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But Leah and Ryan, 32 and 38, respectively, don’t fit these preconceived ideas. She wears pretty skirts; he wears jeans and trendy glasses.They have a large, downtown apartment with a sweeping view and are possessed of the type of hip hyperawareness that lets them head off any assumptions as to what their arrangement might entail.Moreover, they see themselves as part of a growing trend of folks who do not view monogamy as any type of ideal.

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One of the things all the therapists had noticed over the past few years was “that couples – and these are younger people, twentysomethings, maybe early thirties – are negotiating what their brand of monogamy can be.

They are opening up to having an open relationship, either in totality or for periods of time.

For Kristina, two boyfriends are exactly two too many. When she arrived at Syracuse freshman year, Kristina had certain ideas about what her romantic life would entail.

It’s a Friday night in January 2013, the last weekend of the term that sorority girls at Syracuse University can go out until rush season is over, and so it’s pretty much destined to be a rager, especially for Kristina, a 20-year-old junior who jokingly calls herself the “Asian Snooki” because of her impressive ability to throw down. In a small bedroom in Kristina’s sorority house, her friend Ashley stands in front of a mirror wearing a blue miniskirt and a loose tee, the bagginess of which Kristina eyes skeptically. “As a freshman, you're like, ‘OK, maybe I'll find my college sweetheart and we'll be together forever and we'll graduate and it'll be perfect,’” she tells me later.

Tonight is one of those nights, and soon Leah will head to Jim’s penthouse apartment, where the rest of the evening, she says, will probably entail “hanging out, watching something, having sex.” “She’ll usually spend the night,” Ryan adds nonchalantly, which gives him a chance to enjoy some time alone or even invite another woman over.

He doesn’t have a long-standing secondary relationship like Leah (“I’ve actually veered away from doing that”), but he certainly enjoys the company of other women, even sometimes when Leah is home.This generation is radically rethinking straight sex and marriage, but at what cost?In Part One of a two-part series, Rolling Stone goes under the covers in search of new approaches to intimacy, commitment and hooking up.By the end of their dinner at a small Italian restaurant in New York’s West Village, Leah is getting antsy to part ways with her boyfriend Ryan, so that she can go meet up with her boyfriend Jim.It’s not that she means to be rude, it’s just that Jim has been traveling for work, so it’s been a while since she’s seen him. As her “primary partner” and the man with whom she lives, he is the recipient of most of Leah’s attention, sexual and otherwise, but he understands her need to seek companionship from other quarters roughly one night a week.Ryan is a young Generation X’er, while she’s an older Millennial.

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