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  #11  
Old 04-03-2013, 09:20 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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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.

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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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  #12  
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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  #13  
Old 04-03-2013, 04:20 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
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 it 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!
QFT. MC overall has not experienced much jealousy, but when he has worried about me potentially leaving him for someone else, it's been much more along the lines of "What if a woman can give you something I can't?"
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2013, 09:17 PM
Arius Arius is offline
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So many super valuable responses! I don't even think I can respond meaningfully to them all right now! Thanks, everyone. I'm actually starting to feel like I can wrap my head around this a little and make some serious progress.
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:27 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by cinnamonswing View Post
i can see why someone would attribute this reaction (or at least parts of it) to patriarchy but i think this is not just a reaction men have towards woman-woman relationships but also many women have towards man-man relationships. thinking that it is less of a threat if your partner has sex with someone that is not of your gender, period. so maybe it is more of a heteronormative thing. but i also think it has a lot to do with not wanting to feel like you could be replaced.
Actually, I remember reading studies that within people in an opposite-sex relaitonship who didn't care about their partner having sex with one gender, but cared about their partner having sex with the other... both males and females, on average, were jealous of a male partner but not a female one. Only a minority of males and a minority of females were more jealous if their partner was with a woman than with a man.

Note that it's within people who care about one and not the other. Plenty of people were jealous of both or neither.

But yeah, while they justified it in different ways ("I'm a man so if she dates other men she might replace me" vs "I'm a woman so other women aren't a threat but men can bring him something I can't!") both seem to be influenced by patriarchy.
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  #16  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:33 AM
Arius Arius is offline
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I'm pretty embarrassed to admit this, but I think it's highly relevant to this conversation. I was on the bus today and I actually noticed something that I'd never really paid attention to before: I was assessing people differently based on their gender.

The first group might be labelled "potential threats to my safety." I'd look at faces and evaluate body language to see if any of the folks I identified as male looked like they might become violent. If they did, this would put me into "ready to fight mode" and necessitate frequent monitoring of the individual in question. If they didn't look potentially violent, I lost interest in them.

The second group was labelled "potential sexual partners." I'd look at faces and evaluate body shapes to see if any of the folks I identified as female were people I might (assuming they turn out to be someone I respect and find attractive in terms of personality) want to have sex with. If they were, this would put me into what I will call "flirty eyes" mode, and the person would again receive more visual attention than others.

I hadn't really noticed it before, but I knew immediately that I do this ALL THE TIME. Which may partially explain why I generally don't enjoy the company of men. Who wants to be constantly on guard?

I'm not really surprised, but I am a little disturbed by this. It always sucks to realize how deeply ingrained patriarchy is in me.

Have other folks had this experience? I'm wondering if we all do it. If it's different for women, queer folks, trans folks, etc.

I'm also not sure what to do about it. I don't think it's wise to stop assessing people I identify as men to see if they are potential threats, because some of them actually are. I've been in enough fights to know the importance of being prepared for violence. And I do believe that I would notice and react accordingly if a person I identify as female was acting in a belligerent manner.

On the other side, I have been working to objectify women less, but there's still a lot of room for growth there.

Last edited by Arius; 04-05-2013 at 02:46 AM.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:44 AM
Arius Arius is offline
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Another thing this thread brought up for me is the importance patriarchy places on penetration.

For example, in many cultures [including prison culture] it is generally only considered "gay" to be on the receiving end of a penis. Also, the verbs for sex are typically gendered in a way that sex is always something that the person penetrating is doing to the person being penetrated. (Eg. Sam fucked sally; sally was fucked by sam. Ernie gave it hard to Burt; Burt took it up the a**. etc.)

So maybe that partially explains why I don't feel threatened by my partner having sex with a woman.
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  #18  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:23 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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You can be penetrated by a woman. Whether you're male or female.

But to answer your question, yes I can be more on guard when males are around than when females are around. However, since I'm a straight female, they are also the category of potential mates. Females I see as de-sexualised (as far as I'm concerned, since there is no attraction) and not a physical threat, so I guess I don't pay much attention to them.

I'm talking about strangers, here, which I believe you were too.

There is definitely some level of patriarchy at play there, although on the other hand it's true that if I get assaulted, it's more likely to be by a man than a woman. Also, if a woman assaults me, I'm more confident in my ability to fight back because I'm not particularly strong vs the average male, but I would probably be fine vs the average female.

As a male though, you probably have a lower risk of getting assaulted by males, so if you're constantly tense and on guard around them, I can see how it might be a problem. Especially if it remains the case after you actually know the people.
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:36 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arius View Post
It seems to me that this kind of gender-specific jealousy is normal. [B]Does anyone know why?
I don't really believe in "normal." Nobody is quite "normal," everyone has something that makes them different. So if everyone is different, how does "normal" have any meaning?

Worse, I find that "normal" is often used to discriminate. People who are "normal" can justify looking down on people who are "abnormal."

Even worse, people will try to change who they are inside (rather an impossible task) to become this construct of "normal." It's sad.

However, I will agree that these jealous feelings are common, and that's probably all you meant. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you weren't using "normal" as an attempt to *ahem* normalize these feelings.

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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I wonder how much of your reaction is biological.
Damn, beat me to the punch. That's exactly what I was going to say. Biologically, men pose a threat to your ability to cause your mate to become impregnated with your offspring. Women do not pose this threat. It also explains why women, while still being prone to jealousy, are less likely to go into the jealous rages and possessiveness that come so easily to some men. A man can impregnate another woman without posing any barrier to his ability to impregnate his mate.

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Originally Posted by Arius View Post
Eg. Sam fucked sally; sally was fucked by sam. Ernie gave it hard to Burt; Burt took it up the a**. etc.
I've heard plenty of Sallies say "I fucked Sam." In my grammar world, Sam cannot fuck Sally unless Sally fucks Sam back. Sam and Sally fucked each other. All night. *cue 80s wah-chicka-wah-wah*
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  #20  
Old 04-05-2013, 06:55 AM
cinnamonswing cinnamonswing is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Actually, I remember reading studies that within people in an opposite-sex relaitonship who didn't care about their partner having sex with one gender, but cared about their partner having sex with the other... both males and females, on average, were jealous of a male partner but not a female one. Only a minority of males and a minority of females were more jealous if their partner was with a woman than with a man.

Note that it's within people who care about one and not the other. Plenty of people were jealous of both or neither.

But yeah, while they justified it in different ways ("I'm a man so if she dates other men she might replace me" vs "I'm a woman so other women aren't a threat but men can bring him something I can't!") both seem to be influenced by patriarchy.
that's very interesting. i was speaking more from my own experience and opinions i've heard from friends etc but it's always interesting to see results from studies
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