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Dec 08 2008

Priorities, Neuroses, And Sex: The Best Non-Monogamy Advice I Ever Got, Part 2: The Blowfish Blog

I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. It’s a follow-up to last week’s piece about non-monogamy… which created far more of a kerfuffle than I’d expected.

Three peopleFor those of you just tuning in: Last week, I advised couples who are considering non-monogamy but have fears or concerns about it to look carefully at what — exactly — those fears and concerns are, and then tailor their non-monogamy agreements to address those fears and concerns. Somewhat to my surprise, a number of people objected to this advice, arguing that (a) it treats the outside participants as less special and valuable, with fewer rights and less autonomy; and (b) it wouldn’t work — in my proposal, the basic fears never get addressed and dealt with, and thus never go away.

In this week’s piece, I answer these arguments. (I know — very uncharacteristic of me.) It’s titled Priorities, Neuroses, And Sex: The Best Non-Monogamy Advice I Ever Got, Part 2, and here’s the teasers:

Let’s first take the argument that this model treats the secondary partner as less special.

Yes. That may be true.

So?

That came out a little more hard-assed than I meant. Let me clarify.

and:

Let’s take the argument that setting up your non-monogamy agreements so your anxieties don’t get triggered means your anxieties will never get addressed, and will never go away.

My response:

Yes. That may be true.

So?

That’s a little more flippant than I really meant. So let me give yet another example from my life to make myself clear.

To find out more about this philosophy of non-monogamy — and why I still think it’s valid despite the objections that were raised — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

2 comments

  1. 1
    nina hartley

    Great stuff, as always! I have little to add besides this regarding the quote:
    “the argument that setting up your non-monogamy agreements so your anxieties don’t get triggered means your anxieties will never get addressed, and will never go away.”
    I’ve found that that’s not quite true. By setting up the agreements so that triggers aren’t pulled, trust is built between primary partners. “H/she is listening to me and I feel safer. I have space to take a closer look at my triggers/issues to see how I can resolve/decrease some of them.”
    Over time, triggers can be, and have been, reduced significantly or even eliminated, with a little showing of respect and patience by the primary partner. In time, the person with the triggers may come to see that his/her underlying issues had very little to do with sex per se and more to do with issues of trust, boundary setting, communication and belonging, etc. and can move past them.

  2. 2
    womanfrmutopia

    Oh no, I’ve been refering to myself as a fundamentalist athiest! I must have spread that one. sorry. What I should say is “I dont know and neither do you so STFU?” One other thing, I am not too perturbed by group prayer and find it a great time to make faces at people whilst they commune with their lord. Also, I live deep in the heart o texas…therefore I treat preachers and the police in the same way. (smile, nod, stay out of the way)*bats eyes vacantly*

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