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Archive for the ‘conscious monogamy’ Category

This is the kind of thing I hear bi people say all the time to explain away what its like being in a monogamous relationship if you are bisexual. and you know what as a piece of rhetoric I loathe it, completely and utterly. Its an argument that makes no sense to me whatsoever

to illustrate: the kind of men I am mostly physically attracted to look like this
260-231_gabriel_byrne-web

antoniobanderascopy

leonard_cohen_the_essential_leonard_cohen

normal_ben_barnes_013

al-pacino-2

(Ben Barnes is kind of young, and Gabriel Bryne has blue eyes but all of these men are kind of in the ball park of what physically turns my head in a man)
My partner? Fair skin, mousy brown hair and light blue eyes and i have no issues with the fact that he doesn’t look anything like any of the men pictured here, I never even think about it because clearly that is a situations where I’m mostly attracted to a certain set of physical attributes but am in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have them.

But that isn’t the same when it comes to being bi, yes some of the things I’m attracted to in women are physical but they are way more profound than hair colour, hair color doesn’t effect sexual experiences, how you have sex and which bits of the body you have sex with, it also doesn’t effect the general shape of someones body or how their skin feels (women have way softer skin than men do, generally) Hair colour doesn’t have a big effect on how you view the world, how you move through the world, how the world treats you, how you’ve been socialised.

And while yes, there are a group of things I’m attracted to in anyone regardless if they are male or female but there are somethings about my attractions that are gender exclusive and the way I’m attracted to people feels different depending on their gender.

Also this idea completely simplifies the complex process I have to go through to in my head to be in the relationship I’m in. I love my partner and I’ve chosen to be in this relationship but that doesn’t mean there aren’t compromises and negotiations that have to go on in my own head to stay here, which are not ones I have to make or even think about over the fact that I’m not in a relationship with a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned man.

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I’m getting increasingly pissed of by the way people in poly relationships view and talk about people in mono relationships. i get that poly people are often defensive and are pissed of by the assumptions people make about their relationships but that is even more reason not to make assumptions or be disparaging about other types of relationship assumptions I’ve seen just in the last month about monogamous relationships are that people in monogamous relationships:

  • don’t talk about, work through or negotiate their relationship boundaries
  • are just in monogamous relationships because they haven’t thought about their other options
  • do not allow each other to have friends who are of the gender(s) they are attracted to
  • do not have lives outside of their relationships
  • expect their partner to fulfill all their sexual,social and emotional needs
  • feel like they “own” each other
  • Are more insecure than people in poly relationships
  • who are seriously sexually attracted to , or fall in love with other people will cheat or end the relationship
  • if they are female are being bad feminists and upholding the patriarchal power structure
  • Are less open minded than poly people

and I’m sure this is true for some people and some relationships, but I think its much more a case of what the media tells us is true (though obviosly the media tries to put a positive spin on it by wraping it up in the romantic ideal and the institution of heterosexuality and telling us all that thats what we should be aiming for) but the places i see these assumptions from poly people are places where whatever relationship status the people reading or listening are is that they are likely to be the sort of people who have thought about why they do what they do relationship wise and those that are monogamous are monogamous because they have chosen to be.

I am in a monogamous relationship and none of those things in the list of assumptions I’ve heard from poly people are true for me and i think if all of these things were true for anybody that would make for a really unhealthy and pretty much impossible relationship.

I’m going to unpack each of these assumptions in separate posts because I think they need more inspection than one blog post can provide

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