“Ethical Cheating”: What Is It?

There is a growing movement of people who are able to be honest with their mate that the traditional model isn’t working.

When the news broke recently that hackers had breached Ashley Madison, the dating website that helps married people find out-of-wedlock romance, the Internet responded with a lot of snark and not much sympathy.

We read Twitter so you don’t have to, and the take-away is this: If you cheat and get caught, you are getting what you deserve; and, if you cheat and get caught because you entered your personal information into a cheaters’ dating website whose marketing tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair,” you really are getting what you deserve.

But married daters looking for someone to defend their honor have at last found a spokesman: Brandon Wade, 45, the founder of the new website OpenMinded.com, which caters to individuals and couples looking for others with whom to engage in what Mr. Wade calls “ethical cheating.” This involves telling a spouse that you are going to be unfaithful, or including the spouse in new, outside-the-marriage relationships, he said.

OpenMinded.com started in May and, Mr. Wade said, now has 150,000 users, with more than half of the members identifying as couples who are in open relationships. The site’s members are more likely to be men than women, 68 percent of members have earned a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent are 18 to 35.

To get started on a journey toward polyamorous partnering, OpenMinded.com users fill out a form with questions that reflect, it must be said, a certain open-mindedness. The “Orientation” section asks users to define themselves by “romantic orientation” (“biromantic” and “sapiomantic” are among the options) and other attributes, while the “Life Choices” section dives into issues like tolerance to marijuana-smoking (“420 friendly nonconsumer,” “recreational heavy consumer”).

Under the “Looking to Meet” heading, users designate the type of relationship they are seeking (“monogamish,” “poly dating,” “swinging”) and the identity of those they would like to meet (there are dozens of different options, including “pangender,” “two-spirit,” “woman” and “intersex”).

Also provided are primers to help newbies, including an essay entitled, “How to Cheat on Your Wife.” It advises that men disclose their intent to their wives before they begin to date.

Mr. Wade said he was raised in Singapore with what he deemed a “Tiger Mom type of upbringing.” He studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then, he said, earned an M.B.A. at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. in 1995. He worked at Booz Allen and General Electric, he added. But corporate life wasn’t a good match for him.

He decided to take an entrepreneurial route. In 2006, he introduced SeekingArrangement.com, which is, according to promotional material, “the leading sugar daddy dating website.” In 2011, he unveiled WhatsYourPrice.com, a site on which users can auction off dates.

“Most of my dating websites have been created out of personal need,” he said. “OpenMinded is my next evolution in my relationships.”

Before marrying his current wife, he said, she and he discussed his progressive views about monogamy. “I told my wife, ‘If this relationship doesn’t work out, I’m never going to get married again,’ ” he said.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

5 Essential Rules to Make Polyamory and Open Relationships Work

Some rules were made to be broken. Others weren’t.

There is no one right way to practice polyamory (poly) or open relationships. Part of the charm of this relationship style is that when the rules don’t work for you, you create your own or in some case throw them out altogether.

But there are a few underlying principles and best practices to increase your chances of success with an open relationship of any kind.

Also, check out LOVE TV’s A Beginner’s Guide To Ethical Non Monogamous Relationships. 

1. Everyone must be comfortable with what you are doing

I dated a guy who was poly for 2 years. He never stopped referring to what we were doing as cheating. Despite the fact that his wife was happy with the situation and was one of my closest friends, he was in some ways still uncomfortable with the situation. And that put a strain on our relationship.

Just like in regular dating, you’ll meet people who challenge your assumptions about yourself and help you grow.

I met a guy who was into sensual Japanese rope tying and surprised myself (but only little) by being into it. I had to work through some awkward feelings about what I wanted to do with certain people. There were things I wanted from the guy I was dating that I didn’t want from my husband.

Feeling guilty and confused, I talked to my husband. I had never stopped to consider that he had felt the same things and that the bedroom activities with his other partner were different from what he and I did. Feeling less guilty, I dived into the other relationship. And had a blast.

Sometimes you may be unsure about something or someone new. The key is to get to the root of why you’re uncomfortable and get past it.

2. Never, ever lie

never lie in poly relationships

This is the one universal rule of poly. Every couple (or thruple, etc) makes their own rules according to what works for them. But this is the one constant.

It’s been interesting to step back and examine the occasions when I have been tempted to lie. In my case, it usually revolves around fear of being judged. On one occasion, I was on a second date with a guy and stayed out longer than I intended.

Not wanting my husband to think I was some sort of hussy, I was tempted to tell him I was already home rather than just then leaving my date (he was away from home but I always text to let him know I’m safe).

To be clear, my husband would have been fine with a long date or even if I had gone home with the other guy. The judgement was all mine. The temptation I felt was a sign that I had some work to do with being comfortable with myself and my decisions.

3. Planning is your friend (and your partner’s)

Many of us are operating at about 110% capacity most days. Knowing when your partner is going to be home for cooking duties or snuggles (or both) helps everyone’s keep life balanced. Dating can complicate things.

One of the most complex things about dating someone who is married or in another relationship is that if the date goes well you can’t necessarily go back to their place without some planning ahead.

