Open marriage styles

Styles of open marriage are distinctions between open marriages based on the motives for participating in open marriage and on the nature of extramarital relationships. Couples in open marriages may prefer different kinds of extramarital relationships. Couples who prefer extramarital relationships emphasizing love and emotional involvement have a polyamorous style of open marriage. Couples who prefer extramarital relationships emphasizing sexual gratification and recreational friendships have a swinging style of open marriage. These distinctions may depend on psychological factors such as sociosexuality and may contribute to the formation of separate Polyamory and Swinging communities. Despite their distinctions, however, all open marriages share common issues: the lack of social acceptance, the need to maintain the relationship as a couple, and the need to manage jealous rivalry.

Polyamory vs Swinging

Extramarital relationships vary in terms of the degree of sexual involvement desired and the degree of emotional involvement desired.

Variation in the degree of sexual and emotional involvement desired typically reflects variation in the motives for participating in extramarital relationships. These variations provide a basis for distinguishing polyamory and swinging. Polyamory is motivated by a desire to expand love by developing emotionally involved relationships with extramarital partners. Swinging is motivated by a desire for physical gratification by engaging in sexual activities with extramarital partners.

The distinction between polyamory and swinging has recently started to appear in academic publications:

The same distinction has also appeared in newspapers and magazine articles. For example:
The distinction has even gained some acceptance among Web sites devoted to polyamory and swinging. The polyamory Web sites prefer the terms 'polyamory' and 'swinging,' as illustrated by these examples:
The swinging Web sites prefer Gould's terms of 'utopic' and 'recreational swingers.
The distinction between polyamory and swinging has started to gain a reasonable amount of acceptance, finding its way into academic literature, popular media, and Web sites devoted to polyamory and swinging.

The distinction between polyamory and swinging applies to open marriages. A polyamorous style of open marriage emphasizes the expansion of loving relationships by developing emotional attachments to extramarital partners. A swinging style of open marriage emphasizes physical gratification by engaging in recreational sex with extramarital partners.

Psychological basis

The preference for a polyamorous versus a swinging style of open marriage may depend on many psychological factors. One factor may be sociosexuality.

Sociosexuality refers to an individual's willingness to engage in sexual behavior without having emotional ties to the sex partner. Individuals who are very willing to engage in sexual behavior without emotional ties are said to have unrestricted sociosexuality. Individuals who are very unwilling to engage in sexual sexual behavior without emotional ties are said to have restricted sociosexuality. Individuals can vary along a continuum from unrestricted to restricted sociosexuality.

Community implications

Couples with different styles of open marriage tend to self-segregate in order to find others who share similar philosophies and interests. This has likely contributed to the development of separate Polyamory and Swinging communities.

The Polyamory community is better suited for couples who prefer a polyamorous style of open marriage. The Swinging community is better suited for couples who prefer a swinging style of open marriage. However, some couples may not have a strong preference for either style of open marriage. These couples may feel equally at home in both the Polyamory community and the Swinging community. The partners within a couple may also differ in their preferences. One partner may prefer a polyamorous style of open marriage and participate in the Polyamory community, while the other partner may prefer a swinging style of open marriage and participate in the Swinging community. Variations in couple preferences and individual preferences thus result in a certain amount of overlap between the Polyamory and Swinging communities.

Finally, it should be pointed out that couples may have open marriages without participating in either the Polyamory community or the Swinging community.

Common issues

Despite their distinctions, all open marriages share common issues: the lack of social acceptance, the need to maintain the relationship as a couple, and the need to manage jealousy.

See also

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This article is based on "Open marriage styles" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Open+marriage+styles&action=history