December 3, 2007
The final fling before the ring

By Samantha Brett

Being lied to is probably one of the most destructive and deliberate forms of manipulation there is. It destroys relationships, pulls apart families and makes a mockery out of the person being duped.

But when it comes to being unfaithful, what if there were no lies to tell? What if you were simply truthful about it? What if instead of all the lying, clandestine behaviour and "business trip" excuses, you actually came clean with what, where and who you were about to hanky-panky with behind your partner's back?

At a recent Christmas party, a friend - who goes by the non de plum Don Juan - revealed a very interesting situation to a gaggle of open-mouthed guests. His fiance had decided that instead of him having to sneak around on his buck's night before his upcoming wedding, she will give him permission to get up to whatever type of tricks he so desired (including going all the way with a complete stranger), as long as she doesn't get any of the gory details ...

"She wants me to get it out of my system and be honest about it, rather than feel the urge to cheat once we're married," he said triumphantly. "That way everyone wins!"

Known in some circles as "the final fling before the ring", the men around me were evidently alarmed, floored, covetous, ecstatic and green-eyed, all at the same time.

"Why can't our wives/girlfriends give us the same permission slip?" they wondered. "Why can't we all be as lucky?"

While it might be the ultimate fantasy-island dream for every single member of the male species the world over, I wondered just how Don Juan might react if his fiance asked for the same sort of privileges. (And from his very jealous demeanour evident at the party when he caught her flicking her hair and laughing at another man's jokes, I quickly surmised not too well).

Don Juan's tale got me thinking: Is it just men who think like this? And, if it's consensual, does it still count as an affair?

Perhaps it's as bad boy Marlon Brando famously pouted: "Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed".

But if we're the one to give the permission then blaming it entirely on the men definitely wouldn't work. Either way, is it something you'd consent to?

Ask Sam reader Miss X says not. She writes that her "darling, delicious boyfriend of 10.5 months, with whom I have a fantastic relationship, lots of fun, tenderness, conversation, sex, everything, sprang me on Saturday with the proposal that we be POLYAMOROUS. I had to look it up on Wikipedia to know what it meant!"

She found this: 'Many loves - having a committed, usually sexual relationship with more than one person at a time.'

"I don't want this," she writes to me distressed. "I only want him! I went into such a tailspin that on Sunday I wrote a long heartfelt letter saying we couldn't be together while he decided which he wanted (polyamory, or monoamory with me!), and we haven't seen each other since."

So she asks you, dear readers, what you think about polyamory? And with it, do you think there's a way they can revive our relationship? Or that their relationship can really survive?

Since the 90s, it seems the revival of the polyamorists is alive, kicking and taking place in a marriage near you. In fact in Australia, the polyamory community PolyOz, has the following motto: "We believe it is possible to have more than one romantic relationship at a time, ethically and constructively".

They describe the practise as "loving more than one person at a time with honesty and integrity" that involves "some sexual or at least intensely intimate sensual behaviour".

Which is rather different to Don Juan's Buck's night situation. Of course in both cases, it all comes down to commitment issues. If either scenario plays out, will the bloke ever really and truly commit? I think not ...

Does a final bonk before the ring help a relationship? Would you allow your partner to do it? And do you think becoming polyamorous will help or hinder Miss X's relationship?

PS. On the topic of strange relationships, I'm curious what you guys think of MTV's new reality TV show titled "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila"? The premise of the show is quite simply The Bacheloress with a twist. Tequila, (her real name is Nguyen), who rose to fame through the ranks of MySpace, is actually a 'bisexual' hence there's a group of guys and a group of girls who are vying to be the one she chooses as her date by the end of the show with unsuitable dates being booted off each episode.

The story of her rise to reality TV fame has brought about the argument of whether television has gone too far in using sleazy sex to sell. And yet it seems to be working since the show did make a stunning debut with 1.4 million viewers ...

What do you think? Has the show gone too far?