Opening Up About Not Being Active in Non-Monogamy

Opening Up – Non-Monogamy

I wrote a little while ago on Twitter, that I missed waking up with “random marks on my body from a passionate night of sexy shenanigans from the night before” (My Twitter feed is pretty random if you are not already following me).  It was a random comment that popped into my head as I looked down upon my pale legs, and thinking how strange it was for it to be summer and still without the dings of adventure, be it sexual or otherwise.  Further to this, anyone in a long-term relationship knows that sometimes life just gets in the way and you don’t just drop everything to jump on your partner, forsaking all thoughts of where, when, or how you will look or feel in the morning like you do when things are newer.  Shortly after posting this, I received a comment from a follower saying “this surprises me. I thought you were active”.   This response jarred the shit out of me.  He wasn’t wrong in his thinking based on my blog, and my non-monogamous lifestyle.  But it brought to light something I have been struggling with in my personal life, and that is keeping active in non-monogamy when I feel like my home life is a complete mess (feel free to scroll through some of my recent posts to see a few reasons why).

I firmly believe that I should be in a good dating state of mind, in order to meet someone new, and be ethical about pursuing something beyond a fling.  Please note that these are rules for myself, and myself alone.  I do not ever judge or criticize other humans for how they seek to find happiness.  Again, I don’t personally subscribe to the idea that I want someone to make me better or pull me out of my funk.  Instead, I want to be funky, awesome, and attract a person who see’s that light in me because it’s already glowing.  Not a person who wants to fix me, support me, or hold my hand through the tough times.  I approach that from a place of already having a partner, and if I am honest, when I was single and dating, I always attracted people who reflected my current mood.  It wasn’t until I started getting laid regularly from my incredible fwb, that I was able to meet my current partner.  I needed the sexual confidence and devil-may-care attitude to shine through, rather than the, holy crap, I will jump anything that moves mentality.

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So here I am, admitting, that while a little date here or there during this really rough winter may have boosted my energy and confidence, I just didn’t feel right about it.  Since our Christmas holiday, I think we have only visited the lifestyle club once, and gone on 2 couple’s dates?!?  Those number are really low for us.  And quite indicative of the mindset I have been finding myself in.  I just wanted to keep to myself, focus on breathing, and definitely zero interest in finding anything fun or relaxing.  You know that low, where you just don’t feel you even deserve to be happy or to take a break?  So yeah, obviously I was not keen on meeting new people.  And again, that twitter comment really hit me hard.  Why wasn’t I active?  Why was I stopping myself from having any fun?  How was that possibly helping me feel better?

So here I sit, puzzled over why I felt the need to punish myself.  And why I hold myself up to these incredibly high standards that I always have to be in an amazing place in order to meet people, and have fun.  Looking back on my life, I cannot think of a single time when I was prepared to meet the incredible people that I have closest to me.  They were random, unplanned, and un-calculated.  So, with this post, I am admitting, what many of those in non-monogamy already know, and that is life happens, lows happen, and that shouldn’t make you feel like you need to hand in your open relationship, swinger, polyamory, or all the beautiful relationships variations cards just yet.  I am still an active member of this community of sex positive people, even if my legs don’t show the evidence of all the sexy time’s I wish I was having.

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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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Imagine a World Where Monogamy Didn’t Exist

 

What if you had never heard the term monogamy?  Instead, you were raised to believe that loving whom you wanted was possible and even encouraged.  That when you fell in lust, you were not shamed, but instead praised and even encouraged to share your good fortune or some sexy stories to an accepting audience.  What if your partnership was enhanced, by for example, morning videos of sexy times that new acquaintances or loved ones shared, and that became a part of your sexual experience?  What if instead of sex shaming, we were a sex positive community that promoted safe sex, and human growth in whatever sexuality made the most sense or was even intriguing in the moment?  What if our sexuality was a guilt free experience?

