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  #91  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:37 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
......... I'm not convinced it makes a huge difference if you first "check" if you're compatible sexually or emotionally, provided you can do it in either order.
Hey Tonberry,

Ok..........so this you believe ?

Maybe it's that you are a person who is really comfortable with who you are, emotionally, sexually, physically etc. That's a rare blessing if that's the case.

Because..........
So you are saying......for example, that.....

A love (potential) that you have become quite close to and have high hopes for the future suddenly begins to become distant - OR - even is brutally honest with you by stating that they (he/she) is not "into" you sexually (maybe followed by the proverbial 'likes you as a person very much' etc)

VS

The distance grows after an early sexual experience - maybe with no explanation. Before you really know each other that well.

In the later case, it seems at least, you would cry foul, label them a 'player', user etc, shifting any potential blame away from yourself and onto them. Seems that's the classic model ?

And being the net result is about the same - which is more harmful. Which more kind in the long run ?

Interesting..........

I suspect the answer may vary some between individuals but............

GS

Hmmmm.......seems this discussion would have fit nicely into the "How important is sex to you" thread.....
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  #92  
Old 12-25-2010, 05:40 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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The first one would probably hurt my feelings more, but physical attraction is something you're aware of early on, I assumed by sexual compatibility you meant sharing fantasies and the like. Which in polyamorous relationships isn't as much as a big deal if you don't share 100% of the other's kinks, as they can find someone else for the ones that you're not into.

The second one would hurt me more as a person. I would feel worthless, used for my body, and not self-respecting enough to have tried to get what I wanted: an emotional connection. It would hurt my own image of myself and I would like me less. As I said, I'm not someone who "can do it in any order". I require an emotional connection first. Having sex is a huge leap of faith I make, a huge risk that takes a lot of trust, and doing it with someone I'm not emotionally close to only to see them go away would make me feel like, well, I called for it, really, by trusting someone I shouldn't have.

In the first case, I would still have a close friend I care for very much. In the second case, I would have nothing, except memories of things I did and now regret. I would definitely prefer the first case.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a love (potential)" though. Are we not a couple yet? Because then, it's not like I lose anything at all...
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  #93  
Old 12-25-2010, 07:09 PM
DharmaBum23 DharmaBum23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
The first one would probably hurt my feelings more, but physical attraction is something you're aware of early on, I assumed by sexual compatibility you meant sharing fantasies and the like. Which in polyamorous relationships isn't as much as a big deal if you don't share 100% of the other's kinks, as they can find someone else for the ones that you're not into.
Actually it can be a really big deal. For example, what if you meet someone who you get along fabulously with, start dating, become extremely close emotionally and find out that the person you are dating is extremely into bondage. As in "will turn down sex if it isn't mixed with bondage" into bondage. Unfortunately something like that will mean that(unless you also are into bondage) you will not have a sexual relationship. On the other hand if you had sex early on it would become quite clear that you were dealing with "super bondage person" and part ways without painfully severing a strong emotional connection.
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  #94  
Old 12-25-2010, 07:14 PM
Jade Jade is offline
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I choose scenario number two.
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  #95  
Old 12-25-2010, 07:42 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by DharmaBum23 View Post
Actually it can be a really big deal. For example, what if you meet someone who you get along fabulously with, start dating, become extremely close emotionally and find out that the person you are dating is extremely into bondage. As in "will turn down sex if it isn't mixed with bondage" into bondage. Unfortunately something like that will mean that(unless you also are into bondage) you will not have a sexual relationship. On the other hand if you had sex early on it would become quite clear that you were dealing with "super bondage person" and part ways without painfully severing a strong emotional connection.
If someone can't have sex except in specific conditions (or won't have sex at all, if for instance they're asexual), I expect them to tell me a long time before we have sex anyways. It's not something you're supposed to learn while having sex with them!
Not having sex right away doesn't mean you can't talk about it. The kind of things that are deal breakers should be mentioned up front. The rest doesn't have to.
For instance, if that person has a bondage fetish but doesn't require it, being close emotionally before saying so wouldn't be a problem. I have tried (and liked) things with my boyfriend that I would never have been willing to try with a stranger, because of our emotional connection. And if after giving it a try it's not my thing, or if I'm not willing to give it a try (for instance I'm not into watersports at all, if someone I was dating was it would be without me) then that doesn't mean they'll never get it at all, just not from me.

