Sharing Partners

topic posted Mon, July 3, 2006 - 7:54 PM by  Shells
Is there really justification for this kind of action?
posted by:
  • justification?

    to me that sounds like a strongly moralistic word. are you using it that way?
    • Sharing partners is kind of against the rules isn't it? I mean, you're married, you're supposed to be with only each other while you're married but you share your partner with someone else?

      Then the next question would be....why be married then?

      Yeah, justification for why it's ok to do it.
      • Rules can be written however you want to write them. For some people monogamy is the name of the game. Others choose other things. There really isn't one central edict that must be obeyed or else.

        It is part of human nature to both want to be monogamous and to have more than one partner. It's part of what we're here to work out, IMNSHO. You yourself may be a monogamy person. That's totally cool. Others have other things they're working out. That's totally cool too.

        And we all also cross the boundaries of what's cool with us and create suffering and drama. That's part of the human condition. Best get used to it. And be happy in the midst of whatever arises.
        • I don't think I would put "a desire for monogamy" as strongly as "part of human nature". I suspect it's very cultural... but then, being heavily influenced by culture is part of human nature certainly...

          But check out the Mosuo.

          There's a culture far older than ours where even after attempts to westernize them with our notions of monogamy and marriage, they still haven't conformed. They don't even have a word for "father" -- why? Because in their culture it's impossible to know. (They don't have access to DNA testing for paternity -- and given their culture, likely wouldn't care enough if they did to spend the money.)

          Which also speaks to the notion of being from a "bygone era". There are lots of bygone eras one could be from, many of them not explicitly monogamous.

          Our modern notions about what marriage is or should be are pretty recent, although they're more pervasive imo probably largely because of the effect of communication technology and mass-media bringing disparate cultures closer together... and I'm not just talking about cell-phones, I'm talking about all the way back to Gutenberg.

          But anyway -- general agreement. I myself identify as being part of the poly minority and have turned down quite a lot of people for sex. The only partner I've had with any kind of regularity is Tiffany and the last time she and I were with someone else was a couple years ago. So being flexible on the subject of sex certainly doesn't require one to have sex with everyone who bats their eyelashes in their general direction.
      • justification for why it's OK? It's not always against the rules - it depends on the rules you set up for your relationship. If it's against the rules, it's cheating, if it is OK within your rules, it's not cheating.

        I'd contend that sex with multiple people is kind of casual sex, but again, depends on how you set it up.
      • "Then the next question would be....why be married then? "

        There are many reasons that people get married, including but not limited to security, tax purposes, to please parents/family, to have a steady sexual partner...

        It sounds like you have a preconceived idea that marriage=monogamy. Not everyone that gets married believes in monogamy, and not everyone that doesn't get married believes in casual sex. Its not all black and white, there is lots of grey everywhere, which makes it all kind of confusing and thought provoking. You can make your own rules, nobody is making them for you - married or not.
  • Unsu...
    Depends on the kind of relationship the partners have. Even some people can help tryng even knowing it may hurt the other.
  • Justification....
    ...Well, in my experience, those who'd be willing to share partners hardly need justification.

    "Justification" sounds like it's some kind of exception to the rule. And although the traditional Western matrimony is one of monogamy, it is *NOT* the only way to be married.

    In more ancient societies, who had thousands of years more to work out their rules of civilization than we have had so far, there were many-partner marriages. Even today in some parts of rural China women are expected to have more than one husband (but men can only have one wife), so she's got her own harem. Speaking of harems... in some Middle Eastern cultures women actually *want* to join harems because it is an honor to be one of the wives of a great leader. Its like a big exclusive club of badass women.

    Nowadays, in the heady experimental days of Western Civilization's personal reinvention, we modern people enjoy many choices of setups for our relationships. Wiccans, Celts, Hippies, and many other feathery folk don't make any automatic connection between Love and Chastity. Sex is Sex, Love is Love, and neither of them implies that you are stuck with the one lover.

    Except in that Agricultural Age European marriage tradition, which is the standard one that our parents hand down to our. Or try to.

