This summer I attended a screening of Michael Baisden’s relationship documentary "Do Women Know What They Want?“. Billed as a survey of Black male and female relations it was more like a promotional video for open marriages. After the screening there was a question and answer session. During the session Michael asked is there any guy in the audience who doesn’t understand the motivation for an open marriage or thinks it’s a bad idea. Well I had to keep it real so I raised my hand. Once I said I was a happily married man Michael started referring to me as ”Married Man." He then proceeded to turn around and ask me a question. He asked me why don’t I see open marriage as a solution to the dilemma Black women are faced with. He had said earlier that since there was more single women than there are available Black men that open marriages or man sharing is a viable solution. I responded by telling him I believed that using open marriages as a solution would ruin both the institution of marriage and single black women. To me open marriage is a bootleg form of polygamy.
The exchange got me to thinking and I realized that there were a lot of practices which should be brought into the conversation. So, before I explain my position fully I felt it was important to list the different practices which are a part of the open marriage conversation.
Marriage (or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people. Marriage is the social institution in which intimate personal and sexual relationships are conducted in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture. Marriages or matrimony begin with a series of activities and rituals geared to strengthen the couple’s bond called a wedding ceremony.

People marry for many reasons, including one or more of the following: legal, social, sexual, emotional, economic, spiritual, and religious. People also get married for other reasons like arranged marriages (which was to merge cultures or tribes), family obligations, the legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, the legal protection of children and public declaration of a commitment. The act of marriage usually creates legal obligations between the individuals involved. In some societies these obligations also extend to certain family members of the married persons. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment.

Open marriage is a marriage in which the partners agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without it being considered cheating or infidelity. Reasoning is since the sexual activity is requested and granted permission then it will not hurt the relationship like doing it behind the back of the partner.

Polygamy (means “often married” in Greek) it is a marriage which includes more than two partners. Polygamy is when a man is married to more than one woman at a time. In polygamist marriages there is no bond between the wives. When a woman is married to more than one man at a time, it is called polyandry, and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it is called group marriage.

Swinging is a non-monogamous activity, in which both partners of a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with other married couples. Swinging can take place informal social gathering of friends or planned or regular social gatherings of swinging couples. There are swingers’ clubs and also internet-based services. The wife swapping activity is a predecessor to swinging. Wife swapping does not accurately describing the full range of sexual activities in which couples may take part. Wife swapping is old school. Now-a-day’s men can engage with other men and women can engage with other women.

Here is a brief list of the related philosophical terms.
Monogamy is the practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time. It is also the practice or condition of being married to only one person at a time. Some monogamist believe it is the practice of marrying only once in a lifetime.

Polyamory (from Greek word poly which means many or several)] and Latin word amor which means [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamory, often abbreviated as poly, is often described as consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy. The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic. The term "polyamorous" can refer to the nature of a relationship at some point in time or to a philosophy or relationship orientation (much like gender or sexual orientation). It is sometimes used as an umbrella term that covers various forms of multiple relationships; polyamorous arrangements are varied, reflecting the choices and philosophies of the individuals involved.

Monogamistic marriage is a marriage consisting of only two parties.

Now that I have reviewed the variety of practices and beliefs I will share my own. I feel open marriages are emotionally motivated and are only physically motivated. In the open marriage structure the way it is practiced is that one (usually the man) meets someone they are interested in and asks their partner for permission to have sex with this person they’ve met. The person their married to grants them permission thus opening the marriage. My problem is there is no commitment made between the married person and the person they got permission to sleep with. For the third person the activity is a purely sexual encounter.

In polygamist marriages the person in the marriage has to not only get permission to have sex with third person but they have to get permission from their spouses to go on a date with the third person. In order for open marriages to be able to address the surplus of Black women they would have to have a long term relationship or else going by the way it is structured how the third person never gets married and when the sexual relationship ends they are back to being alone. That’s why open marriages are just an excuse or hustle for people (mostly men) to continue to sleep with different people. People who promote open marriages also believe that men are free roaming animals and monogamy is not natural. What I say to these people is human beings are intelligent animals and our intelligence allows us to control and rationalize the things which our animalistic urges direct us to do. Therefore, any person who cannot be monogamist is not a fully matured human being.

My last problem with this open marriage hustle and its BS ability to assist in the dilemma facing the black community and greater American society is this. The single people who open married couples invite into their activities are not single people who are victimized by the inability to find a date. The single people they hook up with are people who are attractive and find dates and just don’t find someone they want to date. Not being able to find someone good enough for you to date is different than not being able to find a date at all. Even if every marriage was open the people who can’t meet a date won’t be affected. The main reason why women who don’t get approached by men won’t be affected by open marriages is because people select people superficially. The people who want to swing are looking for sexual encounters not another quality relationship. If women just want to have sex with different people they can have that without the drama of an open marriage. Oh and don’t think there isn’t drama in open marriages. According to an article in the November 2011 Ebony magazine Kenya Stevens a promoter of open marriages says “Without coaching couples will encounter emotional storms that can make them unstable.” Now that doesn’t sound like a sensible lifestyle for people so let’s forget about this perverted fueled nonsense and grow up. We need to learn how to date. Our nice guys need to step up and play out these players. Our women need to stay on their grind and add the ability to meet men to their skill packages. Finally, we all need to learn how to control our sexual urges so we can enjoy the benefits of monogamy.

Hit me up with your comments. This conversation is not just an issue for married people it is important for our single community and our children also. I want to hear from you. I have been wanting to write this blog since July. I wanted to call it "I know why your freakyass wants an Open Marriage" but my wife liked the Open letter title better. Sex is a big factor in our bonding so look out for one of my future blogs on how to control our perverted sexual urg