There is a belief that by identifying as LGBTQ+, you are somehow rejecting society's definition of 'normal' or the 'norm' and as such, re-writing the modern-day relationship. Some within the community view monogamy as a hetero-norm and that by remaining committed to one person is somehow trying to conform. On the various community-related apps, it is easy to find individuals looking for casual or commitment-free encounters and even people who are in open relationships, looking for new sexual partners; however, are we that different?
It is essential to understand how encounters are seen or viewed by the various genders. There has been a lot of research into this space over the years, and the general and sweeping conclusion is that men and women have very different views and perspectives with regards to sex and relationships. Though this does not apply to everyone, however research indicates that many men will often see sex as more gratification and pleasure, where women often see it more as a connection, and a sign of commitment from the other person. So, if you separate sex from love, it might be easier to understand the equation.
Open relationships are where committed couples either introduce sexual partners into the relationship, or where they seek out new sexual partners independently. So, the explanation emphasises that these types of relationship are more focused on sex rather than love. For some, open relationships are considered to be the best of both worlds, the ability to have countless sexual encounters, but at the same time, still having someone in your life that you can share special moments with and come home to each day. Though it is likely that everyone involved in the encounters will be aware of the relationship status of all parties, and that everyone will be consenting and aware of what they are getting into; however there will be a proportion of people that will hide or lie about their personal circumstances and situation.
There are even some incidences where these types of arrangements can help or save relationships, especially relationships where there is love, but where there are physical reasons a partner is unable to carry out related sexual activities. Relationships where there is a significant age gap between partners, physical reasons caused by mental well-being, a surgical procedure or even caused by an accident. More often, there is also the fact that one partner may have specific wants or needs that the other partner is unable to fulfil. Though sex may occur outside of the relationship, they are still in love and remain committed to their partner. Ultimately for the majority, it is about enjoying sex together or apart, where everyone is accepting and onboard with the regards to the rules relating to the encounters
Over the years people have tried to convince me that by wanting monogamy, I was trying to conform, that I was giving in to society and somehow that I was wrong for wanting a committed, loving relationship with one partner. On the flip side, I have also had friends where their partner wanted an open relationship, with them being forced to accept for fear of losing them. For many, there is a perception that one partner wants the best of both worlds, cheating by consent and cherry-picking parts of the relationship experience that works for them. Open relationships are often honest, and all partners abide by rules and conditions; however, there are still certain aspects of multiple sexual partners that have to be considered. There is a saying that when you have sex, you are sleeping with everyone that they have ever slept with before. Though condoms and certain types of pills can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), they do not offer 100% protection, so protecting the health all those involved is crucial. If on the other hand, a partner is more incline to lie and cheat, they may be less likely to consider their partner's sexual health and overall happiness.
Ultimately it comes down to choice, if you are looking for a monogamous or open relationship, be honest from the start and encourage your partner or potential partner to be honest with you, sharing their real thoughts and feelings. If everyone is happy and on board, then go forth and be happy, but remember always practice safe sex to protect everyone involved from STDs. The argument that we are different from our heterosexual counterparts is wrong, so is the pressure by some to reject conventional relationship structures.
If you are happy and in love, have the relationship you and your partner want and do not adhere to pressure or comments from others on how to live your life.