Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Entertainment Media Needs a Fresh Perspective

Movie and television stars in the US are still expected, judging by media coverage, to have love lives that fall into a few narrow molds, and many apparently feel the pressure to present themselves as hetero-monogamous. Gays and lesbians are becoming more accepted, but many are still closeted or avoid public appearances with their partners. Bisexuality is accepted in women much more than men. For the most part, stars are expected to be monogamous, or at least serially monogamous; dates or encounters with others are portrayed as scandalous or a sign that their prior known relationship is over. There are a few exceptions, such as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, but for the most part, stars are "supposed" to be with just one person or just date casually.

Anyone who thinks for more than a minute beyond the superficial publicist-prepared portrayals realizes that there must be stars who haven't come out as LGBT or polyamorous, or in open relationships, or as swingers or swappers, just by percentages alone.

I bring all of this up because of something at by

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. (Getty)

But in April, Jada Smith told Huff Post Live: “I’ve always told Will, ‘You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be OK. Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man,” she said. “It comes from respecting that you are in a partnership and that also you are an individual as well.”
Later, she clarified in a Facebook post: “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.”
Grown is a good word.

People are often threatened by open relationships, says Rachel Kramer Bussel, a sex writer and editor of The Big Book of Orgasms, because it seems so exotic and weird when compared to the status quo.
“We just don’t have any formal model for a public couple having an open relationship."
That's a very important point. We need more honest portrayals not only in fiction, but in nonfiction as well.

There is at least one celebrity who is open about her relationship: Mo’Nique has told Barbara Walters she’s got an understanding with her husband.

She said: “Could Sid have sex outside of his marriage with me? Yes. That’s not a deal-breaker,” she says. “That’s not something that would make us say, ‘Pack your things and let’s end the marriage.’ What if it’s 20 times? 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.”

Good for them!

It's a good article, although I would've liked some clarification of terms. An "open marriage" is not synonymous with polyamory. There are many people in polyamorous relationships that are not open, for example. There are stars who haven't been outed as LGBT, or as asexual, or as polyamorous, or as in open relationships, or in consangiunamorous relationships. They are people and they have their sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationships that do not have to be ours to know, but I will support any of them that do come out and be grateful that in doing so, they help move us towards all adults being free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any and all consenting adults.
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