Thursday, 27 April 2017

Some People Are Assholes and Give Non-Monogamy a Bad Name

As a follow up to a recent post about practicing Ethical Non-Monogamy, I feel it is only fair to mention that sometimes people are just assholes and don’t give a damn about ethics.  I like to imagine my perfect world where these people are in the minority or don't exist at all.  However the truth is that people do exist who are looking for open relationships or non monogamy for all the wrong reasons.  If you are curious about opening up your relationship, and would like to start swinging or any other variety of monogamish, I truly hope that your positive experiences far outweigh the negative.  This is a story however of a very misguided male seeking a relationship without the word ethics in his vocabulary.

One of my non-monogamy forums that I frequent had a male user ask for advice and help with assisting his wife to open up their marriage.  This is a question I have been asked quite a few times over the years.  And there are many books, forums and resources available to help introduce non-monogamy to someone who has never heard the term.  Here however is this guys back story and why he is an asshole.  They were together for 15 plus years, had a young child and he was miserable. The problem in his words, was that he was trapped so to speak, because he had to turn down sex from a young, hot female due to his monogamous marriage.  So this guy did a bunch of research, and decided he was prepared to divorce his wife, and lose his child in order to sleep with other people.  He was willing to lose everything he had, in order to have full control over his sex life.  And he decided to call this his true nature, that he was either open or polyamorous at heart.  Let that story sink in for a moment. 

Now, here you are, looking for new partners in non-monogamy and you come across a profile for this guy.  He presents himself as a good family man, married, and with full blessings from his wife to have a little fun on the side.  What you don’t know is that he forced her to let him have some strange for fear of losing their family.  She is at home, miserable, devastated and he is out chasing tail because it is his God given right as a man to have sex with whomever he chooses.  He had a chance encounter with the notion of non monogamy and will do what it takes to prove the grass is greener on the other side.  Spoiler alert, it is NOT!  Non-monogamy is hard, and this guy does not have the communication or emotional aptitude to be successful, that is my earnest hope at any rate.

I’m sorry to say, this story is real.  A woman out there is going through this.  This man is on Tinder, and is actively seeking strange, as his family falls apart.  And if you chatted with him, you would never know.  My heart breaks for this woman, and I abhor this man.  But what does that mean for the rest of us?  Do we give up because there are bad apples out there who are abusing the system?  No, we promote ethical Non-Monogamy.  

We call out people like this.  If we are on a date with this person, we ask them if their significant other is really OK with things.  If they are not listed on each others profile, ask to meet them.  Watch this person’s reaction, and be critical in your thinking.  Protect yourself, physically and emotionally.  Everyone is entitled to make a mistake here and there, but we have a duty to be respectful of our fellow man.  To do no harm.  This arrogant man has proclaimed that he was in physical turmoil being tied down to one woman, forever.  But he made the commitment for a monogamous marriage and is now changing the rules.  This man, is an asshole.  This man is NOT the norm within the non-monogamous community, but you need to be prepared in case you meet him or chat with him.  What he is doing is selfish and cruel, and we can either be afraid of experiencing this lifestyle on the off chance that we may run into him, or we can be aware and have a plan for when we do.  Let’s work together to make this lifestyle a welcome place to be, ask questions and grow in your own sexuality.  And finally, don’t be that asshole!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Reactions to My Open Relationship Over the Years

Last week I wrote a little rant about Ethical Non-Monogamy and how it is a major part of my life in response to an internet stranger.  So this week I will bring it in a little closer to home.  One of the most common questions I get asked in person is how do my friends and family react to me being in an open relationship?  Well, with my immediate family, we typically do not discuss it.  I don’t ask my parents about their sex life, and they don’t ask about mine.  Many support me from a healthy distance.  However, there are moments that my nearest and dearest have made comments that either shocked or made me really question things.  I have been jotting these moments down for quite a few years, so here are a few of them.

When I first told my family that E and I were in an Open Relationship, prior to my blogging days, my immediate family was not impressed.  I was told that I was doing this for him, and that this was not who I was.  I was told that “this was a novelty and it would wear off, and then what?  Where would I be?”  And the one that got me blogging and cease talking to them about it was that “this is a phase you are going through, not a lifestyle.  How could you possible raise a family and settle down living the way you do?”.

