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  #21  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:05 AM
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DrunkenPorcupine DrunkenPorcupine is offline
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Ceoli's post # 2 was quite refreshing, and goes a long way toward letting us all off the hook. That is, it helps us to recognize that all of our relationships are both unique and ... well, just as they are. We don't have to force standard categories upon them.
Since this IS the topic of non-sexual intimacy, I'd also like to bring up the flip side of this, since I seem to be in the midst of this right now, and it's really delicate for me.

I don't like to "define" my relationships. I sincerely believe that EVERY relationship should be taken for what it is, without closing any doors. Doing so just stunts everything. I don't think there's a single aspect of any relationships that can't be addressed while respecting the will and values of the people in it. Perhaps two people might disagree on where that relationship is heading, but even that can be addressed.

But not everybody is poly. Even those that are set the boundaries of themselves to be different in every relationship. I have had issues with partners of my friends NOT being comfortable with the fact that I'm open with my relationships and feel jealous that I refuse to define them. Intellectually, I know that this is something in THEIR relationship that needs to be worked out, but it's not something I can avoid. People who are mono feel possessive sometimes, and they sometimes demand this sort of classification. As a result, I find that I do "define" my relationships though perhaps it's more complicated than using simple terminology, with all kinds of twists and turns. I love my friends with great, big portions of my heart, but saying this to a boyfriend who considers you a rival doesn't always convey the same sort of affection that I mean.

Granted, I'm also an iconoclast. I'm a political activist, and I like cutting right through bullshit. This isn't a poly thing per se, but my stance on relationships and defintions clashes with who I am, and while I don't consider it either unhealty OR damaging to myself or others, it DOES affect things and my relationship with folks, and potentially the relationships of people I care deeply about.

There's also the other side. Another friend of mine rigidly defines themselves. This friend also seems to have some sort of issues with intimacy and sexuality where they're defensive and guarded towards people they are sexually interested in (or defines that they might be) but can be extremely open, honest and intimate with people they ignore sexually.

I'm also extremely attracted to this last person, and to say that the defintion of the relationship doesn't affect me would be silly and dishonest. But since I love then and value them, I don't want to make them uncomfortable by crossing that boundary of sexual interest.

And I think that's what the "definition" and "categorization" of relationships are, ultimately. The understanding and honoring of boundaries.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:14 AM
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Rarechild Rarechild is offline
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Default Hugs

I consider one of my greatest talents to be my ability to hug and hold well, in good times and bad, as I've had many dear friends tell me how much my hugs mean to them.

I have a few close friends that I feel very comfortable sleeping in the same bed with, cuddling with, kissing affectionately, (no tounge!), making appreciative comments on their attractiveness and so on, both male and female, who I have never and probably will never have sex with.

I am not afraid to enthusiastic full-body hug someone I've just met, or hold someone's hand while walking. Of course not everyone is comfortable with that, but for the ones I become intimate with and hold lasting friendships with, physical touch is a wonderful and beautiful way to express my love for my friends.

People don't get enough hugs. Or they get halfhearted, pelvis drawn back hugs. I hug hard and long, play with hair, get a good pull of their scent, and it feels really good and is an intimate, love-building experience. In this way I get all the hugs I want and need, and someone else goes away feeling cared for.

I think that so many people are so physically isolated in this increasingly detached world that they don't even know how to show affection unless it is sexual.

That is the one thing I find unsatisfying about this forum- I can only write my hugs to you all when I need one or think you do, and that's just not good enough.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:15 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine View Post
And I think that's what the "definition" and "categorization" of relationships are, ultimately. The understanding and honoring of boundaries.
I think this speaks to the difference between when definitions and categories are prescriptive and not descriptive. Prescriptive definitions are about meeting outside criteria, while descriptive ones describe what is without applying criteria.

I've been contemplating starting a thread about this, but basically, when something is prescriptive, it seems that many of those boundaries are placed by factors outside the relationship and not grown from the needs of the people within the relationship. It's like trying to make a pre-set mold for the relationship to fit into. I've found it very difficult to thrive in prescriptive relationships like that.
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  #24  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:41 AM
vampiresscammy vampiresscammy is offline
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can I hijack for a quick moment ehre please?!

it is soooooo awesome to hear theres someoen else out there who loves and enjoys hugs as much as I do, I miss being able to hug more freely and just simply when happy to see someone. I've noticed too, it seems most folks are no longer comfortable or okay with just a simple "i've missed you and i'm happy to see you" hug. when did we loose that? why? i miss those simple touches so much.

*Big hugs Rarechild*

done hijacking, just had to appreciate a fellow hugger in my midst!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rarechild View Post
I consider one of my greatest talents to be my ability to hug and hold well, in good times and bad, as I've had many dear friends tell me how much my hugs mean to them.

I have a few close friends that I feel very comfortable sleeping in the same bed with, cuddling with, kissing affectionately, (no tounge!), making appreciative comments on their attractiveness and so on, both male and female, who I have never and probably will never have sex with.

I am not afraid to enthusiastic full-body hug someone I've just met, or hold someone's hand while walking. Of course not everyone is comfortable with that, but for the ones I become intimate with and hold lasting friendships with, physical touch is a wonderful and beautiful way to express my love for my friends.

