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Old 04-03-2013, 03:12 AM
Arius Arius is offline
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Default Gender-Specific Jealousy (Double Standard)

Hey Everybody.

My poly partner is a bisexual cis female. I am a hetero cis male. For some reason, I get jealous when she has sex with men, but not women. If it's a man, I often feel anxious, insecure, and get really bad mental pictures. I'm worried that his cock will be bigger than mine. I'm worried that he'll be a better lover. But when she's with a woman, I just feel happy for her. I don't care if the woman is the best lover she's ever had and leaves her quivering with pleasure in a pool of ecstacy. The idea of them being together turns me on.

It seems to me that this kind of gender-specific jealousy is normal. Does anyone know why?

My only theory right now is that I've been programmed to see other men (but not women) as a threat.

But more importantly, does anyone know how to get over this? I would like to be as comfortable with my partner having sex with men as I am with her having sex with women.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:20 AM
Octopus Octopus is offline
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I like to think of it as a positive thing. Having the positive example of how you feel towards female partners can be a goal state to aspire towards. It shows to you how you are capable of feeling joy and compersion for her.

Why? Culture & socialisation. Patriarchy.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:29 AM
Arius Arius is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts, Octopus.

Do you mind elaborating more on how patriarchy is involved? I have considered this as a possible significant contributing factor before, but my thinking on it is fuzzy at best.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:37 AM
Octopus Octopus is offline
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In terms of gender roles, you may see men as a "threat" and women as "harmless" because society has taught you that men are aggressive and strong - the aggressor and seducer, and competition for "the women" is part of that.

In terms of sexual orientation - part of the traditional view on how people should conduct their love life is monogamy, and another part of it is heterosexuality. The part of you that has abandoned this traditional view by embracing polyamory is also embracing all deviations () from heteronormativity (and therefore - sleeping with other people = great! sleeping with women = great!).
But, there is a little bit of old thinking "left". Rejecting anything that is not the norm. Which is when the "ugh" feeling kicks in (sleeping with men = bad). But, when your wife sleeps with a women, that situation is already so far removed from traditional-old-"ideal" norm because of the same-gender-interaction that the "ugh" doesn't kick in. See what I mean?
In a similar vein, some people feel that homosexual sex is playful and sexy and fun, but heterosexual sex is 'meaningful' and part of 'a greater romance'.

Now, I am not saying you actually think any of these things at all. I am saying we are all conditioned by our cultural upbringing and that may influence our emotions some times.

Last edited by Octopus; 04-03-2013 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:41 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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It's patriarchal in the sense that you don't see women as just as much a threat as men could be. If there is a part of you feeling competitive, you consider a man a worthy opponent but a woman doesn't really count, cause that's just fluff and fun. Patriarchy belittles women's worth and value and stature in all ways. Your girlfriend would never leave a man for "just a woman" kind of thinking (not saying that she would leave you at all, since this is poly, but that is how our thought processes have been programmed in western culture). Somewhere in there, there could possibly be thoughts like, "Women with women - that's not a real relationship," or "A man would be the superior choice," in addition to all the dick-comparing nonsense men are taught to engage in.

I'm tired right now, so that's about as eloquent as I can get. But your topic is common and there are numerous threads here about others' similar experiences, for further reading.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-03-2013 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:46 AM
Octopus Octopus is offline
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Hah! Edited my post to make it clearer but meanwhile nycindie also said everything I wanted to say.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:08 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I know that a lot of people don't like Franklin Veaux, but I find this article helpful in a general sense.

Not a lot of specific practical advice, though. The advice seems to be, don't just endure it or you'll be miserable, but don't forbid it either. Allow it, but then ask for reassurance, and retrain your brain so that men aren't seen a threat because you trust that your partner will make decisions that take your well-being into account, that she loves you, etc.

Ultimately, I think a way to get over it will be for you to get over the fear of not being the best. If you can reach a point where you can think "if the guy is better in bed than me, stronger, better looking, and his dick is better... so what? Good for her."
For that, you need to know what's being triggered, what you're afraid of, and follow the train of thoughts.

You're worried, for instance, that a guy might have a bigger penis. Why? What bad outcome would follow? It itself, it's not scary, unlike you have the largest penis in the world some guys will be better-endowed. Why is it scary? Do you fear it would make you less valuable in her mind? Do you fear she might think "why did I bother with him? He has a small penis!"
Fear don't have to be rational to be crippling, so be willing to admit that you're afraid of something that, when you say it out loud, sounds ridiculous.

Whoever she dates, he or she will be better than you in some ways and worse in others. You're the sum of everything. Is the size of the other guy's penis scarier to you than whether he shares an interest with her you don't share, and they can talk about it for hours? Or the idea that, say, they are a similar size and she can wear his clothes?
These examples are random. But penis size is random too. It's just been ingrained that bigger is better, which depends on the taste of the woman, and the skill of the man. And I think that has a lot to do with why you don't have a problem with female lovers: they don't have a penis at all.
Although, they actually might have several. And if you're so worried about size, well, the penises they might have are probably bigger than yours, because they rarely sell average-sized toys. And if all else fails, they have fists, too.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arius View Post
My only theory right now is that I've been programmed to see other men (but not women) as a threat.
Your theory isn't likely to get much better. The "normal" heterosexual male perspective is to consider other males as a threat and females as a threesome lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arius View Post
But more importantly, does anyone know how to get over this? I would like to be as comfortable with my partner having sex with men as I am with her having sex with women.
You are on the right track just by asking this question. Good for you!