    Marriage is just an agreement of co-ooperation. For the grand bulk of human history marriage has been a business tool between families to safeguard wealth and keep peace. In fact, it wan't even originally about Love. The silly and irresponsible idea of marrying for love is only about 400 years old... in Shakespeare's time it was all the scandal that a girl would want to LOVE someone in order to marry him... I mean, what's wrong with her?

    I mention these things to invoke a little wider perspective on the idea of marriage. That whole "one guy, one girl, in love, til death do you part" agreement is only *one kind*, and a recent one at that. All the shit on the radio and every date movie I've been tortured by reinforces that one kind of agreement, but it isn't the only kind.

    And those who would share their partners need no justification. Because if they did things right, they didn't make any promises they couldn't keep.
    • I don't understand why sex is the defining feature of monogamy. We share out parnters all the time, with friends, family, and work. Is it okay for a partner to spend the majority of his/her free time with a friend, doing all sorts of things that might create intimacy, but not sex. The bigger issue is intimacy and time, not simply sex. If my partner were confiding in his best friend about all his problems and not me I would feel more concerned about our relationship, than if he had sex with someone else.
    • Thank you for bringing up all of these very good points, Marco. I'm technically a newlywed, and we had a Pagan handfasting ceremony. We did not promise to love, honor and obey, but instead we wrote our own promises to each other. And within those promises is allowance for exploration with others, with full knowledge and permission of both of us. This does not mean that we run around having sex with everyone that strikes our simply means that we each have promised to support the other's need to learn and grow, including sexually. If that includes inviting others to be intimate with one or both of us, then we have already have the groundwork laid for discussion with all parties involved. When and if it happens, it will not be casual, or taken lightly.
  • My partner and I are very polyamorous... WE do not go around just doing anything and everyone around though. There must be a spiritual connection between the 2. I have had very uplifting and conscious awakenings with fantastic people on very random ocassions, as has my partner. Limiting yourself and not having these experiences hinders you in my eyes. There are so many wonderful and beautiful people out there why not be open, of course as long as you are careful. As i said there must be a connection between it all. I love my girl very much she is amazing but she has the right to connect with other people as do i.

    • It's just as silly to think there's something wrong or limiting about monogamy as there is to completely dis polyamory. For me, there's nothing uplifting and awaking about polyamory. It's just a lot of noise and chaos and doesn't really go with my zen-ish simplicity. I'm here to have a relationship with one person. And that's fine. For you and your girl, seems like poly is best. And that's fine, too.
      • sharing; to give or receive a part of somthing, to enjoy or assume somthing in common. The act of sharing is for both you and your partner. I am male and love to give my lady great pleasures. If she desired I would share her with another for her to enjoy greater pleasures.
  • Enjoyment seems like a sufficient justification to me.

    Is there really any justification for restriction?
    • Other than it causing specific harm to specific persons, I really can't think of any. ~:o)
      • Unsu...
        "restriction". hahaha what a sad sick society we have devolved into. There was once a time when being true to one other person was self evident.

        ah well, I just find it hilarious how people love to say that having hundreds of partners at a time is so "spiritual" and "enlightening" when in reality they just like fucking and are too self obessed to feel the spirit of giving and self sacrifice that monogamy entails.

        Now I'm not trying to stir up anything here, but I have an entirely different perspective. I have a really old soul that apparently comes from a bygone era. I don't fit in to this modern world of insanity.
        • Unsu...
          the bygone eras people romanticize about involve beautiful things such as slavery and extreme objectification of women....

          regardless... I think the important thing to remember is that we all create and exist within our own reality. saying you understand the true nature of love is like saying you understand the true nature of god... which you do... but only for yourself.

          axe, this comment is in response to yours but the comments are directed at everyone who applies their ideas of love to a general audience... as the mono/poly judgements fly both ways for sure!

          but... in response to yours... I must ask... what's so great about self sacrifice? why does one have to give up in order to give?
          • Unsu...
            extreme objectification of women is worse now than its ever been. and men too for that matter.

