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  #91  
Old 03-02-2011, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
Ok, so I was reading that link, which led me to these:
http://yourbrainonporn.com/the-lazy-way-to-stay-in-love
http://yourbrainonporn.com/another-way-to-make-love

I hadn't thought about making it a requirement for three weeks and thereby causing a self-supporting habit. I kinda just thought that because it didn't happen, it wasn't for us. I'm pretty sure some karezza could very well save my relationship, as well as my sanity...

... I think my anxiety in my relationship, and thus the majority of my fear and jealousy, can be resolved with some karezza.
Wow, from the first link, I really appreciated the list of things to do to stay bonded with a mate, without being so orgasm directed. I know b/c I am so sexual, it can be overwhelming for my gf. I've been focusing more on these activities from the first link since I read it. I mean, we do them anyway, but I've been more conscious of it now...

smiling, with eye contact
skin-to-skin contact
providing a service or treat without being asked
giving unsolicited approval, via smiles or compliments
gazing into each other's eyes
listening intently, and restating what you hear
forgiving or overlooking an error or thoughtless remark, past or present
preparing your partner something to eat
synchronized breathing
kissing with lips and tongues
cradling, or gently rocking, your partner's head and torso (works well on a couch, or with lots of pillows)
holding, or spooning, each other in stillness
wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
stroking with intent to comfort
massaging with intent to comfort, especially feet, shoulders and head
hugging with intent to comfort
lying with your ear over your partner's heart and listening to the heart beat
touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
gently placing your palm over your lover's genitals with intent to comfort rather than arouse
making time together at bedtime a priority
gentle intercourse

Sweet.
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  #92  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
smiling, with eye contact
skin-to-skin contact
providing a service or treat without being asked
giving unsolicited approval, via smiles or compliments
gazing into each other's eyes
listening intently, and restating what you hear
forgiving or overlooking an error or thoughtless remark, past or present
preparing your partner something to eat
synchronized breathing
kissing with lips and tongues
cradling, or gently rocking, your partner's head and torso (works well on a couch, or with lots of pillows)
holding, or spooning, each other in stillness
wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
stroking with intent to comfort
massaging with intent to comfort, especially feet, shoulders and head
hugging with intent to comfort
lying with your ear over your partner's heart and listening to the heart beat
touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
gently placing your palm over your lover's genitals with intent to comfort rather than arouse
making time together at bedtime a priority
gentle intercourse

Sweet.
This is an awesome list! I think these things are SOOOO important. I was amazed at how many I do with my men... and derby when I can... I don't do back and feet rubs though... nope, no can do.
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  #93  
Old 03-03-2011, 08:37 AM
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I think it is harder for mono people because mono is everywhere, it's expected, and they might not even know about poly until their partner talks about it.
I think most of the time, the poly partner is the one who tries to be mono, because that's "the way things are". I don't think many poly people manage to face their spouses and be open about who they are, how they work, and what they need. I would bet that cheating is much more common than honesty, at the very least, and I wouldn't be surprised is polys who stay mono for their partners were also more common than polys who are poly while in a relationship with monos. (I think more polys date other polys. It's just simpler).

"Who is expected to change", you ask, but the only time a partner is expected to change is when a poly has to be mono. Polys usually don't force monos to become poly and date other people. What changes isn't the mono person. What changes is what they can expect and require from their partner.
In my opinion, it's a bit different, because polys who are with a mono also have to deal with them differently than with a poly partner. They have to dedicate more time and attention to them because they're their only partner. They have to be as comprehensive as they can about their being mono. They have to try and understand their point of view, understand the boundaries they do have, etc.

Often, you will end up with a compromise where both people have to adapt to the relationship. The poly person might find they have a lot more limitations than they did/do with poly partners. The mono person, of course, will have to deal with their partner having other people in their lives. It's undoubtedly hard.
But I want to state my poly point of view here: a mono partner will tell me they have a say not just in the relationship we have together (which is self-evident to me) but in any relationship I might have. Ideally, they want to restrict them to none at all, which is hard for me to wrap my mind around, since my desire to have several partners doesn't affect in any way relationships my mono partner might have outside of me. To me, being poly affects my relationship with my partner to some extent, but leave the rest of his life his own. My partner being mono and wanting me to be mono affects my life even outside of him, outside of the range of our relationship. It feels much more intrusive to me.

