Named as consensually non-monogamous relationships or CNM, these are the kind of relations on which the partners are agreed on letting the other person having romantic and/or sexual companions outside their relationship.
CNM have many forms; it is not only open relationships, but also swinging and polyamory. Each partner inside of a CNM negotiates before all the boundaries and rules that they will follow to establish the structure of their relationship.
The most usual question that people tend to do about these kinds of relationships is how someone starts it and how common are. So, let’s take a small insight on a recent research that handled the subject.
This research started due to the unfortunate limited data related to this topic. There have been several researchers who have failed in making a distinction between nonconsensual non-monogamy and a consensual one. And, one of the issues that must be treated first is the difference between these two.
Consensual non-monogamy occurs when each partner inside the relationship is agreeing and is permissive about any romantic and/or sexual act outside of the relation. By the other hand, nonconsensual non-monogamy is when one of the members in the relation cheats or commits infidelity to their partner in a monogamous relation.
Currently, there are not enough representative data that could give a general vision on the frequency of CNMs in the country. The only available data that have been acquired is the one from a long online survey published in 2014.
The data analyzed for this survey come from 2,395 participants that were involved in relationships. Each one was contacted through Facebook and Craiglist, to participate in a study called “attitudes toward relationships.”
The study did not focus on CNM relationships. The survey asked to participants about what they recognized as being consensually non-monogamous and if they were participating in any CNM relationship.
The results showed that 5.3% of participants were currently participating in a CNM relationship, and they identified it as a consensual non-monogamy relationship.
The analysis makes a comparison between participants who said they were monogamous, and the ones who were apparently taking part on consensual non-monogamy relations, according to the study these were more likely to be non-heterosexual and males. The results showed no distinction between the two parties in terms of age and race.
But these not necessarily mean that non-heterosexual men are essentially interested in participating in CNM relationships, and that heterosexuals and women don’t.
The results of the study can mean that women are less probable to participate in a CNM relationship, while men tend to pursue and get involve on them. This might be due to the sexual double standard, the sense that women tend to be judged severely in comparison to men for taking the same sexual activities.
Also, the results suggest that CNM can be considered as an acceptable activity in the homosexual community. This might be the reason why members of the gay community are statistically more disposed to participate in one.
Let’s remember first that these are results from limited data, and because that all participants were contacted online using two websites, meaning that there is not a national representation amount.
But these results indeed show some perspective of the predominance of CNM relationships among US Internet users.