Is it Ethical to Date the Monogamous When You Are Non-Monogamous?

Oh yes, I am definitely going there, and I truly hope that we get some discussion or debate rather than just the very easy like or block.  Why is that?  Because this is a subject that I personally have flip flopped a few times on in my non-monogamous exploration and believe is something that should be part of our dialogue when deciding to explore relationships outside of your primary one.  So let me clarify a few considerations that went into me deciding if this is ethical or not for my own life, and share with you the actual thought process that I went through to reach my current leanings.

First, I think it is very fair to hypothesize that the current generation of people we are interacting with were raised monogamous.  With that assumption in mind, being that we all started believing monogamy was the only relationship norms, then it follows suit that at one point we were all dating someone non-monogamous when we ourselves were of a monogamous mindset.  And were in fact converted, enlightened, or had an experience that made us want to run away from monogamy forever! 

Second, the point about disclosure.  If we assume that we were all monogamous at one point, then the real point of discussion lies in the realm of disclosure.  At when point do you tell a monogamous person that you are of a non-monogamous persuasion? Here, I believe it is a little different depending on the gender or the goal that you have in non-monogamy.  For me, and for my safety and sanity, I disclose before I ever meet someone.  My reasoning is, that I prefer to have the, no my lifestyle does not make me a slut, and no in fact, taking me out for a beer is not a guarantee of an easy lay, before meeting someone. Whereas, for my partner, it is much easier for him to have the non-monogamy conversation in person to feel out the person that he is meeting for the first time.  He has been burned many times by women who claim they are curious or OK with non-monogamy and then turn out to be complete liars on this point.  The only way for him to be sure, is to read their body language with a face to face conversation.

The take away? Disclosure within the first meeting or prior makes dating a non-monogamous person ethical for me.  While I would never try and force non-monogamy, polyamory or open relationships on anyone, I do feel that a monogamous person should be given the same opportunity to explore a world outside of there raised standard that I was.  I would never have met my partner if his rule was to ignore all monogamous women. While for me, I have been a lot more successful sticking to already exposed non-monogamous men, I have certainly had much more fulfilling conversations with those who are monogamous. 

As a tiny little aside to this statement, men who are non-monogamous, primarily want to discuss sex, fetishes, and all their kinks with me on a very first meeting. It’s like they are beyond pent up and just erupt with overshare the moment they meet me.  Yes, I find this intensely distasteful. I do not discuss sex with anyone within a first meeting. Get to know me as a person first!  Whereas with monogamous men, I find they are much more keen to get to know me, ask questions and share their reservations or interest level in a far less sexualized context.  I feel like more of a person on a monogamous date, which is something I hope changes in the next few years, because honestly non-monogamous dudes, you are ruining your chances by this behaviour!!! 

Ok, back to the topic at hand.  Yes, I feel dating a monogamous person is completely ethical so long as you disclose right away. This is based on a few things, including my own personal experience, the fact that the non-monogamous pool is far too tiny to stick to, and currently, the men in that pool are not at a level that I find them attractive (with the exception of dating couples which is currently my preference).

Will this opinion change?  Perhaps, especially if the trend of non-monogamy keeps growing at the current rate.  In 20 years, it is possible that everyone will have been exposed to non-monogamy in some form or another and will have already made their fully educated choice on the matter.  And at that point, it would be silly to date someone who had already made their monogamous choice, and open you up to intense heartache!  But for now, it really is the only way to meet new people and have some great conversations and experiences!

I want to hear your thoughts ethically dating when non-monogamous, so join the conversation on Twitter, or show your support on my Patreon!

Drama Free on Non-Monogamous Profiles

Oh for the love of… just stop!  Using drama free as a tagline or whatever in your online dating profile especially on the non-monogamous ones is just bad from!  My stance on this should not be any surprise if you have read any of my online dating tips and tricks (feel free to search them out in my sidebar).  And I would love to just leave this one alone, but as the non-monogamous dating pool is super tiny, I figure this particular topic needs its very own post.  When I see that someone or a couple wants “drama free” in their non- monogamous profile, it the opposite of what I assume is the desired effect for the author.  For me, it is a huge red flag, so much so that I am actually turned off.  And as I see it so frequently, let me tell you a few reasons why I feel you should remove it from your profile if you are currently using it.