In a successful mono/poly relationship, I feel that both partners are themselves. The mono partner is mono, the poly partner is poly. Your question seems to phrase it from a mono point of view: if the mono partner is mono and the poly partner is mono, the poly partner changes, and if the mono partner is mono and the poly partner is poly, the mono partner changes.
That's not true, in my opinion. A real equivalent to a poly person having to be mono would be a mono person having to be poly. My being poly doesn't change my partner's identity as a mono person. They have to make concessions and so on, but I strongly feel it's not the same as requiring me to be mono.

This being said, I do feel that requiring someone to be poly is worse than requiring them to be mono. I feel that when one person wants something and the other person (directly involved) doesn't, the person who doesn't want it should be the one who "wins". I think so for sex (so one person stays frustrated or has sex elsewhere instead of one person raping the other) for children (no forcing a child on someone who doesn't want to be a parents, do without or have a child with someone else) and so on, so I would also say, no forcing partners on someone.
So if the choice was between forcing the mono partner to become poly and forcing the poly partner to become mono, I definitely think there is less harm in forcing the poly partner to become mono (or leave the relationship).
However that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about letting each partner be the way they are, and having to adapt to the other being different. The mono partner needs to walk more than halfway, but that's only because the poly partner has had to adapt to mono lifestyles all of their life already, so they've already walked part of the journey towards middle ground.
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  #94  
Old 03-03-2011, 05:16 PM
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Yeah, I'm totally sold on the idea. I'm positive this will fix any of the sexual issues in my relationship with my wife, and will probably help a lot with dealing with my unintentional jealousy toward any future prospective sexual partners. I already did and liked doing a lot of these things, but I thought it was all just connected to sex. Now that somebody has outright stated "you don't have to have sex," it feels like a weight has been lifted. If I can acclimate to this, and my wife can, too, then we can both be content and happy, because as long as I feel like I'm making that deep, physical, spiritual connection with my partner, sex doesn't have to even ever happen. Orgasms aren't that great, it's the mindgasm that I crave. The feeling of knowing absolutely and without question that you and your partner are together on the same path through life. I always found the idea of being asexual incredibly foreign and confusing, and possibly insane...but now I don't. I had all the pieces of the puzzle in my head, but that article showed me how they fit together, and now there's a nice picture where there once was an empty space with a bunch of bits and ideas floating around in it.

@Tonberry (what a frightening name) - I agree that forcing a mono to become poly would be wrong, and I agree that forcing a poly to be mono is wrong, but neither is really the focus of my original question. Mostly my question stemmed from the massive internal struggle I found myself in, and the most common question that came up in my mind is "how is this fair?" I find people attractive regularly. That's normal Human behaviour. We find one another attractive. And I often think about how great it would be to share a romantic bond with any of them. But do I act on these feelings? No. I don't. I think that I share many of the same urges, feelings, and desires as a poly individual, but I don't share the same social rules. To me, it's very easy to simply not act on these urges, and so I would ask myself why my wife couldn't just do the same as me and have them but not act on them. I mean, that's normal to me, why can't it be normal to her?

That was the logic I was operating on when I asked the question "why should the mono partner be forced to change?" The majority of modern (American) civilization seems to operate on the principle of "serial monogamy," where they act on these impulses (the same ones I have) and either cheat on their spouses, or leave their spouses for a new one. Being a responsible monogamous individual involves not acting on these urges and learning to focus on and be content with your current relationship, despite all the other attractive individuals parading around out in the world.

I deal with it every day, and I don't act on my urges, so what makes it fair for my partner to be able to have other partners, while I sit here being "responsible" and not having other partners?

I know that's not how it works, and I know I have a significant amount of social programming in the way, but I find the idea of being devoted to a single individual and living a long life together as best friends to be a very attractive method of living. My partner is my rock, my island, in a sea of chaos, and I am hers. That's romantic to me. I don't find it codependent -- in fact, I don't think of codependent as a bad thing at all -- I find it healthier than the majority of relationships I've ever witnessed or been involved in. And so it feels hurtful and unfair that my partner would want to abandon that and open herself up to other partners, other sources of hurt and pain -- destabilize the island. A social support network made up of family and friends (and friends who we consider family) is one thing, but multiple romantic partners is another. I just happen to find something objectionable in the idea of having multiple romantic partners. Dunno why.

