What I find disturbing about this is not the notion that he and his wife have an open relationship --I'm perfectly fine with that. As long as there's an open communication between the partners on their expectations and desires, I think pretty much anything that doesn't harm other human beings is completely fine. Thus, I'm completely fine with open relationships, with swinging, with polyamorous relationships, and so on. I think they fall in the normal range of human sexual behavior, if we're being honest. Humans aren't either polyamorous nor are they monogamous; we're in an awkward inbetween compared to most of our primate cousins, although we do lean more towards sexual monogamy.The Article wrote:She didn’t present it as an issue of feminism to me, but after much soul-searching about why the idea of my wife having sex with other men bothered me I came to a few conclusions: Monogamy meant I controlled her sexual expression, and, not to get all women’s-studies major about it, patriarchal oppression essentially boils down to a man’s fear that a woman with sexual agency is a woman he can’t control. We aren’t afraid of their intellect or their spirit or their ability to bear children. We are afraid that when it comes time for sex, they won’t choose us. [...] When my wife told me she wanted to open our marriage and take other lovers, she wasn’t rejecting me, she was embracing herself. When I understood that, I finally became a feminist.
But what I find disturbing is that he clearly thinks that if he, as a person, weren't okay with his partner having sex with other people, then it would be his fault, his problem, and his insecurities. Moreover, he's literally arguing that if he were not okay (more generally, if any man) with his wife having sex with other people, then it's because deep-down, he wants to literally oppress her and is, essentially, being sexist.
Honestly, I think anyone with even a small modicum of self-reflection should be able to see that the consequences of this logic are pretty devastating in their own regard. Firstly, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. By extension, he is arguing that women who are not okay with their husbands or boyfriends having sex with other women, then all of this is because women themselves are deeply insecure or trying to oppress their male partners. Maybe he is okay with this, but I suspect that there are a lot of feminists that would not agree with this conclusion or at least believe it so wantonly. Secondly, I really fail to grasp what the real "feminist" issue here is. This is about sexual relationships, and the issue he's raising is hardly restricted to men wishing to control women in some patriarchal, oppressive, sexist regime. At best, he could argue that there is a Puritanical leftover from our culture wherein people --which he is arguing unhealthily and unethically-- expect that they have control over their partner's genitals. And that's a conversation that could be had, and it's probably even an interesting one with regards to sexual ethics. But it's not a feminist issue, and it's not convincingly a forgone conclusion that if someone doesn't want their partner to step out on them that it's because that someone has some deep-seated desire to oppress or control their partner.