Intimacy, Negotiated Nonmonogamy, and the Limits of the Couple 1
This chapter describes non-secret non-monogamy in existing literature and four pilot interviews to illustrate the theoretical significance of negotiated non-monogamy for analysis of couple relationships. The pilot interviews involved two heterosexual couples, one co-resident and one not; and two co-resident same sex couples, one female and one male. The number of heterosexual couples living in long-term arrangements outside of marriage has significantly increased. There may be growing resistance among young adults to making any moral distinction between marriage and cohabitation. This is suggested by British data both qualitative and the quantitative British and Scottish Social Attitudes Surveys (BSAS and SASS), indicating that only a minority of the population now disapprove of sex before marriage or cohabitation. A morality that only sanctioned sex within marriage has been largely replaced by one that sanctions sex among consenting adults in loving relationships regardless of marriage and, for some, regardless of heterosexuality.