I don't think it is reasonable to expect to be a 100% match sexually and emotionally. However I think all parties are more likely to compromise when there is already a connection, because it's important to someone they love, and then they might discover things they like this way.
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  #96  
Old 12-25-2010, 08:26 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
The first one would probably hurt my feelings more, but physical attraction is something you're aware of early on, I assumed by sexual compatibility you meant sharing fantasies and the like. Which in polyamorous relationships isn't as much as a big deal if you don't share 100% of the other's kinks, as they can find someone else for the ones that you're not into.
Understood. But sexual compatibility involves SO much more than basic physical attraction. I'm going to go out on a limb from this quote (plus your other writing) and guess that you may never have ended up in bed with someone who you thought 'physically' attractive only to find out that it just wasn't really there......
Nothing critical intended, just observation/interpretation of what you said.


But I'd like to 'challenge' you on the following.............
Now.........this is 'you' and so it must be of your choosing....


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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
The second one would hurt me more as a person. I would feel worthless, used for my body,
Why choose this ? Wouldn't YOU be as much an active part of pursuing the sex as the other party ? Who might be using whom ? Or is ANYONE using anyone ? Or just exploring... Why does one become 'worthless' because they choose to explore sexual connection ? Seems there must be a lot of 'worthless' people in the world eh ?


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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
and not self-respecting enough to have tried to get what I wanted: an emotional connection.
Hmmmmmm................getting what we want eh...........interesting. And failure to even/at least attempt some manipulation we are undeserving of respect ?


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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
It would hurt my own image of myself and I would like me less.
Do you think this is this your OWN image (you've constructed via much thought & effort) ? Or a personage assimilated from the society you've been exposed to ? Genuinely curious........


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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
......Having sex is a huge leap of faith I make, a huge risk that takes a lot of trust, and doing it with someone I'm not emotionally close to
I hear this - and respect it. But only because it's your personal choice, not because I believe it's accurate in general or the wisest or best choice. I agree sex, like many things DOES require trust. But we do things every day with less trust that could be equally ruinous. Somewhere our gut & instinct (plus observation/critical thinking skills) kicks in and guides us safely. We're still cruising this forum.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
....In the first case, I would still have a close friend I care for very much. In the second case, I would have nothing, except memories of things I did and now regret.
And why would you regret them (assuming there was not some disaster resulting from your choice) ? You were faced with options (early sex or not), used your experience and instinct to guide you, and made YOUR choice ? If the worst outcome was that you discovered sex was not going to work between you, why would this be a regretful choice ? It would have come sooner or later- yes?

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "a love (potential)" though. Are we not a couple yet? Because then, it's not like I lose anything at all...
Well - I use 'potential' because love is a complex process, especially in it's different forms. And the truth or depth of it is not discovered in the first few days, months or even years in many cases. Until then we sense 'potential' but can't be sure where where it's going to end up.

Interesting discussion.................



GS
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  #97  
Old 12-25-2010, 10:54 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Understood. But sexual compatibility involves SO much more than basic physical attraction. I'm going to go out on a limb from this quote (plus your other writing) and guess that you may never have ended up in bed with someone who you thought 'physically' attractive only to find out that it just wasn't really there......
That's true, I've only had the other thing, sex with someone I wasn't compatible with (in ways other than sexual) which was very hard for me to break and left me feeling like I never really got anything out of the relationship. Anything I would have wanted to, at least. It's after that experience that I realised I care more about the emotional connection, with or without sex, and that sex without that emotional connection leaves me with negative feelings rather than positive ones, like I am trying to patch up something, to replace what I really want and need with something else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Why choose this ? Wouldn't YOU be as much an active part of pursuing the sex as the other party ? Who might be using whom ? Or is ANYONE using anyone ? Or just exploring... Why does one become 'worthless' because they choose to explore sexual connection ? Seems there must be a lot of 'worthless' people in the world eh ?
Well, to be honest I don't see myself doing it anymore, so I was using my past experiences. Because what I care about is a strong connection (be it love or friendship) and because I need it for sex, sex without it leaves me feeling bad.
If I just want the physical aspect, I can masturbate. However, sex is different because it's a sharing of energy, it's showing yourself vulnerable in front of each other, letting them know you intimately. It's the physical equivalent of sharing your deepest secrets, but it's more than that, because it's not only physical, there is an emotional aspect to it too. That's the way I personally experience it.