My friends have been a little less judgemental or at least a little broader in their reactions.  One friend talked at length to me, about his experiences and warned me that “this a novelty that would wear off.  That the thrill seeking is all well and good, but [wondered] if I thought what I would feel like when I was alone again.”  I have been asked point blank “so what? Are you guys just full blown swingers now?”  Or on the more inquisitive side of the spectrum, “I have always been really curious about that sort of lifestyle, but I would have no idea how to bring it up or even ask about it. Personally I know it is not for me.  Still though, there are questions that I wish I could ask.“  And then my dear friend who remarked one evening “I am so jealous that you guys are able to do that.  I could never ever open up like that, I am way to jealous.”

And last but not least, here is one of my friends responses when I told her we were starting to date couples.  “This sounds really cool because it is a couple you found together, get to know together and become friends with together.  It is a shared experience of friendship.  Real dating but multiplied and done together.”

With this vast range of reactions and being face to face, I have learned to just let people speak.  To listen, and do my best to keep my poker face on.  When I was first starting out, I would get defensive and or to boast about how amazing this really was.  Now I have a quiet confidence.  I understand this lifestyle is not for everyone, and I have no reason to talk about my lifestyle endlessly or bring it up every chance I get.  If someone wants to brings it up, they are free to talk.  And as long as no one is cruel or rude, I let them react the way they see fit. Whether you like it or not, my friends and family, we are all in this journey together... kidding! Sort of...

Thursday, 13 April 2017

I Practice Ethical Non-Monogamy and it Does Not Make Me Full of Shit

So apparently claiming to be an “ethical non-monogamous person makes [me] full of shit”.  This is a real statement received earlier this week, and it perfectly summarizes the many messages that I have read and heard over the years.   The person further explained that we are “just looking for a loophole that will allow [us] to bang multiple people without being accountable”.  The first part makes me angry, while the second part could not be farther from the truth.  So, let me hash out my thoughts in a full post, and explain a few things about my lifestyle.

Firstly, I believe in ethical non-monogamy.  And it took me a long time to understand it, practice it, and finally embrace it.  My blog is a journey through this lifestyle and over the past few years, there had been a lot more adventure, and less questioning.  I see real progression in myself and my point of view, wants and needs.  With that being said, let me for a moment, put the word non-monogamy on the back burner and just focus on the word ethical.

My entire life, the one key factor to my being is the want and desire to be regarded as ethical.  I strive to be level headed and to do what’s right, kind, and compassionate to my fellow man, and to myself.  Growing up I was told often that I should become a judge.  I never use the term ethical lightly.  It is an important and very core part of who I am.  My most memorable challenges throughout my life have occurred when I was questioned as to the ethicacy of an action of mine.  For the most part when this happens I walk away, and I search in myself for days/weeks/whatever it takes to ensure that I do not portray similar actions in future that would bring my ethics into question.  Therefore, calling my ethics into question certainly rubs me the wrong way.

Now let me examine the second portion of this rash statement, of the finding loopholes and not being accountable.  You know, I cannot entirely argue with the loophole part.  Yes, to many it could be perceived as a loophole.  For myself, and anyone who has read “Sex at Dawn”, I would challenge that it is more than a loophole, and more a natural part of who we are.  With that being said, I don’t feel that loophole was used in a derogatory way, more so, as a word filled with jealousy.  Yeah, I found a way to have my cake and eat it too, so what?  No one is stopping you from doing the same.  But with that in mind I do love that we have monogamy, and non-monogamy to choose from.  It is your life, and you are free to live it, in whatever capacity that you and your partner choose.  Variety in our sexual relationships allows for evolution, compassion, learning, and plain old fun times to be had.

Finally, let me address the last part of this persons statement, and that was the laughable not being accountable part.  I have mentioned in a post years ago about safe sex, and how being open ensures that safety is of the utmost importance.  Why?  Because I am engaging in activity that not only will affect myself, but also my partner.  We take safety, and cleanliness seriously.  As our risks are more than just an occasional dirty toilet seat, we do not jeopardize ourselves or our partners.  Simply put, I take excellent care of myself and try to take zero unnecessary chances.  I will not fuck up both of us, and I ensure that I am accountable for all of my actions.  Nothing foul proof of course, and I recognize that, but I try very hard to dot all the I’s and cross my T’s every single time.

So in summary, being ethical in non-monogamy is real.  I do not see how it makes me full of shit.  And the jealousy that this poor person felt is on them, not on me.  This lifestyle could be regarded by some as a loophole, but if everyone is doing it, then it becomes a norm.  A recent statistic came out that nearly 4% of all marriages in the USA are open.  So I’m pretty sure that this qualifies my relationship norm as more than just a lifestyle cheat so to speak, to get some strange.  The bottom line, do who and what makes you happy.