Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Taboo of Sleeping with an Exes Friend

Why is it so taboo to sleep with an exes friend after a breakup and yet encouraged to sleep with a random stranger to get over someone?  Bro’s before hoes and other such phrases come to mind.  I have touched on this before, so forgive me if I repeat a few thoughts here.  This is an important concept to question and give some serious consideration to.  We put so much emphasis on the thoughts and feelings of the injured party in a breakup and silly little rules, that I think we forget a few more human details in the process.

When you are newly single, often times, getting over that sexual hump is important.  Sex releases endorphin's and gets your body moving, so it is natural to seek this out when you are emotionally fragile.  Exercise and new experiences, or really anything positive is a good thing.  So why then do we put possible harmful limitations on ourselves when in this potentially fragile frame of mind?  We are not allowed to seek out human comfort from people that we know.  People who are safer, kinder, and we have relationships with?  Why are we not allowed to go seek a one nighter or a few weeks of fun from someone who is friends with the ex?  Society deems this action as taboo, as a social no no, that with which is frowned upon and just plain shunned from any party who knows about it. 

Now I ask you, why is it ok, and encouraged to go out to the bar and get some strange instead, from well, a stranger?  These people are high fived afterwards, congratulated for getting their ex out of their system and they can proudly brag about just using a person to get over someone else.  How is this healthy?  How is this acceptable?  Why is this sort of behavior encouraged?  All this goes hand in hand with just how sex negative our society can be.

Now let us not forget, that it stings to know that your friend and ex have slept together.  It is not a fun feeling, and it can ruin a friendship if you let it.  I have employed the notion of laughing at an ex and a friend sleeping together, laughing that he is now her problem, or sometimes cruelly thinking about some facet of our old sex lives that I no longer have to deal with.  The visual of two people I know being intimate sucks.  But if you really loved someone, the idea of them sleeping with anyone sucks.  Perhaps it is my enduring empathy that I have for people, even exes, that I would not wish them harm.  I would feel a strange and terrible sadness if they went out to the bar, had a one night stand and were physically harmed or emotional abused in some way.  That is much less likely to occur if they slept with someone they knew, not impossible of course, but there is a smaller chance. 

The long and the short of it is, when you are hurting, opening up to a stranger is tough.  Seeking solace in a friend is what they are there for.  If this leads to sexy times, then it does.  I have used complete discretion when I have slept with exes friends.  It is not rubbed in anyone's face, and what is more, we are all adults and can and should choose who we sleep with.  Just something to think about the next time you chastise a friend for sleeping with an ex.  In my opinion it should be more socially acceptable than the praise of sleeping with a stranger.  And the one final thought on the subject, when two people sleep together it almost never has to do with the exes.  It has to do with those two people, the moment, the lust, the whatever, and no one else.  Sleeping with someone else, and while having an ex on the brain is a whole other ball of wax ie revenge sex, or evening the scores (it happens of course, however it would take an entire piece to deal with the emotional goings on of a tryst like that).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Finding Balance in Communicating the Highs and Lows

Being open can be a balance game of sorts.  My best experiences are always when I am in a good place emotionally and physically.  I suppose that should be true of any relationship you are in, however when you are dealing with more than one person, the range of emotions is wider.  I am learning to center myself and refocus on things that make me happy whenever I feel that the emotions are getting the best of me. 

My early adult years involved a lot of roles where I played therapist to my friends.  It slowly evolved into me becoming a punching bag to many of those near me.  I found myself alone, exhausted, and drained as a result.  Although I did it to myself, there are days when I find myself lamenting having to close the door to so many people who just could not understand that my sole role in their lives was not to listen to the negativity and drama that they had created.  These of course were lessons that I needed to learn.  Finding the strength to kindly, but firmly decline listening to the problems of my friends was not easy, and challenges me at times today, especially with family. 

I find that I am often guilty of trying to predict the feelings or emotional responses that the people in my life may have, and then adjust my behaviour accordingly.  It is a habit I am trying hard to break.  Often I have to verbally tell myself to take a step back and remember that my feelings matter just as much as everyone else’s.  It is an interesting conundrum to be in.  I am nearly 30 and I still have troubles validating my own feelings.  Finding the strength to say that I am having a bad moment, and then to explain that it will pass challenges the pillar of strength I attempt to embody.

I wonder if people in monogamous relationships take as much time to soul search and really discover who they are and how best to communicate.  It was something I took for granted in monogamy as I have said many times.  As I just assumed, I was a good communicator because I did the opposite of how I was raised (as most children do), and then found myself horribly unhappy and isolated.  Now that I face myself, and a variety of people on an ongoing basis there is not opportunity to become stagnant.  I constantly am being challenged and offered so many chances to really communicate with those around me.  Freedom of expression is a real gift, and having a strong emotional IQ, is the only way openness could be successful.

