Hookup Culture, Couples, and Swinging

A look into why I hate the hookup culture

Hookup Culture, Couples, and Swinging
Hookup Culture, Couples, and Swinging

Here’s the post that I am positive is going to have my readers and followers drop right off, but I need to say it.  I hate the hookup culture.  I hated it when I was single.  I hated it when I was trying to date single guys when I was in an open relationship and I really struggle with it while trying to date couples off of swinging websites.  In my last post, I wrote about how chemistry is key, and I want to take that a step further now.  While I fully admit, that I can turn off the emotional connection for a totally delicious yummy 10, the reality is, they are so few and far between that it’s almost not even worth mentioning.

I have in fact hooked up with a cop, simply because of his position of power, his body type, and the fantasy I had about who he represented for my past and future spank bank and carelessly threw out the window any and all conversation.  Yes, I am capable of doing this.  But, I mean, for me, all the work it took to engage him in a sexual one-time tryst just wasn’t worth it.  I mean, I am glad I did it.  But the repeatability factor of all the time and energy just for the one hour or so, it exhausts me just to think about.  And the reason I mention this fact at all, is that many studies say that women have a much harder time reaching sexual satisfaction if there is zero emotional connection.  And for the matter of this post, that is not the reason I dislike hookups.  Not orgasming has never been my issue.  Instead, it is the quality and the time factor that really are the keys here, especially as I get older (wiser).

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Ok, let’s get back to the topic of hookup culture, which I sense is something that people equate swinging with, people including me.  I do, in fact believe that many swingers are just looking to hook-up for one evening and never talk to the people they slept with again.  There is an excitement and rush to that, so I would be wrong to say that I hate that aspect of things.  What I am struggling with is the expectation of just hookups.  The, all dressed up, so you might as well fuck me, mentality that many seem to have.  Or the couples you chat with online who want a guarantee of action before they will commit to meeting for drinks.  That’s just not my style.  Sex is not, and should not be the expectation or a sure thing.  Even typing that I cringe.  And yet, when chatting with people on swingers sites, I find that this is very much the case.

So maybe I shouldn’t look to swinger sites to find couples then right?  When the dating pool is this small, you go where the people are.  And yes, we have found a lot of people, just like us, navigating these murky waters looking for a fit.  I see constantly posts about people who are in-between swinging and poly.  They have no label, and no specific place to find people.  So they do what we do, cast their lines out in hopes to get a nibble.  I do wish that I could attend a non-monogamous beer hall, where all the people there have one thing in common, being non-monogamous.  I think that would be an amazing thing to start trending.  But, as that will take time, work, and a catchy name, for now we are left with munches, and swinger parties.  These are not a perfect fit, but they are a start.

And well, the bottom line is, I want to get to know people.  And beyond that, I love the idea that my partner and I could sleep with them too.  And even better, that we could do it on a semi-regular basis, and hang out, and share our celebrations and be a part of each other’s lives.  That’s what I desire in people.  I want more than just their bodies or a quick orgasm.  I want the whole person, the entire couple, the formation of a foursome, or even moresomes.  I want it all.  I want more than just a hookup!

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Oops! I Read the Comments Section When a Dating Blogger Mentioned an Open Relationship

Am I fooling myself thinking society accepts non-monogamy?

So of course, just when I think people are starting to come around to the acceptance of non-monogamy, I go ahead and read a few words of “wisdom” from the real world.  Ugh!

Let me preface this by saying proudly that I am exuberant over the love, support and acceptance I have found in my real life, and my social media world, look at this amazing sex positive community for example.  I have worked hard to surround myself with educated and loving people, with whom I respect even at moments of disagreement and with whom I have convinced myself that they show the same respect for mine.  But in the last few weeks, I have seen something that takes me back to a time before I found this incredible community and it’s heartbreaking.

There is a dating blogger who is sharing her story about being in her first open relationship (the specifics about committing to this or trying to run away screaming are not really relevant here).  So, I will simply summarize by saying she is sleeping with a man who is polyamorous and engaged to another women, and whatever her actual motivations are, she is sharing this experience on her blog.  And as such, I have been reading and following along, with a bit of nostalgia, going back to when I first met E, and all the ups and downs that I experienced learning about non-monogamy for the first time.  And that was all well and good, up until I saw her comment section explode and I made the horrific mistake of reading a few opinions on the matter.

The majority of the male comments reflect the notion that this guy is a creep and manipulating the dating blogger for sex.  This sentiment is echoed by the female majority saying things like, “run now”, or “I’ve been down this road and it only leads to heartache”, and “why are you wasting your time on someone who could never love you?”.  All in all, it is doom, gloom, judgement and criticism from a monogamous side of the world that I don’t often see. 

How is this possible, you may be asking yourself, given the content of your blog?  Honestly?  I’m not 100 percent sure, so if you want to weigh in on this, please be my guest (in the comment section would be lovely!).  What I do know is that my blog didn’t evolve to non-monogamy, and thus I have never captured this broader monogamous audience.  I have been very open and honest right from the get go about what content lies within.  And whenever I write something controversial, I try to do my research ahead of time, and aim to present a balance of ideas whenever possible.  Again, this really is a point that you, dear readers are welcome to share your rational for coming back week after week.

