Should You Veto The “Veto Rule”?

The veto rule is one of the most common rules swinging couples discuss when they come into the lifestyle. The rule essentially gives either party the ability to “veto” play for any reason. Many people who practice non-monogamy make an assumption that the veto rule is an obvious one. But I’d like to challenge that idea. What would happen if you abolished the veto rule?


But wait ….. Only Have Sex When You Want To
Before we begin, I want to be very clear that I absolutely believe in the right of any person to say “no” to sex at any time for any reason. If you don’t want to play with someone, you absolutely should feel confident enough to use the veto rule on yourself. I’m talking about the trend to use the veto rule on your partner. If you have no sexual involvement in the situation, should you be allowed to “veto” the partner your spouse has chosen?

Aka ….. Don’t Take One For The Team
This is completely different than ”taking one for the team”. For example, Fred and Wilma meet with Barney and Betty to decide if there is a 4-way connection. Fred and Betty are super attracted to each other, but Wilma just isn’t feeling it with Barney. I don’t believe that Wilma should “take one for the team” and play with Barney just to make Fred and Betty happy. She should respectfully and honestly make it clear that she doesn’t feel a connection and isn’t interested in playing.

But does this mean that she should also pull the plug on Fred and Betty’s opportunity? For some couples, yes. They’ve made the decision that they only want to play together. When there isn’t a four way connection, they opt out altogether. This is a perfectly acceptable solution. If this is working for you and you are happy, then great!! Keep meeting new couples. That elusive 4-way connection is out there for you.

But what if that’s not working for you? Have you been meeting new people and looking at profiles for way too long and wondering if you’re ever actually going to get lucky? Is one or both of you getting frustrated when you miss out on the opportunity to play with someone to whom you feel a strong connection?

What if the Veto Rule didn’t apply??
My husband and I have been having a lot of conversations about this lately. He is a strong believer in the “veto” rule. I think that I should allow him to play with whoever he finds interesting whether I personally “like” the girl or not.

There are a few ways that my husband likes to practice this rule in our relationship. At a play party, my husband wants me to check in with him before leaving to a private place to play. If I meet a guy online or an event and want to plan a solo date with him, hubby hopes to meet him first. He’ll then make a determination about whether or not he is okay with the idea or if he wants to “veto” the play. From his standpoint, this is about protecting me and being part of a couple. After all, he says, we are doing this together. There is a short ”no-fly” list, which is basically the men my husband has asked me not to play with simply because of his comfort level (or lack thereof).

My own philosophy differs from my husband’s. I’m not a fan of the veto rule. Instead, I come from a philosophy of wanting to allow my husband to make his own determinations about his sexual partners. This doesn’t mean that I am always comfortable with his choices. But that usually has more to do with me than with him. I might be insecure about something. I might simply not be interested in his playmate as a person. There have even been times when I’ve thought to myself, “This isn’t going to end well.” Part of my reasons for being in this lifestyle are to open up my ideas about sex, love, and relationships. It’s a form of personal development for me, and I hope for my partners. Including my husband.

How do we handle it?
We end up playing in the middle somewhat. We don’t have a firm veto rule in place, but the concept itself does exist. I suppose what we each try to do is limit our use of the veto rule unless it feels absolutely necessary. We do our best to allow the other to explore their own interests and make their own mistakes. Out of respect for my husband, I try very hard not to be annoyed when he plays the veto card on a particular guy. I’m not perfect, but I continue to do my best. We all have our own comfort levels and it is very important that we are aware of those and can communicate them well.

How do you handle it?

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What do you think?

Written by Matt and Bianca


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