“There’s this huge group of younger people that are involved in these things,” says Ryan – an observation that seemed borne out of a monthly event called “Poly Cocktails,” held at an upstairs bar on the Lower East Side a few weeks later, in which one would have been hard-pressed to realize that this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill mixer (a guy who’d wandered in accidentally must have eventually figured it out; he was later seen by the bar grinning widely as he chatted up two women).
In fact, Leah and Ryan are noticing a trend that’s been on the radar of therapists and psychologists for several years now.
"There was a side of me that was ecstatic – the teenage boy in me that wants to fuck everything I see," reveals Ryan, a millennial in an open relationship.
"But the other side of me was concerned about what this means in terms of intimacy and how the dynamics would work." When Leah and Ryan met at a wedding four years ago, they didn’t expect to develop this type of arrangement.
In other words, Leah’s is a generation that has been raised with the concept of sexual freedom and without solid guidelines for how to make monogamy work.
Termed “The New Monogamy” in the journal it’s a type of polyamory in which the goal is to have one long-standing relationship and a willingness to openly acknowledge that the long-standing relationship might not meet each partner’s emotional and sexual needs for all time.
Or, more specifically, that going outside the partnership for sex does not necessitate a forfeiture of it.
He doesn’t have a long-standing secondary relationship like Leah (“I’ve actually veered away from doing that”), but he certainly enjoys the company of other women, even sometimes when Leah is home.
“I like everyone to meet each other and be friends and stuff,” he explains.