People don't get enough hugs. Or they get halfhearted, pelvis drawn back hugs. I hug hard and long, play with hair, get a good pull of their scent, and it feels really good and is an intimate, love-building experience. In this way I get all the hugs I want and need, and someone else goes away feeling cared for.

I think that so many people are so physically isolated in this increasingly detached world that they don't even know how to show affection unless it is sexual.

That is the one thing I find unsatisfying about this forum- I can only write my hugs to you all when I need one or think you do, and that's just not good enough.
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  #25  
Old 12-10-2009, 04:54 AM
jenae jenae is offline
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My spouse (husband) is older and has many years experience with "omnigamy" as he calls it. He gave it up (under pressure from an unhappy partner) one partner before me. (That is, during a previous relationship, before we met.) Then we tried with me having a lover, but that was a disaster.

Here's my question: Sexual non-monogamy is so complicated. And in fact I don't find myself right now wanting that. But I have thought of something often enough recently that I just semi-jokingly revealed the thought in couple's therapy. The thought is: Maybe I need an EMOTIONAL 2nd partner. My husband and I have deep compatibilities but also sometimes explosive differences, and his dance card of people to deal with and relate to is too full, whereas I have a few valued friends but otherwise a more solitary, I guess you could even say slightly reclusive routine.

Bottom line is that I crave deep discussion and connectedness more than he does. Maybe this is just his nature and my nature. I sometimes think meeting someone for coffee or even just a correspondence with someone in a similar boat might help meet my needs. I suppose I could try to fill the need with more friends, but my feeling at the moment is that the deeper nature of relationship relating is more compelling. (I tend to "rescue" my friends with extreme, non-confrontational politeness, and feel safer and freer to be honest with my romantic partners.)

I saw that Clove (did I get that right?) was questioning whether there can be non-sexual expressions of polyamory, and that drew me in as a place to start as I check out this site for the first time.

Now my oh-so demanding cat is purring and stepping on my lap, so I'll sign off.

Best wishes to all.

P.S. Though I have been heterosexual in my history, and more readily imagine a second partner as male, I could also imagine a woman in that role, especially as what i'm contemplating is an intimate but not necessarily sexual relationship.
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  #26  
Old 01-12-2010, 07:19 PM
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been reading through this again.

Porcupine, i think trying to "define" might be part of my problem. I appreciate your insight.
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  #27  
Old 11-18-2010, 09:21 AM
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aLABiMCpl aLABiMCpl is offline
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Topics like this are why I come here. The bond that two people have is what I believe distinguishes Polyamory.

The wife and I have looked several times over the years for a friends first long term relationship, only to find people who will tell you what you want to hear just to bed you.

For us, it has never been about the sex
.. Swinging has never even been an option.. which is kind of odd, because we are very (if not overly so) sexual with each other.
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  #28  
Old 11-18-2010, 05:32 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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When I'm in love, it pretty much starts with non-sexual affection... What I think about is hugging, holding hands, cuddling... Actually, until I start a relationship, often it's like I'm not allowing myself to have sexual fantasies "without their consent".
Now, I realise doing so wouldn't be a problem, and I do have fantasies about perfect strangers, etc, but I guess what I mean is that they're so elevated in my mind that "base" feelings like sexuality are barely relevant. I love them on a different level.

I'm not sure if I'm making sense here. My point is that non-sexual affection sounds very much normal to me. When I develop feelings for people, it either start with non-sexual affection (sometimes with a small dose of sexual attraction too, but it's never on the front of my mind) or with sexual attraction. The first type is the one that has turned into long-term relationships for me. The other one has evolved into either a friend with benefits (has happened once) or (most of the time) nothing at all.
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  #29  
Old 11-23-2010, 09:06 AM
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As a method for showing affection, sex is easy. Too easy, probably. Do it right and everybody's happy. You've both hurdled trust and intimacy barriers together, and you felt great doing it. you've won.

Nonsexual affection takes work. You don't always win. You don't always "anything". It's easy to go back a step (which is actually very true for sex as well) and you don't have the same intense physical or ego incentive that you might with sex.

But because it can involve more forethought, because it can be elaborate and emotionally rewarding, it can say a lot more. I don't worry about receiving "pillow talk" when I'm getting a hug.

Touch has always been a severely intimate event for me. Even today, when coworkers pat me on the back or touch my shoulder, I have to ask them to step back a bit. These are people I've known for months, and I enjoy their genuine and friendly attention. Now I'm in a relationship with seven people where the sexual connection ebbs and flows, and right now because of stress and other complication it's definitely ebbing. Unfortunately the more platonic forms of touching and feeling are disappearing as well. I can handle not getting laid. I have a battery of websites that I use to assist in that coping mechanism.

But not feeling some of my partners running their hands across my shoulders and hips, or not ever being able to hold a certain asian at night is really distressing. The lack of physical reassurance even has that doubtful part of me wondering if the relationship is still there. And with the ever disappearing commodity of time doing exactly what it does best-- becoming more scarce-- I'm certain that no amount of sexuality could satisfy the emotional need that I have for these people.
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