It’s not uncommon to see those in the poly community praise the usefulness of Google Calendar. Shared calendars let everyone know that responsibilities are taken care of while giving each other some space to spend time with whoever they are seeing on that particular evening.

Make plans and communicate them clearly.

4. Find out what your partner (all of them) is comfortable with

poly couple talking

One important rule in Poly is that the group moves at the pace of the least comfortable person. If you or someone in your dating circle is new to poly, recovering from a bad relationship, or just plain unsure about the situation, everyone needs to work within that person’s comfort zone.

When we first opened our marriage I was scared. So we took baby steps. As I saw that our marriage wouldn’t crumble, I relaxed many of the rules I had initially needed.

One example was letting them go on a long weekend trip. That was a big step. Big enough that we went back to our marriage counselor, something we hadn’t done in a couple of months.

When she asked us the reason for the visit I told her “He might go on a short trip with his girlfriend and I think I’m OK with it. But this is a big deal and I want to be sure we don’t f*ck this up.”

We spent the hour talking through fears, expectations, and exploring questions. I made fun plans for myself to ward off jealousy or resentment, they went on the trip, and everyone was fine. That was the first of several trips with Other Significant Others over the last few years.

5. Set specific expectations

plural relationship open relationship poly

One of the best ways to avoid disagreements and misunderstandings is to communicate expectations. Especially for those starting out with poly, specifics are really important.

When my husband first started dating, we would agree that he would be home around 10. I meant be home by 10, he heard that he should head home close to 10. So when he came home at 10:10 or 10:15 I had had 10 or 15 minutes to overthink everything.

I did not want to be that rigid and I tried to be OK with the differences in understanding. But by the third date I had to accept my own limitation and communicate that to my husband. Once I did so, he understood the importance of being home by 10.

These days things are much more loosy-goosy. But the importance of specific expectations and mutual understanding of those expectations can not be overstated.

Successful relationships in every style

All of these rules exist in healthy monogamous relationships too. Being poly simply means you need to apply the rules a little differently and consider more people’s needs when doing so. And if you make a mistake, fess up, have a productive conversation about why the mistake was made, and determine ways to prevent a recurrence.

If you’re thinking about opening up your marriage or exploring new adventures in your marriage, become a full member of LOVE TV and talk with love gurus and relationship experts about your love and your life. 

Should Polyamorous Couples Be Welcome During Pride Month?

Big strides have been made in acceptance of alternative relationship styles but there’s still work to be done.

There’s an old joke in which someone (usually a child) says the alphabet and leaves out the letter P, prompting someone else to ask “Where’s the P?” This of course gives the child a reason to declare “running down my leg” in a fit of giggles.

But during this wonderful month of LGBTQ Pride, I too am wondering “Where’s the P?” Where are the polyamorous in all this celebration of love in all its varieties?

And don’t forget, if you’re struggling with relationship challenges or working on finding the right person, we’re here to help. Join LOVE TV today!

Progress Made

Many (though certainly not all) of those who fall outside the traditional, heteronormative spectrum have found acceptance. The amount of progress made on this front in the last 15 years is staggering (though this is not meant to ignore the places where there is still work to be done).. But those of us who are polyamorous still do not have even this level of acceptance.

Should polyamorous relationships be welcome at LGBT pride

How Did I Get Here?

I remarked the other day that I find it interesting that of my high school besties, all of whom happen to be either gay or bi, now have lifestyles that are more accepted than mine. The four of us had wonderful adventures after school and during the summer. Now it’s mumble mumble (don’t make me add it up) years later and we all lead different, happy lives. One is a lesbian couple, married with a beautiful child, another is a fun-loving gay man who wouldn’t be caught dead at a Mardi Gras party without a costume, and the third has been dating both men and women for years.

None of us would have predicted that I would be the one hiding my romantic proclivities. A few close friends know my husband and I are polyamorous but we are selective in who we tell. Even some friends who do know would be made uncomfortable if we talked openly of our Other Significant Others.

From the outside, my marriage looks like everyone else’s. We get up, go to work, and commute home like most people in their 30’s. Except that my day might end with my staying the night with a great guy who isn’t my husband. My husband knows where I am and every one is quite happy with the situation.

Sure there are stories of this “thruple” or that “thruple” but these are still viewed as oddities and in most cases are not legally binding marriages. I know it’s inevitable that I’ll run into a coworker or family friend while out on a date someday. They will likely assume I am cheating on my husband as anything else is actually unthinkable. Happily if they happen to be judgy they aren’t the kind of person whose opinion I would value anyway.
Let’s Celebrate

Should polyamorous relationships be welcome at LGBT pride

If “Love is love” (and indeed it is), why is it so different if it’s more than two?

As we saw very clearly demonstrated with gay and lesbian acceptance, once people realize a friend or family member is part is this “other” group it becomes harder to hate that group and easier to have a productive conversation about our differences and commonalities.

As Poly individuals “come out” we’ll begin to see more acceptance and understanding. I would love it if my friends knew that my guy friend and drinking buddy is actually my boyfriend and I love him dearly.

Read more in our A Beginner’s Guide To Ethical Non Monogamous Relationships.