Does the angle I'm coming from make any sense? Do you understand why I might have asked the question that started this thread? I have to learn to be okay with something that I am fundamentally not okay with. Therefore, I'm required to change. It would be okay if there was some kind of compromise that could be reached, but you can't only kinda-sometimes have romantic relationships with other partners, you're either in or you're out. It feels like two sides of a coin. There's nothing for her to give up part of while I give up part of this. She either has to give up entirely and let me win, or I have to give up entirely and let her win. There is no compromise to be had; I just have to suck it up and give up the rules and notions I hold dear. What's in it for me, you know?

In reality, I worked really hard to learn how not to act on my serial-monogamy urges. I am very proud of where I'm at, and it took a lot of courage and a lot of introspection and a lot of time alone, learning to be okay with just myself, before I could date anyone again and not be so dependent on the NRE rush that I go relationship-hopping. I think this is something to be proud of, something many women claim to want in a man. Something most men in modern society don't have the inner strength or wisdom to pull off. I went through my awkward teenage-to-early-twenties phase of relationship-hopping and threesomes/mini-orgies, and I came out the other side a wiser, more self-stable individual who doesn't need that anymore.

Maybe I'm really poly and I'm just in denial...which would make tons of sense, especially when it comes to how fervently my internal voice fights against poly. But I'm so socially awkward, and I find it REALLY difficult to not focus on just one romantic partner at a time, which is funny because the way I do hanging out with my friends is completely contrary to that. I can spend time with like ten people at once, and I'm perfectly comfortable. I think I'm a bit ADD, but I've never been officially diagnosed.

Anyway, I guess the point is that I'm afraid that if I try being poly, I will fail and end up hurting everyone involved, because I'm bad at relationships. I have a terrible memory, a tendency to forget names or accidentally call people by the wrong name, forgetting birthdays and special events and eye colours and what clothes we wore on our first date. You know, the usual stuff that ruins young/immature relationships. Oh, and I'm incredibly clingy. I treat my partner like my best friend, so I don't like to do things alone if I can help it. I like to include her with my friends and be included with hers whenever possible, though I do understand why that might not work out, and I can recover fairly gracefully from it.

I grew up and developed in group situations. I am friends with my mom's friends, as she is with most of mine, and I frequently spend time with multiple people as a group, rather than just hanging out with an individual at a time. I was raised with a group mentality of sorts. I abhor being alone, for I get depressed and even more awkward and even more clingy and constantly exhausted when I get too much alone time. And I talk really really fast when I've been alone for too long and finally get time with friends, or when meeting new people after being alone for too long.

So really, this whole thread started with an expression of my inner angst and fear relating to my uncertainty and insecurity. Maybe this self-description helps it make some sense?

Last edited by SimpleSimian; 03-03-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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  #95  
Old 03-04-2011, 12:25 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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NOTE: This post was too long. I tried to shorten it a few times but it remained too long, so I'm dividing it into two posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
I think that I share many of the same urges, feelings, and desires as a poly individual, but I don't share the same social rules. To me, it's very easy to simply not act on these urges.
[...]The majority of modern (American) civilization [...] act on these impulses (the same ones I have.
Being a responsible monogamous individual involves not acting on these urges.[...] I deal with it every day, and I don't act on my urges, so what makes it fair for my partner to be able to have other partners, while I sit here being "responsible" and not having other partners?
I find it very interesting that you think of these feelings as urges or impulses to be resisted. You praise resisting them as being responsible and good. And it sounds like it's some kind of sacrifice too, that you do for your partner. Considering your partner is poly, she probably doesn't appreciate it the way you think she might. I personally equate it with something like flagellation, and I would hate for my partner to make himself suffer and, worst of all, say it's all "for me" (which would make me feel like it's my fault).
If I have a friend, I might find other people nice and want to become friends with them. I might invite them to a movie or a museum or any other activity. Why isn't that feeling of wanting to get close an "urge" to be resisted, as well? To me, it's the same thing.
And if I had a friend who insisted on having no other friend and did his or her best to prevent me from having any other, frankly, I would be very scared by them. I'd think they have some psychological problem.

