The Sexual element
We'd like to get a thread going with respondents from both genders. So guys, please don't overwhelm this ! Ladies - we NEED your input & thoughts on this desperately.
Humans are sexual creatures. Despite how anyone would want to try to paint it, the sexual component of polyamory is an important part of the desire to embrace the lifestyle. It is NOT the only one - but an important one - and one where most of the pitfalls lie.
It seems to be a fact (yes - exceptions always exist) that the sexual needs & desires of males are very different from females. Herein lies the root of most of the "complications" of alternative lifestyles as well as the vast majority of more conventional relationships.
Here we'd like to make a statement of observation - based on MANY years of close observation, intimate relationships & conversations etc.
" In a 'relationship" the primary needs of each gender are.......
Males > Sex first, emotional needs secondary
Females > Emotional needs first, Sexual needs secondary "
Again note the disclaimer of acknowledging exceptions to any rule.
So........ if, as a species, we agree to the accuracy of these trends/observations, should we not ask the question " What can/should be done about the obvious conflict" ?
We'd like to start the conversation by offering a possible starting suggestion for both genders.
Be attuned to the ladies emotional needs, voice explicitly to them that you DO acknowledge them, and try to learn better how to meet those needs and discuss it frequently !
Try to dispose of societal programming about your gender. Embrace the natural sexuality you were gifted with at birth. The term "slut" can well be (and should be) a term of endearment ! A true orgasm (or a few) can be a huge boost to both your physical and emotional health.
Ok - so let's hear it from you all !
C & K
This is a question that goes way beyond "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". There is an entire academic field devoted to asking that very question. It is a complex one indeed.
But what you seem to be addressing in your suggestions doesn't address emotional vs. sexual needs, it seems to be addressing society's sexual repression of women. Those are two very different subjects.
So here's my Cliff's Notes version of the larger question and what it entails.
1. Recognize the difference between gender and sex.
2. Agree on what constructs gender and sex.
3. Recognize societal programming in both genders, what their causes are and what purpose that programming has served (I notice that you ask females to dispose of societal programming but not males)
4. Recognize the biological programming of both genders.
5. Learn and understand the complex relationship between societal and biological programming.
6. Educate people on all of it.
There's a lot of good reading out there on this subject from many feminist academics and authors. Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" addresses this with the idea of "performativity" which applies to feminist and queer theory. It also probably applies to polyamory as much of how we conduct our romances in life is performative- that is they fill a constructed role in our society.
Another really good read is "Evolution's Rainbow- diversity, gender and sexuality in nature and people" by Joan Roughgarden.
Really appreciated the thoughtful post.
We also agree that is was less than complete by leaving out the need for male realignment also - but the choice was somewhat intentional at first, based on a concern of scale.
The omission of genetic predisposition was absolutely intentionally omitted. Don't want or dare to touch THAT one ! The jury is very much still out on how rigid the genetic controls are and there's much active research underway that's strongly pointing to the fact that we have far more control over even that then was originally suspected.
Lest this turn into a scientific thread <smile> we'd like to keep the focus on soliciting input from the female population regarding their perspective on their choice (intentional or otherwise) to suppress or ignore their special sexual potential.
As another "seed" observation, we've note a 10 fold increase in bisexuality among males in the last few years. Now - not seeing this as a "bad" thing necessarily, but only as a lagging indicator of how relationships are evolving.
The primary difference being the sexual choices with the males seem to be driven out of frustration rather than thought out choices.
Our feelings are that it would not be a step "forward" were we to evolve to a point of a primarily gay & lesbian society because of the inability to openly discuss and work together on these differences.
Comments from everyone ?????
Ben speaking here:
I have been told by several women that I "make love like a woman". The first time I heard this, I thought I was being mocked. She had to explain it as a compliment.
As a man, I have greater need for the emotional component than the sexual. I just ended a year and a half relationship with a woman where we never had sex. We slept together. We were intimate on occasion. But we never had sex. It was all me, in fact--she was actually begging me at times. But I didn't feel the emotional connection that *I* needed to "go there" with her.
As it turns out, she was lying, cheating, stealing and leading me on, so I look back and I'm glad that I held back.
So, I'm not sure how I fit into the cookie-cutter on this one.
I could be way off though..not the first time :)
Well, Mono, if that's what they're thinking, that's a mighty big leap to be making. I'd need to hear a lot more justification for such conclusions.
I'd have a hard time buying into that. Sounds like it would be based on very localized personal experiences. I would think social acceptance would be the main reason for more men to be openly bisexual and that would greatly impact the stats.
Ok - just getting used to this Forum posting so hoping this post lands in a proper place. Only way we could figure out how to do it ?
Mono has tagged it dead on - i.e that the general consensus seems to be that large numbers of males are "coming out" if you would, and either embracing or experimenting with their bisexual side solely from lack of available females to attempt any alternative form of relationship other than full 100% monogamous commitment. Classic marriage in some form at least.
But Cioli - it's really not a terribly big leap although we can't be totally sure it's not more of a States issue than a global one. You, having maybe more of a global exposure, may have a different perspective. We could certainly take you on a "tour" of numerous meeting sites here in the US where you could experience this yourself. It's quite astounding compared to 10 - even 5 years ago.
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