Saturday, September 15, 2012

Open Relationship: Is It For You?

Now that my 'portion' of the fabcast is out, I'd like to continue my musings on open relationships.  I have to admit that I'm not as quick to fully analyze my position on certain issues when asked on the spot.  I need time to mull over the issues, to play with these inside my head.
The 'marginal' status of gays in 'mainstream' society (read: hetero) has given us some freedom to define relationships in many permutations and combinations.  With no shackles imposed by any religion or state, some of us have gone beyond the exclusive, monogamous model that straights have always upheld (well, except for some polygamous religions).  And we have pursued that in all its plurality.
Non-exclusive relationships come in so many shapes and sizes, defined (usually) by the agreed terms of reference between partners:  There's the 'casual sex lang' mode: Both partners can engage in casual sex, usually confined to one-night stands.  "NSA" as it says in Grindr (No Strings Attached).  And this arrangement could require full disclosure and transparency or not.  Then there's the 'Threesome'.  Partners will only allow a third party to come into their sex life.  There's the 'Sex Plus'.  Partners can have sex with others, and have sex with them repeatedly.  (meaning: there are some 'strings' that are beginning to 'attach', emotional interest enough to want to have sex again).  And getting to more 'extreme' territory, there are relationships that will actually 'allow' other partners to have some form of relationship with third parties.  "Allow" is used here loosely.  Some arrangements just have partners 'turning a blind eye'.
Are non-exclusive relationships for everybody?  Of course not.  Even as Jason, in the fabcast, commented that gay relationships seem to be headed toward openness, as he listened to each of us narrate our stories.  At the heart of this question is the idea that gays are just naturally promiscuous, makakati.   We are the unrestrained expression of the biological male's genetic tendency for polygamy (basing it on evolutionary theory).  Hence, eventually that 'tendency' will express itself as a need to look for other partners, playmates, fuck buddies.
Are we really naturally makakati. or as Tony puts it, malalandi?  Obviously, there can be no generalizations.  I even look at this as a scale of sorts, with the almost-asexual, I-can-only-have-sex-with-the-man-I-lurve to the kahit-poste-papatulan.  The question is: where are you in this scale?  I have met gays from all points in the spectrum.  Without asking PC where he is in the scale, he talks about having no great propensity to engage in casual sex.  A hot guy, for him, just elicits attraction that doesn't have to go down to his loins.  Another attractive friend talks about being 'oblivious' to sexual cues all around.  Hence, he doesn't indulge in casual sex either.   I contrast those with my own experience, as narrated in this blog many times over.  I am so attuned to sexual cues all around.  A hot hunk sending me these cues will elicit this 'autonomic' adrenaline-related response: heart beating fast, mouth drying up.  All because of the excitement over the prospect of having casual sex.
So if you would like to know whether non-exclusive relationships are for you, I believe it starts with the awareness of where you are in that scale.  That self-awareness will serve as basis, but will not be the end-criterion either.  You have to layer your other belief systems on top of that.  Even as you recognize, perhaps, a tendency towards sexual promiscuity, but you also feel strongly about principles of exclusivity and monogamy, then you would still choose such for yourself.  And it consciously becomes a choice, your choice.  


joelmcvie said...

Well put, kafateed!

At the end of the recording, Tony blurts out, "Ambagal ng mga utak ng mga matatanda ngayong gabi, ah!" I too was stammering and fumbling the whole night because I wasn't also ready to talk about my open relationship with Dan since my ideas about it were not organised. Some are also in flux. Oh well. =)

Ybarra17 said...

my one cent: unfortunately, many people would equate relationships to romance which is fleeting imbedded in feelings, and thus triggering libido, sex, mood et al. or mere basic instinct. sex is sheer body apart from the spirit. mechanics and athleticism apart from nature. so dualism remains.

a lasting and meaningful relationship seeks to complete the inner "wound" of each other. sex alone deepens this thirst, this yearning, this 'need' to be complete, i.e. to conquer a dualistic understanding of sex apart from sexuality.

carlo_mojo said...

wow. just. wow.