One evening while we were downtown enjoying a date night together, we were approached by a man who later identified himself as Imani Shakur, director and podcast host to Relationships, Romance, and Propaganda, a YouTube channel that covers dating and relationships. Unbeknownst to us, Imani had seen us on some dating apps previously and knew we were in an open marriage.
Imani was charismatic, smart, and intuitive as he spoke to us and described his podcast. At this point in our journey, we didn’t think we were ready to make our relationship dynamic public. Like many others in our circumstances, we feared public shame, rejection, loss of friends and family, and the impact it would have on our daughter. After some discussion, Imani was kind enough to offer us an opportunity to be interviewed with his co-host Rachel Burke. We parted ways and let him know we’d discuss it and get back to him.
We spent some time going over the pros and cons of talking about our private lives and poly family dynamic so publicly. Doing an open marriage podcast is not something we ever thought we’d have the confidence to do. The thought of putting ourselves out there to be scrutinized by not only everyone in our circle of influence, but the rest of the world as well was intimidating to say the least. We both come from very conservative and religious upbringings and this news would come as a shock to our families. We have had hundreds if not thousands of conversations together regarding our lifestyle, we were afraid it would be impossible to condense all our understanding into one interview. Still, we fell back on our principles, we weren’t ashamed of the way we were living, we were proud of our relationship and the very special connections we’ve made along the way, and to do this interview was a liberating way for us to put action behind our beliefs.
There’s quite a bit of negative stigma related to open relationships, poly families, and non-monogamy in general. It’s often misrepresented or sensationalized by television programs and media. We don’t fit into the category of “swingers” just looking to fulfill sexual fantasies and experiences. We view this lifestyle with a much broader lens, it’s less about sex and more about open communication, fostering an environment of trust with one another, connecting with other amazing humans, and growing from the many different perspectives we expose ourselves to.
This open marriage podcast was very personal, we discussed relationship dynamics, sexual fantasies/desires, stories, learning lessons, etc. Realizing this could put our relationship under a microscope and would certainly generate discussions with friends and family, we decided to go forward with the interview. The good that could come of doing it outweighed the fear of criticism and judgment. Our goal was to tell our story so that others might tell theirs, to inspire, and shed light on this chosen lifestyle that not many people truly understand. Since doing this podcast, we’ve publicly announced our openness and freed ourselves of the fear of judgment. The outpouring of support we received since then has been an incredible experience and we’re so happy the feedback we’ve been given has been mostly positive.
We hope you enjoy our open marriage podcast, it was a very liberating experience for us. Feel free to comment with questions, we’ll be doing a Q & A based on the the responses we get.