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Ethical non monogamy

(43 Posts)
WordsAreNoUseAtAll Wed 23-Oct-13 23:36:53

Sigh. Since I'm causing hmm faces with my sex life already...

Is anyone else in a non monogamous relationship, or has been?

I could do with some tips, and if I look on the poly/open websites its all fine and dandy with no downsides.

I don't get jealous. Well, I suppose I would if he was laughing at me behind my back, or lying, or doing something that we had agreed was just for us or whatever, but that all comes under "cheating" for me anyway.

We're kind of open, slightly poly I suppose. Our main relationship by a long way is going to be each other. We were absolute best mates before we got together and so totally trust each other. I just don't see the point in being exclusive, and I know a lot of people feel the same.

There must be people on MN. Or people who can point me in the right direction.

Previously I've only been as far as swinger, and that is very straightforward.

I was in a non-monogamous relationship. Only the bastard didn't tell me.

Apart from that, what on earth are you looking for '*tips*' for/about?

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

kotinka Thu 24-Oct-13 00:10:22

I've had past relationships that were open but for me, it just didn't feel right. Jealousy not really an issue, just a feeling of not caring much.

What is it you need advice on? It's fairly straightforward, talk with your partner, work out what each other's boundaries are. Keep talking because feelings change & what may have felt ok at first may not 6 months in.

hand on, have thought of a tip

Don't have children. Ever.

WordsAreNoUseAtAll Thu 24-Oct-13 00:12:12

hmm What do you THINK?

Have you even heard of ethical non monogamy? You know what I mean by poly, yeah?

Or are you just judging other peoples lifestyles for kicks?

WordsAreNoUseAtAll Thu 24-Oct-13 00:14:40

Why not, unlikely? Because children can only surviveif mummy and daddy live in a nice rose covered cottage with sex only for procreation?

Or, actually, is it possible for kids to not know or care what else goes on when they aren't there, as long as they are loved and valued by those around them?

kotinka Thu 24-Oct-13 00:17:36

Words, if you don't like Unlikely's perspective, why not just ignore it? It's not particularly pertinent to your original post, so let it go hey? No need to get nasty.

Coolforcatz Thu 24-Oct-13 00:17:51

I've never heard of ethical non monogamy. You seem very aggressive.

kotinka Thu 24-Oct-13 00:21:49

sunnyrobinson.hubpages.com/hub/Ethical_Monogamy

I can't see the point in the "ethical" tag but hey ho.

drawsofdrawers Thu 24-Oct-13 00:23:14

I know some people who do this. I think they all have very low self esteem. They behave like teenagers too. I thought about it once. Glad I got over it.

A tip I was told - it's unrealistic not to get jealous. So learn how to manage it rather than think you won't feel it. You will.

You sound really interesting

viperslast Thu 24-Oct-13 00:25:57

I thought you said your last relationship was non monogamous? Also that you had had a considerable number of sexual encounters whilst in that relationship? In which case why do you think any of us will know more than you?

EBearhug Thu 24-Oct-13 00:30:54

Have you read anything like the Ethical Slut? It's a bit American, but it discusses different configurations of relationships, and how to discuss things, defining your own limits and that sort of thing. There are other books on the same subject, but I can't remember authors or titles just now, and if I go to check, I'll just go to bed instead, given the time of night. smile

You do really need to talk about it - "open" can have many different meanings, and you need to know you both have the same understanding. Also, you need to be able to renegotiate in the future - people change as times go on and you need to consider how you may handle it if one of you wants to be monogamous in the future - or if one of your other relationships gets more serious or is going to cross the boundaries you've set for yourselves. Things won't be the same forever, and you need to expect that and be able to discuss it and work out how to handle it. There might be some things you think would be great, but in practice turn out not to work for you.

Do you want to see others only as one-offs or more steady? Does it have to be someone the other person has met and needs to approve of? Heterosexual others only, or same-sex, too? Do you need to give notice, or can it be spontaneous from a night out? Can they come back to your house, or must any other people be off-site? If they come home, can it be in your own bed, or in the spare room? Can you stay out overnight, or must you always return home? Can others stay over? Can the other one veto any other partner?

What about contraception (barrier), STI testing (regular), are there some acts you'll only do together but not with others - or if there are acts you don't both want to do, is it okay to look elsewhere for them?

