In Ep 21, we begin the big discussion about male and female bisexuality, crossing our way into pansexuality and omnisexuality and everything in between. We discuss the journey of the bisexual male, the evolution of acceptance (and hotness) of the bisexual female, the stereotypes and biases against both and the growing need for non-monogamy to be its own subclass.
On this show: Cooper, Ginger, Dylan, Shira B.Katz, & Kidder Kaper
Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:00 — 16.1MB)
Hi Cooper – I've got a sorta nit-picky bone to pick with something you said in this episode.
If I remember correctly, it went like this:
One of the male guests was talking about seeing a girl who had a previous crush on him. This girl also wasn't a "card carrying member" of the swinging lifestyle. They had begun seeing each other – all with his wife's okay. But the girl was reading more into the situation that this guy, or his wife, were comfortable with. I think the phrase he used is that "she got that doe-eyed look".
The group questioned him a bit to make sure that he had explained the situation clearly to this girl ahead of time – and told her that he was not looking for long term romance, or a polyamorous situation. And he said that yes, he had made that clear.
At that point, the group told him that he had done everything he was supposed to, and that he should not feel bad that this girl was misinterpreting the situation – and that he needed to go ahead and break it off, since it was causing friction.
Somewhere in there, in a spot where several people were trying to reassure him, you said:
"The only responsibility you have, is to your partner." (In this case, referring to this guy's wife.)
That's the bone. I have some trouble with the idea that the *ONLY* responsibility you have is to your primary partner. It struck me as overly dismissive of the people being played with.
In my mind (and take this with a huge grain of salt, because I'm talking about this without having any actual *experience* in non-monogamy), if we're going to play with people in an intimate way, I think we have some
responsibilities to them, no matter how casual the relationship.
In the very barest sense, we have a responsibility to them to practice safer sex, and protect their health. But even more so, I think if we consider them friends, we have all the responsibilities that we would have toward any other friend. I read something once – maybe in the Ethical Slut, or maybe elsewhere. Paraphrasing, it said something like, "It ain't cool to treat the third person in a threesome as just a convenient set of holes or a stunt cock. Even if it's just anonymous sex you're after, they are human beings, with feelings. Treat them that way."
I don't disagree with the group's suggestion that the guy probably needs to break it off with this girl. Seems like she's wanting more than he can give, and to continue things would cause bad blood all around. But I still think he has a responsibility to her to try to preserve her feelings as best he can, and treat her with dignity.
This girl is new to all this. She hasn't internalized it all. It's not second nature to her yet. She WILL be saddled with some societally-induced shame and guilt over this, no matter how hard she tries not to be. She fucked a married guy, and fell for him. Our culture *screams* at her that she's a homewrecking slut, and tries to shame her for it. "Well what do you expect if you just spread your legs for a married guy who wants to fuck you on the side? How stupid and slutty can you be?"
Being *very careful* to preserve her feelings and her dignity (and hopefully her friendship) is not just the right thing to do, it's also in this guy's interest as well. 'Cause if she becomes wracked with guilt and shame, he's at risk that she will project it onto him, and blame him in a "you USED me, you evil jerk" sort of fashion.
So, bottom line, I think we have *some* responsibility to anybody we decide to fuck to watch out for their interestes. The more we hang around with them and the more we are intimately involved with them, the more responsibilities we take on with regard to them.
That doesn't mean those responsibilities outweigh the responsibility we have to our primary partner or spouse.
But I DO think once we decide to involve anybody in our sex lives in any way, we've signed up for additional
responsibilities. Some very small, very straightforward ones in the case of an anonymous sexual encounter. Some bigger ones if it's a "FWB" situation, as sounds like it's the case here. And some really big ones if we treat it as a polyamorous situation. Just my take. 🙂
As a bisexual male, I'm amazed how many "straight" guys are bisexual. I'm on a swinger site as a single bisexual male, and most of the contacts people initiate are by "straight" guys wanting some MM play. And yet, as a couple, they will many times avoid meeting a bi male because we are so "dangerous".
I'm with you that "If you're not straight or gay, you're bisexual." However, I've been told that I would be justified in listing myself as straight because, even though I love oral sex with men, and can go anal in limited circumstances, but I'm not interested in a relationship with a man.