I would be very well off if I had a loonie every time I’ve heard this question over the years. And while most repetitive questions seem to lessen in impact the more times I get asked, this particular one still makes me bristle. And occasionally just go off into a blind rage. What really gets me, is the whole permissions aspect. Do I need to seek approval for my body and sex life with other people? Is he my master? Keeper of the keys?
When I calm down, I can recognize that the base line of almost any relationship is a series of negotiations and promises to behave a certain way. And in non-monogamy as many of my readers are already aware, we go past what society has raised us to believe and actually have verbal conversations about all the behaviours we are Ok with. And we re-negotiate, sometimes with a lot of frequency. It’s a skillset that makes being in the lifestyle much calmer, and ethical.
But back to the rage part. When I hear that question, it is almost always comes off judgemental. And possessive and all these emotions that I hated in myself when monogamous. It brings up feelings that I am so grateful to have worked past. Yes, it is my problem in how I react. But at the same time, what is the asker really expecting as an answer? No, he doesn’t let me, I just do it. Or nope, it’s called cheating for a reason…duh! Or how about, it’s my body and he’s not the boss of me!
And the answer is not, yes either. It’s not that simple. We agree to a lifestyle that works for us in our current relationship dynamic. He doesn’t let me, and I don’t let him. We mutually agree to be non-monogamous and have explored a wide range of norms stemming from seeing other people, to swinging, to seeing couples together. We are evolving and exploring. And we do it together!
I know that when the question is asked it is done so with incredulity. Or shock and surprise. Sometimes there is a very funny brain exploding look in their eyes. And yes, I get that. But come on, as a society we have got to start improving how we communicate. Don’t just ask a loaded question like that. Ask questions in a way that lends to the sort of answer you want, or is closer to the information you are wanting to receive. Because honestly, I am getting tired of my blood pressure spiking because you don’t know how to ask an intelligent question. The truth is, if you get me going, in thoughtful discourse, I can be enlightening, informative and will quite willingly engage you in a wide range of queries. But when you start off accusatory, I shut down and assume you cannot handle even hearing about my life. And that is your loss, because I have some pretty fantastic stories.
So, in summary. I get why you ask. But please, try to wipe that deer in the headlights look off your face before you open your mouth. Quit judging and criticizing a frame of living that most definitely does not affect you in the slightest. Work on your communication and conversation skills, because that my friend will go a long way for everyone! And don’t be surprised if I ask you something way out of line back, because you deserve every ounce of inappropriate I can dish out!
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