Answering questions from friends…

At work Russ came up to me this week and asked how my dating life was going. We got on the topic of non-monogamy (something he is personally struggling with, as he enters into a monogamous marriage in the next few months), and the topic of ‘rules’ came up. I divulged that Keith was allowed everything but vaginal penetration at this point, and he made the joke, “oh, so it’s okay for you to get it, but not your man?!” I can see this perspective, and find myself wanting to go down a few different trails of logic.

The first being, it’s not a forever rule. But only a few months in, I’m still adjusting to even being out (somewhat) as bisexual, let alone dating, let alone letting my husband (who has a history of…er…indiscretions be in sexual contact with others physically or via technology) is sort of a big deal. And I don’t want US (yes, US) to rush too quickly and get overwhelmed with the “negative” emotions that might rear their head.

But mostly it’s because of historically how Keith and I have viewed morals around sexuality. At 29, when we got married, he was a “virgin” (to penal-vaginal sex). His reasoning for waiting were due to religious upbringing and an overall desire to make it ‘special’ and have this intimacy not found in other sexual relationships. It was something he set up, something he adhered to, despite many many many failed attempts on my part to pre-maritally break him of the habit (because, clearly, I was not, myself, a virgin).

So forgive me if I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that 6 married years later it’s just cool to dip the stick in any oil tank around, ya know? Because after so many years of ‘dealing with it,’ I finally bought into the myth that his VIRGINITY was what equaled out specialness together, I’m not quite ready to give that up…yet. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, especially if he found someone who was more than just a 3 month non-committal honey…ya know?

But also…

I’m struggling as someone who is bisexual.

I have known for YEARS that there’s this part of my personality that has gone unfulfilled in a monogamous relationship with man. But I’m newer to the concept of polyamory being an orientation, and not just “dudes being dudes trying to get laid.” And also, because Keith’s sex drive has historically been WAY WAY lower than mine, I have this thought in the back of my mind like, “um, dude, if you don’t want to put out with ME four, five, six times a week, then why on earth should you get more than one lady to do the dirty with?”

I’m working on it.

But that was my reasoning, and he’s honoring where I am, right now. I know it won’t be a forever thing, but I’m not interested in him losing his second virginity (is that even a thing?) to just a random hookup. Ya know?

Ugh, though. Rules. They sorta suck and put a damper on things.

How do you go about navigating relational boundaries with your partners?

5 thoughts on “Answering questions from friends…

  1. My wife actually expects absolute fidelity. There are no scenarios where she is comfortable with me putting me dipstick anywhere – male or female.
    Which means – and I hate to think this way – that I’m sacrificing on two fronts, as a bisexual.

    But relationships are always about compromise and meeting each other’s needs. I used to think in terms of 50/50, but have long since realized that it is 100/100.

    But I get the bigger point: You don’t want to be replaced. You don’t mind the supplementation, just not the idea of being replaced. But even in this “second virginity”, walking slow isn’t such a bad thing.

    1. Oh gosh, that sounds really difficult to manage! I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing until recently, but now I can’t think about going back!

      My grandpa says it’s 100/100, too..but I think it’s hard when it feels like you give 100 in compromise and then the other person is habitually not giving that much.

      I don’t want to be replaced, though I don’t really think I would be. I just have a hard time when he said 1 thing for SO MANY years and then in a matter of a month he believes in something totally different. I think that’s where I still have a hard time wrapping my head around!

  2. We are working on this now in terms of separate dating. For the longest we’ve only been okay with couples swapping. Now we are trying to stretch our boundaries but it is hard. Something that has helped us is separating what you want versus what makes you feel safe. When you realize what you need to feel safe, you can think of alternative ways to help you get this without compromising what you want. Sometimes it’s just important to go slowly as a way to find more secure footing in your relationship.

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      Yeah, it’s not so much that I care about the act of him having penal-vaginal sex with someone else, and don’t feel like I am being replaced, it’s just that it feels so hard for me to transition from him thinking “sex should be saved until marriage and then it’s this special gift i’m giving you” to “i just want to hookup with people like it’s nbd” (not that he’s said that), you know? It feels like…did he change his mind? Is sex with me no longer special? did the specialness wear off (in his eyes?). It’s more about him and his thought process than the actual act.

      And that’s why going slow I think is good for us right now!

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