Sex Is Just Sex… Revisited

I wrote a post during my first year blogging, called Sex is Just Sex?  In it, I did a very poor job of trying to describe the first couple I had met, that had an open understanding in their long distance relationship.  My writing was limited by my desire not to offend, and to not give the couple away, and in turn made that whole post a convoluted mess.  Also, and the reason I am sharing this post again, is to outline why I started blogging.  I can see clear growth in my understanding of open relationships and how I can now write about them, with the freeness that I actually feel in my day to day life.

When I met the male in that referenced couple it was before he was married, and I got along with him great.  I respected him, and trusted his judgement.  For this reason, and this reason alone, I kept my mouth shut when I found out that he had slept with another woman, while his soon to be wife was studying abroad.  As I mentioned in that terribly written post, the couple had an open understanding whenever they were in different countries.  I did not understand this concept at the time.  And clearly I did not have the clearest understanding of the value of this sort of relationship norm when I wrote about it. 

I now see a much more human element in this foundation.  This friend, trusted that I would not judge when he told me his story.  I failed him, and judged him hardcore on the inside.  How, could sex not mean something?  How could sex with others be part of a healthy and loving relationship?  At the time, I was monogamous, and had only ever slept with one man.  That was my relationship identity.  I could not help but hold them to the same standard that I held myself to.

I have felt judged and criticized for being in an open relationship many times over the years.  Now however,  I can look back on how I reacted to this couple which was less than mature, and how now I feel I have had a fairly good friendship with this man over the years.  I first ignored the personality flaws that I didn’t like (openness) and then I just forgot all about that.  It was none of my business.  Now, I embrace that about him.  I can see a braveness in him for sharing this possibility for non monogamy nearly 15 years ago.  There was nothing in the media, or internet about those types of couples at the time.  Nothing mainstream anyways.  

He and his wife are still together, with a beautiful family.  I have not yet asked if they are still open, because it just really doesn’t matter to me.  They are wonderful people, with great careers and a lovely family.  Their relationship values work, even if they have changed over the years.  For some couples, sex is just sex when it is with other people.  It can fill a necessary function of life when in a long distance relationship, or just because both parties want the extra physical contact in their lives.

Fantasies and Long Distance

Having to experience a long distance situation with my partner has brought to light a few important aspects of our relationship.   I mentioned a few of the wonderful things that have come out of it, including how strong our ability to communicate and support each other has been in a recent post.  But there is the sexual side of things which plays quite a strong role as well.  The importance of really communicating our wants and desires while being apart took precedence in many of our conversations.  And that is no easy task for me, as I prefer to not talk and just do.  I can express myself very well in person sexually, but I have never tried to do so in an online setting. Also I may or may not have a tendency to over explain myself which I have been told makes things too fluffy to be a turn on.  Hence I mentioned I was nervous about being apart and finding a way to maintain intimacy. 
Sexual expression has had to be conveyed in the absence of body language, with the lack of physical touch, scent, sound, and the list goes on.  I was not sure I could successfully accomplish my own fulfillment with only a visual and the written word.  I am one of those women who does not like erotic literature.  I blogged about that previously where I went into a bit more detail, but in summary, I tend to focus more on all the senses at once with a mixture of memory.  To explain the memory a little further, if something in a previous encounter really turns me on, then re-finding myself in a similar situation builds up anticipation and that in itself can produce an almost anticipation orgasm, merely remembering a circumstance can overwhelm my senses.  But I have to find myself in a similar situation or close to conditions, and there has to be a trigger in order for that arousal pattern to work.  Knowing this about myself, I was incredibly leery that I would be able to achieve a similar level of satisfaction through online communication.
In a way I was right.  I had to really challenge myself to find new ways to reach a similar state of being, flat out, to orgasm.  It was very challenging at first.  And having challenges when it comes to this sort of situation is not anything I have experienced before.  And thus fantasy writing and sharing was discovered and explored.  I cannot pretend I am any good at it, having a really small frame of reference, and having never expressed myself that way before.  But there is something hot and sexy about sharing a fantasy to a partner that you trust and love, whether it is a magnificent work of art or not.  They say that having confidence and enjoying yourself are the two number one turn ons when it comes to having sex.  When it comes to writing out a fantasy, I would say trust, and clear thoughts are the main keys, which obviously have direct correlations with the traits aforementioned in sex.
Again I was really nervous about having a long distance relationship for any given amount of time, but it turns out, that learning new skills, new ways to actually turn each other on, is a real and true gift.  One I am very grateful for, and appreciate learning and exploring.  I cannot wait to see what we are able to explore once we are back in the same city.  

