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Old 12-06-2012, 04:20 PM
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PolyLinguist PolyLinguist is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 49

Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Glad I wasn't too tough on you!

I understand wanting variety sexually. I understand wanting to meet new people for variety and learning and growth. What I don't understand is feeling the need for it to be an entire, sexual, romantic relationship.
Oh, I don't particularly want an entire romantic relationship. I would be quite happy with occasional playful, affectionate sex with a friend. The problem is, such things don't happen very much, not even when you are single.

As I already said elsewhere, such episodes happened with me, very occasionally. Since I analyse everything, I have analysed the circumstances under which such sexual encounters can happen: the woman likes you, trusts you, and the desire to have sex with me hits her, right there and then. I won't say no, why would I? It doesn't hurt. But it's her choice. Should I as much as touch a woman friend "inappropriately", when she doesn't feel like it, would quite possibly damage the friendship, and it could easily label me as a creep.

And no, you can't really discuss this kind of thing openly. If you start discussing it, it is becoming a relationship, with expectations.

More of this below.

Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
And my problem with the analogies in #1 and #3 (although it does help to explain the desire) is that cooking, restaurants, Brazil, and Japan, are all inanimates. They don't have feelings, needs, desires, of their own. They don't care if you come back. If your wife says, "I really don't care for Japan and it's getting too expensive to go there every year," Japan is not affected at all.
Well, no analogy is perfect.

Although it's not as off as you say. If I am invited to dinner somewhere, or go to a good restaurant, the cook will almost certainly care whether I come back. And should I treat his/her cooking with disrespect, feelings will be hurt. In high-class restaurants the cook may well come to the table after the meal, and will be delighted if you smile and say a few kind words. Not that different from what a lover would expect, wouldn't you say?

Same for travelling - if I go to Japan, the country (through its institutions and people) will wish me a happy stay, and will encourage me to return one day. If I behave like a brutish tourist (equivalent of a brutish lover), the country will treat me appropriately.

Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Here again is where I sort of cringe: another person is a full, complete, living, breathing human being, with feelings, needs, emotions, the ability to be hurt, to have their lives completely upended and altered.

They should not be regarded as an extracurricular activity.
I understand that you cringe, but you misunderstand what I said. I always see a person when I deal with a person. If I have sex with a stranger, she is doing the same thing. If I don't much care about what happens to her tomorrow, she doesn't care about my tomorrow either, does she? That's how strangers are, whether they have sex together or not.

Once you accept that it is morally OK to have sex without a long-term, somehow formalized relationship, you can't go back and claim that you owe somebody something just because you have had sex with him or her. Of course, you owe kindness and politeness - but a decent person will give that to everyone they have dealings with, not just to sexual partners. You cringe at something I said, but I - for one - cringe when I hear things like "Will he respect me in the morning?". Well, if you were nice and affectionate, you will get a nice kiss. But respect? That depends on whether you have things I respect: knowledge, skills, honesty. Sex by itself is neutral, and (supposedly) fun for both partners. (Also, will she respect me in the morning?)

Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I understand that you are referring to 'pursuing relationships,' not to a specific person; but to me, seeing a relationship as an extracurricular activity does put it all in terms of your enjoyment, your pursuit, your desires, your fun, and something (stress thing) you can come or go from as you please. Where is the thought to the other person's well-being in there?
This all depends, and the question applies to all sexual encounters, poly or mono, one-night or long-term.

If I go and pick up someone in a bar and spend the night with her, my concern for her well-being and desires is (or should be) the same as hers for my welfare and desires. Why make a difference? Aside from following safe sex practices (an absolute necessity), and the need to treat the other person decently (which you should do anyway, with anybody not actively hostile to you), what other concerns should I have? The enjoyment may not be as much in the end as one (or both) participants had hoped for, but then I might be an unskillful lover, or she could be, or both. Or we are simply not compatible. Having a drink or two together in a bar is hardly enough time to evaluate deeper qualities in another human being.

Now, if it's not a one-night stand, what is it? FWB? OK, I am friendly, so is she. I don't want to commit to the future, neither does she. It would be good to discuss what to do in case of unintended pregnancy, but some people are uncomfortable with that. If it happens anyway, some men will run away. Personally, I would do the "right thing", and offer support - but I understand men who would not want to do this. If you do risky things, accidents can happen. You don't want to break your leg skiing, don't ski.

What this comes down to is that if a woman wants the benefits of a relationship, she should insist on having one before sleeping, or sleeping again, with the guy. Whatever I said about my desires and extracurricular activities hinges on finding someone who would want the same thing. If it's extracurricular for me, it would be extracurricular for her as well. I don't take off my wedding ring, or lie about my wife not understanding me. What you see is what you get, basically.

If she wanted more than something extracurricular, it would come to the famous discussion of "boundaries" that poly sites talk about so much. I am quite a flexible fellow, but I have some absolutes and this is in fact why I express my doubts whether I can realistically find someone - not because I am "insecure" as onoma suggests. For example, birthdays, Christmas and New Year's Eve are sacrosanct in my family. I will not, simply not, spend these times away from my wife and children. (Well, the children may one day spend them away from us, for they may have their own families, and being together may not work out. But not yet.) If a possible partner can't deal with this, she should simply not take up with me, for these times are not negotiable.

(I don't exclude the possibility of a poly partner who simply becomes part of the family, but this is unlikely to happen. Our house is too small for one thing, and I can't afford a bigger one in Vancouver, not in my neighbourhood. But hey, she can bring some cash to the set-up, we live in egalitarian times.)

Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I would tend to agree with you that most women want more than a married man can give them.

There's a thread going about why many women (well, people, but as we're talking about what women want, I'll go with that) are more willing to have an affair with a cheater than with a married man. And I think it's right on in saying that having an affair with a married man holds out the promise that he might leave his wife someday and give her the whole deal. After all, he's soooo miserable with her, and he's sooooo in love with me, right, so even if he says he won't leave his wife, these women have that hope. To my mind, most (not all, but most) people date with the intention of finding a life partner. A poly man who is upfront about loving his wife takes away that promise and hope.
This is a very common pattern where I lived in Europe for quite a while. A woman takes up with a married (or otherwise taken) man, he cries on her shoulder, yes, he will quit his wife later, when the children grow up, when lightning strikes, whatever. But he never does. Or he does, and marries someone else. It's a lousy way to treat people, but some men do it. I had a secretary who cried her heart out in the office, I suspect because of the chaotic relationships she was getting into.

As I said, this is not something I would ever do. I always say, loud and clear, that my wife understands me only too well. Having a close family is very important to me. Now, if someone still wants to have a roll in the hay with me, I would be delighted to oblige. I am ready to negotiate, but I have all kinds of lines in the sand, lines that I will not cross. But then so will that special someone, I am sure.


The rest of what you say reinforces my idea that what I look for is not that likely to happen, at least in North America, and not because I am too afraid of approaching women, or don't wear a leather jacket. But you never know, I am an optimist by nature.

And thank you for going to the trouble of reading what I wrote and responding to it. It clarifies my thinking.
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