Society’s ideas of other people’s sexuality

I think the general attitude in our society regarding other people’s sexuality and lifestyle is: “Of course you can do whatever you want to do, so long as it is something I would do. If not I’ll judge, scorn and marginalize you.”

What do you think, and why?

 Societys ideas of other peoples sexuality

First Time For Everything: A Polyamorous Relationship

This is a repost of an article in The Frisky, written by Anya James from about a year ago or so, but an excellent article about a polyamorous triad and how it’s worked for them.

I really didn’t know what polyamory was until I fell into it at 27. I was arguing one day with a couple I’d been sleeping with for about a month, when BAM! I ended up in a three-way relationship.

I’ve always been open-minded as far as sexual relationships were concerned and was sleeping with a male/female couple. That day, Dan was being overly critical of Ellie. I told them the nit-picking was bothering me, but it really wasn’t my business how they treated each other, since, you know, it was their relationship.

That’s when they looked at each other and asked me, “Well, aren’t you kind of… with us?”

Hmm. “Fine,” I said to Dan, “Be nice to my girlfriend then.”

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

And just like that, we became a triad. It was easy and natural and we had such a good time! There was twice the energy and convenience of a normal relationship. We all had a lot going on, but when one of us was busy, the other two were still able to spend time together. Jealousy just wasn’t there. We didn’t have to ration out love. It multiplied.

On the negative front, our problems turned out to be really the same as anyone else’s. Dan did dumb boy things and I did dumb girl things and Ellie just watched calmly and loved us like a true negotiator. Our situation felt totally normal to us, so much so that we often forgot that people didn’t expect to see a man out for Valentine’s Day dinner with two dates, or three people snuggling together on a plane.

The only real trouble with being a triad came from the world around us. Dan and Ellie worked together and were known as a couple to a very large network of friends and colleagues. Our close friends knew the truth – that the three of us were together— but there were uncomfortable situations in which I felt like their dirty secret. It really sucked that we couldn’t be too open or affectionate without inviting gossip and discrimination. With as many strides as we’ve made in terms of social acceptance of various lifestyles, the general populace isn’t used to seeing three people holding hands at the movie theater.

You can find the article at http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-first-time-for-everything-a-polyamorous-relationship/

 First Time For Everything: A Polyamorous Relationship

More on compersion

I came across this passage from the Bhagavad Gita today, and of course it is translated slightly differently depending on who’s translating it, but I felt this translation from Eknath Easwaran was related in the most plain of English:

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

Bhagavad Gita 6:32; Easwaran, Eknath; May 31, 1985

Sounds a lot like compersion to me.

Honest rates of relationship failures

I read and hear all the time: “Every polyamorous relationship I’ve ever known failed.” or “Every couple I’ve known that started swinging got divorced.”

Question: How many monogamous relationships fail?

I’m not simply talking about marriages, but all monogamous relationships, including those leading-up to the marriage.

For example, if someone has five long-term relationships (say of a couple of months or more) and then gets married to the sixth long term relationship they had, than 83% of their monogamous relationships failed. If their marriage fails they have a 100% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

Now I’m no math wizard, but doing the simple math if 100 people average 5 real relationships before they marry their 6th, and 50% of those marriages end in divorce, than the math looks something like this:

5 relationships X 100 people = 500
1 marriage X 100 people = 100
50% of those marriages end in divorce means 100 X .50 = 50

So we have 550 failed monogamous relationships to get 50 successes, or about a 91% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

So how can anyone really hold up monogamous, one man one woman relationships as the benchmark by which to measure alternative relationships, like polyamory, swingers, other styles of open relationships and same-sex relationships?

So when I hear people like 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee say things like:

“I don’t have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life, they have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing.”

Based on the numbers above, I think Mike Huckabee has to prove that one-man-one-woman monogamous relationships should be the yardstick that all other types of relationships are measured with.

 Honest rates of relationship failures

Infidelity reality check

With the Tiger Woods and Jesse James cheating spectacles I thought it might be good to do a reality check about cheating.  It’s not uncommon, and many of those pointing fingers are in the thick of it themselves.  Of course, they get plenty of publicity because they are stars and in the public eye to begin with, but cheating is as common as pigeons under a freeway overpass.

On my street there are 12 homes.  Statistically, 5 husbands and 4 wives on my street have in the past or are presently cheating (then there is Mrs. and I with standing “hall passes”).

A Utah Jazz basketball game has an average home game attendance of 19,400 people per game.  For sake of argument lets say that it’s all heterosexual couples attending the game.  Based on known conservative statistics of those that cheat 3,880 women and 4,840 men in the crowd have or are cheating.  You can basically go down the rows and say 1..2..you’re cheating. 1..2..you’re cheating.

But yet celebrities like Tiger and Jesse get caught and put the “I’m a sex addict who needs treatment” spin on things to be more publicly acceptable, instead of just being honest (like everyone else has to do) and say “I got caught having sex with others behind my spouse’s back.”  And the public loves a spectacle as long as they’re not the subject of it.

As far as the “how is Tiger’s competitors taking it and will they welcome him back?” The other players are coaching him on how not to get caught next time.  It goes like this: “Listen, Tiger. I’ve been doing this whole tour thing since you were in diapers and I’ve banged more golf groupies than I can remember, so let me give you some tips on how to not get caught next time. 1) Don’t hook-up with a psycho…”

 Infidelity reality check