For me, when I have that nagging feeling of jealousy I lean on my most applicable mantra. I have a few, but for this one I lean on "That's not mine". This one reminds me that they are fully functional humans who are living out their lives, which is preferable. "That's not mine" reminds me that what I am doing is having a possessive response to what they are doing; that I am tricking myself into thinking that I have some level of entitlement about how they are spending their time (which I decidedly am not entitled to).

Failing that (which sometimes happens) I move on to compersion. "I want her to experience the things that make her happy". This one reminds me that what she is doing is what I WANT her to be doing, which is enriching her life and experiencing joy.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:20 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arius View Post
Hey Everybody.

My poly partner is a bisexual cis female. I am a hetero cis male. For some reason, I get jealous when she has sex with men, but not women. If it's a man, I often feel anxious, insecure, and get really bad mental pictures. I'm worried that his cock will be bigger than mine. I'm worried that he'll be a better lover. But when she's with a woman, I just feel happy for her. I don't care if the woman is the best lover she's ever had and leaves her quivering with pleasure in a pool of ecstacy. The idea of them being together turns me on.

It seems to me that this kind of gender-specific jealousy is normal. Does anyone know why?

My only theory right now is that I've been programmed to see other men (but not women) as a threat.
You've basically got it. Our society sees a patriarchal set-up (such as polygamy) as acceptable, even encouraged in some circles, but the reverse is not true.

Quote:
But more importantly, does anyone know how to get over this? I would like to be as comfortable with my partner having sex with men as I am with her having sex with women.
I have a difficult time trusting other men because of negative experiences with men that I've counted as friends as well as years spent trying to help women who were victims of physical and sexual assault. That's made me very...skeptical when it comes to men in general. Less out of a sense of jealousy and more a sense of mistrust.

When I first started entering the world of poly, I ran into the jealousy wall before I got too far. I got around it by just try to keep in mind that, just as every single one of the women I've ever been with has been different and incredible in their own way, I am different than other male lovers that any ladyfriends I see may have. If you were to ask me who the best lover I've ever had was, I couldn't tell you. Different lovers have been good at different things and taken to certain things more naturally, but I couldn't honestly tell you who was the "best" overall.

We've been somewhat programmed to think of things on a binary scale; it's either good or its not, better and best. We dont think of lovers as a range of experiences, they're given these really arbitrary skill assignments often based on piss-poor experience and warped cultural ideas.

It's stupid because because people are wildly differing individuals yet for some reason when it comes to sex, we all fall on this scale between "terrible" and "awesome" and we lose all our unique natures.

Additionally, talk to your ladyfriend as often as possible. Tell her you're having these problems and want to work through them. Jealousy is a weed that thrives in darkness, the more you talk about it and the more you bring it out to deal with it, the harder time it will have growing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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It's normal jealousy struggle. It happens. Both ways -- whether the gender of the other lover is the same as you or different. Because in the end I don't believe it is about the other lover's gender. I think it about your inner thoughts and beliefs.

The whole "If our hinge sweetie compares us, I'm not going to be able to compete" thing. Maybe you are ok with the female lovers because they have equipment you don't. They offer your lover a different sex experience and your thoughts run along the lines of "It's not even a competition there." But the male lover has "your" equipment. So you feel competition fears.

It works the other way too. Maybe you think you are a hot stud muffin and no other man can compete to your magical penis. But crap! Here come women lovers -- they have goods you don't! What if hinge sweetie runs off with one of them and you cannot even compete because you just don't have a vagina to compete with? Ahhhh!

See? Doesn't matter the gender. Whatever tape is playing in there -- it boils down to "I am afraid I cannot compete."

You state your worries/fears yourself -- things like what if is he's a better lover, has a bigger penis, etc.

So what? What if he is blond, has three dogs and a dragon, he drives a vacuum cleaner to work? ( I joke to keep it light and try to make you smile, I'm not making light of your feelings or minimizing them.)

It just doesn't matter what he has or does or is. What is causing your discomfort is not the trigger (him being another lover). It is your thinking and what you tell yourself inside your head that is causing you your upset.

"I am less than, I will fall short..." kinds of thoughts.

To feel better?

Ask your partner to reassure you that your hinge sweetie loves you for YOU and wouldn't break up with you without warning or without giving you a chance to work on whatever needs are not being met.

And ask yourself to learn to cut it out and play a different tape in your head.

"I AM good enough. Hinge loves me for ME and all I bring to the table."

Maybe these could help?

http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/p.../jealousy.html
http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...ed_10-6-10.pdf

Try to BREATHE. Literally. Take deep breaths and relax your muscles if you feel stress/anxious/uptight. If you make yourself breathe and deliberately let go of any muscle tension, your muscles can give your brain feedback that there is actually no danger lurking. So there is no need to be chronically poised for "flight or fight response." Then maybe your brain can relax a bit in there.

BREATHE.

In a way, it's good that it's about the thoughts in your mind. Because you can always choose to change your mind!

You will be ok. You can do this work -- you can learn to overcome jealousy.

Hang in there!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-04-2013 at 12:51 AM.
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