The New York Times Magazine featured an article recently titled "Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?." I find the article an interesting read and I believe that it reflects a number of different experiences that people can have in open relationships, though somewhat limited to open marriages as a subset of open relationships.
My fascination is in the intensity of the comments after the article, many wholly against the idea of open relationships and critical if not scornful of people who engage in them. I often say that the judgements that people make say more about them than they do about what they are judging. I wonder if some of these critical comments--and this can apply to positive comments as well--come from people who came in with preconceived notions and who may not have read the article at all.
When I teach other therapists about working with clients in open relationships, one of the points that I make is that it is not a matter of wondering if open relationships should exist in the first place. Rather, it is a matter of accepting that they do exist, and if and when an open relationship client enters your office, you need to know how to handle it.