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).

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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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!

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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, especially 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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Swinging, Polyamory, and Open Relationships: Approaching Fellow Individuals in Non Monogamy

When online dating, I have to filter through all sorts of people.  Although there are many who are just  blatantly disrespectful and rude, I find that the people in the “lifestyle” can be the most judgmental.  I cringe when I see an opening message, that starts with, “hey, I’m in the lifestyle too.  How long have you been swinging for?”  Why does something like this make me unhappy?  Because, I then foolishly feel compelled to engage into an annoying and usually pointless discussion whereby I explain that open relationships, swinging and polyamory are not all the same thing.  I mean, if they were, we wouldn’t need different names for them right?  And yet this is a seriously difficult concept for many people in the lifestyle to grasp.

 

It seems that they are so excited to find someone in a non monogamous lifestyle, and then ironically revert to this monogamous notion that all people in this spectrum are looking for the same thing.  A profile stating multiple anything, like partners or sex or love and those blinders go on.  They forget that even within this spectrum we are all individuals.  We all have our own relationship norms.  And the label I choose to use, currently open, is my choice.  It is not for a stranger to tell me what my partner and I are, or are not.  And what’s more, we are growing and changing ourselves.  So perhaps the titles and labels we started out using may outgrow us.  Again though, this is our choice, and I will update my profiles accordingly when I am ready or feel the need.  Not at the whim or at the unsolicited advice of a stranger.

 

Maybe you are wondering, just how bad or annoying could these conversations really be, right?  Am I just making mountains out of mole hills and the like?  Well, let me put it this way, I almost rarely block or delete users who are monogamous.  But I have about a 50 percent rate of blocking the so called non monogamous.  The messages start accusatory, then quickly escalate into un-solicited sexual advances, towards name calling and slander because I am not interested in them.  There is often very little flirting, just a full on attitude of “well you’re a slut and I’m a slut, so lets go fuck”.  Conversations are at a minimum, and it feels like the non monogamous on dating sites are in a breeding Zoo.  Just because you are of a similar stripe then you must procreate on demand.  It’s a harsh reality of the current scene and as a result I have taken a huge step back in looking for new partners.

 

 

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It would be easier of course for me to just block these users, however I cannot help trying to re-educate them.  I want to explain that we are not all created equal.  And that within this spectrum of non-monogamy there exists an abundance of different scenarios and relationship types.  That non-monogamy  does not always equal slut.  In fact, I often feel that I am more selective now because I take into account not just my wants, but those of my partner.  I no longer wish to explain myself to people who fall within the non monogamous umbrella and pass judgement, but I know that I will probably continue on doing so.  And I feel somewhat responsible for protecting other females from the same crap I deal with.

 

There is one other thing stands out for me as confusing when faced with critical non-monogamists online and that is in the reverting back to the black and white mentality.  My reasoning behind this is that polyamory is not a definition that exists naturally in our society.  It is one, along with compersion, that exists within a world found through research, nearly exclusively.  Quite often, an individual or couple begins trying to find ways to help them deal with urges that seem unnatural from a monogamous founded society.  We seek blogs, podcasts, and every book we can to help us understand that these dispositions are not merely urges to cheat.  We then educate ourselves to discover that the possibility does exists to have a loving relationship outside of monogamy.  So it doesn’t sit well with me, that persons who seek education into non-monogamy would therefore bring with them the bigotry of their former selves.  Or to go right back into a cookie cutter mold of one size must fit all, after spending the energy to gain insight into all these other lifestyles.  Or did I just stumble right upon the very issue of internet research.  Are these individuals researching until they find something that hits home and stopping right there?  Do they find a meme, or blog that strikes one chord and then closing their minds to any further digging due to sheer laziness?

 

 
In summary, my PSA is this, if you’re out there, exploring new partners and ways of existing in non monogamy, please stop trying to apply your labels onto strangers.  Break free of the black and white, because this world has a spectrum of colour as vast as in the world of monogamy.  Leave judgement where it belongs, in the past.

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