It’s fairly clear by the numbers that those surveyed recently about their attitudes towards open relationships and sex parties by HuffPost were mostly heterosexual.
Of course, that’s an assumption based on nothing more than our own observations and…ahem…experiences, but the participants in this survey are generally not-so-freaky when it comes to non monogamous lifestyles. Most, not all, but most.
Here are the results from the questionnaire of 1,000 people (only 906 actually agreed once they knew the topic):
An open relationship is one where both people agree to be non-monogamous. It can include each person having other sexual partners, or the couple inviting other people to engage in sexual activities with both partners in the relationship. Have you ever been in an open relationship?
Yes, I’m in one now. . . 3%
Yes, I have been in one in the past . . . 10%
No . . .86%
Prefer not to say . . . 2%
Would you ever consider being in an open relationship?
Yes . . . 14%
No . . . 72%
Not sure . . . 13%
Prefer not to say . . . 2%
Have you ever attended a party where people engage in sexual activity with multiple partners?
Yes . . . 9%
No . . . 89%
Prefer not to say . . . 2%
Would you ever attend a party where people engage in sexual activity with multiple partners?
Yes . . . 13%
No . . . 75%
Not sure . . . 12%
Prefer not to say . . . 1%
When broken down by gender and age, males between the ages of 18-39 were the most likely to consider open relationships or have experience with one. They were also the most likely to have been to or want to go to a sex party. Big surprise there.
Where do you fit into the mix? Sound off in the comments.
You can also listen to HuffPost’s Noah Michelson and Carina Kolodny report on getting some hands-on experience:
Had it only been gays, the numbers for yes and no would have been reversed…gays are depraved like that
I had group sex once in a Bath House in Sao Paulo city. It was boring. I prefer a good, solid, sex session with one guy than a random orgy with ugly guys.
I have an open marriage but we don’t have mutual partners. We met about five years ago, making it legal just last May. It started as an open relationship and about six months into it we had a discussion about just leaving things as they were since we were both seeing other people. When I’ve explained the dynamic from my point of view, usually after one of those “Oh! And you’re OK with that?” type moments, it comes down to the world being so full of experiences, if my husband gets something he needs I can’t give him from someone else, how could I ever deprive him of what makes him happy? And I’d like to think he views my other partners the same way. We’ve met most of each other’s partners and we’re all on the same page. I know we love and are devoted to each other, and I will spend the rest of my life ensuring he is safe, happy and healthy. The only thing that’s changed since we married is ensuring he is protected financially and with my excellent health insurance, as he is a full-time artist and on his own, his options on both of those fronts were, to me, unacceptably crappy.
No,No, No and NO.
I have never understood open relationships (gay or straight). If you don’t want to be with one person then remain single and continue dating. Don’t settle down if you aren’t ready to settle down.
In major cities like NYC I often find that people in open relationships are in them so they can split expenses…rent/mortgage, cable, electric, etc. so that they can save money to have the NYC life they want to have. It isn’t about partnering with someone for love and intimacy, but for financial reasons.
@Glücklich: If it works for you and yours it’s no one else’s business. Some people even in our community (which one would think would be more opening) are so judgmental about what happens in someone else’s marriage.
@lauraspencer: If you don’t like it, don’t take part in one. It isn’t for everyone, but it works for some of us. In some cases a little outside action makes the primary relationship stronger. As long as folks are honest about behavior and safety, I got no issue.
I’m pretty conservative sexually so I will take a pass on both the group sex and open relationships.
@lauraspencer: I know quite a lot of gay, married guys that are in open relationships. They form their primary romantic attachment with their husband. After many years, however, the sex becomes unexciting, so to spark it up, they have affairs outside of the marriage. They remain strongly committed to each other, but the burden of boring sex was lifted. I know some straight married couples that do this also, and I suspect that there are many more that do, but keep it quiet.
I can’t do open relationships. If others are ok with opening up their relationships to the possibility that they, or their partner, could fall in love with another and find themselves demoted in the rank of importance, then do what makes you happy I guess. It’s just not for me.
I always think I’m fine with open relationships until I log in to Scruff and see a grid full of attractive, seemingly well-adjusted men already attached to other attractive, seemingly well-adjusted men, and then I just wanna throw my mobile device through a window.
I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for 5 years, 4 of those have been open. For us, we don’t see how one person’s sexual needs, desires, fantasies can be fulfilled by just one person, and it is neither necessary nor desirable for either of us to make that attempt. Many gay men (and that certainly includes my partner and I) prize sexual adventure as an important part of our lives. So, we’ve made the choice to have a stable, loving relationship without sacrificing the physical, emotional and intellectual stimulation we receive from having sex with friends, former lovers, and strangers. After all, monogamy is an invention of society with roots in religious orthodoxy that was originally intended to deprive people of recreational sex (sex was only for procreation purposes and pleasure was to be suppressed by all upstanding citizens) and promote the stability of family life, which almost always included children. Why conform to principles we don’t recognise, agree with or include us? Despite our “moral depravity” (good job keeping the discussion judgment free, Taskebob), I can confidently say that my family is stable and we are extremely happy with active sex lives with each other and other people.