Not saying monos have one, simply stating the way things look from here. Monogamy is the social norm, as you have pointed out, so I am very familiar with it. As a result, I feel polys have a much easier time understanding where monos are coming from, because they've witnessed the reasoning all of their lives and are used to it. They're so used to it they frequently wonder if they're a terrible person for being different.
What I want to do is try to explain being poly, from my point of view and experience, to a mono, as I realise it's harder for you to grasp because you have much less examples of it and explanations of how it works.

For me, I don't throw anything out of the window when I start a relationship with another partner, and refraining from other relationships doesn't make the one I have more sacred or important. Not only do I disrespect other people by telling them "you weren't there first so you're q less important human being", I'm also, in my opinion, disrespecting my first partner by telling them the relationship needs to be the only one in order to be special and sacred. I'm also disrespecting myself by refusing to let myself reach out to people who have touched me in a special way.
For me, having several partners makes it more obvious that I love them all, because it's never "if I left you I'd be all alone, so you might think that's why I stay with you". It's always "I'm with you because I love you. Look, I don't depend on you, therefore I'm with you on my own free will."

I understand that you think dependence is a proof of love. "I'm making myself so vulnerable that without you I have nothing, therefore proving I want to stay with you forever". Well to me, being dependent on me places huge amounts of pressure on my shoulders never to be sick, to get into an accident, or to die. It means that anything that happens to me, I can't relax and try to get better because I'm too stressed out about how it affects other people.

For me, it's a stronger proof of love to say "if something happens to you, I'll be devastated. But I'll survive, so relax and take care of yourself, and don't worry about me". It values the other person's independence and individuality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
I find the idea of being devoted to a single individual and living a long life together as best friends to be a very attractive method of living. My partner is my rock, my island, in a sea of chaos, and I am hers. That's romantic to me.
And that's your right! Just like it's my right to have a different vision. And I can understand to some extent, as I said, I was raised in the same society you were. I see it everywhere. I just feel differently. You partner feels differently. At that point, you're both faced with a choice: do you find someone who sees things the same way you do, or do you say "being with you is more important to me"? That's your call. But I wanted to show you that as much as you see it as you compromising your vision, you need to ask yourself is she is compromising hers. I would be if I was with a mono, even if he "let" me have other partners.
I would feel like I have to give him more of my attention than to my other partners, which feels unfair to other people I love. I would feel pressured, being his only source of sex and romantic affection, to perform more and better. I would feel guilty if he is ever in the mood and I'm not, because I would know he's not getting any outside of me, and therefore I'm not just saying "I'm not going to have sex", I would be saying "you're not going to have sex", and I don't like feeling like I'm controlling someone else's actions.
With a poly person, even one with no other partners, there is always the potential for them to get it elsewhere if they want it or need it, so I don't have to worry about their "sexual maintenance", they can do it on their own, know when they need more of it, and get it. With a mono, I have to monitor it too because I'm their only source, and it wouldn't be something I do for me anymore, it would be something I would do for them, because if I didn't I would feel like I'm denying them something major.

If I have poly partners, I only need to worry about my agenda, life, sex life, and so on. If I have a mono partner, I have to worry about theirs too. In a way, I feel like their keeper. I understand fully that it's not true, but still, by saying "there is only you, nobody else" I really feel like they're saying "I'm putting all the responsibility of my happiness on your shoulders alone".
It's daunting for a poly person like me who isn't used to that kind of thing. It feels like the tiniest slip can destroy the person you love and cause them immense pain. I don't think most poly people are as comfortable with mono partners as they are with poly ones. To me, it's not "a mono partner is easy and a poly partner is hard, so in mono/poly relationships the mono partner gets the short hand!". For me it's more "monos know to deal with mono partners better, and polys know to deal with poly partners better, so mono/poly relationships are very challenging on both ends".

