Iran: "Open Relationships In A Closed Society"
At the online news site "of a group of Iranian journalists in the Diaspora," a reporter looks at open-relationship stirrings among Iranian young people.
Open Relationships In A Closed Society
By Hadis Elmi
When Vahid was honest about his open relationship, friends constantly interrogated him: “You are not jealous? Have you no honor? Do you think this relationship is going anywhere?”
The relationship between Vahid and his wife is different from that of other couples. Both have sexual relationships with other people. They live in Iran, and started having an open relationship when Vahid was required to travel for a year during their engagement....
...For people like Vahid, the motto “One God, One Partner” is both meaningless and impractical. For them, the idea that if a person is in love he or she won’t even think about a third person is totally nonsensical. Though most societies do not approve of sexual relationships that involve more than one partner and often regard such behavior as debauched and deceitful, for some young people who do not accept these rules, it is a way of life. For those who promote free love, commitment to only one person amounts to selfishness.
In an open relationship, two people agree to be with each other, but also allow relationships with others at the same time. The idea of sexual or emotional relationships with others is acceptable to both parties. Unlike a relationship that conforms to traditional rules, an open relationship is unlikely to end on grounds of what would normally be regarded as an act of infidelity.
It might be assumed that an open relationship is more compatible with Western and free societies. But recently it has become more acceptable for some young Iranians....
Maryam is in an open relationship. She now lives in Europe but her first experience was in Iran. She says the idea first appealed to her when she realized she wanted to be involved with women in addition to her relationship with her boyfriend.... Soon after expressing her interest in sleeping with women, Maryam discovered that she wanted to sleep with other men too. Though he could accept that Maryam might have relationships with girls, her boyfriend balked at the idea of her seeing other men. “In his view, this showed that I did not love him. Our relationship died eventually.”
After emigrating to Europe, she formed an open relationship with another man. “What is between us,” she says, “is not only sex. Many people like us live together, socialize together, are in love with each other and rely on each other. We all define what would break up our relationship differently.”...
Read on (February 2014). "IranWire seeks to empower Iranian citizen journalists by creating a forum in which young Iranians can discuss national and local news, providing training modules and putting Iranian citizen journalists inside the country in touch with professional Iranian journalists."
Also see Sexy spring: How group sex will liberate Iran, China, a long excerpt from Katherine Frank's book Plays Well In Groups: A Journey Through The World Of Group Sex that was printed in Salon last July.