What about timing? You need to make sure there's time to spend together without others, and you also need to make sure you both get a fair share of whatever you agree to. So you might have one night a week each for others, one night out with each other, I don't know - you also have to allow time for work, get-togethers with family & friends, household chores, and if you want to make time for any hobbies or evening classes or the gym or whatever - there are only 24 hours in the day, and there's a limit to what you can fit in. And what about family? Will you tell? If so, and they react badly, how will you handle that? I'm assuming you don't have children, but if you do, that will add a whole extra pile of complication.

It's not all fine and dandy - any human relationship will go through difficult times, and poly relationships, as they have more people involved will naturally have more obstacles to overcome than a monogamous one, and there are enough threads here to show even they don't go smoothly. But because of that, and because you have to make more effort to make it work, it can be more trusting because it's all discussed up-front, whereas I think some (not all) monogamous couples fall into it by default without really considering if they have the same relationship expectations as each other.

I've been single for about a million years, so I might also be talking a load of bollocks...

Are you still BPD?

EBearhug, looking at op's previous threads, she has 2 children.

Coolforcatz Thu 24-Oct-13 00:35:19

Thanks for the link kotinka, it's just another way of saying open relationship then, made to sound more acceptable by using the word ethical.

WordsAreNoUseAtAll Thu 24-Oct-13 01:05:21

Unlikely - I don't think I ever was BPD tbh. I still have bipolar disorder, type one, relatively severely, but I live with it with good insight. One of the main symptoms is hypersexuality, as well as a lack of inhibition, so yeah this could be seen as a symptom. That doesn't mean it isn't a real thing that I like doing, though. I choose, fully aware, to keep myself at a level of medication that allows me to still live a life at the level I want to live ot at. That still does mean a lot of medication, but I find the remaining symptoms much better than the side effects from the medication that would stop them. (this is an old username that I am reusing, I forgot what I already had posted with it)

My boyfriend is also bipolar, although he has bipolar two and not as severe as me. Get us both on an up at once and things get fairly wild grin but we won't always coincide. Both of us lose interest when down, and both of us don't see other people as something to control (I know others do, and that is fine, I'm sure they don't see our way of doing things. Everyone is different, and that is beautiful)

We have different ideas of what we like to do - he is far more kinky than me, for example, whereas I am quite exhibitionist, which he can take or leave. He also wants to learn to tango, whereas I prefer to stick to lindy hop, which we both like, and neither of us like charleston. He can go and tango with other people, and I wish him well and am happy if he enjoys himself. The same applies to other areas of our life.

How old are your children

Where are your two children when you and your boyfriend are both on an 'up' and when you feel prone to be hypersexual and uninhibited.

Finally, the last para of your post is pure comic genius.

Charleston, tango AND rabid non-ethical monogamy?

I salute you.

WordsAreNoUseAtAll Thu 24-Oct-13 01:52:59

My children are with my ex when I am with my boyfriend. I am very very strict about that.

Even when I am hypersexual I am perfectly capable of being a responsible parent. Of course the children are not in any way involved or aware. I might be disinhibited, but the moment I even considered revealing anything whatsoever to the children I would be upping my medication. I have extra doses in my house ready for much less severe things. I am very very aware of my symptoms, I would say I am much much more aware of every aspect of my behavior than a normal person. Imagine having to second guess yourself every time you were happy, or energetic, or lazy, or tired. This is the life of a high functioning person with severe mental illness. I know more about my condition than many mental health professionals (seriously, I do - I often have to explain things) and the suggestion that I would be in any way risky is something I will put down to lack of knowledge and genuine curiousity on your part.

And, thanks grin it is quite funny. Dancing is my outlet. I love it. But I don't do any of that Tango stuff. A woman needs BOUNDARIES grin

WordsAreNoUseAtAll Thu 24-Oct-13 01:54:47

Ethical non monogamy. Ethical meaning with the consent of all parties.

There are lots of variations that aren't just open, too.

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 24-Oct-13 02:01:48

Write your own shitty piece.

EBearhug Thu 24-Oct-13 03:04:15

Children, dancing - I know you have loads more energy in an up phase, but I feel exhausted just thinking about fitting all that in as well as a multi-partner sex life! (Nothing to do with being awake at 3am...)

EBearhug Thu 24-Oct-13 03:04:57

Children, dancing - I know you have loads more energy in an up phase, but I feel exhausted just thinking about fitting all that in as well as a multi-partner sex life! (Nothing to do with being awake at 3am...)

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