(She's not that much of an anomaly, actually: Almost 20 percent of women in a Glamour survey said they'd consider some form of open relationship.) Maria had first proposed the arrangement to me during our initial, long-distance phase.
And by proposed, I mean that she had a one-night stand with another guy, then guilelessly told me all about it over the phone.
I was horrified by the news—but, when I was honest with myself, also incredibly turned on by her sense of adventure.
Still not sure our relationship was on solid footing, though, I suggested that we table the motion.
By observation, most Nerve couples seemed to be in their mid-20s to mid-30s and most were Caucasian (profiles that included a photo were available for viewing first).
Like any other dating site, people seemed to come from a range of incomes, occupations, and cities across the country, including Oregon, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.
You know, key parties, "The Ice Storm." It is difficult for me to think of it as something new or current, or as something my friends would do. Plenty of intelligent, successful, hip people are considering the not-quite-forsaking-all-others option on 'til-death-do-us-part.
And by now, most women are familiar with the statistic heard 'round the world, publicized in an article in "The New York Times" in January. Marriage isn't entirely working, at least for a subset of the population. To look into that very question, I created a Personals profile on Nerve.com, a site that encourages candid dialog about sex through blogs, feature stories, fiction and photography.
Old or new, middle-aged or Midtown, the questions that hover around the issue of open marriage are, "Can it work? "Traditionalists, which include most of the people I know, don't understand how open marriage can be successful. I turn off the engine; we both dive into the ocean, swim toward each other, and embrace as we bob in the water, then kiss. She's squealing with excitement as we skim across the bay to a secluded cove.The couples were open to meeting other couples, and other single women, but few sought to bring a single man into the dating scenario.
(I sent emails to six couples explaining that I was looking for input on the topic of this story, but I haven't had any responses.)Although it is slippery by definition, open marriage is generally considered a committed marital relationship between two people who, under a set of mutually-agreed upon rules, engage in sexual encounters with various partners other than their spouse.
The truth is, in that moment I was overcome with love for my wife—the funny, stubborn, strong, and beautiful woman I'd married just 10 months earlier.