First up, it is such an unnecessary thing to write, in fact it borders on just being a ridiculous statement.  Does anyone actually seek out drama, and if so, are those people really ones you want to hang around with?  To put another way, have you ever noticed that the people in your life that are super concerned about avoiding drama are the ones who have the most of it?  Yes? No? Maybe? Well, look around.  Drama, is surprisingly enough very easy to avoid.  Simply put, don’t get involved in other people’s shit, especially when it has nothing whatsoever to do with you.  Because the reality is you probably have enough going on in your own life without putting your nose in other people’s business.  Life is complicated, relationships are complicated, play on your own turf!  And trust me, your life will be so much simpler and calmer if you focus on your own problems, and leave other adults to do the same, unless they ask for your help or advice.

Next up, what does “no drama” really mean?  Well, my first impression is usually that you are just looking for no strings attached sex (or NSA).  But rather than putting that you want NSA on your profile, like a mature human who knows what they want, you instead choose to sugar coat it with an over encompassing buzz word.  And it’s almost brilliant because if any feelings develop, or you get into a situation that you are not emotionally able to handle you can use the clever excuse that you said “drama free” right from the start.  And therefor you absolve yourself from having to deal with anything above and beyond intercourse.  You are soooooooo clever.

Third, part of being non-monogamous in an ethical and mature manor is knowing how to communicate.  And if you have been in the lifestyle for any length of time, you have probably stumbled with your partner and realized that you truly had no clue what good communication really was, is, and everything in between.  So for the people who believe that drama free is the ideal in the lifestyle, I have to ask you to take a picture of the view from your glass house and then send it to me.  If you are not able to ask a couple out, politely decline an invitation for sex, breakup with a couple or even talk about safe sex and the dreaded we made a mistake (STI, STD, or breach of trust) then you have no business being in any relationship outside of monogamy.  And based on what I see on online forums there are a great many people out there who believe that one form or another of the above list constitutes as drama and something that they do not have time in their lives to deal with.  Here’s a new flash, humans are complicated and fallible.  If you honestly think you can avoid dealing with all the so-called drama, then you are going to CRASH AND BURN!  Again, humans make mistakes, and you cannot completely isolate yourself from the emotions of others.  And if my understanding of the word drama is accurate, emotions could definitely constitute as a deal breaker or something you are trying to avoid.

So, let’s be clear here, people who seek out drama are not fun to be around.  People who avoid drama are equally as bad because honestly, I need to trust that if shit hits the fan, you can deal with it like a grown up!  If that is not the case, you are not getting near my body!  On a side note, that’s why people at clubs who get a little too intoxicated really turn me off.  I don’t find volatility sexy, especially because I have worked so freaking hard on my own emotional control, I know that if I can learn to control myself, you can too.  So please, remove “drama free” from your profile.  It’s sending the wrong message.  We are all trying to find our own brand of fun.  And if there is something specific you don’t want to encounter, say that.  Stop using all encompassing buzz words that do not convey accurately the type of relationship or interaction that you seek.

Did you know I post behind the scenes pictures on my Patreon?  Definitely worth a little look…

Guest Post – A Non-Monogamous Origins Story

Every so often I read an origins story that is raw, real and touches on the true spirit of the non-monogamous journey.  And today, I was lucky enough that the person who wrote it, is not only a friend, but granted me permission to share his series of Tweets on my blog.  Every non-monogamous journey is unique and what struck me about his, is that it is so different from my own.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but as many of my readers know, my relationship was non-monogamous from the beginning, whereas his was completely monogamous, and yet, years later, we find ourselves with many more similarities than differences.   

@LustinForya thank you for allowing me to share your series of tweets in the original form, as I feel there is much to be gained by your journey exactly as you shared it!

First off let me preface with the fact that I am 35, have been in a relationship since high school with my best friend. 18 years and 4 kids, and we still have sex daily/multiple times daily. Never thought there was anything “missing” and in the normal sense there still isn’t.

We had both always considered ourselves strictly monogamous. About 6 years ago, we decided to start a dirty anonymous Twitter account up to explore a little of our kinkier sides her being an exhibitionist and me a bit of a voyeur, it seemed like a safe place to begin.

We had YYC in our @ so it didn’t take long till we were chatting with local folks from the naughty side if Twitter Very shortly after that we discovered @capcyyc and were intrigued, a little research, and a few chats with Twitter locals that had been and away we went.

