JH said, “I agree with [that] each couple [should be] free to define their respective relationship and its constraints. I have been in numerous types of relationships (all with women) in my 36 yrs on the planet. Some were with ladies that insisted that I not go out drinking without them, not slow dance with others, not grind on people even playfully and never kiss or romantically/flirtly speak on the phone. Now…at the time I agree to these terms because I was young and believed I was in love and was getting what I needed out of the relationship. What was stressful is that I felt that in the couplehood described above, I was always being critiqued and watched for any blemish in behavior. I constantly felt like if I had one miss step that my relationship was over. Ultimately, I realized that if my partner only conditionally loved me and was so quick to cut me loose if I ever expressed my affection at all with another…I was in the wrong relationship for me. I have been in very open situations as well that did keep me guessing due to the non-defining of acceptable behavior. For me it is about balance and being with a partner that I share the same views with. I believe we all just have to be okay with whatever the rules or acceptable behavior in our relationship is. I do not want to judge people be they strangers or friends for what works for them. If it doesn’t work for them, I figure they will change their dynamic. It is not for me to tell them how they should or should not behave. Many states still have sodomy laws on the books and I’ve known of gay men that were harassed years ago and not allowed to rent one bedroom apartments together due to the fact that society believed they were anal invaders (a quote from my male friend.)
All I am saying is I’m not the morality police, because if I was I would have to arrest all actors and actresses who are in romantic comedys, etc. After all they feel and grind and kiss and they are often married to others. I suppose they are all like hookers because they get paid to make out with numerous partners each film or shooting season. Oh think of all the soap stars who have romantically screen kissed dozens of near strangers in their career and get day time Emmys for it…or the stage actors. Now I’m not even getting in to porn films…just normal films and TV. Oh, the L-word and Queer as Folk…I suppose their off screen partners must be crazy and immoral to pimp out their partners for the big bucks. No. I suppose my point is simply that folks should do what works for them and makes them feel good. For if we all adhered to what society thought was right none of us on this forum would be here and living as lesbians. We are rebels who write our own rules by definition as gay folk. I say follow your bliss! and seek out a partner who shares your like minded views on life…or grow and evolve together! If you do not agree with all the dynamics of friends partnerships then the great part is you do not have to apply those elements and rules to your own relationship…you get to write your own script too…that’s what makes freedom free!
I guess I just have endless opinions on this topic: Here’s something to ponder: I love to get massages and often buy them for folks I date or couple up with. I know most see massages as professional services (I do too) but I am aware that often times people get turned on during any touch session that feels good. I have almost come to orgasm during certain, non sexual massages. Would this mean I’m cheating? Would this imply that the therapist was also getting their jollies? I really feel that if either are true: BONUS! and a big tip!
If I read erotica and masturbate about a character or celebrity or someone I saw in a bar…am I cheating because I’m getting off at the thought of another? My point is the lines may all get blurred with what the consensus of society seems to be whether its regarding a lap dance in a strip bar or a grind dance with a friend on the lesbo bars dance floor. I think that people be they gay or bi or straight can have committed relationships with a primary partner. The commitment part is adjustable… it is about what THEY are committing to. They may be agreeing to never have full sex with another, or never explore and keep their partner in the dark about their activities. They may agree to not engage others in a loving/romantic way.
I personally feel betrayed when I am lied to. I find it much harder to get past the object of my affection talking to another and having an affair of the heart as opposed to getting in a situation where they touch or kiss another. My heart is much more fragile than my ego. I was married, but no one poked out my eyes at the ceremony! LOL…meaning I could and did still look at beauty. My wife and I often went out with friends and dirty danced the night away with others in group settings. Call me crazy…but I actually loved that others found my wife desirable…who could blame them…so did I! We played…but she came home with me and vice versa. Yes…we did split, but for totally unrelated reasons. I may seem kooky, but I did get aroused when I knew that others wanted to bed my wife. We would go home after and outting and take out all our excitement on each other! We were the object of each others romantic love that included but exceeded the sexual component. Just food for thought~ “
I repeat: “So it’s more about how this seemingly innocuous and isolated incident can engender larger, more damaging things to arise…cause and effect…KARMA. While “it was just a kiss” might sound plausible at first, that’s where it starts. If that’s okay, then how many other things become okay? If we keep moving the boundaries of ethical behavior, then soon, we will have no boundaries and ANYTHING will be okay. Is this a question of the decline in moral/ethical standards? I think so. In that regard, i tend to be conservative in my views. Yes, couples have to agree on what the various definitions are in their relationships….but that’s not what i feel the issue really is. I am thinking about the big picture, not the “moment.” It’s easy to justify your moments.
But in the grand scheme of things as spiritual/emotional/personal development goes…are we excusing our moments at the expense of our evolution? Are we creating an environment/society of desensitization? We’ve all seen the affects this global village has had on children, alone. Old fashioned values have retreated into the custody of the religious right. And i don’t think their definition is the only one to be had. It was once unheard of for children to be shooting meth…now it’s “common.” It became increasingly acceptable. As did sex before adulthood. Now it’s common for kids to be sexually active at puberty or even earlier. Was that ONE TIME the ONE KID had sex necessarily wrong? maybe not. But it did lead to other things, and it did have an affect on us, globally, didn’t it? So…I’m still not convinced that non-monogamy is harmless.
And JH, you make a good point about actors and massage…in that particular area, the point may very well be about INTENT. Purpose. You said, “I find it much harder to get past the object of my affection talking to another and having an affair of the heart as opposed to getting in a situation where they touch or kiss another. My heart is much more fragile than my ego.” Maybe the massage and the acting is okay, because the purpose is not to “cheat” but to get some treatment for a physical ailment, or to earn a living that is about “pretending” and everyone involved understands it doesn’t’ mean it’s real…although, sometimes is DOES BECOME REAL because it’s hard for us to separate such an exact mimicry of romantic actions from an INTENTIONAL one…But I’m after the deeper meaning, here. Not necessarily the situational meaning….the global one. The futuristic one. The cause and effect one. All this overt “Freedom” we have can also come with greater responsibility. We don’t live in a vacuum.
Here’s another thought…I would rather have a partner who does not believe in an open relationship…and here’s why: Let’s say two people are in a relationship and they have agreed to be monogamous. One of them might believe in only monogamy, and the other might believe in either monogamy or non-monogamy, defined only by the agreement made. Regardless of any “agreements” or understandings two people may have come to about the boundaries of their relationship in this scenario, should the situation arise where a decision has to be made whether or not to take a ride on the “Good ship Lollipop”–that person who believes in non-monogamy might choose to err on the side of her own beliefs–which would be a natural response, really. (This is of course, assuming that people operate according to their beliefs). If your personal cosmology is, therefore, one of non-monogamy, I encourage you to choose partners who don’t care about monogamy.