            self sacrifice shows that an individual can transcend the confines of the SELF, the ego, and the material plane of existence which holds one in bondage to flighty impulses.
            • Unsu...
              regarding sacrifice... it's all about values. you seem to value conforming to an idealized version of the self... and view the material plane as one of bondage. others might view the self as something that should be realized and integrated into the material plane, which is just a important (if not more) than other, less tangible planes, which require faith in their existence.

              both ideas I outlined point to a perception of the truth... which is... and always will be... subjective.

              regarding women... yes... they may be objectified more (in some ways)... but do you really think that they were treated better back in the "olden days"? I'm also curious how your romanticization of the past applies to slavery throughout history.

              romanticizing the past... idealizing intangible planes... to me these are all escape mechanisms from the realities of the world. your mileage may vary... but experience with myself and other people close to me has shown this to be the case.
              • Unsu...
                nothing wrong with ideals, striving to be better, etc. I know there are many who believe they should just accept flaws but personally I need the challenge of overcoming them and rising to new heights .

                associating slavery with monogamy as an argument against it, is a logical fallacy of guilt by association. Slavery is a fact of human history. It continues to this day in some form or another. Associating slavery with the past only shows an ignorance of present reality. Not to mention it's dwelling on a negative aspect of the human experience. Saying that the past all needs to be rejected because slavery existed doesn't carry much substance. Especially since the aforementioned unsavory practice exists still.
                • Unsu...
                  you're right that all of the past doesn't need to be rejected. I just find it amusing how people pick and choose which pieces of the past they like to romanticize and which pieces they choose to leave out of their fantasies... because if they actually had the option to choose living in the past... they would have to live with all of the implications of such a choice.

                  as for ideals and being better... that is again a matter of perception and values. also, this can create a game of whack-a-mole. does overcoming your flaw of impulses give rise to the flaw of judgement of others? or can accepting some flaws help to over come a flaw of self loathing and guilt?

                  I've seen and participated in many mono/poly discussions... and the common theme that I've seen: mono people are generally more judgmental and intolerant of poly people and their choices. there are exceptions on both sides... but generally, poly people believe "what's right for you is what's right for you and what's right for me is what's right for me"... and mono people believe "what's right for me is right for everyone, and they just don't see it".

                  there are of course exceptions on both sides (as is obvious from this thread) but I stand by my observation being accurate overall.

                  I'm monogamous, by the way!
        • >> "restriction". hahaha what a sad sick society we have devolved
          >> into. There was once a time when being true to one other
          >> person was self evident.
          Oh, I don't think it was ever that... there have always been many beliefs and ways to truth.

          >> ah well, I just find it hilarious how people love to say that having
          >> hundreds of partners at a time is so "spiritual" and "enlightening"
          when in reality they just like fucking and are too self obessed to feel
          >> the spirit of giving and self sacrifice that monogamy entails.
          No one is asking that you take up such a lifestyle... but why are you so hostile to those who would wish to live differently than you. I have not seen anyone here mention numbers, how does a lifestyle that is not monogamous translate into hundreds of partners. There are many experiences that are not monogamous in nature... I have a friend who is part of a triad. He shares his life with two women and they have vowed to be faithful between the three of them. They are filled with joy and love for each other and I count myself lucky to be able to share that joy as their friend. There are other examples, but none of them involve "hundreds of partners".

          You talk about the "self sacrifice that monogamy entails"... perhaps you could expound on this a bit. The friends I have mentioned above don't see that there is self-sacrifice in the relationship they share. They see it as a bountiful source of love, affection and life... something for them to share with all around them.

          >> Now I'm not trying to stir up anything here, but I have an entirely
          >> different perspective. I have a really old soul that apparently
          >> comes from a bygone era. I don't fit in to this modern world of
          >> insanity.
          -- There are places I remember
          -- All my life though some have changed
          -- Some forever, not for better
          -- Some have gone and some remain
          -- -- John Lennon

          No one is suggesting that all change is good, but all things do change. Some change occurs from growth and increased wisdom... some does not. No one asks you to fit into anything. You have your path and others have theirs. I find it sad that you cannot respect theirs if they respect yours... I wish you happiness on your path as I follow mine...