I can understand why it would be more challenging, generally, for the mono partner. As I said, we polys have the "advantage" of being in a mono society with mono conditioning. Even if we can't relate to it, we know about it, we grasp the concept, we know how it works. We started being conditioned from an early age, when you have to start when your partner comes out. And it must be very hard when you didn't know such a thing as poly existed, and you feel they threw in onto you when you didn't ask for it. But I don't think it is unfair, even if I understand how it would feel from your point of you. From the poly partner's point of view, they've had to "play mono" all their life up to that point, and they want to be able to be themselves, just like their partner can, finally.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:26 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Does the angle I'm coming from make any sense? Do you understand why I might have asked the question that started this thread? I have to learn to be okay with something that I am fundamentally not okay with.
I do understand that, but I wanted to make you see that for polys too, it can mean learning to be okay with something we're not fundamentally okay with (having someone depend on you that much). For me, it IS a compromise already. Your partner doesn't work the way you wish they did. You don't work the way your partner wishes you do. You both try to make it work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
Maybe I'm really poly and I'm just in denial...
[...]Anyway, I guess the point is that I'm afraid that if I try being poly, I will fail and end up hurting everyone involved, because I'm bad at relationships.
[...]So really, this whole thread started with an expression of my inner angst and fear relating to my uncertainty and insecurity. Maybe this self-description helps it make some sense?
This part of your post is interesting to me. Could it be that you're annoyed that she "gets to have her cake" and you don't? It seems to me mono people don't generally have to fight so hard to be mono, that's how they are. They might be attracted to other people, but won't fall in love or desire a relationship with them.
If you reject other relationships not because you're not interested in them, but because you're afraid to fail, maybe mono is just your crutch. You don't date other people "because you value your current relationship more". You turn your feelings of inadequacy ("I wouldn't be able to make it in another relationship!") into something positive, noble, the "right" thing to do, the responsible thing to do.
It's possible. This way, you don't have to admit you're afraid of trying again.

A relationship causes you to make yourself vulnerable to someone. There is always the chance they will take advantage of that. Or reject you with no malice and yet hurt you. Or you will hurt them.
Your relationship is established. It feels safe. The idea of having to go through the beginning stages again might scare you too much.
And let's face it, the more people you make yourself vulnerable to, the higher chance you have of being hurt by one of them. However, a lot of people feel it's worth the risk.

Some people are mono, there is no doubt about it. But perhaps you aren't. Perhaps you just enjoy the stability and safety of being in a relationship that's not going anywhere. Perhaps you resent her for being able to do something you don't feel able to do yourself.

I have no way to know if that's the case. Only you can know that. But I guess you can ask yourself the question. Be open to both answers, you might be mono, you might be a closeted poly who is afraid to open that door.

Here, I replied as I went and it might seem a bit out of order, but I guess these are my thoughts on the issue. I hope I can help you understand where I'm coming from, and maybe you will be able to understand your partner and/or yourself better, too.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SimpleSimian View Post
I know that's not how it works, and I know I have a significant amount of social programming in the way, but I find the idea of being devoted to a single individual and living a long life together as best friends to be a very attractive method of living. My partner is my rock, my island, in a sea of chaos, and I am hers. That's romantic to me.
......
.....
A social support network made up of family and friends (and friends who we consider family) is one thing, but multiple romantic partners is another.
I just wanted to say, I find the idea of being devoted, living a long life together with my best friends a very attractive idea as well. My (two) partners are my rock, my island, my safety in this sea of chaotic life. If it weren't for them, I'd be long dead. I believe the feeling is mutual. It's romantic to me as well.
The only key difference is, I have two and you have only one.
GG and I've had that depth of relationship 18 years.
Maca and I for 13 years.
I don't want to "play around" with sex partners. Like you, I want devotion, forever, romance, dependability, love.
We're all a little different, but I think some of the ideals that mean a lot to you, are found in poly-dynamics.

(I'm glad that you found some helpful stuff in those links)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Polys usually don't force monos to become poly and date other people. What changes isn't the mono person. What changes is what they can expect and require from their partner.

But I want to state my poly point of view here: a mono partner will tell me they have a say not just in the relationship we have together (which is self-evident to me) but in any relationship I might have. Ideally, they want to restrict them to none at all, which is hard for me to wrap my mind around, since my desire to have several partners doesn't affect in any way relationships my mono partner might have outside of me. To me, being poly affects my relationship with my partner to some extent, but leave the rest of his life his own. My partner being mono and wanting me to be mono affects my life even outside of him, outside of the range of our relationship. It feels much more intrusive to me.

In a successful mono/poly relationship, I feel that both partners are themselves. The mono partner is mono, the poly partner is poly.
........
........
A real equivalent to a poly person having to be mono would be a mono person having to be poly. My being poly doesn't change my partner's identity as a mono person.
I just wanted to tell you tonberry-I thought these were some GREAT points.
Well stated.
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