Misconceptions About Long Distance

My standard advice to friends of mine who have to make the decision to embark on a long distance relationship is not to, whenever possible.  I cynically have never really believed that they could work.  Up until fairly recently that is. I am a big fan of the quote “my opinions change with new information” and in this case it is true.   I feared the lonely, and unhappy feeling of being away from my partner for such a long time, that I failed to consider any wonderful things that could result.  I was focused on the physical aspect, the loss of intimacy, and the lack of a real connection with my partner.  I had anxiety the weeks leading up to his departure, and I cried, a lot, at the mere mention of him leaving.  I convinced myself that missing him would be one of the worst feelings, and that it would be likened to having a mini breakup. 
I am so happy that the reality is far from that expectation.  I was surprised to discover, that when you are apart from your lover, as soon as you get the chance to talk it is anything but superficial.  There is sincere effort made to truly communicate, to share your day, and to listen to the others words.  The communication goes from passive to active.  Because of the lack of physical contact, there is real effort in explanation and discussion as to what is going on in the others life.  If let’s say for example I am having a bad day, he cannot just hug me and hold me.  Instead he has to be a much more active player in helping me work through it.  On the other hand, if he has achieved a goal of his, I cannot just take him out for celebratory beers.  Instead I have to really think, and come up with creative ways to celebrate, for example, taking sexy pictures.
I had anxiety about feeling separation, and when I got my first message that his plane had landed those feelings just melted away.  I mentioned that I felt lazy in monogamy in a previous post, and that I have really worked on becoming more assertive and direct in what I want and need.  There is nothing like being in different countries to really put that work to the test.  It is amazing to discover that all the hard work, and the foundation building really was worthwhile.  That in fact we have a solid foundation and are able to help each other through loss, injury and more importantly celebrate each others accomplishments in a way that is meaningful to both of us.
I feared long distances separating us, and I feared that because I did not understand.  I did not appreciate that there is value in being apart, that you learn to crave the other person.  That you rekindle the desire and the void gets filled with this intense excitement for when you get to see each other again.  I fully understand now “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  It is simple, in hindsight of course, that you can easily take advantage of something that is always there.  That stable force that is unchanging and constantly available loses its challenge, and appeal after time.  I guess the next step is to find an artificial way to achieve this feeling without having to be separated by a border for an extended period of time.  And I think I know just how to do it…

Sex is Just Sex?

Sex is a subject that bears with it great emotion.  I know that statement goes without saying but I thought it was worth stating.  I have a lot of emotion attached with sex and have often found that the height of my need to say loving words is during this intimate event.  Afterwards though I have an odd relief that I kept my mouth shut and that realization that the physical is just physical overrides.  I wonder if I am alone in this?  Passion overtakes the rational at moments of weakness and sex certainly is one of those moments.  So where does that leave us? In the end sex can be physical, emotional, or at times both.  Where do we draw that line?

As a relationship progresses the desire for the emotions I find becomes stronger outside the physical act and to me that is where love really begins.  Love is growth, a bond and understanding of people with the desire to support each others goals.  Or to quote the dictionary:


 [luhv] Show IPA noun, verb, loved, lov·ing.
1.a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3.sexual passion or desire.

But wait, how exactly does point three come into play?  Isn’t that the definition for sex and not love?  If even the dictionary cannot keep these terms and definitions clear for the English speakers than how exactly are we to keep these things clear and level headed? To me there is a great difference between sex and love.

I know a couple who are very career oriented people and are living abroad.  They have been together for quite a long time, and being career oriented there was some long distance elements to their relationship.  When one or the other would have to come home to Canada to visit family or take additional courses the understanding was always that yes they would have physical needs apart.  And that was absolutely OK with both parties.  To go out and have a casual night here or there was almost encouraged as both parties were doing the same.  This couple has been together for many years and have just welcomed their first child.  This child is being born to two very successful parents in the most loving and forward thinking environment that I have seen.

Now I will admit that when I first was told of the understanding this couple had I was very judgmental about the whole arrangement. I kept my mouth shut and supported my friends but I often wish I would have asked more questions from the couple.  It didn’t seem like being open or discussing was even a possibility.  It was their life and they could live it how they chose as long as I didn’t have to ever lie about what I knew.  This vow let me sleep at night, but something just didn’t seem right.  The most odd thing is that I had completely forgotten about this whole situation until a few days ago.  I have been writing this blog for over a month looking for real life scenarios and one was right under my nose the whole time.

This gives me a lot of hope.  That I could forget that this was even a point of some discomfort for me.  That my opinionated little self could look past their actions and support their new family with open arms.  This blog could one day be the norm and not need to be discussed and brought to the surface of our awareness.  That sex can be sex and that a relationship can be so much more than that. 

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