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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Hmmmmmm................getting what we want eh...........interesting. And failure to even/at least attempt some manipulation we are undeserving of respect ?
What do you mean by manipulation? What I meant is that now I know what works for me, and it's not casual sex. As a result, if I had casual sex, I would feel bad and stupid for doing something I know doesn't work for me.

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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Do you think this is this your OWN image (you've constructed via much thought & effort) ? Or a personage assimilated from the society you've been exposed to ? Genuinely curious........
I do think it is my own perception of myself. I agree that there is a lot of sex negativity in our society, but I don't feel sex negative. I enjoy it, I like it, I'm not afraid of talking about it. I have requirements for it, as I guess anyone else does, and one of them is a strong trusting bond with my partners. It would hurt my image of myself to know I have done something that I knew doesn't work for me. Every time I had casual sex it was destructive, and never did it result in a relationship, not because casual sex can't lead into a relationship but because having sex with someone I didn't trust made me trust them less and get further from them. It felt like an invasion of my privacy, which I caused and was to blame for. I also realised I didn't have that sex because I waned to but because I felt it was expected of me, and I have decided since then not to do that kind of things again.

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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
I hear this - and respect it. But only because it's your personal choice, not because I believe it's accurate in general or the wisest or best choice.
Oh, I entirely believe that this is a personal thing that varies from one person to the next. I wouldn't expect other people to feel the exact same way I do, nor do I think "my way" is the best one. It's the best one for me, at this time, that's all. And I don't know if it will always be that way, I might change as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
And why would you regret them (assuming there was not some disaster resulting from your choice) ? You were faced with options (early sex or not), used your experience and instinct to guide you, and made YOUR choice ? If the worst outcome was that you discovered sex was not going to work between you, why would this be a regretful choice ? It would have come sooner or later- yes?
I think my previous replies in this post mostly answer that, but I'll add that even if it comes sooner and later, it would help me if it comes out when I can get support from a friend I trust, the person I have a strong connection with. Knowing that it won't work, but that we're still friends and we'll get through this together is much easier than seeing them run away because we never had a connection in the first place. And if we still love each other, I still have that, and since that's the most important part for me, the lack of sex isn't going to be such a big deal.
It might be harder if I feel the sex is great but they don't, because being platonic lovers would be harder in that case.
If they wanted to just stop seeing each other completely, that would be fairly hard for me. It would make me feel like what we had meant nothing to them and they were just in for the sex. Which is something you should be clear about from the start. I feel is the emotional connection is there, a lack of sex isn't going to break a relationship, especially when you are polyamorous. You can be platonic lovers or non-sexual partners or however you call it, and have a very fulfilling, although different, relationship.
Well - I use 'potential' because love is a complex process, especially in it's different forms. And the truth or depth of it is not discovered in the first few days, months or even years in many cases. Until then we sense 'potential' but can't be sure where where it's going to end up.

Interesting discussion.................



GS[/QUOTE]
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  #98  
Old 12-26-2010, 05:50 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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......... Every time I had casual sex it was destructive, and never did it result in a relationship, not because casual sex can't lead into a relationship but because having sex with someone I didn't trust made me trust them less and get further from them.
Here is one of those times I think it's easy to get off track due to language. I'm unsure of your definition of 'casual sex'. In trying to understand your writing I get the impression that your definition of 'casual sex' might include even someone you had had several 'dates' with ? Insufficient time to (in theory) form much of a real bond, get to know each other really well etc.
Whereas........

