I just finished reading a rather interesting article on a couple who have an "open relationship". Their verbal contract consists of things such as; no cuddling after sex with the stranger, no going away on weekends with the sexual stranger and not wearing any items of clothing that your partner has given you during a sexual encounter... there's more, but I think you get the picture.
In the article the writer explains how her and her partner have spare bedrooms for their promiscuous encounters. According to Her, she has less time to have these sexual flings than he does because of her busy career. She says they are happy with the arrangement, and they still reserve some days of the week for them to do "couple things". (I smell break-up in the near future, but she insists they are happy, as long as they stick to the "contract".)
The reason for their change in attitude towards monogamy, was because for the both of them, after years of being strict monogamists, they both felt, it was time to try something new.
After reading it, I agreed on one thing this couple did right, and that was COMMUNICATION. They expressed what they thought they needed in order to maintain their spark, keep the flame burning. Communication is key in a relationship, and if sexually you're unhappy, surely the first thing to do is talk to your partner about it and see what kind of resolution you can come up with.
However, what came next was a different story. I felt the writer was brash in assuming that her fresh attitude to this "relationship" was the all and end all to a successful relationship, immediately assuming that men just want sex, and that women who want their men to be loyal to them, were "weak" and "vulnerable".
Holly Hill wrote - "... they (women) need to realize that men want sex for different reasons..." that is assuming all men want promiscuous sex, sex without emotion and women are desperate and clingy. I also didn't agree with something else she wrote, "A woman who insists on lifetime sexual exclusivity is vulnerable and weak, but a woman who negotiates sexual infidelity is powerful." How can anyone presume that all men just want sex with no strings and all women want sex with life commitment?
Once again, men and women are being pigeon holed for obvious traits that society in time has lead us to believe. Believe it or not but men do have emotions like women and not all men are sports crazy and not all women can multitask. This is what I am talking about, this culture of pigeon holing people into something, just so that we can feel safer, in control and to feel like we understand the world, even in its most unexplained stages.
There seems to be this obsessive need to control the world around us.
I truly believe we are born the same, male and female. The only difference is our genitalia, but boys and girls have the same of everything. It isn't until Daddy takes John out to play football and Jenny stays inside because Mommy's baking a cake. This is when our children begin to think an act in a certain way because society expects them to.
Thankfully I had an older brother and I was into Barbies just as much as LEGO and GI-Joe. I also now have skills in wrestling (due to various sibling wrestling matches), and I've built various skills for team sports a well as general athletics. I was also just as good at sewing clothes for my dolls as I was building spaceships out of plastic bricks.
And just because I want to open my heart, experience true euphoria and spiritual connection with a man does not make me "weak" and "vulnerable". I believe the contrary. To want true expression with one person is a gift, it is personal and incredibly rewarding. Granted, not every relationship lasts to the end but some do and hopefully for the right reasons. I think it is "modern" women like Holly Hill (author of this article I am critiquing) who gives young women the false concept of what a healthy sexual relationship is.
If a man wants a woman to himself, and the woman feels the same way, because their feelings are mutual and together they can experience some kind of nirvana, then I don't see that as weak or vulnerable, I see that as beautiful, I see that as revolutionary, I see that as incredibly powerful.
In our Western world, we're furthermore distancing ourselves from the outside world, spending more time social networking on the internet than having an active social life. The rise of using programmed machines to take your order so that you don't have to set foot in a grocery store, is another form of desensitizing yourself from the world around you. And now writers such as Holly Hill are reminding us, that sex can just be an act, with no strings attached, another way of distancing yourself from any true human connection.
Good for women like Holly Hill to have found a partner who agrees with sex outside their "relationship". I always believed there was more than one way to lead a "monogamy" relationship, that only so many things would remain "traditional". But I have to stress, that "power" does not come from social conditioning and following whatever is laid out there for you to grab.
For me the true "power" comes from questioning, being critical of your surroundings and forming your own path, far away from any influence created by the norm. Because true power comes from within and not by how many people follow you.