Etiquette, when a friend is interested in your partner
Ugh. I have a situation now that is troubling to me and I would love to get some opinions from impartial people who are not involved in the situation.
I have a long-distance OSO who is very important to me, but whom I only get to see about four weekends a year. So far, half of those weekends have been spent at a social event with other poly friends around as well.
My OSO and I would both like to see more of each other, but it has not been possible, mainly because of him. I have a little more flexibility than he does, although seeing him is always tricky at best for me too.
I have a close friend who also goes to the same social event. She has always had at least one other partner at the event, but she still tends to stress out over the possibility of being lonely or bored there when her partner is busy with another partner. Usually, that is a non-issue, it is full of congenial people and there is always plenty going on.
My close friend and my OSO got to know each other a little at the most recent incarnation of this event, and liked each other. I was pleased.
My friend knows very well that I feel more than a bit time-starved in my relationship with OSO, as well as sex-starved (his libido is nowhere near mine), and has been sympathetic. I speak with her very regularly, probably three or four times a week, sometimes at length.
I just found out, from OSO, that she initiated an email correspondance with him to discuss doing "energy work" on him the next time we all see each other. (She is learning how to do this from a friend, she has no formal training in Reiki or anything like it.) OSO agreed that he would enjoy this, but specified that the energy work (which I am assuming involves touch) should be non-sexual. He later qualified that by saying that it was not that he did not find her attractive, he did, and perhaps a relationship could form between them in the future, but he did not feel open to one at this time.
She responded by saying that she thought of herself as a "cat" and liked to "rub up against people" and that sexual play was, for her, to be shared freely with people she liked, "like toddlers getting to know each other in a sandbox." She then listed the sex play she would be open to in this context (it included touching genitals, but no penetrative sex). She then said she was not a "swinger" (WTF?), and penetrative sex would have to be cleared with the wife if she was dealing with a married man. (OSO is married.)
She did not actually come out and SAY that she wanted to do these things with HIM, but she did say she found him attractive. She even concluded her message by saying that, in addition to seeing him at the next social event, perhaps she could be invited to my HOUSE the next time he visits me in my area and do "energy work" with him there!
OSO responded jokingly to her by saying that he wasn't that easy. He told me about the exchange, and then showed it to me, because he thought it was amusing. He did not see it as a sexual come-on. I do, though.
I talked to my friend for two HOURS this past Monday, when she had sent that email offering her "services three days prior, and she never said a word about it. I found out a day later, from him.
I am not upset with OSO, who was very honest and transparent with me about what happened, even if his viewpoint on it differs from mine, but I am very upset with my friend, who knows very well that my time with him is precious and rare to me, especially our intimate time, and, beyond that, as my good friend, I feel she should not have been attempting to create a sexual situation with my partner without discussing it with me first. She offered my husband the same thing about a year ago and he declined with thanks. She did ask me about it then, although I do not know if it was discussed with me before it was discussed with him. I knew he wasn't attracted to her that way, so I didn't worry about it at the time.
What is the code of etiquette for this situation? One good thing that may have come out of it is that OSO and I are communicating a bit more about our expectations and what we are and aren't open to with others, but I am wondering if I can ever feel the same way about my friend, whose behavior I see as thoughtless, selfish, and disrespectful.
Last edited by persephone; 04-26-2012 at 06:02 PM.