But back to the comment section of this particular blogger.  You see, she is doing something incredibly tricky, which is to explain a situation to an unwilling audience, and that is what directly challenges their core beliefs about the evils of non-monogamy.  It is so easy to use words like cheater, manipulator and user.  So much so, that I believe if this guy ever found out about her blog, he would end things immediately.  Some perceptions you just cannot come back from regardless of your intentions.  So I sit here, reading comments and feeling heartbreak and shame that this is the world that open, polyamorous and swingers really fear.  This judgemental, and hate filled place, shouting uneducated opinions and all manor of unsympathetic close-minded views really exists.  For you see, this is a place were logic fails, and fear takes over.  This is the black hole of the social media internet that all writers and bloggers fear.  This is the place where your level-headed sanity begins to question things and your resolve wanes in the face of public opinion.

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I want to tell myself that I should never read the comments.  But the reality is that I needed that reminder that the world is not as advanced as I have been leading myself to believe.  My readers are amazing.  My supporters are wonderful.  But there is an entire world out there that is going to judge first and ask questions never.  When I finish writing my first book, this is the world I will be facing.  This is the place I need to be aware exists and this is the land I need to learn to rise above. 

In the meantime, thank you for reading, supporting and doing what you can to build the sex positive community.  I need people like you and I hope on some level you need me too!

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

Another question in my non-monogamous journey.

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! 

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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!

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Comparing Polyamory to Veganism?!?!

Now this is a topic that I find both hilarious and surprisingly widespread.  There is a huge misconception that people who practice polyamory are on a quest to convert you, just as vegans are, to our or their way of thinking respectively.  There is in fact a social justice warrior type movement, hopefully they are only on the internet,that perpetuates this sort of stigma.  In fact, almost every single polyamorous forum or network that I have seen, or been a part of, always seems to digress into this strange dynamic of hierarchy and control.  A strange belief that always seems contrary to the multiple love and acceptance mantra that I personally associate with poly people, and myself.  The bottom line, “polyamorists” are trying to expose you to their superior, and ultimately more natural and free way of life because they want to fuck you or share with you what enlightenment that they have found in multiple loves.

So, here’s the thing, on the internet, yes, YES this is a thing.  In every forum, the squeaky wheel or the troll makes the loudest fuss and always seems to illicit the most attention.  The resulting perception is that, yes in fact, we want you to join us because we have done all this research and believe that our way of defining relationships is more in tune with nature and ultimately better.  There is no denying that in the beautiful world of social media, this statement holds true.  Bring on any debate or conversation and someone, somewhere will pipe up, and try to bring you over to the glittery side of our relationship spectrum.  The one free from monogamy and the pair bonding that binds you and closes you off to amazing new experiences.  Yes, that is the internet in a nutshell, but thankfully, the real world is much different.

I have many friends with whom I have discovered over the years, have dipped a toe into the swinging world, open relationships, polyamory and everything in between.  They are normal, regular people that I am happy to call my friends.  And the coolest thing is, if it were not for my blog, I would never have found out about their lifestyles.  Why is that?  Because in the real world, we do not just go out there to convert our friends, co workers or every awesome person we meet on the street.  It just isn’t a thing.  Non-monogamy takes a lot of work, amazing communication and a real understanding of who you are and what you want.  This journey, as most can attest, began with a lot of soul searching, research and an intrinsic understanding of your core beliefs.  It is not something that happens over night.  It is rare that a random threesome or orgie (as part of someone’s bucket list for example) will turn into a relationship perception switch.

I truly believe that some people are far better suited for monogamy than others.  And the variety of those relationship norms makes this journey incredibly diverse and interesting.  There is no right way of living.  Some people are vegan due to physical dietary restrictions and have absolutely no choice but to eat things that their body can handle.  And some vegans are on the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to convert everyone to save the animals and do no harm.  They have a mission.  A mandate and an intrinsic belief that they must save humanity, by saving the animals. 

Ok, in polyamory, there just simply isn’t just cause for everyone to start falling in love with everyone else.  It just wouldn’t be practical or realistic.  Group love, on an international scale actually seems quite silly, to me anyways.  And perhaps there are in fact radical poly folks who believe their sole purpose in life is to unite the world in loving harmony.  And well, there are radicals in every mindset.  People who take a good idea and push it to the often laughable extremes.  Myself, I just don’t buy into that.  I don’t want my community saturated with people who were just converted for the sake of getting more sex.  It would absolutely spoil my experience.  But hey, that’s just my two cents on the laughable twitter conversation that has a ridiculous number of people coming forward stating just how similar these two groups of people are.  I honestly do not think any of them have met a polyamourous person in the flesh!

 

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How Long Have I Been Non-Monogamous?


One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?”  And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”.  You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time.  And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream.  But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real.  That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world.  Thus, began my blogging adventure.

If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality.  I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality.  My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance.  As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra.  And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous.  Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not.

Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew.  I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me.  I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible.  I’m not proud of this.  But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there.  I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault.  I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out.  I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.

I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon.  It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing).  I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards.  They will do it again, and again.  For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon.  They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice.  It does not make you good, bad or anything in between.  It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you.  Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges.  Or you can take a path that I chose.  One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation.  There is no judgement from me either way.  The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you.

There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that.  But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was.  And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways.  For example FWB’s, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.

Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out.  I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug.  Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy.  These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up.  We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.