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The New Monogamy

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Managed Monogamy
Above-the-waist rule
An agreement that any touching above the beltline is fair game.
Body-fluid monogamy
When a couple forgoes the latex with each other but requires it for all outside sexual activity.
Celebrity trading card
As seen on Friends: an imaginary laminated card in your wallet—proof that your partner has given permission for you to sleep with the stars listed.
Cheating
Secret, extracurricular romantic and/or sexual activity that breaks the rules. So nineties, so lame.
Closed relationship
How some people in open relationships refer to “old-fashioned” monogamy.
Don’t ask, don’t tell
A policy whereby people in a committed relationship may screw around, so long as they are discreet.
Ethical slut
A promiscuous person who strives to approach partners with respect and honesty. (From the 1997 how-to book by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt.)
Fifty-mile rule
You don’t sleep with anyone who lives in your city. (Also the title of a 2002 book by Judith Brandt.)
Make-out party
Events open to the public where semi-nudity and above-the-waist fondling are encouraged.
Open flirting policy
An understanding that flirting is healthy, harmless fun.
Open relationship
A long-term, committed relationship in which the couple explicitly agrees to extracurricular sexual activity, either together or individually.
Party bisexual
A woman or a man who engages in same-sex sex-play after multiple martinis.
Pinch hitter
Someone a couple brings in to spice up their love life, e.g., to watch them have sex or to get together with one-half of the couple while the partner watches.
Physical monogamy
You can look, fantasize, and engage in dirty talk— but no touching.
Polyamory
A philosophy of being involved with multiple long-term, intimate partners.
Polyfidelity
Having more than one long-term partner but being closed to additions, e.g. trinogamy (see below).
Polygamy
Multiple spouses.
Swinging
Partner-swapping. Sometimes referred to as “the Lifestyle.”
Trinogamous
To be in a committed threesome.
Work boyfriend/girlfriend
A colleague —your lunchmate, IM partner, smoking buddy, etc. No sex, though.


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