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Oddly, when it comes to consensual nonmonogamy, the consent part is generally considered more taboo than sharing sex or romance with more than one person. That’s because cheating is an acknowledged aspect of social norms.

It’s common for people to discuss cheating as something that unfortunately happens. In contrast, knowing that one’s partner is having sex with, or falling in love with, someone else — and being okay with that? Actually negotiating nonmonogamy? Agreeing to it? Maybe even meeting or befriending their other partners? That’s where the shaming and freakouts tend to start.