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  #11  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:29 PM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
What sort of casual sex/nsa encounters are you talking about? Are these more like one night stands with people he doesn't really know or is it more like having a some friends or other people he knows that he plays with from time to time?
I think this is a good question that Ceoli asked. There is a percentage of people in the local poly community that have more lovers. Also, some of them seem to have more casual sex with friends. As of yet, I don't know who is friends with benefits or not, but I know that I've seen some casual sex go on at a poly group party. In this case, they were all friends at the least, and no new people were in the mix. Hooking up with new people too frequently is more dangerous, obviously, and I can see how that could make a relationship feel degraded.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2010, 09:02 PM
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DrunkenPorcupine DrunkenPorcupine is offline
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My wife has lots of casual sex with various partners. We're in an open relationship but I do not consider her poly because, like your boyfriend, she does disconnect sex and intimacy and love.

As she's been doing this, I find that I'm less and less interested in her sexually. I agree with you entirely. For me, sex is an experience, a joy. The twitches and the shudders and the changes in rhythm reveal things to me about my sexual partner. It's a form of deep sharing, an expression of intimacy and safety and surity. When I was strictly monogamous, I would have sex with my wife and I would get some of this, but it was pretty clear from her feedback verbally and physically that she wouldn't. For her sex feels good and that's pretty much it.

When we have such very different feelings about sex, I find it's less about sharing and more about getting off. And if I wanted to just get off, I'd masturbate.

That said, I don't think this is damaging our relationship. Just as couples disagree about finances and housekeeping, we disagree about sex.

The greatest things about my personal journey into polyamory are 1.) The realization that no person needs to fill all of the roles of my formerly monogamous relationship. Indeed, people being so varied and unique, I don't think any person COULD do that and still appeal to me as a vibrant, lovable individual. 2.) That any disagreement or issue can be shared and worked on within our relationship. Being in an open relationship makes issues rise to the surface pretty quickly. Years and years of subtle resentments and irritations come to a head in a matter of weeks or even days when competition for time and affection are added to a relationship. It's been almost entirely positive for me since it allows and demands that we address issues quickly and honestly.

So while I suggest communication with your boyfriend like everyone else, I also suggest some earnest soul-searching about your own values and what it is that you're expecting and needing from him. You might find that he's simply too different and incompatible but you might also find a freedom in letting go of certain relationship roles because they don't need to be present in every partner.

My two coppers.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:41 AM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
The greatest things about my personal journey into polyamory are 1.) The realization that no person needs to fill all of the roles of my formerly monogamous relationship.
Suppose that one of them is a very exciting and entertaining partner, and that you feel captivated by that partner because they keep you engaged in conversation. Then, on the other hand, your other partner does not engage you as well.

Could you then find being with the less entertaining partner to be equally satisfying?

I think that some people would overlook that spending time with one person is less satisfying and that they would still date the less satisfying person because dating that partner is somehow gratifying to them.

What say you to that?

Secondly, I hate that we can't be seen as "great" in the ways that we'd like to be seen as great. We aren't the judge of that. We can't read their minds either. We may never know the truth as to how good we really are at cetain things.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:56 AM
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DrunkenPorcupine DrunkenPorcupine is offline
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Suppose that one of them is a very exciting and entertaining partner, and that you feel captivated by that partner because they keep you engaged in conversation. Then, on the other hand, your other partner does not engage you as well.

Could you then find being with the less entertaining partner to be equally satisfying?
Yes, for all of the reasons that I care about the other person. That's more or less what I'm saying there, is that I value each relationship for what it IS rather than some ideal of filling all of those various roles.

Quote:
I think that some people would overlook that spending time with one person is less satisfying and that they would still date the less satisfying person because dating that partner is somehow gratifying to them.

What say you to that?
I think there's something wrong with the relationship or you if you start comparing them when you previously didn't. I could find a more interesting conversational partner down the road, but her presence doesn't detract from what is already there with people I'm involved with.

