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So You’re Okay If I Just Get Some “On The Side” Then?

A lot of what passes itself off as polyamory these days, really should be called poly-sexuality.

Because when you encounter people who claim to be polyamorous, they often seem fixated on the subject of sex, not love.

This is understandable, since many polyamorous people began their love life in traditional long term monogamy.

And it is uncanny how similar the words monogamy and monotony really are!

In her book Mating In Captivity, Esther Perrel spends over 250 pages bemoaning the state of modern monogamy, exploring the paradox of how to make the marriage of sexual desire and domestic comfort work.

It seems that the more we become comfortable with our partners, the less they really interest us sexually.

Erotic love is founded in mystery and uncertainty, which the coziness and safety of daily home life just doesn’t quite support.

Many couples seek to deal with this anomoly by spicing up their love life, adding toys, role playing, and other kinky options to their bedroom activities.

They even try moving things outside the bedroom into public places!

The whole 50 Shades phenomenon shows us how extreme this attempt to liven up a dead sex life can really get.

For a lot of couples though, they finally come to conclude it is just not possible to keep sexual desire alive with one person for a lifetime.

But instead of separating, and participating in the relationship assembly line known as serial monogamy, they choose instead to allow each other some sex “on the side.”

They open up their relationship.

I mentioned last week in my post on serial monogamy, that guys seem to warm up to this idea of polyamory a lot more easily than you girls do. But I also emphasized this shouldn’t really be the case, because you girls are a lot more polyamous than you recognize.

You tell me all the time that you don’t believe your romantic partner is capable of meeting all your emotional needs.

So you make sure you have lots of other emotional relationships “on the side,” to make sure your needs are met.

Did you notice my use of that phrase “on the side” there?

I did that on purpose.

I’m trying to get you to recognize something you don’t usually notice.

Your desire to “get some on the side” emotionally is really not that different than a guy’s desire to “get some on the side” sexually.

The reason it looks different to you is you’re a girl, and you don’t have the level of sexual needs a guy has.

Being an emotional creature of course, you definitely have more emotional needs than your guy does.

But it never occurs to you to apply the same logic you apply to your emotional needs, to your guy’s sexual needs as well.

If it is true that no romantic partner can meet all your emotional needs, why would you think it is possible for you as a romantic partner, to meet all your guy’s sexual needs?

I hope I don’t have to tell you that usually guys are way more sexual than you are right?

And are we also clear that you are way more emotional too?

So these situations are actually pretty parallel.

The double standard you girls play here, is what often leaves guys in sexless marriages and relationships.

Because ultimately your needs are not sexual.

They are emotional.

And you feel completely fine with going and getting those needs met, by someone other than your partner.

Often even with other guys.

You think that’s okay, because it is not sexual needs you’re seeking to meet.

What’s the difference? Either way you are seeking to get your needs met, by someone other than your romantic partner.

A guy’s heightened sexual needs are completely parallel to your heightened emotional needs.

So given that you think it is okay to ‘get some on the side” for your emotional needs?

Am I safe to assume you’re okay with your guy ‘getting some on the side” for his sexual needs too?

If not, why not?

Let me know your thoughts below.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tanya

    I think a lot of the reason there is a lack of connection between men and women, is quite simply that they have been socialized differently.

    Yes- womenhave evolved to be more emotionally connected, and men have evolved to be visually aware. But being ‘aware’ does not imply stimulated.

    I am not opposed to men and women having open relationships if they choose to do so, but I believe rather than trying to convince women that poly is a better choice- it is inportant I recognize society’s role in creating our dissatisfaction.

    Media shows men and women what is considered sexy. They are preying on primitive triggers of the mind. Many men seek ‘the hottest’ chick to fulfill an external validation, and women seek to be that in order to feel ‘complete’ . I understand what you are trying to say, but I believe the driving mechanisms are far more complex than trying to convince society that poly is the best.

  2. Kel Good

    @Tanya – You make some very good points. I totally agree with you that there is a lot of socialization around what men and women should be. And actually I agree with you as well about not endorsing poly without qualification. The kind of poly most people pursue I would not advocate.

    I’m curious though what you think of society’s double standard where seeking emotional connection outside a relationship is not even questioned or seen as “unfaithful,” but seeking sexual connection is. Why do you suppose that is?

  3. Tanya


    I am not certain why you think it is considered okay to seek emotional connection outside of a relationship. I believe that much like love, emotional connection can have variances and intensities. I have emotional connections with people that are certainly not romantic, yet they meet certain needs. In a romantic sense, a partner is privy to certain knowledge and intimacies, and those type of emotional connections are specific to the relationship. If a person is looking to have their romantic relationship needs outside of a committed relationship, then that is indeed unfaithful. I do not think being friends with someone of the gender you prefer romantically is necessarily meeting the emotional needs we seek in a romantic partner.

    If I go and get a massage, there is an agreement and a professional atmosphere expected for this arrangement. If, however, I go to another man and cry to him about how sad I am and lonely and just needing support in my relationship that is wrong. As is having that friend give me a massage instead of a professional. That is stepping over the boundaries of friendship. So, there are boundaries, and people make choices about the fluidity of these parameters all of the time. I think in reality they know whether it is infidelity or not.

  4. Kel Good

    @Tanya – Thanks for your further thoughts. What in your perception then distinguishes a romantic emotional need from a more “generic” emotional need?

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