 As I said, it can be a tricky balance game.  By allowing yourself to feel emotions, and react with acceptance, love and support, while at the same time acknowledging that not all feelings are OK.  That your partner is not a punching bag for your emotional negativity, and finding that point where you share more positives and joys than you do the bad.  And with multiple partners this is a critical point.  None of your partners, or friends for that matter should be the bearer of all your emotional upsets, each one needs to experience good times, in order to give a shit long enough to stick around for the bad.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Just Porn, and My Own Acceptance of Sexuality

I have a very popular post on this blog entitled Porn, JustPorn.  I reluctantly admit, that when people Google this subject they are not necessarily looking for some light reading, however the stats are what they are and I will take them.  My last post had to do with me finally being able to express what is really in it for me when it come to having an open relationship.  I would like to now bring these two trains of thought together, and perhaps make some sort of a point.

I know a lot of people out there are uncomfortable with the porn habits of their partner.  I have heard time and time again that porn should not be necessary when you are in a committed partnership.  Or that a sign of too much porn indulgence is a warning about something or other in your relationship.  I have heard it, seen it, and I have even felt this very thing.  What I fail to comprehend in all of this, is any sort of logic, it seems to be an emotional response that we accept rather than understanding it.  When I think of being in a happy and committed relationship, for better or worse, till death do us part, I have never once thought that my partner is now mine to control.  More to the point, I do not think that I have control over his mind, body or soul.  It is a partnership because I love and accept him, for him.

Sex is a natural part of being human.  I do not see the rationale behind telling someone whom I love, respect and judge to be a whole and unique individual that I now get a say in how they find pleasure.  Nor do I take kindly to the notion that my partner may have a say in when I can, or cannot have sex, alone or otherwise.  Or in what order I may choose to get off, for example do I try to have sex with him, prior to me getting myself off?  Does that seem reasonable?  And yet, too often, I hear the sad story of someone getting jealous because they caught their partner watching porn and did not even get a consult to see if maybe they wanted to have sex first.   Sometimes it can be really hot to be caught getting myself off, where as others, I close the door and have some private time for myself.  And I do not think that having a partner should change our individuality. 

As many people out there are choosing the lifestyle of monogamy, yes I believe it is a choice, at the very least I hope that you recognize you do not have control over your partners sexual desires.  I once read an article, where a woman was sitting on the washing machine and it vibrated in just the right way.  After she had some surprise fun, she wondered if she needed to tell her husband what had happened, and I kid you not, if he would be upset that she got off without him.  This is one of those laugh or cry moments for me.  I would never be in a relationship if that meant I had to give up who I was.  To relinquish control over my sexuality? To be told that I could or could not watch porn, and touch myself if I chose to.  I find it hard some days to admit that I am proud of my partners sexuality, and his desires for other woman.  The first step is admitting your own desires, and watching his excitement at my happiness brings me one step further to accepting all that he is, porn habits and all!  So in the end perhaps less of a point was made, and more of a rant.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

What I Love About Being Open

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” Albert Einstein.  I read this quote a few weeks ago and it finally has come true for me.  I was able to conversationally explain my open relationship to a friend, with simplicity and contentment.  I know this may not seem like such a big deal, but for me, writing is my preferred method of communication.  And for a while now, I have been able to clearly define what my partner gets out of being open, but have lacked the ability to fully commit to what I love about being open.  I enjoy many facets, and have for quite some time, but now to be able to reach the level where I can express it with words in an enthusiastic way, was quite liberating.

To be a male in an open relationship seems quite logical to many people whether it is a lifestyle of your choosing or not.  It is easy to describe to someone else the desire for a man to hunt, to seek out new challenges and to love variety.  There is a certain logic to this, and let us be honest, both men and woman alike have experienced this when dating.  Whether this was a positive or negative place in your life of course is open for some debate.  If we keep in mind that we are not monogamous daters we can see how men may feel that they give up more when they enter into a committed monogamous relationship.  And like I mentioned, this in the past has been easy for me to explain to people.  What has been a little trickier is when the question of “what’s in it for you?” creeps up.

I love that I do not have to hide my sexuality.  Or to cage my natural urges whenever something new catches my eye.  I am free to flirt, to tease, and to say no whenever I choose to.  I am proud to be a sexual being, and I will never be the property or sole possession of one man.  I have complete freedom of my sexuality, and expression in whatever form I choose for that to take.  I can confidently meet new people without restrictions for how the friendship or relationship may evolve.  I make choices safely, and consciously for me and my body and will get to do so for the rest of my life. 

Of course, I do all of this with respect and compassion for my partner.  I would not put him in a position that he was uncomfortable or insecure.  And if I ever feel insecure, or uncomfortable I can discuss and talk to him about my thoughts and feelings.  It is open because we have communication, trust and self awareness for what we both want.  I cannot kid myself into believing that I always like his choices, nor can I pretend that who I spend time with is always the best choice.  There will be mistakes, hurt feelings from time to time, and the occasional heartache as people come in and out of our lives. 

I am in a relationship that allows me the identity that I thrive on.  I am in a relationship filled with love and compassion, joy and laughter.  Whatever the future may hold, I am happy in the here and now, without any regrets.  I am proud of my choices.  And so happy that I can now express myself fully and completely.