- Vinicius Lemos – @oviniciuslemos
- From BBC News Brazil to São Paulo
During a conversation in the Big Brother Brasil house, singer Aline Wirley spoke about her relationship with actor Igor Rickli.
“Sometimes people judge a lot, they don’t quite understand. And it’s super understandable that they don’t understand, because we’ve been formatted to be one-way. But it works so well, it works so well, I know how it works, how people are happy, how we love each other, as it really is,” said Aline.
The reality show participant’s statement was made while commenting on the open relationship she has with her husband. At the time, she was talking to another program participant, physician Fred Nicácio, who is also in a similar relationship.
Because of the reality show participants, monogamy and non-monogamy have become even more debated on social networks.
For the specialists interviewed by the report, these relationships that deviate from traditional monogamy have become more popular in recent years, mainly due to the dissemination of information on the subject.
“I believe that the visibility of this issue has actually increased, especially by social networking and other activism. This has helped bring more people into this debate and broaden their perceptions,” says Geni Núñez, PhD in Human Sciences and known in the social network as Genipapos, where he talks about non-monogamy.
On the networks, several couples openly talk about relationships that admit to having other partners, both only sexually and also with romantic involvement.
“It remains a relationship and we like to be together”
One of the couples who talk about it on social media is the student Giovanna Rodrigues, 22, and the parliamentary adviser Luís Moreira, 31.
Together, they maintain the “Non-Monogamous Solutions” page, where they share the routine and details of their relationship.
“We do practically everything a close-knit couple does, it remains a relationship and we like being together, the difference is that we have removed the part that he can only relate to with me,” explains Giovanna.
“I think she can be free and happy with someone else too,” defends Luís.
The two say they have never had disagreements because of their other “affectionate”, as they define other affectionate partners.
“We just agreed to let them know when to leave and if they’ll come home. This is more for safety reasons than to not make the other person angry,” comments Giovanna.
The couple live together in an apartment in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and plan to get married in the future. “Mainly because in Brazil this gives you rights and it’s important as a couple to have legal support,” comments Luís.
Psychiatrist Manoel Vicente, 32, and businessman Raphael Piza, 29, are also in a relationship that is different from the conventional one. They, who have been together for over 10 years, define their relationship as “free”.
The two, who live in Cuiabá (MT), got married earlier this month, shortly before the psychiatrist attended Casa de Vidro, on Big Brother Brazil. Manoel has not been chosen to officially enter the program, but his brief participation in the dispute has already caused non-monogamy to be discussed.
“Until we got on the show, we avoided talking openly about this topic. My friends knew our relationship was like this, but our family didn’t. It was something more private, and then the show came along and we knew that would have been advertised” , comments Manuel.
“We didn’t exactly hide it, but we didn’t go around yelling[about their relationship]. It was never an issue for us, but there was the issue of people not understanding,” adds Raphael.
According to them, the family received the information about their relationship with respect. “My mother gave a wonderful answer when asked about it. She is completely religious and also didn’t know what our relationship is like. But after the show when asked she said that such a relationship was better what a cheat,” laughed the psychiatrist.
The couple emphasizes that the main concept of the relationship is “loving freedom”.
“In our understanding, kissing other people is not cheating. Cheating is making up lies for the one you love,” says Manoel.
He and Raphael had a close relationship for the first four years of dating.
“At first we didn’t know about other relationship models, so we didn’t even think about other forms. But then I started doing some reading on these concepts, I saw some authors working on different ways of relating and we embarked on this and I saw that it made sense at the time,” says Manoel.
“The only rule we have is not to get involved with our old friends, who are practically our family,” adds the psychiatrist. “In the end, it all comes down to complicity and not having secrets between us,” completes Manoel.
For the psychologist Geni, known on social media as Genipapos, these relationships that deviate from traditional monogamy are part of an “anti-model”, in which people stop repeating “the massified values of monogamy as the only possible one for all people in the world”.
“Monogamy still stands as the only path in most movies, series, books, church, family and state, so it’s very interesting to see how many people feel uncomfortable with this imposition and look for other ways to live.” . , we live in an age where globally the same old answers have not been able to address the dilemmas of our time and there is a search for other ways, non-monogamy is part of that,” says Geni.
A BBC Worklife report last August addressed the growth of this type of relationship which departs from traditional monogamy. The text mentions that many social and cultural factors have led to a greater adoption of non-traditional relationship styles and that the pandemic may have also influenced this process.
But while interest in open relationships may be picking up, there’s no data on its true extent, at least for now, according to the BBC report. In Brazil, for example, there is no in-depth study on the extent of this type of relationship.
And the topic is vast. Within these discussions there are different types of relationships and there is not exactly one model to follow, each couple usually creates their own way of living non-monogamy.
Open relationships are associated with individuals who have a primary partner but may have casual relationships with other people. There are experts who say that this is a mixture of monogamy (because there is a couple as the main structure) with non-monogamy traits (because there is freedom to be with other people).
A clear example of non-monogamy is polyamory, which means having several serious relationships at the same time. That is, there is no couple at the heart of this type of relationship.
These most varied forms of relationship have been adopted between couples of all genders, ages or sexual orientations.
“In Brazil we use non-monogamy to talk about a vast set of different forms of relationships that reject emotional or sexual exclusivity. It is a more generic way of saying that there are many possibilities for free relationships”, explains the sociologist and the writer Marilia Moschkovich.
For the sociologist, an advocate of non-monogamy for nearly a decade, monogamy is a model full of problems and flaws.
“One of the problems with monogamy is saying that the person can only be with you, because that takes away sexual autonomy, their body and their desire. A world where people have full autonomy includes desire, sexuality and not a retaliatory moralism”, declares Marilia.
Experts believe that this type of relationship outside of what is considered traditional should continue to grow, as more and more people are expected to question monogamy as the main model of society.
As the debate on the subject grows, so do the attacks on those who adopt this type of relationship.
“There is still a great moral panic on the subject, a lot of judgment and discrimination, there are a number of risks in some family and work contexts,” comments psychologist Geni Núñez.
Recently Giovanna, from the “Non-monogamous Solutions” profile, suffered attacks of various kinds after sharing a video about her non-monogamous relationship.
“The video took on a very large proportion. A lot of people defended me, but I got a lot of horrible comments and various insults,” the student laments. He reported the case to the police and is considering prosecuting the people who offended her.
“Our content has always been in our non-monogamous bubble and has had a good reception, with little criticism. I think this is the first time I’ve come across so much hate,” she complains.
Despite the attacks, the pair have no plans to stop producing content for the internet, as they believe it will help shed some light on the subject. “Thanks to our publications, we receive messages of thanks from many people who are also non-monogamous or have become so,” says Luís.
And in the coming months, the topic should be increasingly debated during Big Brother Brazil. While experts believe the discussions could help clarify several points on the topic, there is also concern about how some might reinforce misconceptions about these relationships.
“One concern I have (regarding the extensive discussion of the topic in prime time) is that because for many people ‘non-monogamy doesn’t work’, there is already an expectation by many of the failure or mistake which confirms their previous prophecy. In the case of monogamy, we don’t see it. No one says, “I know a monogamous couple that ‘went badly,’ so this is proof that monogamy failed.” .
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