People don't become "less satisfying" to me because someone is better suited (by my definition) at a specific thing. My relationships take in a whole, complete person and everybody is so unique and different that it wouldn't be possible to compare them side by side in that manner.
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2010, 04:56 AM
Vexxed Vexxed is offline
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Thanks for replying to my questions Dporcupine. I was verging on thread jacking there, so I won't reply with much.

Back to casual sex...
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2010, 09:57 PM
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That's funny... I was just reading Porcupine's post and thinking "This guy needs to talk to Vexxed!
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2010, 05:30 AM
sweetmama sweetmama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
My wife has lots of casual sex with various partners. We're in an open relationship but I do not consider her poly because, like your boyfriend, she does disconnect sex and intimacy and love.

As she's been doing this, I find that I'm less and less interested in her sexually. I agree with you entirely. For me, sex is an experience, a joy. The twitches and the shudders and the changes in rhythm reveal things to me about my sexual partner. It's a form of deep sharing, an expression of intimacy and safety and surity. When I was strictly monogamous, I would have sex with my wife and I would get some of this, but it was pretty clear from her feedback verbally and physically that she wouldn't. For her sex feels good and that's pretty much it.

When we have such very different feelings about sex, I find it's less about sharing and more about getting off. And if I wanted to just get off, I'd masturbate.

That said, I don't think this is damaging our relationship. Just as couples disagree about finances and housekeeping, we disagree about sex.

The greatest things about my personal journey into polyamory are 1.) The realization that no person needs to fill all of the roles of my formerly monogamous relationship. Indeed, people being so varied and unique, I don't think any person COULD do that and still appeal to me as a vibrant, lovable individual. 2.) That any disagreement or issue can be shared and worked on within our relationship. Being in an open relationship makes issues rise to the surface pretty quickly. Years and years of subtle resentments and irritations come to a head in a matter of weeks or even days when competition for time and affection are added to a relationship. It's been almost entirely positive for me since it allows and demands that we address issues quickly and honestly.

So while I suggest communication with your boyfriend like everyone else, I also suggest some earnest soul-searching about your own values and what it is that you're expecting and needing from him. You might find that he's simply too different and incompatible but you might also find a freedom in letting go of certain relationship roles because they don't need to be present in every partner.

My two coppers.
DP, thanks for this. I see a lot of truth for myself in how you approach this issue. Letting go of some of the mono beliefs about requiring/expecting your partner to be everything or fit some predetermined role does allow for a certain freedom to accept them just as they are and love them for it.

While I may never be a casual sex person, and will probably always have a certain level of discomfort about casual sex in general (although I'm learning to watch my nevers as they seem be coming back to haunt me. . .in a good way so far) I feel like there is the possibility that really embracing more of a poly lifestyle rather than just being a mono person in a poly relationship might create an emotional space where I am more comfortable with my bf's different approach.

Another thing I got from your post, if indirectly, was that I realized that what my bf does in terms of casual sex really isn't affecting our relationship. Unlike what you've described in your relationship, I don't feel at all that he is disconnected emotionally when we have sex, or that his ability to separate love and sex carries over into our activities. Any disconnect that happens would be because of my own internal struggles rather than something inherent in his approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexxed View Post
I think this is a good question that Ceoli asked. There is a percentage of people in the local poly community that have more lovers. Also, some of them seem to have more casual sex with friends. As of yet, I don't know who is friends with benefits or not, but I know that I've seen some casual sex go on at a poly group party. In this case, they were all friends at the least, and no new people were in the mix. Hooking up with new people too frequently is more dangerous, obviously, and I can see how that could make a relationship feel degraded.
In my rather limited experience with the poly community I have observed something very similar to what you're describing. It seems to be a pretty tight knit group where the lines between friendship, sex, and romance seem to blur quite a bit and there is sharing back and forth so that it's not all that uncommon to date your best friends wife or your girlfriend's ex husband. At first I found this dynamic a bit strange, but as I've seen it in action and gotten used to the idea, I do feel a certain safety in keeping it all in the family so to speak.

