Negotiated infidelity

I just love the phrase and the cleverness of its construction that gives rise to multifarious nuances. This I got from an Australian woman who practices this with her boyfriend. They were featured in one of National Geographic’s Taboo series. Although it takes a pailful of yellow guts to be able to swallow a relational contract like this, it seemed to me quite plausible (and worth considering). Nevertheless, I, of course, do not see myself a participant in this very pragmatic if not out-rightly libertine view on sex and human relation.

Negotiated infidelity at its very core works something like this: Both man and woman in a romantic relationship (man-man, woman-woman are other possibilities) can have sex with other people so long as the either of them has full knowledge of the encounter and so long as there is no intimacy (i.e., (as defined by the Australian woman whose collagen-stuffed lips twitched while explaining this part) cuddling, spooning, and sleeping next to the third party participant). It has to be only just about sex and must not go farther than blissful orgasm.

I believe some would argue that the phrase is reeking with parallel irony, impossible in fact, that is, if we stick to the strictest definition of ‘fidelity’ (faithfulness and loyalty), but one cannot deny that the concept has merits worth looking-into. With an almost clinical explanation, the woman (apologies if I kept on repeating ‘the woman’, I did not get her name, not that I think she’s a lose woman therefore ought to be burned at the stake) said that monogamy is not natural for men. So instead of crying in the corner and blaming the world for her failed past relations, negotiated infidelity gave her a renewed outlook on life. Deeply satisfied, her boyfriend and she regularly invite people to their place to have sex with either of them. Her boyfriend reads book  in the living room while she’s being humped by a man she met in a bar a week before, or she polishes her toenails in the other room while her boyfriend and a bespectacled woman are on their way to seventh heaven (if such exists).

I love how the phrase sounds and the darkness it conjures while its meaning is rather too clear for the word to qualify as a legitimate euphemism.

I am looking for ways to answer a lot of questions that bother me these days, questions I do not know exactly what, much less phrase them articulately, and along came negotiated infidelity. Not that these questions have to do with matters concerning my sex life (or romantic life), though some of them have, what the idea taught me is that having our minds boxed in well-defined compartments can be brain-deadening. It’s a fresh perspective that came from a totally old reality ordinary people in a relationship confront.

Infidelity is taboo in a civilized society. It is taboo, I think, because it challenges the pair groups that have been the very foundation of human societies which are fundamentally based on monogamous heterosexual union. However, the world does not keep itself from changing. It constantly evolves into something completely unrecognizable to those who lived decades ago. I am not saying this is a better alternative to the constricting monogamy for I know man is capable of coming up with novel ideas that work without compromising his tightly-held values.

In the mean time, negotiated infidelity is sort of exciting and interesting.


14 thoughts on “Negotiated infidelity”

  1. oh gawd I’m not implying that you are..haha

    and no I’m not into it.I don’t think I can, out of respect to my partners belief in fidelity.

    I may have watched that same program at Nat Geo.

    1. out of respect for your partner’s belief in fidelity? how about your belief? hahaha.

      it’s a back to back every friday from 10 pm until midnight.

  2. wonderful read..

    infidelity is a very intriguing topic and there are people who are proud of it that they even have there comments posted on magazines..i read one, this girl has a relationship with her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s dad and yes there is sex and she rated the dad a high score thus the words “delicious sex,” and they kept it a secret from her boyfriend (but of course, confessing would not only ruin their relationship but would somehow end her “recreational activity”)..i wonder what will happen if they ever get married with her boyfriend..hmmmmmmmmm..

    honestly, i was really bothered about it that i couldn’t sleep that night so for me negotiated infidelity is a lot better than keeping it a sympathy goes to the wife and the boyfriend who are not only betrayed but are also fooled..

    1. hahaha. now that’s cute. if this teaches us something, and you in particular, axis, it’s that options abound and you look for something that works for you.

    1. oh joan, i did not categorically say i am considering it. haha. and the idea of welcoming me in it presupposes that you are in it. hahaha.

      thanks for the very warm welcome.

      i was just kidding.

  3. John ryan, this is plain bull shit. A failed justification for your immaturity and lack of self-control. My pity goes to you and your wretched life. Read this: you’re pathetic!

    But despite this, l love how you write and i’l read again and again. I hate this feeling. I hate you!!!

  4. But we are talking about relationship of the same sex. Remember that long relationship is the standard in straight relationships or marriage especially if they have children. This is the basis of monogamy – to redirect sex drive to raising other human beings so that the species perpetuate. I do not think that we are all doomed. The saving factor in the same sex relationship is that ‘it is not the length of time of the relationship but the quality of it’.

    1. hahaha. hindi naman lahat ng oras. but you got some good points there. may mga union naman between straight couples that do not last and between homos that endure. patas lang.

  5. Well, long relationships wear down physical attraction. It is even harder on the part of a biological male, whether straight or gay, since the requirement is for his penis to be stiff enough as a prelude to sex. When physical attraction has worn down, this becomes a problem, although the solution could be a strong, vivid imagination. But the problem is where do you get those vivid imagination?
    From extra-relationship encounters, from porno movies or magazine, from imagining your very sexy neighbor who you have been lusting since day 1, etc. I have had a relationship which lasted 12 years and I had the same problem of worn down attraction. I do not get any erection. Same thing with a friend who has a 25-year relationship (same sex). I guess, the same situations could be true to straight male who are married. My partner had suggested by action that we should have another party in bed but I just cannot accept it. Me and my friend (the one with a 25-year relationship) believe in the same thing. That we both cannot accept the fact that ‘knowingly’ a third party is doing it to our partners-that we know the exact time and date. Both of us agree that it should be that we ‘play around’ without the knowledge of the partner while we suspect that our partner is doing it also. The absence of recognition smacks of dishonesty but it worked for them but not me. This is because when I found that my 12-year partner was pursuing a younger guy got me so furious that I ended the relationship. I cannot explain but it could be that it has something to do with ‘conflict within’.

    1. that was harrowing. thanks for sharing your experience. for someone who is inexperienced in this regard, I learned many important things:

      1. that I belong to a very vicious sex, and that i am a being whose strongest drive is sex,
      2. that relationships are bound to end this way–breakup due to sex life gone stale,
      3. that whatever premium we place on love, in the end lust prevails,
      4. that it’s better not to know (or pretend not to know) than be whacked cold by truth in the face,
      5. that it takes a lot of guts, insensitivity, and heavy intellectualizing to dull all pains,
      6. and, that I am then doomed.

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