"It sounds like a complete cop-out, but I felt I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have the freedom to experiment." Although Jake simply figured this phase would pass and he'd eventually stop "experimenting," he didn't realize his wife was doing the same thing. I guess my own guilt forced me to deal with it logically," he says.That changed the day he spotted an unused condom in her purse. That night they had a long, frank conversation about their relationship.Call them cheaters, swingers, or "whatever couples"—the bottom line is these couples buck monogamy for a more open approach to their relationship.

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Neither wanted to end it, but both agreed their desire to experiment with others wasn't something they were ready to abandon just yet.

"It was painful," says Karen*, "but the fact that we could be so honest with each other, I think, made our love stronger." Full disclosure allowed them to clear the quiet tension that had been building between them.

"If she gets something she likes, she'll stick with it." "People are stuck on what's normal, what's right, what's wrong," Pitbull adds. A couple from Kansas probably can't even begin to imagine the kind of stuff I've done or the type of relationship I have.

What counts at the end of the day is everybody being happy." DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL Once upon a time, if you lived in a small town, your options for the opposite sex were limited.

"She's always like, ‘Yeah, I know, he told me.' Other people's bullshit doesn't affect us. Most of Pitbull's friends in Miami aren't as open, and they think he's a bit nuts.

"At the same time, they'll be like, ‘Damn, I wish I had a relationship like yours,'" he says.Their openness isn't a license to bed everything in sight—respect and discretion rule. D., professor of psychology at the University of Washington and co-author of The Myth of Monogamy."Having an open relationship can work really well for some people," he says.He knew his girlfriend, Elizabeth*, wasn't faithful, but he came to terms with it—or so he thought—because she always brought home girls for him. I never had a relationship like that, but then it started to get to me," he says. I didn't like that she wanted to share me." Although they still hook up every now and then (extra girl included), Philip and Elizabeth are no longer together.Others, however, have actually made the "whatever" concept work."A whole bunch of dudes who could say they'd had my wife? In the meantime, the 30-year-old music executive from Atlanta did his thing with countless women.