“As a gay male psychotherapist, I’ve wanted to write an article on this topic since I began working with a gay male couple who told me that they were monogamous. After several months, however, they informed me they had had a three-way. When I asked if they had changed from monogamy, they said, “No.”
I was confused. Maybe I had not received the correct information in our initial consultation? I told them, “I thought you told me you were monogamous,” and they said, “We are.” Now I was REALLY confused! So I said, “But you just told me you were monogamous.”
Their reply was, “We are monogamous. We only have three-ways together and are never sexual with others apart from each other.” Okay, now I was slowly getting it.”
I quickly learned to ask what a couple means when they say they’re monogamous. Now, I routinely ask all couples what their contract is around sex and commitment. Do they have an assumed or an explicit contract, verbal or otherwise? I don’t assume that every couple or individual who comes in for therapy is in an open relationship or closed relationship. Nor do I assume that they have or have not talked about it.