          May your path bring you that which you would wish from this life...


          • Unsu...
            ah fair enough. It just definitely seems to me that people are herd animals and if polyamory is the "in thing", Everybody wil follow that particular lifestyle.

            I suppose I fear being the only one I know who believes in monogamy, because thats how it feels right now. I don't meet many people who are similar to me.

            everyone do their own thing, I just hope that I'm not the only one who believes in monogamy or self sacrifice for that matter, in a relationship.
            • Axe, it is apparent that you are a relatively intelligent feller, despite your use of bombastic language aimed at deliberately annoying the conversation and separating yourself ideologically under pretense of moral superiorty. While I welcome your comments and your unique point of view, I would suggest that using words like "always" "everyone", "hundreds of lovers" is counterproductive to real intercourse. It is through personal experience that I've come to realize that exaggerated commentary like this is, by definition, inaccurate.

              That said, I want to mention that here in Uncasual Sex you will likely find more monogamous people than in just about any other tribe with the word "sex" in the title. The reason for that is because we are here as mature persons who wish to discuss differences in our approach to building a sexlife/lovelife with integrity, and not just about dry-humping each other to satisfy some flaw in our character.

              So, I invite you to stop thinking of us in that way, as we are all listening with open minds to your input in the hope it may prove to have qualifiable points.

              That out of the way, I want to express wonder when you say you feel like the "only one who believes in monogamy". I gotta ask, do you live in the United States? Because unless you spend your life camping out at Burning Man or something, you should be surrounded with monogamous people. About 95% of Americans (my uneducated estimate) consider themselves monogamous, although the extent to which they walk their talk is all a matter of opinion. Most cheat, I would assume. So to me that means they aren't TRULY monogamous in nature, they simply subscribe to a hand-me-down philosophy inherited from previous generations. But really, of all the sexual philosophies out there, I would presume monogamous people would feel the least lonely.... or is a kind of irony at play here? Hmmmm....

              I believe in Monogamy, just for the record. I believe that it is right for *me* under certain circumstances. I also believe in polyamory, although my one attempt at it resulted in emotional injury. I blame the messenger, not the message. I'm sure more people have been injured by half-hearted attempts at fulfilling their grandparent's expectations of monogamy. *Love* is not for the faint-hearted. And sex is as delicate to handle as old dynamite. And every kind of agreement one makes with a lover will have its pitfalls, and its sacrifices.

              And regarding sacrifice, I agree with you that it is a noble concept, but differ with you in that I believe a truly happy relationship is built on the selfless *joy* of sharing with each other, and not the drudgery of having to give something up in order to perpetuate the affair. Because when you truly *share*, nobody gives anything up, and everyone gains.

              I'm sorry you feel so left out (to paraphrase your own words) that you have to sting a little. It's Scorpio stuff, and I respect that. But do try to weigh your qualifiers before you click "submit". Because people with opinions different than yours are not necessarily "herd animals". Like you, we are individuals, seeking to make sense in a tough world, and willing to open up to share what we've learned.

              • "About 95% of Americans (my uneducated estimate) consider themselves monogamous,"

                I bet you're way off on this. My counter suggestion is that perhaps 35 - 40% of Americans consider themselves monogamous. For the rest, either the word doesn't matter or the question doesn't. "Monogamous" is a question of self identity, which really doesn't matter to most Americans. (Oh, and probably less than 1% self identify as poly).

                If we consider behavior instead of self identification, then I think the numbers are more like 85% of Americans have had sex with someone other than their spouse or primary SO at some point in their lives.
                • 85%! I would hope not. I think that just like cheaters always cheat, non-cheaters don't. Maybe a 50/50 split.

                  As far as poly goes; I could only see myself in a closed poly relationship. This almost happened when I found out a boyfriend of mine's "roomate" was really his domestic partner - all three of us were planning on moving in together until we noticed our boyfriend was stepping out on BOTH of us. (He would tell his bf that he was going to my place and tell me he had to stay in) We confronted him. He blamed us for not giving him enough space. Now the gay friend and I are still friends and we sometimes talk about our cheating ex.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    It really is a vast majority. The number is often used on talk shows to scare all of the monogamous folks. And it's often used in sex education classes to explain why "monogamy" isn't a viable form of disease vector control.

