Open relationships have been a “thing” in the gay universe long enough for a bit of the stigma to be dissolved, but it’s still a pretty taboo concept in heteroland, where tradition and expectation reign over evolution and honesty.
Because let’s face it — while open relationships aren’t for everybody, being honest and transparent about sexual desire with your partner is aeons ahead of sneaking around in the shadows and cheating in secret. And that’s what happens in countless “monogamous” pairings — one or both partner lies to the person they claim to love, just to maintain the facade.
An unlikely voice has recently spoken out in defense of openness — in an interview with True Exclusives, actress Mo’Nique gives a refreshingly candid take on what’s made her marriage work.
Whether or not it matches your own personal relationship goals, her’s is a story worth sharing:
“Honesty. That’s it. When I hear men say ‘I don’t tell my wife everything, you crazy?’ and I hear women say ‘I ain’t telling my husband that, you crazy?’ So you mean you trust somebody else other than the person you lay with every night, you slept with, you cried with, you make love to? So I think those long lasting things is simply honesty and communication. It’s got to be your best friend. You’re laying with this person every night. If you can’t tell that person how you feel, then you’re in a bad way.”
She went on to describe how that communication relates to sexual attraction outside the marriage:
“The person that you stood up and you said ‘for better, for worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer’ you took those vows in front of the universe. If you don’t live by them, then maybe you shouldn’t have taken them. And when you say ‘a pass to cheat’—see, when you’re with your best friend and you say to your best friend: ‘I’m having these feelings about this person, sexually, and I want to share it with you.’ When you’re best friends, you can have those open and honest conversations. Often times, people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue, and you say we’re just human beings. And all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’?”
And continued by explaining how it works for her in practice:
“Now, if you want to go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you want to sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not going to do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”
Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?