@tdh1980…I hear you.
I get guys in relationships all the time pursuing me and when I tell them that I’m not interested in partnered guys they get angry at me. I don’t want to be brought into their relationship drama.
People in open relationships also run the risk of opening up too much and being open to meeting new people who they are more interested in. I have 3 different friends who were with their partners from 5 – 16 years. In all 3 cases when having an open relationship they met and fell for other guys who they clicked with more. Now they aren’t open.
I think a lot of guys in open relationships are simply with the wrong guys.
My late husband and I were together for 28 years, and he was the love of my life. I was 22 when we met, and he was 35. He figured I still needed to sew some wild oats, so our relationship was open. As the years passed, we became monogamous. That was not a conscious decision. It just happened.
Re-reading my post…ugh….Ditto what Fang said. That’s what I wanted to say instead of raaaambling.
I am lucky to not encountered any negative reaction to it, just more the “Oh!” reactions if it comes up at all. But many people I meet are surprised by my being married to a guy, who is older than I and who is not another white-collar professional.
I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with my FIRST boyfriend for 18 years now. An open relationship would destroy what we have. Together we’re safe and there’s nothing anyone else could do that he can’t do. Safety and trust are the best things I can imagine.
Love is for two, not twenty.
If one really loves, then there is going to be a little bit of healthy jealousy.
So no, it is impossible to be in an open relationship if one is truly in love.
I also think there are plenty of emotionally challenged people that cannot be in
a relationship, nothing wrong with that, if one cannot, there is nothing to be done about
it, and I have few friends that are very open about that, they are honest with themselves
and are OK with it.
So for me people in an open relation ship are simply people that either are in lust with each
other, and eventually if they find true love will change their lifestyle, or more simply they are
emotionally challenged people that need that freedom or they would not be able to be in a
relationship at all…
Lets be honest to be in a relationship one cannot be selfish and self absorbed, but open
relationships allow just for that.
I can’t even find a boyfriend, let alone a partner.
When I see or hear about guys in open relationships, especially if both are hot and attractive, the first word that comes into my mind is always “greedy.”
Yeah I know I’m being judge-y. #sorrynotsorry
@Realitycheck: I’ve been with the a same man for 20 years. Who are you to tell anyone they are not in love because it doesn’t look the way you believe it should? Sometimes because certain needs aren’t met, sometimes just because its just fun, people seek something extra. I never lie, to my partner or anyone I chose to play with. Sometimes you meet a great person in life and something happens (medical situation(ED,stroke, diabetic, menopause) or they become a str8 bottom or top) and you would never give up that person you love, but you also need certain itches scratched. And instead of leaving or bitching you act like an adult and make an agreement that you both can live with. Again its not for everyone. If you don’t like it don’t do it, but stop throwing stones.
@spiffy: lol. That says more about you then them. Talk to them and become friends. I have hooked up more than a few FWB with nice guys, when the FWB was ready for a BF of their own. I know a couple of open relationship partners that do the same thing.
I was in a quasi-open relationship that recently ended b/c my boyfriend was primarily having sex with other people rather than me and wasn’t “open” his liaisons trying to keep it a secrect from me yet telling his best friends. It made me feel foolish that he couldn’t even be honest with me but so open about it with his friends. We went almost a whole year (we were barely together 2 years) not having sex and so it just wasn’t working out and has ended pretty badly he wasn’t being honest so I had to find out on my own. I will never be in another relationship where honesty and communication is seriously lacking. it was the lack of those two things that was the demise of our relationship.
I never understand why people can be so narrow minded and judgmental. If someone finds happiness and something that works for them then good for them! If something else works for someone else then great! Life is too short to live by someone else’s rules.
@Realitycheck: Totally ridiculous. You must be very young.
If someone doesn’t want to be 100% faithful to their partner and wants to mess around with other guys then don’t be in a relationship! Easy as that, either be single and mess around or have a partner and be faithful, not that difficult.
@Realitycheck: What a judgmental bigot! Please do let us all know when your monogamous relationship based on jealousy (healthy or otherwise) reaches the 26 year mark like mine and my partners’ that is instead based on honestly and trust. Nonsense.
@DutchGay, Realitycheck, Spiffy, Jayfranko & SportGuy….
I agree with your posts. Nicely stated 🙂
@SportGuy: No what is easy is minding your own business and your own relationship.
@lauraspencer: Why should they remain single if both parties involved want and consent to an open-relationship? Because you think relationships are black-and-white/single-or-monogamous?
There are people who can be in a committed relationship and engage in sex outside of that relationship? Why? Because they put no emotional emphasis on sex, and they are truthful and careful about their experiences. If everyone involved is fine with that, then there is no problem.
There are several types of open-relationships. They either work for you or they don’t.
Charlie in Charge
Communicate and be certain both of you are making choices because it is clearly what you want (rather than out of guilt or fear) and you will do very well.
I don’t think I’m comfortable enough for an open relationship. Got offered to be in a poly relationship ended up falling for one guy more than the other. Oh well if it works for you cool if not well hell that’s cool to.