                    It's also used in mono/poly discussions as evidence that as a species, we really aren't monogamous. Even the most monogamous people I know will, when pressed, start hemming and hawing about who knew what and when they knew it during the transitions between relationships. So my personal estimate about genuine monogamy is more like 97 or 98%.

                    The truth is that even people who claim to be monogamous aren't monogamous by the biological standard of only ever having loved one person or had sex with one person in their lives. Most who claim it are, at best, serially monogamous.

                    Then there's the entire question about what constitutes fidelity for the question of monogamy. If a married man goes to a movie with a woman who is not his wife, has he commited an infidelity? Believe it or not, many Americans believe that he has. And if we start trying to include emotional fidelity into the equation, people who've never loved anyone other than their spouse, I think our number rapidly approaches 100%.

                    IMO, cheating is a separate topic. It's possible for poly folks to cheat too. In my opinion, cheating is simply failing to live up to your relationship agreements. So in some contexts, it's possible for me to cheat by not having sex with someone.
                    • If you're saying, only people who've had one partner their whole life are monogamous, then of course I'm not. I'm simply saying that once pair-bonded/connected I have no urge to go elsewhere. I don't think that's unusual. I've heard that for women once she's born a mans' child and he/she is walking (survived infancy), she has the biological urge to stray to spread the genetic pool - but I've never had kids so i wouldn't know from personal experience. Men are the opposite, they are more likely to stray towards the beginning of a relationship.
                      • Actually, I'm not picking a definition for monogamy. I'm saying that there are too many definitions, but that whichever definition we use, most Americans aren't that in practice, and many don't even claim it or make it a goal.

            • Personally, I think monogamy if a fine thing for those who wish to follow that path. I shared a monogamous relationship with the first woman I ever truly loved. However, there was no self sacrifice involved... this I don't really understand.

              I think everyone needs to find their own path... I think it would be foolish to attempt to make their choices for them...
              • I completely agree that every person needs to find their own path, and to do so they need to truly understand themselves. That means not simply living your life the way that you were taught to by your elders, but exploring what makes you "tick". We are all products of our environments to an extent, and I believe that it is our responsibility as sentient beings to question all aspects of our societies to find what makes sense to our inner selves.
                A healthy relationship involves honesty, communication, respect and humor. It doesn't matter whether that relationship chooses to have multiple partner intimacy or is strictly one-on-one. Healthy is healthy, and unhealthy is just that as well. We've all seen marriages where they've been together for as little as 1 year or are celebrating their 50th anniversary, and yet they're both completely miserable. Why? I believe it is because they weren't honest with themselves and/or each other when they established their relationship, inadvertently setting the entire structure up for failure. Architects know that to build on a faulty foundation means that their vision will suffer damages and eventually break apart. The same must be said for relationships. To know what one wants in a relationship that person must do a lot of seeking, both internally and externally, to find what works best for them. And as with all things, that will continuously evolve as they continue to develop themselves.
                So to summarize: When it comes from love, has no unhealthy patterns working to manipulate it, and does not specifically hurt anyone that is directly in the relationship... To each their own! ; )
        • You mock the word "restriction" and yet in your very next paragraph you exhault "self sacrifice".

          Three points.

          First, my definition of love doesn't require self sacrifice.

          Second, there is a form of spirituality to having hundreds of partners at a time. If you haven't tried it, I don't think you're in any position to declare that there is none, much less in a position to authoritatively claim that there can never be any for anyone.

          And third, I think you'll find that monogamy is a relatively recent invention for our species. It's certainly not common in other species of apes. It's not particularly common in any of the animal, (or plant), kingdom. Actual monogamous practice is extremely rare, even in our species.
          • Unsu...
            yeah yeah everythings relative, theirs no standards or order to anything. We are all just a bunch of fucking animals that fuck anything that moves and its all so "spiritual". Its all chaotic and there's no point to anything. This all makes me feel ashamed to be in the same species.

            listen, I'm not gonna waste my time arguing about this anymore. I don't wanna stir anything up, but I apparently come from a different world than many who post here. The fact that you think some of the things described here are "ok" let alone positive is beyond me.

            thank you to those who haven't treated me with contempt.

