How do the Japanese see polyamory

Sex arrangement: why be faithful when there is polyamory

Maxpo 1972 is the name of a Berliner who is looking for a rather good adventure on the Internet. The 39-year-old wants “a longer affair” and “conventional sex” with a “humorous woman”, whom he also imagines to be “very well cared for” and with “natural breasts”. This is what it says, along with his photo, on the affair portal "Ashley Madison", which is conquering the world from Canada and has been running a German offshoot since last year. “Casual Dating” is the name of the segment in which more and more dating sites such as “Lovepoint” or “Secret” are earning money. Ashley Madison claims that she has eleven million users worldwide.

Cheating has become business. And that's why it's never been easier to cheat on your partner than it is today. At the same time, various studies on the love life of Germans show that most of them still want a loyal partner. What a dilemma: modern people want to feel safe and still experience exciting things.

And the more he subscribes to the ideal of unconditional love, the more painful the cheating becomes. It's not just couples who worry about ways out, filmmakers and advisory writers are also looking for models that bring both needs together. They often end up with seemingly unorthodox proposals.

“Loyalty is not a solution either,” is the title of a recently published book by couple counselors Lisa Fischbach and Holger Lendt, in which they plead for more freedom in love. "Viewing monogamy as a dogma without alternatives is no longer appropriate in a pluralistic society like today," says Holger Lendt, who has seen many tears from cheated partners in his practice. And often enough he has seen that the relationship breaks because of the infidelity.

His suggestion: Instead of saying goodbye to your partner, you should develop a new understanding of loyalty - if possible before something happens. "One can see loyalty not only as a prohibition, but also as a command." To be loyal would therefore mean to be a trusting, loving partner. But it would not rule out loving or desiring others too, if both of them decide in this way.

Celebrities lead the way

That may sound like a hippie commune, like compulsively free love, like the saying "If you sleep with the same person twice ..." But some celebrities are already showing how cheating and loyalty go together in real life. And society looks on spellbound: Tilda Swinton is now almost as well known for her acting as she is for living with two men. Sometimes she strolls with her husband John Byrne, sometimes with friend Sandro Kopp on the red carpet. The German film director Dieter Wedel often even appears at premieres with his two girlfriends. He's been in a relationship with one for 15 years and the other for 30 years.

Faithfully unfaithful - whoever wants to square the circle, apparently often ends up in a love triangle - as the film "Drei" last year showed, in which, after a lot of hacking, a woman and two men are finally happy together.

What now seems like a crazy idea for film people is gradually seeping into broader circles of society. First and foremost are the outing-tested homosexuals who openly report from their new-fangled love life. There are very narrow-minded couples who are partnered through official channels who only have sex outside of the relationship, and those who just order a callboy together.

A triangular relationship is now called "polyamory"

Sexologists like Volkmar Sigusch - who is internationally recognized as one of the most important sex researchers - predict that we will get used to a much broader spectrum of recognized relationship types. “In addition to our classic marriage, there will be other forms,” Sigusch told Spiegel Online at the beginning of the year. And: "All of a sudden you realize - my God, you can not just love one person, you can also love several people at the same time." This model is called polyamory and is only gradually finding its supporters here.