We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a place where, at the time we didn’t feel like we belonged, we were intimidated and almost bolted Luckily one of our Twitter followers happened to be there that night, we chatted and they were similar to us and really put us at ease.

We ended up having sex for the first time in “public” and it was game changing… the sexual energy it introduced to our already very satisfying sex life was amazing. She was able to be seen, and I was able to enjoy her, and watch others play. It was like the perfect result.

We started making “the club” a regular thing. We met a few cool people but but were still fully monogamous. Fantasy, time and understanding slowly weakened our desire to stay that way. We both expressed a curiosity, and started looking for other couples who were interested.

The lessons we learned weren’t easy ones to handle… communicating needs, wants, and boundaries being foremost But then there’s the rejection… and here’s s a couple posts by @K_Ghislaine I wish I had read back then.

Part I: Rejection in the World of Monogamy

Part II: Rejection in the World of Non-Monogamy

Fast forward through some trials, and we found ourselves out at a different local club and we were invited in to an orgy. This on its own was amazing, but in the middle of a pile of people, we were still just having sex with each other. Not really sure what else to do.

Thankfully, at least for shy inexperienced us, the opportunity for the Mrs. to give another guy oral arose ( yes bad pun I know) And after a quick silent conversation with me, she indulged. All the fear of the unknown that held us back melted away after that moment.

And baby step after baby step over the course of nearly 6 years, we went from monogamy to “full swap” swinging. But that doesn’t make things easier, finding couples that all jive together is so beyond difficult it’s hard to put to words.

The closest thing I can think of… is the difference between our eyes, and the eyes of a mantis shrimp Here is a great video if you don’t get that reference https://youtu.be/F5FEj9U-CJM  Needless to say 99% of the time we went home without any “extra” action.

That 1% though… We ended up making connections with a few pretty amazing people, some of which are probably reading this as I write it. And you can out yourselves if you want you sexy fuckers. Aside from them, for us, the swinging scene just didn’t quite fit

It started to feel like a 5 hour race; Show up, drink, socialize, drink, try to find a couple we are interested in, drink, small talk, drink, chat to see if things click, drink, find a space, and then play All in the span of about 5 hours. Getting too drunk is a easy issue.

Now, I think it’s important to mention, I’m sapiosexual, introverted, and have social anxiety… and I drink very little, 1 or 2 tops. So these “5h races” didn’t sit well with me. The Mrs clung to liquor to calm herself, but it’s a double edged sword, and too drunk was often.

Something needed to change, but returning to monogamy wasn’t in the cards. We looked at our relationship and started talking about casual solo play. We both decided it was something to give a chance and explore.

The Mrs, being the sweet, bubbly, extroverted, drop dead gorgeous, social butterfly. Has always had men tripping over themselves for a chance to take her out. She found a guy she was interested in immediately and started seeing him regularly. Me, no such luck…

I’m glad things played out that way, as I was able to stay objective and and got a chance to explore my feelings, expectations, and projections as they came up, unencumbered by my feelings for another human in the mix

That brings us to our most current relationship evolution. Turns out that the guy the Mrs is seeing is a cool cat, and she’s developed some feelings for him, and him for her She still meets all my needs, and when some aren’t met, we talk, things adjust, and we get closer.

And, even socially anxious, introverted Me, has been able to use online dating (OKC), to make a couple really awesome connections, with some amazing women, who are so incredibly different than my wife, and have been able to satisfy needs that I didn’t even know I had!

I guess that’s the end for tonight, as it’s closing in on midnight and I’ve got to be up at 6, and my thoughts are taking a little longer to make coherent statements Next time… trials of jumping into the dating pool for the first time EVER as a 35yo man.

 

Do I Have to Stop Supporting Someone’s Work Because There Are Sexual Allegations Against Them?

Over the Christmas holidays I read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, and I absolutely loved the blend of humor and his take on modern dating because it overlaps with what I teach and coach in my day job.  It was one of those positive affirmation books.  Something that I envisioned promoting as a tool to help send the message home of how my clients could or should be approaching dating.  There were just so many times that I nodded excitedly, yes, YES!  This is exactly what I have seen over the years and this is exactly the problem that needs to be sorted out.  Thank you Aziz, for researching this, and providing a book that basically spells out the current key focus in modern dating, that quest for perfection.

