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Comment of the Week: 6 Rules of the Pre-Relationship Fuck-Buddy Couple

April 1st, 2015

Reader Arielle wrote a nice response to the post How Often Do Fuck Buddies Become Girlfriends?, basically outlining the 6 rules of having a fuck buddy who you might want to turn into a partner some day:

All of my relationships have been fuck buddies that turned into relationships.  Twice I’ve gotten my heart broken because the guy was really emotionally damaged, and it didn’t turn into a relationship.

My recommendations:

1) Go with the flow.  Don’t try to control the direction of everything, and be wary if he’s trying to control it. If he’s trying to set arbitrary rules or limit how much he sees you or the situations you do together, tell him to chill out or get out.

2) Don’t limit the affection.  Be affectionate, sweet, caring, everything that you would be to your close friends.  If you start to feel resentful that you’re not getting more from him, that’s a red flag, and you need to discuss it with him (in person, not text) or pull back.  Don’t let his issues with relationships prevent you from expressing your emotions, expressing romantic feelings, being affectionate, being yourself.  If you feel nervous or shy in his presence or lose your confidence, you need to get over it asap: fuck buddy situations are abusive to anyone who can’t speak their mind, and a guy will lose respect for you and himself if he knows you’re letting him use you.  You need to make it clear that you have a great time with him and would regret not getting to know him better.  If he asks for more, give him a reason for why this arrangement temporarily works right now for you:  you just got out of a relationship, you’re focused on school and just want to have fun, etc.

3) Don’t let your life revolve around him.  If he’s not your boyfriend, then you have to continue to flirt with other guys, talk to other people, plan your living and job situation as if you are single.  Don’t personally rely on his plans in any important way unless you’ve made a commitment.  Don’t let him have all your weekends or time.  You are single unless specifically stated otherwise.  Don’t let him be your only fun thing going on: you have to stay emotionally healthy.  Try not to think too much about him outside of the time you’re seeing him.  Travel on weekend trips without him.

4) Limit last minute sex dates.  Make him plan to see you, and think of fun and interesting things to do.  Cook with him, share music  with him, etc.  If he gets concerned that it’s too much like “boyfriend-girlfriend”, say “Are you enjoying yourself? I don’t want you to feel pressured. I just want to have fun and this was fun.”

5) Make sure you’re always having fun.  If he stops being fun, or isn’t there for you when you need it, then pull out and say, sorry man.

6) Make sure you guys talk like friends in between, and are physically exclusive.  Don’t get an STD from this ish.

The pros of fuck buddy first are that a) you make sure you have awesome chemistry before committing; b) you make sure you guys have great sex before committing;  c) you can get to know who he is/what his apartment looks like, his real self, etc. before you commit to someone that is basically a stranger.  It’s more natural and less contrived.

The cons: Obviously, he might actually not want a relationship.  You might have sex with someone that has a lot of issues and get your feelings hurt. He might not put as much effort in, or feel he owes you anything.

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About “Pretty Woman”

April 1st, 2015

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the movie Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts, Julia Roberts’ hair, and Richard Gere. (Now don’t you feel old?) The big celebration, with the cast reuniting for the first time in twenty-five years on the Today Show, happened last week. But we were out of town last week, so we’re going to join the party late, because Pretty Woman is one of Em’s favorite movies of all time. Right up there with Grease, Sound of Music, and Airplane. Somehow, director Gary Marshall managed to turn a movie about a street-walking prostitute into a much loved family classic. The original script, however, probably wouldn’t have been the kind of film Em and her family would have sat down to, hundreds of times, with a pot of tea. Read on to find out why… plus 24 other things you probably didn’t know about the 1990 film Pretty Woman.

1. The original Pretty Woman script was way darker. In the original script, Julia Roberts’ character Vivian is addicted to cocaine, and agrees to give the drug up for a week so she can earn enough money to take her friend Kit to Disneyland. And in the movie’s original ending, Richard Gere’s character, Edward, throws Vivian out of the car, and, yes, she takes a bus to Disneyland. Not quite the “Disney” ending of the final version!