My definition of 'casual sex' would be pretty limited to a random hookup (like a bar etc) or maybe even a co-worker where there had been some flirtation but never any real opportunity for much personal communication.

Because I think this boundary/definition is critical to even being sure we are talking the same subject ! I'm not a huge fan of casual sex either - by MY definition, although neither would I be opposed to it for myself or anyone else under the right circumstances. As you mention yourself, one never knows when/how connections form. But I'm not one who would be expecting or anticipating one to materialize from a random hookup. But neither would I be blind to it if it happened.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
.............
It felt like an invasion of my privacy, which I caused and was to blame for. I also realised I didn't have that sex because I waned to but because I felt it was expected of me, and I have decided since then not to do that kind of things again.
This is one part I think plays better with the original topic of gender differences in sexual outlook or poly etc. It's obvious from this that you see your place/role in sexual activity as primarily a passive one. The one 'pursued' which is where I think was one of the primary contributions/changes the feminist movement tried to change. The ideal of course would be to get to a point that the pursuer and pursued would be gender neutral. I'm all about this ! Despite the frowns of classic society, I have ever respected a woman who stepped up and took charge of her own sexual identity and activity as much as she might her career. A gal SHOULD be pursuing what she feels might be desirable rather than sitting back waiting to be pursued and then only taking the role you spoke of of 'granting permission'. That approach gets no respect from me. But that's me. And no - I'm a far cry from any submissive. Quite the contrary actually.

But to get back more to what we were discussing.....let me phrase a question another way that might cut closer to the heart of my point/question.

Situation.....after having sex (finally) with someone you had established a tight bond with and discovering that there was just no way that it was going to be acceptable (many potential reasons for that), how DO you tell them that, without hurting them, possibly deeply ? What words could you use ?
Especially words that you believe wouldn't be the beginnings of a wall that would, over time, only grow between you ?

Because I think the answer to this from the different genders would very widely as well as the fallout associated.

Because people's (a majority anyway) sexual identities are so important to their self image, how do you navigate incompatibilities, especially with people who I think have not taken the time to especially educate themselves in the nuances of human sexuality ? And when I speak of 'incompatibilities', I'm speaking of basics - not special kinks, preferences etc. Could be a basic as aggressive/passive style, body part images/odors, audible styles etc. Basics. Things that can easily be a turn off - or at least lack of 'turn on'.

I, like most people I suspect (?), have to have some basic minimum of desirables present in order to make it worth the time & effort. And of course there's a potential gender difference here too. As a 'guy', if it's not happening, it's going to be painfully obvious. No faking it with some extra lube options available to us


You get my drift here ?

So how DO you say the words ???????????

GS

Last edited by GroundedSpirit; 12-26-2010 at 05:53 PM.
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  #99  
Old 12-26-2010, 07:11 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Here is one of those times I think it's easy to get off track due to language. I'm unsure of your definition of 'casual sex'.
Well, my casual sex was with people I never had any dates with ever, be if before or after. Although I guess I might extend it to any sex without being in love, but then again I might want a third word for that since I do think it is different.
I guess for me casual sex means sex without a committed relationship.

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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
It's obvious from this that you see your place/role in sexual activity as primarily a passive one.
Oh, no. I have ALWAYS been the one to instigate sex, pursue it, and be dominant during it. However I realised that I was doing that because I wanted to be liked, and that making sure sex happened early and often was a way for me to avoid forming connections with people because I was afraid. However, because it is ultimately what I wanted, I ended up worse off in the end, and because I had given an image of someone who wanted casual sex without any connection, men didn't bother trying to create one, and those who wanted one just left.
Now, I find long distance relationships to work better for me, because there is no way for me to throw myself at the men and "have my way with them", I have to actually create a connection with them before we can consider meeting up and so on, and so by the time we do meet up, I'm more comfortable with them, and even willing to be occasionally less dominant, despite the fact that it makes me feel vulnerable, because I trust them.
I thought I was being a strong, confident woman at ease with her sexuality, but I realised it wasn't the case, and I really suffered from my lack of control in a sexual context. It was a way, I realise, to hide issues I had, so I want to avoid that at least until I deal with said issues.


