Is Non-Consensual Non-Monogamy Right for You?
Cheating can be painful for all parties involved, but that doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your side piece. If you’re worried about your spouse’s feelings or that they might say “No, I don’t want you to sleep with people outside our marriage,” it might be time to try what relationship umpire Javier Gottlieb calls “non-consensual non-monogamy.”
You Don’t Have To Tell Your Partner
In his book, Me With You With Me And She Are We: Exploring Extra-Marital Affairs When You’re Too Afraid Of Getting Caught, Gottlieb details how we can redefine the construct of fidelity by exploring an open relationship with a partner who is closed. According to him, non-consensual non-monogamy is always easier when the other partner is unaware of your choice, whether they’re actually unaware or just choosing to turn a blind eye to the bright red panties your other partner left in your marital bed.
You Aren’t Bound To One Person, But Your Partner Is
The gift you give to your marriage partner can be given to multiple partners outside the relationship, all while only you are allowed to open the gift your partner is giving you. There is no gift receipt, and there’s definitely no fear of re-gifting. The gift is exactly your size and comes in the color you want, plus the gift wrapping is easy to open and recyclable when you’re done with it. Does that analogy make sense?
You Hold Onto Your Sexual Power
By breaking the patterns of traditional monogamy, you’re reclaiming your marital freedom—specifically, to sleep with the hot barista at Starbucks on 4th Street without fearing your spouse’s reaction. Your marital vows may have excluded you from engaging in this behavior in the past, but as Gottlieb points out, you promised to be faithful until death do you part before the hot barista at Starbucks ever smiled at you in a flirty way and then looked down at your wedding ring and said “Oh. That’s too bad.”
You Get To Keep What’s Good About Your Marriage
You won’t have to hear your spouse’s threats to divorce you, as there’s no conversation about it whatsoever. “If you’re practicing non-consensual non-monogamy right, your partner will never find out, so it never blows up in your face,” Gottlieb says. “What could go wrong? It’s foolproof.” Gottlieb adds that this arrangement worked just fine when he was with his second wife, Laura, and that she didn’t have any problems with his non-consensual non-monogamy until his son casually mentioned his mistress.
It’s Less Boring
Your partner might also be experiencing dissatisfaction in the relationship, specifically with your sex life. You would know if you ever talked about your relationship. But that’s the benefit of non-consensual non-monogamy: It opens up the communication in your relationship with other people while keeping the communication with your spouse just as closed off as you like it, which is completely closed off.
You’re Not Cheating
You’re simply engaging in sexual acts with people outside your marriage without telling your partner about it, and that’s different. It’s non-consensual non-monogamy. There’s a different label on it. And a book. And a website. So it’s fine. By embracing non-consensual non-monogamy, you avoid the stigma of labels like “cheater,” “cheating asshole,” and “goddamn life destroyer, you cheater.”
As Gottlieb reminds us, the belief structure we have around marriage is outdated, and if we want to bang other people, that’s totally our prerogative. So stop trying to look at my text messages, Stan!
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