            • >> yeah yeah everythings relative, theirs no standards
              >> or order to anything.
              No one is saying that there are no standards, but whose standards are the universal standards?? Yours? Those of Pagans? Hindus? Muslims? Buddhists? Where are these universal truths to be found??

              Each must follow their own path... each must find answers to life...

              I follow my path and you follow yours... does it bother you that much that my path is not yours?? Why??

              May your path bring you that which you would seek in this life.
            • <<yeah yeah everythings relative, theirs no standards or order to anything. We are all just a bunch of fucking animals that fuck anything that moves and its all so "spiritual". >>

              Wow... that's a little hostile. While I've run into one or two peoplein my time who I think *might* fit that description, that certainly hasn't been the norm, and isn't the way I've seen most people operate.

              I think that the problem you're running into is that you seem to have a need to have your point of view validated, to be right, and instead of that you're being presented with a myriad of options that other people feel are valid which don't fit into your narrow definition of what constitutes the "right" way to have a relationship. I'll qualify my statement by saying that I don't mean this as a slight, just an observation. Take it or leave it. Just because it's my point of view doesn't make it true, and doesn't mean it's right for *you.*

              Then again, that's my whole point.

              To each their own. I mean that for you too. I can't tell you the right way for *you* to relate to someone else, you have to find that out for yourself. I'm sorry that you seem to feel that you're being treated with "contempt" just because there are a number of people who don't share your point of view. Folks are just having a conversation, and it's through dialogue like this that we can all come to a greater understanding of where these issues sit for us.

              Love is never wrong. Monogomous, polyamorous, or being single and just loving one's self, all of them have their place and are valid. What is right in MY worldview is that there isn't one single way for humans to love each other. And in MY view (just mine, not projecting this on anyone else) there are an infinite number of ways for love to be manifested and expressed.

              "There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth" ~Rumi

              Just my hippie dippie, free lovin', new age mumbo jumbo $.02.
              • Unsu...
                no, I don't need to be "right". But I would like to feel less of a freak for possessing my own worldview, which used to be considered "normal."
                • Unsu...
                  have you considered that perhaps it is your judgment of others that is alienating you... and not your beliefs on monogamy?
                • >> I would like to feel less of a freak for possessing
                  >> my own worldview, which used to be considered
                  >> "normal."
                  I don't think anyone here has expressed the belief that you are a "freak". However, your harsh tone toward those who don't share your beliefs has put off some who post here.

                  Slavery was once considered "normal" in many societies. No, I am not comparing slavery to monogamy, I am suggesting that what a society considers "normal" may not *in and of itself* make it a preferable choice.
                • I don't think you're a freak for preferring monogomy, and I don't think that's what has been directed towards you. And for the record, I think that most people still follow the one partner model in our society, whether they stay faithful to their partner or not.

                  I don't think anybody here has a problem with you posessing your own worldview, and doing what's right for you, you've only been asked to consider that what's right for you, and "normal" to use your term, is not one size fits all.
                • I don't think you're a freak either for claiming to prefer monogamy or for having a viewpoint of your own.

                  I do think that attacking other viewpoints doesn't win you any friends.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    I don't think being poly is any more new than being mono. TO ask that ? of me is kind of asking me like why my eyes are blue and my hair is blonde. Poly chic? Since when? I've been at it for more than 20 years, Style setter I am- NOT.

                    Just looking for and finding happiness while doing no harm is enough of a job. I don't like to fill in as judge and jury as well.

                    How one shares is important and some folks do have boundaries. Yep they do. They're just different than some others in a prevailing paradigm.

                    Meanwhile, I would ask how do you get by in a day without sharing anyone's attentions? It isn't just about sex or affections or are we such individuals that we do no longer share but bean count time as well?

                    Just sayin'- and I'm not up for a jumpin'. Thanks...


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