2. The final version had Vivian’s roommate Kit saddled with the drug habit and the questionable life choices instead.

3. In the version of Pretty Woman we all know and most of us love, Edward breaks into the bathroom to find Vivian flossing her teeth, rather than doing drugs, as he’d suspected. In the original — and far more realistic! — script, he was right: she was doing drugs.

4. One of the main reasons that the movie got its fairytale ending was the immediate chemistry between co-stars Gere and Roberts. The filmmakers knew audiences would storm the screen if Vivian and Edward didn’t end up together. The other reason is that director Gary Marshall doesn’t do dark endings.

5. But don’t feel bad for the screenwriter, J.F. Lawton. He claims he was just trying something different with his Pretty Woman script, and that he likes a happy ending as much as the next guy.

6. Pretty much every actress currently in her forties or fifties is rumored to have either auditioned for the role of Vivian and been rejected, or offered the role and passed it up — and later regretted the decision, of course. (As Vivian says to the snooty shop assistant: “Big mistake. Huge.”) Actresses who allegedly turned down the role include Megan Ryan, Kim Basinger, Melanie Griffith, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Heather Locklear, Diane Lane, Molly Ringwald, Sandra Bullock, Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Connolly, and Kristin Davis. And rumor has it that both Drew Barrymore and Winona Ryder wanted the part, but director Gary Marshall thought they were too young.

7. Speaking of that scene with the snooty shop assistant: that was in the original script!

8. Actors who (allegedly) almost played Edward include Burt Reynolds, Albert Brooks, Al Pacino, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

 9. In the poster for the movie, Julia Roberts’ head was superimposed on the body of famous body double Shelley Michelle (see above).

10. There was no body double for Richard Gere on the poster, but they did turn his hair brown for the poster! In the movie, on the other hand, it’s completely grey.

11. According to the IMDB Parents’ Guide for this movie, “The main character and a supporting character are prostitutes, and both sex and sexuality are repeatedly depicted as well as discussed (though not “coarsely”). The protagonists are sensually involved throughout the movie.” Which is pretty much the reason this movie was a huge hit and a family favorite in TV dens across the world: lots of “sensual involvement” and no “coarse” sex. It’s also the reason many people think the movie’s depiction of prostitution is unrealistic. (Duh. It’s a Disney movie!)

12. The IMDB Guide also offers this helpful heads up: “A woman wears a pair of fetish latex boots for most of the film.”

13. The famous scene where Edward gives Vivian a diamond necklace, and snaps the case shut on her hand, wasn’t in the script. They were filming the day after Roberts’ 21st birthday, and Gere and director Marshall planned it as a surprise for the (probably hungover) birthday girl. Roberts’ reaction (huge laughter) is genuine, and the filmmakers liked it so much, they kept it in.

14. That necklace is genuine, too, by the way: it was worth $250,000. During filming of those scenes, an armed security officer from the jewelry store stood behind the director.

15. Producer Laura Ziskin contributed the final line of the last scene: “She rescues him right back.” When they’d filmed the earlier scene, where Vivian says, “I want the fairy tale,” this closing line hadn’t yet been written.

16. Pretty Woman was originally titled $3,000, i.e. the amount Vivian was paid for the week.

17. Continuity oops: When Vivian is offering Edward a choice of condoms, she is holding four colored condoms (plus the gold circle condom). In one shot, Vivian holds the condoms in a certain order. In the next shot, they are in a different order, and then in the third shot, they are back in the original order. Given the number of times super-fans have watched this movie, the level of detail here shouldn’t be surprising.

18. You may recall that in that condom scene, she’s sitting on a desk (on a fax machine, actually). Vivian rarely sits down on a chair in the movie. The filmmakers wanted to show that, because of her profession, Vivian felt more comfortable sitting on the floor or on top of furniture.

19. In the famous piano scene, Richard Gere is actually playing the piano. He also composed the piece of music that he plays.

20. Later in that scene, Vivian and Edward get busy on the piano, hitting all sorts of random piano keys with flailing limbs. According to the DVD director’s commentary, the piano sounds you hear during that sex scene were dubbed in afterwards, because the actual keys the two of them randomly hit made such a discordant sound that it was unusable.

21. Porsche declined the opportunity for product placement in this movie, because they did not want to be associated with soliciting prostitutes. Lotus Cars UK said yes to being the car that Gere drives to pick up Roberts, and their sales tripled in the year after the movie came out. We’ll say it again: Big mistake. Huge.

