Negotiated Infidelity


A woman is stirring vegetables on the stove preparing for the evening’s dinner. Despite her hard work,  she won’t be eating the dinner. It’s a meal she’s preparing for her live in boyfriend and his date. She will greet his new sex partner at the door and then polish her toenails while  her man and his newest woman have sex in the next room. This was the latest episode of National Geographic’s controversial new show TABOO.

They call their relationship dynamic Negotiated Infidelity and the couple featured, Holly and Dino, are from Australia and feel that this is the best possible relationship for them. The basics of Negotiated Infidelity is that both partners are able to meet other people and have sexual relations with them under defined rules. Dinner is okay but cuddling and other forms of intimacy are not. They have to meet the partners and the new partners have to be aware of their unique situation and they get to negotiate the terms of the infidelity.

Holly, who has even written a book on this subject, claims that since she was cheated on by her ex that this way is much better for her. She feels she  has an element of control over the situation and that her man won’t cheat behind her back. They both expressed an appreciation that at any time they understand that they could meet someone that they could possibly want to pursue further but neither seemed to worried that it could happen.

I started thinking about this and I couldn’t make any sense of it. It certainly isn’t monogamy because both partners are so willing to engage in meeting other sexual partners. It’s different from swinging because the sex acts are done behind closed doors and don’t involve the other spouse. It isn’t even polyamory because you aren’t sharing intimacy with your other partners only your spouse.

Even if it is a “new” type of relationship it seems almost impossible to do successfully. Humans may not be monogamous by nature but that is part of the beauty of committment. To find a person that is worth staying with through ups and downs or for richer or poorer, if you will. Even if we aren’t monogamous by design we are jealous beings and I find that at some point while Holly is painting her toenails listening to her man makes another woman moan she will come to terms with her definition of relationship.

You may get cheated on in your life and it may devastate you but that doesn’t mean that you have to give a license to cheat in your relationship and think it will protect you from getting hurt.

What do you think? We will be discussing this on the air on Monday, February 22nd at 10pm ET. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.