Tonight, over dinner at a restaurant expensive enough that we felt guilty looking at our phones, Axel and I started talking about the couples we know, comparing some of them to us, some of them to Thumper and Belle, and a few of them to, oddly enough, my mom and dad who have been married 56 years and still light up when the other walks into the room.
Regarding my parents, I have always suspected that my father had extramarital adventures at some point when they were in their 40’s and 50’s, but my mother never seemed to either notice and/or care. It’s only now that I have come to realize that my mom may have known all along and, quite possibly, endorsed it given her new openness with questions about my recent “glowing status”. However, while I am curious, it’s certainly not something I am going to open the lid on with them at this stage in life.
Anyway, as we discussed many of the gay couples that we know, we realized that almost all of them are open in some form or fashion, whether it be through open and honest communication or whether it be from hidden Grindr adventures (I didn’t say both parties knew of the open status) that they are just not that discrete about. What hit me was how much of this we do know as a fact because it’s just a known thing that people just, well, know. With our gay couple friends, there is no judgement of the “players” unless one is being an incredible whore or doing unsafe things that bring risk to the other partner.
In our case, most of our closer friends know that we have given each other permission to explore should one of us choose to, but we are pretty down low about the real activities and only two or three of our very very close friends know that I have a bisexual boyfriend on the side. However, given the high number of nights I am away and Axel is alone, I would suspect that many people think we are far more whore like than we actually are and that we are just being cagey about it.
So, what all of this boils down to is that we wondered if male/female couples know this much about other male/female couples and if openness is something that is discussed among couple friends or if it’s still a Desperate Housewives type world where it’s all happening but everyone pretends that it is not?
I ask because, personally, I do not believe that same sex couples engage in non-monogamy at vastly higher rates than opposite sex couples, but I do think that we are just more comfortable talking about it (note: I am sure I could find actual stats out if I took the time to google, but, well)
So, for those of you in a male/female partnership, what’s the inside scoop? do you talk? Axel and I want to know.
NOTE: Here is an interesting article from Andrew Sullivan on this subject here