22. In the restaurant scene when Vivian accidentally catapaults a snail across the room, the waiter says, “It happens all the time.” Many years later, director Gary Marshall cast the same actor in The Princess Diaries and gave him the same line.

23. Here’s another ridiculously detailed report of a continuity error: The pancake Vivian is eating during breakfast is, for most of the scene, a croissant. Then the croissant magically becomes a pancake. In the first scene with the pancake, she takes a second bite. In the next scene with the pancake in her hand, there is only one bite missing. Also, the pancake with one bite missing has a different bite pattern and is clearly a different pancake. Yes, people really do notice this stuff!

24. During a sex scene, Roberts got so nervous that a visible vein popped in her forehead. Director Marshall got into bed with Roberts and Gere and the two guys massaged her forehead until the vein disappeared. Roberts allegedly also broke into hives during this scene, and was given calamine lotion to calm them.

25. In the establishing shots of the city, at the start of the movie, some of the neon letters in the hotel where Vivian lives are burned out. The only remaining lighted letters spell “HO.” Stay classy, Hollywood!

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How Sex Addiction Almost Ruined My Life

March 31st, 2015

photo via flickr

Brian Whitney is a recovering sex addict and the author of the book Raping the Gods: A Tale of Sex and Madness, available at Amazon now. Today on EMandLO.com, he shares the story of how rehab helped him move past his sex addiction:

I don’t like calling myself a sex addict. When people hear that term, most of them tend to have one of three reactions.

Some people think sex addiction doesn’t exist, that it is just a made-up term to excuse bad behavior. A second group thinks that a sex addict is a crazy, out-of-control freak who thinks of nothing but getting laid every second of every day. The third group thinks it sounds fun: “What are you complaining about, man? You get laid all the time and you think it’s a problem?”

I was always different sexually, and it was a problem from a very early age. Of course I didn’t think of myself as an “addict” for quite a while — that took a few decades of my life being a disaster. I could tell a lot stories about what I was doing, but I’d rather just say I was really screwed up. My major issue was infidelity. I was often involved in three or four different relationships at once. I got an enormous rush from having multiple sexual partners and lying to all of them. This wasn’t about sex, although I did enjoy that; it was about control and power.

At one point I was married, having sex with three women at work, and telling two of them I loved them. To you that might seem horrible, or it might seem exciting. I don’t know. To me it was like walking around electrified, all day, and all night long. I would have sex with at least two women a day, sometimes four, and when I found time in between, I would beat off. It was a wild ride.

It might go without saying, but this caused problems in my life. I had numerous opportunities to stop taking this scene further, but I kept pushing it to the bitter end.

And that is where what the professionals call the “addiction” part comes in. I did things sexually, over and over again, that completely fucked up my life. Acting in the way I did gave me a huge rush, an enormous shot of dopamine.  Later, I would feel shame, depression and anxiety over my actions, and the only thing that would make me feel okay again was the rush I got from doing crazy shit sexually all over again.

And I couldn’t stop. No matter what happened, no matter how bad things got, even when I lost marriages and then homes because of my infidelity. I could never keep a job because of my sexual behavior. Instead of stopping, I was getting further into it, going into darker and more depraved places.

To many people, the thought of going to rehab for such a thing still seems bizarre. It seemed bizarre to me, but I went anyway, because what else could I do? But I didn’t want to do inpatient. Being locked up with twenty other guys like me for thirty days sounded like hell. So I chose a place in Los Angeles that did intensive outpatient work: I would stay in a hotel for two weeks, attend groups and individual counseling all day, go to Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings at night, and after two weeks I would come home, cured.

Just taking that step was dramatic. When you fly across the country and spend thousands of dollars to get help, there is no pretending anymore. The days of rationalizing my behavior as merely hedonistic were over.

They tried to integrate our families, girlfriends, ex-wives, and so on. At the end of the second week they all flew out, to meet with us and see how we had progressed. The answer to that question, at least when it came to me, was “not much.” You can’t change a lifetime of compulsive behavior by hanging out in L.A. for two weeks, going to groups in the day, and eating sushi at night with a bunch of other addicts.