I was raised in monogamy.  I was raised to feel guilty for not settling down and raising a family at the first chance I got.  I was shamed for ending an engagement and not trying harder to stay with my first love and overcome any and all obstacles together.  I was told that forever was finding a partner and uniting to become you and him against the world.  That was true piece of mind, and the ultimate goal.  Forever, with your soul mate, never having a wandering eye or straying from the one partner you would share your bed with exclusively, forever.  I was raised with the absence of non-monogamy.  I knew nothing about the spectrum outside of a monogamous reality.  And if anything outside creeped into my reality, it was judged, squashed and shamed, so vigorously that I barely had time to give it a second thought.

But after waking up this morning to sexy video of a new couple we are exited to hang out with, I was exuberant in the fact that I could enjoy sex with my partner, and my ongoing fantasies completely shame free.  I felt normal, and healthy and sex positive!  Even now, I feel zero guilt for my imagination running wild with possibilities and what ifs.  And the bonus of being able to share the sexual highs with my partner, or to be on the receiving end of his sexual excitement, sigh, it is exhilarating and liberating.  And I almost wish this had always been my adult reality.

I don’t necessarily regret monogamy, as that is how I was raised, and I accept that.  But I do wonder how much further ahead in life I would be if I had overcome jealousy earlier in life.  How that would have impacted my work and family life.  And more to the fact, how much closer I would have gotten to people sooner.  I lived a very closed life, safely guarded for decades.  And now that I have opened the doors wide to opportunity, closeness and love, I feel this incredible joy.  Hugging people I care about is no longer awkward.  Saying I love you, to a platonic female friend is hard to even put into words.  I am actually stumbling to describe the feeling, other than to say, I sit here with a full heart, and a huge smile on my face just thinking about how great we both felt texting a quick “I love you” after an update on our lives.  I wish, in a very profound way, that I was raised to believe that expressing yourself in a full and complete way, had always been acceptable.

As I write this, I cannot help feeling that speaking my truth will be construed as bragging.  And while blogging in the way I do, has definitely helped to silence the fear I get from naysayers or criticisms, if nothing else by thickening my skin considerably, I still feel this is important to share regardless of the negative opinions of others.  I have found considerable joy in non-monogamy.  And I find it exciting to imagine a world not confined by the social constructs of one man for one women, till death do they part.  We have already seen a huge social uprising, fighting for equality of the sexes and huge exposure of sexuality and gender issues.  It is a remarkable time to be alive.  So much social change is occurring, I am honestly excited for the next generation to be raised free of gender norms, in the same way I feel I was raised free of racial issues.  It’s a step forward, and one that I feel will ultimately bring us closer together.  While multiple love may not work for everyone, at least being tolerant of it, and accepting it in friends and family, in my opinion would be a pretty cool society to live in.  A place that maybe one day, had never even heard of the word monogamy.  Love who you want, when you want, and for however long that you want, so long as it is mutual and brings joy to your life.  In short, the possibility of living in a world where monogamy didn’t exist.

 

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Non-Monogamy and Popping Cherries

In my monogamous upbringing, I was taught, like many of us were, that losing ones virginity was basically the pinnacle of sexual exploration and maturity.  There was zero conversation in regards to what milestones existed beyond the “popping of one’s cherry”.  It was simply a goal of everyone to lose virginity either in the confines of marriage, or as a pubescent race to experience this physical milestone as fast as possible.  Arguably these are the two main schools of thought, and obviously in our sex positive narrative, wrought with misconceptions and at times even a dangerous quest, as I’m sure you are well aware.  If you, did not experience this as part of your sexual education then I am indeed envious.

But lamenting the past is something I want to do as little as possible in this post.  Instead, I want to celebrate something truly amazing.  The opening of my non-monogamous eyes to the new and exciting world of cherry popping in all it’s vast and wondrous forms, that are far reaching and almost limitless if you use a little bit more of your sexual arsenal, creativity, and perhaps an extra hand or two.

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Last weekend, a couple remarked that we popped their cherry in regards to a very sexy, same room sexual encounter.  It was more of an exhibitionist focused tryst, but a real cherry was popped none the less.  This was a first for the couple and they left recharged with sexual energy that was amazingly contagious.  And that my friends got my mind racing.  During my non-monogamous journey I have experienced what feels like a lifetime of new, and amazing sexual firsts.  I have had my cherry popped in so many different ways, that I blush just to think how long that list is getting.  It is an incredible world of firsts, and newness, and well, the heart races just a little bit when I recall my first threesome or my first time reaching an orgasm with strangers watching, or… I better stop while I am ahead here and still able to type.

