The media’s renewed interest in open relationships continues

It began when the former wife of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich told Nightline that Gingrich had once, on the heels of a 6-year affair, asked her for an "open marriage." More and more news stories about the controversy just keep popping up, many of them mentioning non-monogamy in some way.

The latest is a piece from the New York Times entitled "Open marriage's new 15 minutes." The article is a cursory look at the different permutations of non-monogamy, with some quotes from myself, Anita Wagner (organizer of the Polyamory Leadership Network), and others.

If nothing else, Marianne Gingrich’s allegation, which the candidate has denied, provided an unexpected publicity bounce for advocates of open relationships, who have long been trying to paw their way out of the cultural margins.

. . . In the first flush of open marriage in the '70s, there was hardly any way for the curious to find like-minded people. "Then the Internet came along and it was all just a keystroke away," [Janet W. Hardy] said, adding that there are dozens of online forums devoted to the practice today. "It turned from an oddity into a community."

Meanwhile, Modern Poly released a statement about the effect of big news stories like this one on the poly community. The statement is directed at Gingrich.

. . . with every backlash more and more people will come out, non-monogamy will become more and more normalized, more network television shows will be interested in exploring a non-monogamous plot arc, and then sitcoms, and eventually, things will change... And we owe a lot of that to you, Newt, for being the person in power to be scandalized by allegedly asking for a sexually non-exclusive relationship.

So thank you, Newt, for giving us the spotlight, so we can show people all the good ways to practice polyamory and non-monogamy... through honesty, compassion, responsibility, commitment, love, a sex-positive outlook, and a willingness to work through the hard things like boundaries and jealousy. Please--keep doing it wrong, so more people can find their way to us. Because the more you do, the more the movement is fed and ready to start making things better.

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