Though my behavior seemed under control, my thoughts, fantasies, and impulses remained the same ones that had been roiling my brain for the last thirty years. Naively, I had thought that after two weeks of treatment they would be gone. But the only difference was that now, when I did something, I really felt like shit about it. At the end of two weeks it was obvious I wasn’t ready to deal with real life yet. So it was off to Philadelphia for a month of inpatient.

This was an entirely different scene: It looked and smelled gritty. This wasn’t a pretty place in Arizona where we climbed mountains and did equine therapy. It was in a shithole. We had to go to bed at a certain time, we slept on crappy beds, we couldn’t leave the facility, we had roommates. It was like a minimum security prison for people who did weird things.

The people were different here as well. Their problems were more serious. My roomie was straight out of jail for exhibitionism. There was a former NBA player who had the same problem; he had just come from prison, too. There was also a millionaire who had slept with thousands of people, from anonymous guys in subway bathrooms to beautiful female models. And a male nurse who went to sex clubs and screwed ten guys a night. It was hardcore.

I hated it there; it made me uncomfortable. I did things I didn’t want to do and dealt with issues I didn’t want to face, but, in the end, I did begin to change. I stopped having affairs and acting out in other ways, and I went on with my life. I got back together with a woman I cared about.

That was seven years ago. It is still a struggle of course. I am still me, I still get turned on by the same things. It isn’t that I don’t have sex anymore. I do, and I still have the same kinks. Writing about it helps. I recently wrote a book called Raping the Gods that tells the story of an out-of-control sex addict.

In my 40s now, I feel different and, dare I say, better. Over the past year or so there has been some change. I don’t hate myself so much. I keep the darkness off to the side. I just stay honest with people in my life and let them know who I am. And I don’t cheat on my partner. The thought of doing the things I used to do is thankfully no longer a turn on.

Brian Whitney is the author of Raping the Gods: A Tale of Sex and Madness, available at Amazon now.

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What Men Really Think About Dating Older Women

March 31st, 2015

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What do men in general think about dating older women, or cougars?”

Straight Married Guy (Jim): The cougar seems like a largely positive stereotype and I’m all for it.  However, the importance of not dressing like you just chalked your first ID cannot be overstated.  That makes me sad.

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): The cougar is a bit of an anomaly to me. On the one hand, cougars have experience, confidence and generally pleasing physical attributes, all of which are very attractive characteristics. On the flip side, they can be difficult to please and tend to try too hard. Personally, I find confidence attractive, but a truly attractive woman doesn’t have to try so hard to be sexy. So cougars aren’t generally my thing. But every now and again I’ll run into that mature woman who looks me in the eyes like she’s ready to pounce…and I hope she does. I think the trick to the sexy cougar is subtlety. If you can pull off a look 20 years below your age without appearing like it took you 20 years in the mirror to accomplish, you have  mastered cougar purrfection. Grrr baby, very grrr.

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman):

“I am Cougar, hear me roar,
In years too big to ignore…”

If it isn’t already, this should be the anthem for the beloved cougar.  Prowl on, ladies! Honestly, what’s the big deal?  OK, so maybe it is a sexual desire fueled largely out of a denial that one is rapidly aging off this mortal coil. We’re all headed there anyway, aren’t we?  Why not grab a little nubile ass on the way out? The fact that, all these years later, we are still referring to older women as cougars, tells us that (1) we’re very attached to weird monikers for sexually-active women (see MILF); and (2) this country still has a problem with casual sex as it relates to women.

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Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Jim from New York, our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter, and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett, owner of the LA PR firm Barnett Ellman. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Interesting Kickstarter: A Documentary on an Alternative Love Model

March 31st, 2015

Filmmakers Ian MacKenzie and John Wolfstone are challenging what they call “the myth of the one” by profiling a group in Portugal called Tamera, a “free love” community dedicated to “social sustainability” and a “future without war” by making all matters of love and sexuality within a community completely transparent. Check out their impressive pitch video:

The filmmakers will be going to Tamera’s annual Global Love School in May to “capture and translate Tamera’s systems on love & partnership for a wider audience.” Principle photography will be completed at Tamera, followed by post-production this summer, for a wide-release of the short film in September, which will coincide with the North American release of the book “Terra Nova: Global Revolution and the Healing of Love” from Tamera’s co-founder Dieter Duhm. (Tamera started as a small group in Germany in the 1970s, natch).