Generally it has been the times that my bf hooks up with someone outside the group, or someone I don't know of, that I get most uncomfortable. Partly, as you point out, because bringing in someone new ups the level of risk. But also, because for me at least, the more info I have the better I feel. When I know the person, or at least know of them and have some background on the connection/dynamic involved I tend to feel much better. Hearing my bf talk about why he's attracted to someone, or what their interactions are like lets me see those parts of him I love and appreciate coming out and find that sense of compersion rather than getting stuck in some imagined scenario of my worst fears.



Thanks again to everyone for all the great responses! It's helped a lot in my process of sorting through emotions and figuring out what I need. I'm not done yet and probably will never be "done" but I'm feeling better about things and making more sense out of what's going on.


Sweetmama
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  #18  
Old 02-21-2010, 03:32 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetmama View Post
Generally it has been the times that my bf hooks up with someone outside the group, or someone I don't know of, that I get most uncomfortable. Partly, as you point out, because bringing in someone new ups the level of risk. But also, because for me at least, the more info I have the better I feel. When I know the person, or at least know of them and have some background on the connection/dynamic involved I tend to feel much better.
Sweetmama
This is an important point. One I take for granted but it made me stop and think how much this may be understood and discussed across the board in all relationships ? It's connected to basic safety/survival mechanisms. And it made me wonder how much weight this fundamental human trait is given when trying to navigate multiple relationships. It's ONE thing to trust a current partner's judgement in relation to yourself - quite another to make the leap of trusting them to weigh out various concerns you might have with a 3rd party who you have no knowledge of.

This is a bridge we crossed long ago so as I say it's kind of taken for granted here. We both acknowledge that the other needs to have some space and time with a 3rd person before we can have any consensus on whether we all feel the required safety. Everyone has abilities to pick up (read) different cues and we make a point to sit down and discuss each persons perceptions and proceed accordingly.

But I wonder if everyone does something similar ? I can see the potential conflict there in those who are prone to need a high level of 'independence' and 'blind trust'. I wonder if this causes unnecessary conflict & discomfort.

GS
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2010, 07:41 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Default casual sex discussed.

http://www.alternet.org/sex/145975/i...ual_sex?page=1

I'm a stinker for bringing this up I think, as it has been cause of heated debate in the past, but, I saw this on our local poly groups FB wall and wrote the below... I was disappointed that no one wanted to discuss it further, so I thought I would see if anyone here wanted to... this is what I wrote.

"I love that this article is so much about choice and awareness of what we do sexually. Not following a trend so much as to be good to ourselves sexually and therefore psychologically.

I love this question...

"Whoever thought sex-positive feminism was supposed to mean a life like Sam Malone's on "Cheers"? Endless hookups, and rejection of relationships, all while wearing stripper clothes?"... See More... See More

one I have asked myself often (in a way) as I don't feel I fit sex positive or sex negative. I have a hard time with both.... just asking this question makes me rest easier that at least others ask the same thing.

I love the last paragraph.

"We’re not caught between the liberation of the last decade and the conservatism of the new one. Neither endless hookups, nor the tyranny of monogamy-or-bust was ever supposed to be the way to go. Real feminism is always supposed to be about choice."

Yay, This is what my die hard bra burning feminist mumma taught me...!!! Agree entirely."

Anyway, what do you all think?
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  #20  
Old 03-23-2010, 10:47 AM
korindino korindino is offline
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Honestly, I think our culture has reached a decent balance, where we generally accept whatever people do behind closed doors, so long as they thought about what they were doing and were self-aware enough to know that it was right for them.

I had a casual sex buddy for a while in college. I told my friends about it, introduced him to a few even, and no one ever said a thing about it. Honestly, it's not that they didn't care; they just knew that when I was working two jobs and taking classes full time, I didn't have a whole lot of time for relationships and I desired the stress release that sex provided. I never felt judged for the fact that I just wanted sex, and I got it.

I know I'm not sex-negative, I'm fairly sure I'm sex-positive. Basically, I'm all for people getting it on whenever, as long as what they're doing is safe, consentual, and conscientious. Being sexually self-actualized is important, and once you've taken the time to understand yourself, your motivations, and your needs, there really isn't a whole lot limiting you but your own conscience.
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