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promiscuity

"The old ball and chain" is a concept that is becoming less and less acceptable in todays society-- moreso in the gay culture than heterosexual.

By my observation humans enter relationships for a wide variety of reasons, each with a unique set of prioritys.

What is most baffling to me at times is the importance of sex and at the same time a conflicting priority of monogamy- especially among individuals whos sexual appetite vary to a great degree outside of their mate.

I see example upon example of mutually beneficial relationships get torn apart by monogamy. Entire castles crumbling to the ground because sex has had such a high priority (the highest?) and at the same time been shelved to the category with the least amount of freedom.

I'm convinced at this point that it is largely a social/cultural issue. Some value is placed upon monogamy, with statments such as "staying honest" or "remaining loyal" forging those values.

Those that take a different tact, not remaining monogamous, are degraded, thought lesser of.

This in itself is hypocrisy.
Under no circumstance have I ever witnessed monogamy (having been monogamous myself in a long term relationship, even) actually be anything aside from a cheap ploy. Take the stereotypical husband drooling over another woman and his own wife slapping him for staring. So he goes home and masterbates while thinking about her, while his wife does the same thing over some other guy she found cute. Yet they are loyal to each other?

This culture isn't going anywhere, it is definitely here to stay for a long time-- with religious backing it is insurrmountable to try and change it.

But-- peoples relationships? Those are not here to stay. Not if they balance on this concept. Those who are monogamous and think this is a strength are in fact wrong, it is a weakness, their weakness. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding- how will their relationship stand up to one member finding the other "cheating" ?

Real strength IMO is being able to love beyond a concept as simple (or complicated) as sex.
As we see people listening more to their own thoughts, being more selfish (is that a bad thing?), and be less interested in a relationship-for-the-sake-of-a-relationship ... they are crashing to an end at an increasing rate.

Thus is my theory on why dirvorce rates are at a constantly growing all time high.

- Keman

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
Your points certainly merit debate, but I'll say right off the bat that I do know people who were happy being monogamous and generally, while they certainly appreciate others' appearances, did not particularly care beyond "Well, they're pretty."

I fully intend at some point to have a short-distance, long-term RL relationship. And while I would likely not object to sharing others with my mate, I wouldn't feel proper about either of us engaging in intimacy without the other's presence (and, obviously, consent). This would get a bit more tricky if my mate was bisexual.

On the one hand, humans have urges, and those urges will act on us in ways we can't possibly predict. On the other hand, those urges can be denied, and I think it's a bit demeaning to suggest that people in monotonous relationships are somehow lying to themselves about what they really want.
wolffit
Apr. 7th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC)
"On the other hand, those urges can be denied" ... to what extent, and what outcome? How about the concept of the "7 year itch" ?

Lying, kidding, denying yourself the things you want-- is it the peson who is doing the denying, or you, that finds the concept demeaning?

I think that you say it's demeaning speaks volumes about this issue. Noone wants to live a lie, and anyone who wants to be completely honest with their mate doesn't want to have anything that they have to hide from them. Why hide it at all?

- Keman
doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
This is one of those arguments that has no definite answers.

We don't control our desires, but that doesn't mean we're controlled _by_ them either.

Okay, fine, here we go. This is hypothetical-

There's someone I'm a good friend with. He's got a sharp mind, and the body to match. Woo, stud city.
He's also in a relationship, but has expressed some interest in me.
Do I pursue this? I might make it known that I like him a lot, but I'm NOT going to destroy someone else's relationship to satisfy my own selfish desires, when for all I know those desires are based on things that aren't really there. It's easy to fall in love, it's a lot harder to stay in love.
Finding happiness, to me, isn't worth deliberately causing unhappiness to others. I need to believe I have morals on some level, and breaking up other people just to satisfy myself would kill me (hell, possibly literally). Any relationship I could get through such an approach would always be tainted by how I achieved it. Or, to steal an old chestnut- "The ends don't justify the means."
I also don't think you can ever be completely honest with another person. Hell, you can't even be completely honest with yourself. I met someone once who claimed he fully understood every reason he ever did something, and that was the biggest crock I'd ever heard.
Everyone checks out other people too, regardless of whether or not they should. That's a given. But nothing would be served by stating the obvious. Why do I want to know my mate checks out other guys, especially if I already know it? What positive effect does that achieve?
Temper honesty with diplomacy and tact, I say.
Besides, I've found that, online at least, the people who tend to talk about how much they value honesty can't handle it when it comes their way. I've told people of my alts, and no matter how well we had previously gotten along, I was anathema to them. We replaced pleasant, albeit shallow, fun with distrust and loathing. And for what? The _truth_???
The truth is if you're getting along with someone you should appreciate them for what they give you, not spend all your time constantly second-guessing it. And being a rather paranoid individual I think I'm particularly in a position to say that.
Not going after someone you could, theoretically of course, have is not lying, nor is it denying yourself. It is MAKING A CHOICE. It is deciding that what ultimately matters is what is best IN THE LONG RUN.
You have every right to pursue whoever you want to. But to think there are not going to be consequences for it is just presumptuous. And I would laugh (humorlessly) at the individual who cheated on someone and later claimed "Well, I wanted them, and I know you want me to be happy, so I thought I'd go after them."
I'll reject temporary happiness in the pursuit of more permanent happiness, thanks.
If you love someone, and you know that person cannot deal with the idea of you being with others (and it doesn't ultimately matter why), then you either better exert some control over your desires, or accept that you don't love them enough to change for them.
wolffit
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
"Do I pursue this?"

