Why Monogamy Isn't Necessarily Safer Than An Open Relationship

There is a widespread belief that monogamy is inherently safer and healthier than consensual nonmonogamy (which occurs when partners openly agree to have multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships simultaneously). Indeed, it would only seem intuitive to think that people who have agreed to be monogamous would have a much lower risk (or perhaps no risk at all) of contracting any kind of sexually transmitted infection (STI), while those who are consensually nonmonogamous (and who are therefore having more sexual partners) would be at significantly higher risk. Research has found that this isn't necessarily the case, though.

In a recent article over at Playboy, I discuss the results of a new study of mine published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which reveals the surprising conclusion that people in monogamous and consensually nonmonogamous relationships don't really seem to differ when it comes to their likelihood of having had an STI. How could this be? It turns out that a lot of people who have agreed to be monogamous with a partner aren't living up to their end of the bargain... 

While you're over at Playboy, check out my Hard Science column to learn more about the science of sex. Recent articles include: 

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Image Source: 123RF.com/Tomasz Pacyna

To learn more about consensual nonmonogamy, check out: