Monogamy works well for some but not others. Social status, religion, race, sexual orientation, and political philosophy don’t matter. Honesty, openness, love, commitment, communication, patience, and egalitarianism do.
Here I pass along what I’ve learned and teach at events on common challenges polyamorists encounter and their practical remedies, along with thoughts on related subjects such as community organizing, activism, and sexual freedom. Feel free to comment – and welcome!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
2010 Oscar Winner Mo'Nique Declares Hers an Open Marriage
3/7/10 UPDATE: I wrote this post before Mo'Nique's interview with Barbara Walters aired on Sunday night just before the Academy Awards program. Now that I've seen it I must make a correction. Sidney and Mo'Nique have been married a few years amd have been best friends for over 25 years. Sidney is Mo'Nique's third husband.
Congratulations to Mo'Nique for winning the Oscar for best supporting actress! - AW
Thanks to Practical Polyamory reader Renee for this tip. Actress Mo'Nique, who is nominated to win an academy award Sunday evening for her role as an abusive mother in the oscar-nominated film Precious, has said in her segment of Barbara Walters' oscar special that she and her husband of 25 years, Sidney Hicks, have an open marriage.
This is remarkable on two fronts. First, it's remarkable that she has said this in such a visible media event - the few celebrities who have acknowledged their open relationships, most notably oscar winner Tilda Swinton and action hero Will Smith and actress wife Jada Pinkett Smith, have said as much, but not in anything close to such a high profile interview as this. Second, and more important, is what she says in this quote from the MSNBC article reported on by Entertainment Tonight about her interview with Walters:
“What if [your husband has sex with another] 20 times?” [Walters] asked, to which Mo'Nique replies, "So what? We’ve been best friends for over 25 years, and we truly know who we are. Oftentimes, people get into marriages and they don’t know who they’re laying next to. I’m very comfortable and secure with my husband.”
And there you have it. This relationship has lasted 25 years and appears to still be strong. It's pretty clear that one of the reasons is that Mo'Nique and Sidney know and trust each other and are wise enough not to use marriage as an emotional and sexual prison. Mo'Nique goes on to say that she herself hasn't engaged in affairs with anyone but her husband. She is surely a strong woman who understands what I call The Secret of Polyamory, or so I like to think. And still, advocates for traditional marriage continue to cling to and aggressively promote a paradigm that clearly doesn't bring long-term happiness to many people and, in fact, poses significant risks to a marriage's long-term prospects by attempting to cage human romantic love and sexuality.
We advocates for polyamory and open relationships have believed for quite a while now that there are surely many celebrities in such marriages who have not seen fit to make it public, but it would come as a considerable surprise if this turns out not to be the case. Considering how much celebrities travel, how often they are separated from their spouses for fairly lengthy periods of time, how lonely that must be for them and how many other attractive people they interact with, open relationships would seem a logical choice, so long as the marriage/relationship in question is as strong and intentionally well defined as those of Swinton, the Smiths, and my new heroine, Mo'Nique.