To do this, they’re looking for 21K. For as little as $5 bucks you can get your name in the ending credits! You’ve got until April 26th to help spread the love.

 

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Your Call: Why Did He Break Up with Me?

March 30th, 2015

The “beyond my control” breakup scene in the film Dangerous Liasons

We get a lot of questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to respond to a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your thoughts in the comments section. 

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been in a 15-year relationship with a man that I love. We had broken up many times in between but we always came back to one another. We have a connection. I recently found out that I am sick and he left me right before I was to have surgery. He said he didn’t want to leave me but he felt that we were just not right for each other anymore. We disagreed on several family related issues but he never vocalized that he would leave me because of them. He even used to tell me that I would get over the issues when we got married. I then found out that he has been seeing this new girl and that she is supposedly the right one for him to start his life with and get married to. He claims he really likes her but she is not even his type. He says she is a family person like him. It’s only been four months since we broke up. He tells me he still loves me but that he has to move on in life. I don’t understand what is going on. Any advice would be so great right now. 

– Sick & Single

What do you think S&S should do? Leave your suggestions for her in the comments section below. 

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Your Weekly Horoscopes: March 30th, 2015

March 30th, 2015

photo by Simply Schmoopie

Each week, we at EMandLO.com predict the course of your love life for the week with our own version of irreverent horoscopes — ignore our advice at your own peril. (Hyperbole intended for dramatic effect.)

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
This week, your sex drive and your sexual opportunties will be completely in sync. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
If you can share your intellectual dreams with someone, they may be The One. If you can only bear to talk to them for more than an hour at a time, they might do nicely for a spring fling.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
Put on the full-body armor: Someone is about to take you for a ride and then throw you out to the sidewalk without slowing down.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
The spotlight will flatter you this week, so do whatever it takes to get into it. (Doing “The Tuck” Ă  la The Silence of the Lambs at parties does not count.)

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
I can’t hear you! Na na na na na na! I’m not listening! . . . Get used to it: You’re going to be hearing that a lot this week.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
One of your friends is teetering on the more-than-friends line. One little breeze and it’ll be all over — you’ll have a low-grade stalker on your hands. Don’t fall for the attention.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
If there was a recommended daily allowance of sexual energy, then you’d be eating fifteen bowls a day of Booty Flakes this week. Don’t O.D.

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Commitment is catching up to you fast. Put on your running shoes if you don’t want to get bit in the ass (though ass-biting is an oft underrated pleasure).

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
You may feel like you have more than enough lovin’ to go around, but your partners won’t always agree. Make sure everyone’s in the loop before you start being an oversharer.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Finally! This week you’ll actually make a mental connection with someone you’re getting busy with. So you might want to stick around for cuddle time for a change.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
You’ll be in the driver’s seat all week. And you may well receive head from the hottie in the passenger seat. Sometimes, life’s just that simple.

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
Confucious say, He who talks too much eats shoe before too long.

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Why You Have to Tell Your Partner If You Have HPV

March 27th, 2015


 photo via flickr

Many experts, including doctors, will tell women that they don’t need to inform their male partners if they have HPV. The reason given is that 80% of sexually-active adults have or will acquire HPV — in other words, basically everyone — and also, the virus is much less likely to harm a guy’s health.

Our own medical expert, Dr. Kate, happens to disagree, and you can read her professional explanation here. And our man-parts doctor also has something to say about men and HPV — it’s not guaranteed smooth sailing.

And we happen to disagree too! Here’s our laywomen’s response to why you should fess up if you have HPV:

Everyone has the right to know what they’re getting into when they’re getting into bed with you. It doesn’t matter how pervasive an STD is, how inconsequential it might turn out to be, or how likely it is that you’ll eventually get it (or that you already have it) — everyone deserves to know the truth. So if you know you’ve got something, you’ve got to come clean (as it were). Fucking is not a right, it’s a privilege, and you’ve got to earn that privilege via honest communication about your bod and where it’s been. We’re pretty sure any one of the New York Times ethicists would have our back on this.