I would never agree to an open relationship but I gotta admit, the couples I know who have been together the longest have open relationships. I just don’t share. Plus I’m an only child so it’s really out of the question. That’s why I am constantly keeping it new and spicy in the bedroom. However, In the movie Perfect Stranger when Halle Berry was asking how Bruce Willis could cheat on his wife because she’s so pretty, the co-worker said “show me a pretty woman and I’ll show you a man who is tired of fucking her” The same definitely goes for us gay men.
I do understand open relationships though. There are people we choose to build a life with, a home, children, etc….but there’s nothing like new ass…that’s just real talk. We all know how much harder we cum when we jerk off to a new porn than watching the same one over and over (much easier these days with all the free porn sites). Even cheating to me in what is supposed to be a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t love you. Sex is not love and for those in open relationships with boundaries and set rules, it works for them. I still can’t do it but I understand it. Perhaps if my fiancé and I are married for some years and he wants to play later I may change my mind. Right now tho…I will cut a bitch.
@Blackceo: Also, building a life with, a home, children, etc. and having an open relationship are not mutually exclusive. Monogamous couples don’t involve their children in their sex lives. Couples in open relationships will certainly have the same decency. There are many ways to live and these things don’t contradict each other.
@lauraspencer: Exactly ! I WANT to be with 1 partner, together we are safe and secure and have all we need. Having an open relationship is nothing more than having sex with your roommate to me…. But hey – for those that prefer it that way, why not. For me it wouldn’t work.
The hardest part for me is trusting… I’m basically okay with the ‘open’ but I want everyone to be honest about it. I’ve been with a guy who could never be honest about his hook-ups. It made it difficult to believe him even with mundane things; Are you really working late? Do you really have guests all weekend?
Both in our 50’s, we’re hardly naive or inexperienced. Connected sex is great, but so is just fun sex.
We’d sometimes play together, but even then, I think he had some shame about enjoying the sex when I was around. Bottom line (no pun) it’s complicated.
@DutchGay: That is almost exactly how an feel about it. People say that love and sex are two separate things. But sex can and often does lead to love. Why risk that happening to your relationship? It just seems so selfish to me. When I hear people preaching the virtues of open relationships I just hear “Me Me Me”.
I also wonder how many in open relationships are truly happy about it or are just going along with it so they don’t lose their partner, especially if one partner is getting more play than the other.
Again, if they are happy with it, then good. I just can’t understand it. Which is ok too.
What? Most of them are straights? What would their churches say? :>)
Id rather stay single than open why bother?
Here is a question for all those who are in or prefer open relationships? If you are with someone you love or have fallen in love with someone who refuses to have an open relationship, would you break up with them or would you sacrifice other “experience” to stay with that person?
Completely agree with you! I have always described it as a glorified roommate/hookup. Just someone to split the bills with and have sex with when you can’t find a random hookup. Glad I am not the only one who wants more than that from life.
@ QueerTEA Not sure I understand the question. Most of the time, both primary parties concur their relationship is an open one. If one person prefers open relationships and wants to pursue someone who wants monogamy, it could go either way.
In my personal experience, my husband and I started with an open relationship and make it really clear to our respective other partners both by word and action that we are not monogamous, so it’s up to the new partner to decide if they’re OK with that. I haven’t taken on a new partner (i.e. more than just DTF) for a while because I’m too busy to do the vetting and don’t need another management issue right now. So my inner circle are guys I’ve known and have been seeing for years, a couple of them longer than I’ve known my husband. I fool around when I feel like it but I’m not looking for another guy to date at the moment, though I doubt I’d dismiss a worthwhile guy out of hand.
@SportGuy: Exactly. I know bisexual men who have told me how a lot of gay men get into what you and DG described where they’re just fuckbuddies and not actually partners/husbands even if same gender marriage is legal and they’ve gotten married.
I guess, for the most part a mature person would make clear with their potential partner whether they prefer open or a monogamous relationship. And my question is VERY hypothetical and circumstantial.
But my question is going off those who had mentioned, being in a relationship and then opening it up later because they were ‘getting bored’ or whatnot. What if the situation was reversed? What if you are with someone you love and they decide they don’t want to have an open relationship anymore, but you are very much still about that lifestyle. Would you break it off with that person to continue that lifestyle? or would you agree and become monogamous for the sake of the relationship?
@QueerTEA OK, gotcha. Speaking only for my open marriage, I would love to say if my husband wanted to close the marriage I would jump right on board if it would make him happy. Realistically, I would need to consider my options very carefully because I like variety and actually love two of my other partners, though not the same way I love my husband. That’d be tough. I honestly don’t know what I would do.
BUT…There is also a certain dynamic my husband and I deliberately built into the relationship because we came together as INCREDIBLY independent people, neither of us having marriage as part of our life plans. Even after five years together we’re not in each other’s pockets and I don’t think either of us are the center of the other’s universe. That just isn’t who we are. Never say never, but if our marriage ended for closing, knowing each other as we do, I can’t see it being some devastating scorched earth catastrophe. There are many other things in our lives than JUST our marriage, and we are more than JUST each other’s husband.
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