So, just as I am in the process of adding this book to my recommended reading list on my coaching website, a sexual allegation was made against him.  Well, damnit!  Now what do I do?  Do I now have a moral obligation to stop supporting his past work, because of a woman’s unproven story.  But wait, does it even have to be proven?  Isn’t that the whole point, that we are starting to shift the mentality to trust women when they come forward, because it does more good than harm?  Ok, let’s go with that.  I’m trusting that this woman was truthful, that she said no, and he crossed the line.  Fine, but what do I do with my recommendation for his book?  Do I pull the book and stop encouraging clients to read it?  Do I start from square one, finding a similar book, with a premise that I support, and an author who has no black marks against him to help my business?  Can I ethically feel comfortable giving this guy money, in order to help my clients?  These questions are difficult because it affects my livelihood.  I could lose prospective clients because of where I place my support.  But, I could also use the resource as intended to actually help people who matter to me.  And let’s be realistic, his book has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations.  So on a simple apples to apples comparison, do the pros’ outweigh the cons’?

These are the tough questions we need to start asking ourselves.  We are making it clear that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.  But where is the reach of this going to end?  Is this something that will affect a person’s future indefinitely, impact their past work and ruin the lives of their children?  Where are we going to draw the line?  Or will it be judged on a person by person basis?  In essence creating a flexible standard of judgement based on the alleged actions and taking into account a person’s history or even accepting their apology? Or perhaps we will land somewhere in the middle, I just don’t know, nor does anyone right now.

I will tell you honestly, that I felt a little weird watching Aziz Ansari last week, on an episode of Comedians in Cars, Getting Coffee.  And I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t find the episode funny, or because I am questioning how to judge his work knowing, that he made a woman feel uncomfortable.  It is super tough to answer honestly.  My biases are showing and I’m not sure how best to address them, other than to start asking questions.

And it’s only fair to ask you all the same question.  Will you click on his cover below that I’ve provided to see his book on Amazon?  Are you curious about the comparison between having no choice in partners, to near infinite choice and how that’s affecting our overall happiness?  Or, now suddenly, is all his wisdom and humor invalidated?  And more to the point, all the interviews, and hard work of his collaborators, do we no longer get to hear their voice because the name on that front cover may have acted inappropriately and we are angry?

When I re-read the title of this post, I desperately want to have a yes or no answer.  But the truth is, whichever celebrity or professor, or politician that I insert into that question, I came up with different answers.  And I think it is a good exercise for each of us to go down the list and put our beliefs to the test.  It’s one thing to shame a person, but where is that line, and is there some degree that they are all equal or can have comparable ramifications.  At what point do we stop supporting their work, whatever that may be?  And for how long and to what degree do they get penalized for?  I think it’s healthy for us to all take a step back, and look at the bigger picture.  Where do we see our future, and how do we get to that place of mutual respect for all humans beings.  Once we know that, I think this will start to get a little less fuzzy.

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An Inquisitive Guy Asks Me About Open Relationships

Or An Open Relationship Conversation in the Real World and How I Wish This Happened More Often.

 

I know there is a lot of curiosity about open relationships.  I wanted to share one of the more positive inquiries that I recently had online with a gentleman who truly wanted nothing to do with non-monogamy, but asked great questions and made me feel like an educator rather than a sex object.  I wanted to edit it, and add some flavour or explanation, but in the end I have decided to leave this as the actual organic conversation.  Thank you kind stranger for being open enough to ask rather than judge.

Q1 – I feel like we’re all programmed since birth that monogamy is the only – gamy…besides being around others who have broken away from that, how are you able to make it work when the convention fights against it so hard?

A1 – I broke away by blogging.  By adding a voice in my struggles to understand a new way of thinking because I fell in love with the man before the relationship.

Q2- Isn’t there a scare for either partner that the relationship might end because of intimate experiences with new people? Or is that just the brainwashing speaking?

A2 – There’s no fear anymore because we have a solid foundation.  If a relationship is doomed sex with other people doesn’t change that.  A relationship is more than sex… and we have personal relationships with our family and best friends.  So, we are capable of loving more than one.

Q3 – I guess reworking the paradigm of jealousy might be important?

A3 – Sometimes my dog gets jealous of me playing with other dogs.  Other times he just wags his tail and brings me his favorite toy.  I don’t speak puppy but I love him even when he has unexplained jealousy.  Its part of life and you accept the moments and love the people for being human :0