.... are you familiar with the term "All is fair in love and war" ? ... an ethic in itself, it has merit IMO.

I've been in that situation you describe. I'm glad I didn't go after the person because of who I was able to meet later- Galen. But I'm still pissed at myself for not being selfish enough. I should have at least tried. And if you tear apart the relationship as a result, being a "home wrecker" ... who's to say that it wasn't destined to fail anyways? Ok so you don't want to be a catalyst. An active player. Instead you'd like to circle as a vulture and prey upon the spoils of something gone bad? ... such an interesting, twisted culture we've got. Other cultures would have you fight (perhaps to the death) this person you're competing against. And in the wild as another animal.. you most certainly would do so. If you're smarter and "better" (sorry for the relative term here) you'll win your mate.

"Everyone checks out other people too, regardless of whether or not they should."

Why? .. to all aspects. Why do they? Why shouldn't they?

"Why do I want to know my mate checks out other guys, especially if I already know it?"

The better question IMO is-- why is your relationship in jeapordy if your mate checks out other guys? Why does it bother you?

"Not going after someone you could, theoretically of course, have is not lying, nor is it denying yourself. It is MAKING A CHOICE. It is deciding that what ultimately matters is what is best IN THE LONG RUN."

To me this is a concept of having a relationship for the sake of having a relationship. As you probably know there are certain things which gain appreciation over time, and then there are things which are fun RIGHT NOW and DONT WAIT. From my perspective as a male, sex is an instant gratification sorta thing. Hornyness and arousel don't wait, they don't age like a fine wine. With time comes desperation, not appreciation. Since this topic is about sex, lets focus on it instead of say... the positive benefits to a long term relationship ie: owning real estate together, having two jobs, etc. So maybe you're saying to forgo sex in lieu of the better things that take longer to occur.

My point in my original post was trying to indicate that in the cases where sex had such a high priority ... why shelve it to the least amount of freedom? Different people have different relationships.

I probably should have left out the part whre I implied I'd never seen a monogamous relationship be more than a cheap ploy. So for that part I take it back.

"then you either better exert some control over your desires, or accept that you don't love them enough to change for them."

That's pretty much been my point all along. And people ARE accepting that, more and more.

- Keman

doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe all is fair, but that doesn't mean all leads to a happy ending.

I've occasionally thought about things I could do that would lead to discord. I've also thought there was a good chance they could be traced back to me.
I'd rather have a good friendship that at times I wish was more, than self-loathing because I used dirty tricks combined with a fake relationship because I used dirty tricks. Or, worse, an enemy who was a friend until I attempted to gain more through subversion.
It's not a question of what I'd love, it's a question of what I can do and still live with myself, and what's more than acceptable. And of loving someone enough to restrain yourself.
Essentially, I don't see how what I could gain from trying even vaguely outweighs what I could lose by trying. He knows I care, and that's enough. More importantly, it has to be enough.
I similarly refuse to use a theory of pre-destination as justification for trying to break up other people. That's too convenient.
I've also made a stern rule with myself that I won't start a relationship with someone if I feel they're in rebound at the time. God forbid it turns out that that's all there was.
I want someone to want me for who I am, not who I'm theoretically capable of being, and not for who they think I am if I KNOW I'm not that.
I don't look at it so much as competing as a refusal _to_ compete.
Put simply, I don't like the idea of my mate looking at others guys because I have ego. Or low self-esteem. Take your pick. Yeah, I want that "center of the universe" feeling. I want to be the only guy. And knowing it's not true doesn't mean I can't feel it.
I think sex prolonged can gain in value. Even if the first time after a wait is desperate, with any luck there's more to come, pardon the pun. And if, god forbid, the first time is the best you ever have- well, that will make the rest a bit empty, now won't it?
Since I tend to hope for more than a one-shot when I have sex, the idea of divorcing the two makes little sense to me personally. If your having it just to have it, you might as well be desperate, since it won't happen again anyway. If we're talking about it as a one-shot.
Why forego freedom? Because you love someone enough to choose to.
wolffit
Apr. 7th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
hehehehe...

