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TOPIC: polyamory


Relationship Contracts: Modern Love Or Killing The Romance?

The author reflects on the emerging practice of signing a so-called relationship contract, which reminded her of when her Muslim boyfriend proposed a “temporary marriage.”

Coming from a devout Catholic background, I felt a bit naive when I got into a relationship with a Muslim man while traveling abroad. He explained that his faith allowed for temporary marriages, which permitted physical intimacy without being considered haram, forbidden in the Islamic faith.

It was new to me, but I respected his beliefs and trusted him — and agreed to try it out.

During the ceremony, I was struck by the fact that we had to make explicit and agree on the specific terms and expectations of our relationship. We had the freedom to be as detailed as we wanted to be, covering topics such as exclusivity, communication and financial agreements.

It seemed both premature and overwhelming, but I realized that it took a significant weight off my shoulders: I already knew that this person wanted to be with me, and how he wanted to be with me – and what I could expect from him. It was a mutual agreement that eliminated doubts and ambiguities.

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How This Colombian "Throuple" Made Social And Legal History

The throuple of three gay men married together has challenged the standard vision of a family in traditionally conservative Colombia.

MEDELLÍN — In 1999, Colombians Manuel José Bermúdez Andrade and Alejandro Rodríguez Ramírez met and began a loving relationship. They barely imagined their soon-to-evolve couple would come to alter perspectives on what constitutes a family in their conservative homeland. In 2003, they met Álex Esneyder Zabala, and soon formed a ménage à trois.

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The arrangement was a working example of polyamory — a word unfamiliar to them in those years. In 2012, the trio became a quartet, as they opened their household to Víctor Hugo Prada Ardila. Sadly for them, Alex died a year later (or in 2014) of cancer, leaving again a family of three.

They recently spoke about their 20 years together in the Colombian city of Medellín. Manuel said that being older when he met Alejandro in 1999, he insisted from the start that he did not expect Alejandro "to deprive himself" of encounters.

Manuel says he has always been "very free in terms of sexuality... it seemed unfair he should deprive himself of the pleasures of the flesh" by being locked up in monogamy early in life. "Your body is yours, you can enjoy it, it's not my property. And if you meet someone and feel more than just desire, if it's love, we'll talk about it and see what happens," he says he told Alejandro.

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