But the thing of it is, in monogamy, I would not have come even close to being able to list the things I have.  And this is not because I would not have been able to experience many of these things via role playing, dirty talk, fantasy, etc, but because the conversation was halted at the loss of losing your virginity.  In my monogamous life, that was pretty much it.  You had one milestone that you could talk about with your friends, and then, you either had sex regularly or you were on the quest to find someone who would.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just a completely different way of looking at the world.  I now see possibilities and new experiences that I  yearn to try, and I can share them, talk about them, and even plan new adventures in this freeing lifestyle.  Whereas in monogamy, I just cannot envision me saying to a friend even half of the things that I am able to express  in this blog for example.

Viewing new experiences in the light of “cherry popping” goes beyond just a sexual bucket list.  It is, for me, the embracing of new experiences as an exciting bonus of the lifestyle.  The addage that you don’t know if you like something unless you try it, sort of mentality.  It’s a freeing concept that is fueled by the many positive experiences that I am having, and works to push out the limiting and often impulsive word “no” from my vocabulary, which has more far reaching benefits in my day to day life as well.  While I am still not quite at the enthusiastic “hell yes” phase, when it comes to new people and adventures, I am definitely heading in the right direction.  So thank you to all who have helped me pop a cherry or two, and a very special thank you to those that allowed us to be a part of your firsts!  Cheers to many, many more sex positive adventures!

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Money and Relationships

AKA The Adage of Never Mix Business with Pleasure: Relationship Edition

I doubt there is a person out there who has never heard the warnings against mixing business with pleasure.  Announcing plans on going into a financial partnership with your best friend will elicit gasps, dire warnings, and a whole barrage of “never do that” anecdotes.  It’s a very simple concept to grasp, when finances are involved the relationship will suffer at one point or another, and very often erupt into irreconcilable differences that sever the friendship.  Ok, so we all agree that this adage is well known, and is ripe with a million and one examples?

Then how the hell are relationships supposed to survive this very thing.  Mixing sex, love, a partnership with the obvious financial merging of two people is supposed to be taboo (never sleep with a coworker as an example).  Something that we are supposed to avoid in friends but have zero choice about in long term relationships.  Does anyone else find this mind-numbingly insane?  Instead of teaching partners on any level about how to do this legally or otherwise we completely and almost universally clam up about this.  It’s almost as if society seems grateful that two people can share financial difficulties as a unit and solidly behind closed doors.  It takes the public pressure off of this glaring deficit in our societal norms.  There is no medium for dealing with these things.  Instead we completely remove finances from the public discourse, very similarly to the way we avoid talking about sex in public.  And the bottom line for me is that the subject of money is my weakest link.

I, feel great shame talking about debt.  I feel even worse feeling like a financial burden on my partner and would love to continue just avoiding the whole conversation.  And yet, there is simply no way to separate the money from the relationship for any length of time.  It’s impossible.

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And it freaking sucks!  Money should not be the cause of such a high divorce rate in our culture.  And there should not be a gender gap when it comes to income earning and I could honestly just go on and on about all the crappy reasons and excuses that I can to explain why I feel so lost and helpless at this very moment.  I’m struggling to understand how two people, who are supposed to be partners can survive if there is financial disparity.  Is it up to one to be burdened by the guilt of the other?  Are the two just supposed to accept the past mistakes and help each other move forward?  Or as in my case, is my extreme stubbornness to fix my own mistakes and problems going to be the detriment of the most amazing relationship that I have ever had?

These aren’t easy questions to ask, and even harder to answer.  But ultimately that’s where you end up when things in your culture, society or even household are taboo.  You end up in what feels like a no-win scenario.  Wishing you could fix things with the snap of a finger or press the magic reset button that will allow you to move forward without having to face the music head on.  I’m talking about money and relationships because it is hard and scary, especially for me.  I am clawing my way up from debt one day at a time.  That is my mission and mandate.  And most importantly, my promise to myself.  And someday, I hope that this small step forward will lead me to be able to more openly discuss my finances, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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