Not long ago said person tells me... "I wish you'd told me what you felt, expressed your interest that you had. I felt the same towards you. It's all too late now .. ohwell."

....

Don't walk in my footsteps. That's all I can say. I don't have real regret over that. But dude ... make SURE that person knows more than just "you care" ... there can be a lot going on in that relationship which you're not being told.

As for sex and love. I don't find one with the other. They're two very distinctly seperate issues for me. I acknowledge that I'm in the minority on this. I can't fathom love and sex at the same time.

- Keman
doniago
Apr. 8th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
I've been on the opposite end of that on more than one occasion, where people told me "Yeah, back in (year here) I thought about asking you to be my mate."

I grew a bit exasperated at that point. I mean really, gee, thanks for mentioning something that could have changed everything that followed, but is now totally irrelevant except to make me wonder.

If there was a case where I was considering telling someone who I considered unattainable how I felt, I would wait to at least verify that the friendship was on a (hopefully) solid foundation first. Because I would want to keep the friendship if at all possible.

"As for sex and love. I don't find one with the other. They're two very distinctly seperate issues for me. I acknowledge that I'm in the minority on this. I can't fathom love and sex at the same time."

Wow, I wouldn't know what to think if I was Galen and I read that.

It's worth pointing out that almost every time I've engaged in intimacy a relationship was an impossibility due to distance, them already being involved (in an open relationship, thank you), or other factors. Love wasn't an issue (in almost all of those cases) because making it an issue would just be...stupid.
wolffit
Apr. 8th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
"As for sex and love. I don't find one with the other. They're two very distinctly seperate issues for me. I acknowledge that I'm in the minority on this. I can't fathom love and sex at the same time."

Wow, I wouldn't know what to think if I was Galen and I read that.

Well, I would, because I'm Galen.

I have a slightly different take on it. Sex and love are two different things. One can exist without the other, or they can exist together. They are not codependant.

Keman and I love each other, and we also have sex with each other. We don't love each other because of the sex, and we don't have sex because of the love.

wolffit
Apr. 8th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
"Wow, I wouldn't know what to think if I was Galen and I read that."

You're not Galen though. And this isn't anything new to him. Welcome to one of the many aspects about me that are not human. :P

As for distance-- Galen was in Virginia and I was in Michigan. Neither of us was in a position to move, albeit I was in an easier position than he. Luckily one of Galen's friends told him bluntly "If you really care for him, don't ever let distance be a factor." .. and the rest is history. It cost a lot and it was a royal PITA, but I picked up all my roots and moved em for a second time in my life. The first was with my now-ex, Phyxis. A relationship that lasted almost 6 years. We owned houses together, vehicles, everything. Unfortunately the age 20 to 26 is a bad time to try having a relationship that's going to last, because if it isn't enough that the relationship will change over those years, people change themselves over those years.

Galen is my Alpha, my packmate. And that's a closer bond than I've witnessed many people ever having. It's why say.. if he goes off and plays with someone, personally, I don't care. Just so long as he uses his head, plays safe, and doesn't put himself into a situation that's going to require me to come in and bail his ass out. Speaking of which.. this reminds me of a favorite saying:

Your best friend will pay your bail to get out out of jail.
Your packmate will just sit next to you in the cell saying "Damn, that was fun!"

- Keman
doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
BTW, were you ever a fan of Deep Space 9?
wolffit
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)
I didn't watch it very much...

I love Stargate though. Both series.

- Keman
doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
Ah. There was an episode where Sisko used dirty tricks to involve the Romulans in a war. It worked perfectly. At the time.

If you buy into the novels, the Romulans found out years later and another war occurred.
(Deleted comment)
wolffit
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
I actually take back the part where I say, basically, that monogamous relationships are fake. That's not true at all.

Also please realize I'm not saying which type of relationship is "better" than another.

I'm stating that you should question large emotional topics, and if you get an answer you don't like.. you should try to figure out why it is you don't like it.

- Keman
doniago
Apr. 7th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
Might do a strike-out on that part if it no longer applies. (scritch)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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