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What's Monogamy Got to Do With Marriage?

Study Notes and Anecdotes From LGBT People in Committed, Non-Monogamous Partnerships

June 25, 2013


Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith, Blogger, Husband, Father, Leatherman and HIV Advocate; Laurel, Md.

How did you two originally decide to have an open relationship?

My husband was the one who showed me that being open about your emotional, physical, mental and sexual needs would be the only way you will get those needs met. I believed in monogamy when we first met and he didn't. I asked him about it and I began to understand why he led his life the way he did. So I tried it and loved it. I found out that as long as I was open and honest about the partners and with the partners, I didn't feel disrespectful.

Now let me say that it took some time for me to get used to openness in our relationship, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It took me so long because I was born into a religion that practices monogamy. But in their holy book it says you can execute your wife if she is not a virgin, you can't eat shell fish or lay with a man as if with a woman. That religion was not going to go well with me, so I changed to paganism, which was more consistent with my beliefs. In paganism it is not a bizarre thing to see triads or even more partners.

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