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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Situation.....after having sex (finally) with someone you had established a tight bond with and discovering that there was just no way that it was going to be acceptable (many potential reasons for that), how DO you tell them that, without hurting them, possibly deeply ? What words could you use ?
Well, I don't know offhand, but I don't think I could avoid hurting them. On the other hand, if you're not compatible, wouldn't both parties realise that? I don't think you can be compatible one way but not the other, am I wrong?
However, I believe I would still have that strong bond and it can't be taken away, and I don't have a problem with not having sex with that person, and I don't have a problem with them looking for sexual gratification elsewhere.
I guess my words would probably be "this isn't going to work. I feel we worked out better without the sex, so let's go back to that". But I find it hard to believe that if all the rest works out great, we wouldn't have anything at all in common sexually that would work for us.
I take your word for it that it happens, but I just don't get it. So much of the sexual compatibility comes from physical and emotional attraction for me, it's hard to imagine having the two latter without the former.

You seem to talk about lack of sexual attraction in the end of your post. But I thought earlier you were talking about someone who I WAS attracted to, but incompatible with. If what you meant by sexual compatibility was sexual attraction, I feel that you can know about that before having sex. You know what each other smells like from hugging them. You know what each other looks like from seeing each other naked. Things like that, that for me, in a committed relationship, necessarily happen before any sex.

When I met Sean for the first time in person, I was nervous, because I knew there was a chance the current wouldn't flow. And I knew the relationship could have ended if we didn't "work" together, but I don't mean just sexually, I mean physically, if it didn't "click" between us. Still, neither of us would have made a 24 hour trip to meet the other if we hadn't developed an emotional connection first. How does that happen? How do you meet up for the sex so early on? I'm glad things happened the way they did because we have such a strong connection and I'm sure it would have been different for me if we had lived in the same town and had sex right away. I would probably have prevented my chance of becoming attracted to him. The first time I saw his picture, I didn't really care about it one way or the other. Then we got to know each other, and I say his picture again, and I was "WOW". Because by that time I had gotten to know him, and it wasn't just a picture of some dude, it was a picture of my friend. And I found myself thinking, has he always been that hot, and how did I miss it?

I hope I managed to explain myself a little better here.
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  #100  
Old 12-26-2010, 09:11 PM
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I have ALWAYS been the one to instigate sex, pursue it, and be dominant during it. However I realised that I was doing that because I wanted to be liked, and that making sure sex happened early and often was a way for me to avoid forming connections with people because I was afraid. However, because it is ultimately what I wanted, I ended up worse off in the end, and because I had given an image of someone who wanted casual sex without any connection, men didn't bother trying to create one, and those who wanted one just left.
Now, I find long distance relationships to work better for me, because there is no way for me to throw myself at the men and "have my way with them", I have to actually create a connection with them before we can consider meeting up and so on, and so by the time we do meet up, I'm more comfortable with them, and even willing to be occasionally less dominant, despite the fact that it makes me feel vulnerable, because I trust them.
I thought I was being a strong, confident woman at ease with her sexuality, but I realised it wasn't the case, and I really suffered from my lack of control in a sexual context. It was a way, I realise, to hide issues I had, so I want to avoid that at least until I deal with said issues.
Thank you Tonberry for telling your story. I appreciate it because it is similar to my journey and the result of it. I am grateful to you for this feeling of belonging I now feel as a result of reading the above quote. I don't know many people who have had similar experiences and talk about it. Most seem to either push down their fear and are content to live and love one person or remain single forever, wanting to be okay with casual sex and being somewhat embarrassed that they aren't. I don't know what your opinion is on wanting to be okay with casual sex and this isn't the thread for it perhaps, but I for one am glad to say goodbye to that. I am still struggling with my fear in terms of figuring out how to be vulnerable to others and love them with out being possibly hurt by them. I'm very happy that I have made the choice to take sex off the table in that struggle.

I'm pondering the bit about LTRs. Interesting.
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