk

      I’m not dictating anything. I’m merely stating my opinion. Sounds to me like you’re triggered.

      I have every right to state my opinion, just as you have every right to engage in meaningless sex. I, however, do not have to approve of such a lifestyle.

    • Gaytaffuk

      ‘I’m not dictating anything. I’m merely stating my opinion.’ – It must have been your patronising tone which caused me to misunderstand then. Sounded very dictatorial and high handed to me!

      ‘Sounds to me like you’re triggered.’ – Maybe, dickheads telling me and those around me how we should live our lives does get on my tits so, yeah, maybe I have been triggered. Well done, you’ve succeeded in being a provocation!

      ‘I have every right to state my opinion,’ – True, you just don’t need to be so high handed when you do!

      ‘I, however, do not have to approve of such a lifestyle.’ – No you don’t, but when you do, don’t try to sound so sanctimonious about it. You sound like an uptight prig when you do and that’s not an attractive look on anyone!

      You didn’t tackle any of my other points, too difficult for you?

    • Danny595

      Keep on expressing your opinion Kaiser. The whole point of Queerty is to normalize the abnormal. When people speak out, it upsets those who want to live inside a bubble of unreality.

    • Gaytaffuk

      Hi Danielle,

      I was worried for a moment there, I thought you weren’t talking to me! How about posting a reply to my comments above or is that too much of a challenge?

      Yes King of Shit, keep posting your comments and we’ll keep shooting them down. The whole point of Danielle is to try to undermine people and shore up his low self-esteem. His internalised homophobia means he lashes out at every opportunity – I imagine that involves lots of screeching, theatrics and messed up make-up!

      When he speaks out it upsets those who understand the real world, show some empathy and don’t live in his bubble of unreality or the 1950’s as it’s otherwise known!

  • scotshot

    @KaiserVonScheiss

    Considering the fact that close to 50% of heterosexual marriages fail, I recommend that you cross your legs and shut up.

  • Donston

    I already knew this would be an “if you’re into open relationships it means your’re cool. Monogamous people are lame” type article. Listen, no one has the right to be looked down on for the amount of people they fvck with. But being so focused on pushing shallow, divisive “agendas” like this and trying to back them up with half-assed, biased “studies” is why lgbt driven media isn’t taken seriously (and I’m talking about way beyond this claptrap of a site). Just stop.

    • Donston

      There have been decades worth of real studies on promiscuity. And the results continue to highlight that people who need multiple sexual partners in their lives at all times are more likely to suffer from cluster b personalities, more likely to be driven by self-interest/be selfish, more likely to indulge dangerous or self-destructive behavior, more likely to constantly look to others to boost their self-esteem, more likely to have been abused or suffered serious assault (of a sexual nature or otherwise), more likely to suffer from extreme bouts of depression, etc.

      Of course, that’s not anywhere near always the case. But let’s go ahead and shove aside all that is the basis of psychology for the sake of hyping polyamory and sex in general. I’m not with the “slut-shaming”. But sh*t like this just makes the whole “lgbt movement” come off incredibly lame and superficial.

    • Danny595

      Donston- You make excellent points. There is one other characteristic that is associated with promiscuous gay men and that is what is called “homonegativity” or internalized negative attitudes about being gay. This, of course, ties in with low self-esteem and depression. However, it is worth highlighting the link with homonegativity because very often we hear the promoters of gay promiscuity claim that somehow they are “authentically gay” whereas those who support monogamy are repressed or are “heteronormative.” In fact, you are more likely to find happy, proud, well-adjusted, self-accepting gay men among the ranks of the monogamous than you will ever find on Grindr or in a bathhouse.

  • ChrisK

    Funny that you’re spouting all this morality BS when you can’t be honest. The only truth is that “Danny595” was created this last year. You are so full of shit.

  • Josh447

    So maybe some grounded scientific facts could shed some light: we are 98% matched with ape /monkey DNA. They are non monogamous bi sexual heterosexual and homosexual. We can’t buck our DNA no matter what so best to stop trying to argue or easy out of it If we were a naturally monogamous race this article would never get written, one would mate for life and divorce and break ups would be nonexistent. Hence we are not a monogamous race, no matter how much religion or any other means would like to make you think differently. Science prevails over all opinion. In this case, it’s obvious.

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