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Ever since Mo’Nique started airing her business all over the talk show circuit, the open relationship has been the blogosphere’s most misunderstood and maligned topic.

Whenever the subject comes up, the general sentiment is that open relationships are nothing more than a #swindle and a euphemism for “ I have a cheating man”. That men in open relationships are selfish a$holes who want to have their cake and eat it too this part is actually true and that women who “agree” to be in open relationships do so because they lack self-esteem and/or want to please their wayward men.Allow me to step up on my soapbox for a moment to proclaim loudly that this is a bunch of bullshit.

But first, let’s take a pause for the cause to establish a definition of open relationships. According to the internet’s greatest gift to the world,  “An open relationship is a committed relationship in which either or both partners consent to the other partner being free to have emotional and/or physical relationships with others, often within mutually agreed limits. If a couple in an open relationship are married, it can be called an open marriage.”

Notice that the words cheating, cake, and eat it too appear nowhere in that description? An open relationship is not a license to cheat, it’s not supposed to be a means through which one partner can disrespect or mindfcuk the other, it’s a choice that a couple makes that theoretically improves the health and/or longevity of their relationship. But don’t get it confused, open relationships aren’t for everybody. It takes a special kind of person and a special kind of relationship for it to work. And who better than I – a veteran of the open relationship – to school you on what it takes?

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See the first thing about open relationships – and this is especially for my ladies – is that you have to be really secure about your shit. Not just call yourself secure, but actually be secure. Your attitude has to be something along the lines of “that negro knows where his bread is buttered so it really doesn’t matter where he wanders off to because he will come running back”….

The other thing is that you can’t look at sex as being the defining characteristic of your relationship. This is a tough one, because we’ve been socialized to believe that the difference between a boyfriend and a boy friend is that the former gets ass and the latter doesn’t. You have to believe that your relationship transcends the physical in order to be able to stomach the knowledge that your dude is getting beats from another chick while you’re at home watching True Blood on PVR.

Another key characteristic you have to have if you want to succeed in an open relationship is that you have to be reasonable. And fair. As in – if you agree at the beginning that you’re okay with the idea that your lady can step out from time to time, you cannot then get angry when your lady steps out from time to time. It seems so simple right? But jealousy is an ugly green bitch and when she comes around reason and logic tend to fly out the window and that’s why you end up having conversations that go like this:

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Pseudo-scorned lover: “you were out fcking!”
Innocent lover: “Um yeah…but we’re in an open relationship, that’s allowed”.

1. You can’t get mad

Once the relationship is open and you’ve established your parameters, you officially forfeit your right to get mad that your lovebunny is taking beats from someone else. Actually – let me rephrase that. You can get mad all you want but I’m gonna need you to keep it to yourself.

2. You can’t be a jackass about it

This is where most open relationships seem to go left. It’s one thing to have “options” in your relationship, it’s quite another thing to be tacky about it. Men – you may have the right to spend the night with a next girl but I beg you not to come home and ask wifey to rub ointment on the scratch marks she left on your back. And ladies, I know you may be excited to have the opportunity to get your salad thoroughly tossed by someone who does not share your man’s hangups, but please try and refrain from throwing that in his face the next time you get in an argument.

3. You must be confident in your relationship

My needy girls, my crazy dudes, you have your place in the world but I beg you to sit this one out. To quote a great man, the open flex is strictly for live men, not for freshmen. If you are the type to start freaking out every time someone so much as looks at your boo-piece, please don’t attempt this move, unless you enjoy spending your nights gnashing your teeth wondering where your partner is and who what he’s doing.

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At the end of the day you can determine whether you’re ready for an open relationship with one simple exercise: Close your eyes. Picture your bona fide getting smashed to bits by the #1 object of her masturbatory fantasies. Really try to put yourself in the moment, hear the moaning and the intoxicating sound of flesh slamming into flesh…then say to yourself, “He’ll be back. He knows where his bread is buttered”. If you’re soothed by this thought, you’re officially cleared for open relationships. If tears are streaming down your face or you’re bent double with stomach cramps, abort mission.

But what do you guys think? Is there a right or wrong way to approach an open relationship or is it something we shouldn’t even be attempting? Would you be in one?

Written by: Max