Originally Posted by DavidWebb
I can appreciate this line of thinking and it is helpful for me to get this perspective. Christie has mentioned that she and R don’t always have sex when they get together for various reasons, many of which you pointed out. But she would prefer to have the option open. I certainly get that! If I was in her position I would feel the same way.
But my mono mindset kicks in and wonders truly how the relationship would be different. Would you really not be able to become close to this other person and love this person if you couldn’t have sex with them? For me, I feel I could. There have been plenty of dry spells in our marriage (see OP for reasons) and I never felt like my relationship was no longer “natural and organic”. There are many ways to be intimate. I prefer to reserve the ultimate forms of it for Christie. Just a different mindset I suppose.
Again, I think the difference is that those dry spells you have experienced were due to the feelings/needs of that partner. It wasn't someone external to that relationship telling you and Christie that you weren't allowed to be intimate. For me, that's where the no longer natural and organic part comes in.
I love my boyfriend; our relationship is built much more on an emotional and intellectual connection than it is on sex. But I could have had an emotional and intellectual connection (and have, with many friends) with him before my marriage was poly. Even though sex is not a large part of our relationship, if it were off limits because those were the terms of my marriage, I wouldn't consider him my boyfriend. I wouldn't consider it a romantic relationship. I would consider it a very close friendship, and I would be longing for it to be more. It feels difficult to articulate, but for me, that sexual freedom is what draws the line between truly being poly, and having a mono situation where your partner doesn't mind you having close, emotional friendships but wouldn't want those friendships to be physically intimate. For me, truly being poly matters. And if it doesn't include the freedom to have sex, I can't really say I'm available for more than friendship.