" ... sex is something that married couples share exclusively between themselves. It's supposed to be special, something that only they do together. It is not casual in a loving relationship."
It's really interesting to be where I am about these things at the moment and look back at how I was when I was with my first lover, a man I was partnered with for about 5 years. I was much more conventional and mainstream in my thinking and feeling about love/sex then, and "monamorous" (thanks, Yoxi). I was exploratory and innovative in other realms, but took my love-style right off the mainstream shelf (well, aside from the fact that it was a same-sex union).
Then, I would have been devastated if my lover, M, even wanted to love another man (he wasn't attracted to women in this way) as well as me "romantically" or in the love+sex fashion. I look back at that and think, Man, was I insecure!
Fast forward to the present. I've been with Kevin for 12 years now. We're both polyamorous in spirit, though neither of us has another lover besides. We're very communicative with each other about our attraction to other guys/gals, and neither of us believes our opening to love another will in any way diminish the love we have for one another. If anything, it will probably enhance our love-life -- as we each have need for kinds of connection we can't have with each other due to our differences (e.g., I'm a high verbal person and Kevin is not; he can't make art-of-conversation as I'd like to have with an intimate.) ... [I don't make him bad or wrong for being a low-verbal type, for he offers so much that I do want and need -- including solid, stable love and companionship in outdoor recreation activities we both love.]
In my youth, I automatically assimilated from my culture -- without critical reflection! -- (tv, movies, radio, love songs...) that the need or longing to share love+sex ("romantic love") equalled, among other things, anxiety that my beloved might pursue a love+sex attraction toward someone else. Of course, in those days, that meant abandoning me--for as the song goes "loving both of you is breaking all the rules".
(I've been in lifelong recovery from abandonment trauma!, so abandonment equals death, or worse, somewhere in my psyche.)
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Okay, back to the fast forward: I have roughly zero fear of abandonment in my relationship with Kevin at this time, especially abandonment resulting from his falling in love with another -- I'd honestly delight and rejoice in and welcome his having another lover (provided they practice great caution as not to pass along any STDs--or STIs for the brits here)! How exciting it would be for our family to take branches! I guess I feel so secure in this relationship, and in my psycho-spiritual path/evolution, that expansive experimentation and risk-taking makes me feel alive, rather than threatened. Also, as much as I love Kevin, I know I can live and be happy without him. Taking risks is different in such an atmosphere. I'm not motivated much by fear in intimate relationships any more. I'm motivated by growing in love, joy, freedom, peace.... I'm willing to risk EVERYTHING to keep such growth going, and polyamory does that for me/us. Also, it's exciting! It's adventurous! Even though I have a solid love relationship, I can have the adventure of being open to another! and I won't be abandoned by my lover if I do.
(It nearly happened last spring/summer, and Kevin watched as "R" and I engaged in a lot of snuggling and deep kissing. He didn't abandon me or rage at me for loving this other man -- but he also didn't talk about his feelings with me much, as he is that low-verbal sort I mentioned.)
"Perhaps I'm unusual. I find sex reassuring, comforting, a physical connection with someone I love. It's a bonding exercise. If I allow my husband to have sex with someone else, then he is bonding with them in a very special way that is supposed to be something special we do between the two of us."
Other than a desire to have such a bond be exclusive, you and I are precisely on the same page, here. I feel all of that in snuggling and in sex, and wouln't give it up for anything -- certainly not in exchange for "casual sex" (which I don't do). I CAN share love of this sort with two or three people. Probably not more than three, as it would get too complicated, I think.
In any case, if Kevin were to find another lover, I'd not feel that he was giving that other something which was properly mine, exclusively, and I would not fear that it would diminish the love he has for me. Odds are, it would help him open to further love, generally, and I'd get to enjoy basking in that warmth! I hope he does find/meet another!
Last edited by River; 05-01-2009 at 07:04 PM.