If more people fessed up to their sexual health status, then we’d all know a little more about the pervasive STDs that affect us — and probably not be so freaked out. Knowledge is power, and power is sexy. The more we all talk about it, the more it will become clear that it’s not only dirty, promiscuous, evil people who get STDs (such a tired yet stubborn cliche) — many totally cool, super nice and very good-looking people get sexually transmitted infections, too.

Unfortunately, honest communication isn’t always the quickest route to sex or even love. So people get scared into concealing an STD out of fear of loneliness (or horniness). Don’t fall into this trap: Even though it doesn’t feel like it when you first get diagnosed with something, you will have sex again. You will fall in love and you’ll probably get married, have a couple kids, the whole nine.

And please, if any of you happen to be on the receiving end of a conversation like this, be cool about it. Honest Abes should be rewarded for their behavior — not with unprotected genital-to-genital contact, natch, but at least with a polite, considerate, and sympathetic response. Of course, it’s your right to walk away (just don’t run). But know this: Many STDs are either curable, or at least manageable. So if you choose to turn your back, you could be turning it on your one true soulmate and walking into a future of eternal solitude.

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An Open Marriage Can’t Fix Something That’s Already Broken

March 26th, 2015

A new memoir called The Wild Oats Project: One Woman’s Midlife Quest for Passion At Any Cost is giving a lot of committed monogamists the chance to say “I told you so!” about open marriage.

Here’s the book in a nutshell: San Francisco-based magazine editor Robin Rinaldi felt like her marriage was in a rut, and convinced her husband to open their marriage for a year in an effort to save it. He said okay, and she went on to sleep with eight men and two women in a year, while he had a lengthy affair with just one woman. Then, soon after she returned to him, they decided to divorce. It turned out she’d fallen in love with one of those eight men, and she’s now married to him. It’s like a morality tale for the Nerve.com generation!

Except that what Robin and her husband were going through was a little more intense than a rut. Here’s Rinaldi writing in the New York Post:

Stuck in a rut — our once-a-week sex life was loving, but lacked spontaneity and passion — I was craving seduction and sexual abandon. I was having a midlife crisis and chasing this profound, deeply rooted experience of being female.

Before then, starting a family had felt like one route to this elusive state of feminine fulfillment. But Scott had made it absolutely clear he never wanted a baby, and even had a vasectomy.

I broke the news to Scott that I wanted an open marriage in early 2008, a few months after his vasectomy. “I won’t go to my grave with no children and four lovers,” I told him repeatedly. “I refuse.” [She'd had only three partners before marrying at 26.]

In other words, “once-a-week sex [that] was loving, but lacked spontaneity and passion” wasn’t even close to being the whole story. The inspiration for opening their marriage sprung more from a kind of deeply emotional and fraught tit-for-tat: If you won’t give me children, then you have to give me more sexual freedom. We’re not saying that this is a bad reason to want to open your marriage, — her reasoning actually makes complete sense to us — but the fact that Robin Rinaldi’s experiment failed to save her troubled marriage shouldn’t be considered a failure of open marriages in general.

Open marriages may very well be able to get you out of a rut — if that’s all you’re experiencing. Of course, as The Wild Oats Project demonstrates all too clearly, the risk you take when opening your marriage is that one of you will fall in love with one of the pinch hitters. (Rinaldi limited herself to three dates per partner, to keep things light and casual, but who hasn’t fallen in love within three dates before?!)

But what open marriage can’t fix is a marriage that is broken because one partner wanted children and the other didn’t. It’s the reason that most people discuss this subject before getting married, after all. Here’s Rinaldi talking about her experiment on British TV:

I got into my early 40s and my husband got a vasectomy and I knew the discussion of having a baby was over, which kick-started this experience. I looked forward to my death bed and thought, What will I have? I won’t have children and grandchildren. Will I at least have lived fully? If I couldn’t have one I wanted the other. Like a lot of women at that age I was hitting my confidence and sexual peak and suddenly realized very dramatically that I wasn’t going to have children. It was the perfect storm.

So, sure, maybe Rinaldi’s marriage wouldn’t have ended if she hadn’t opened her marriage — but then she would have been trapped in a marriage that had a lot more wrong with it than lackluster sex once a week. And you can’t blame the swingers for that!

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