Oh, Spin Me Right Round CNN…

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First off, the article: The downside of ‘friends with benefits'

It's some high and mighty spin with a buried lead.  The jist of the article is that sex has become somewhat trivialized and non-romantic.  People are having sex with more partners at the same time (which, according to the article is called “‘concurrency,' in sexual behavior lingo” [And I sincerely doubt that a term like concurrency has EVER been able to be termed “lingo”]) and they're doing it in so called “friends with benefits” relationships and “nonromantic sexual encounters.”   So, what's this doing?  SPREADING DISEASE!  LIKE HERPES!   Run for the hills, swingers, our friends with benefits and other nonromantic sexual encounters, and dear god, our CONCURRENCY is going to kill us all!

Right?

Well, Tony Paik, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa says that this sort of behavior is “a direct route for spreading STDs.” (I thought we'd agreed on STIs…) Well Mr Sociology Assistant Professor…you, along with a full blown professor at Bowling Green State, are very alarmed at the lack of romance because there's “no basis for demanding fidelity from the other person.”

All true.  So, thus far in the article (about a third of the way) you've spread some excellent propaganda about why we should all abandon our hedonistic ways and be monogamous.  No, seriously.  Good points.  No sarcasm even.  BUT (and that but is a big'un) that's not really why this is happening, is it?  It's not non-romantic sex that's leading to the disease that starts with an H and ends with an ERPES…

It isn't?  But I thought–

“When people have sex with a friend, they tend to be more trusting that the person doesn't have a sexually transmitted disease and therefore fail to use a condom.”

Um, but wait.

So, we're not talking about non-romantic sex.  We're not talking about concurrency.  We're talking about trust?  Not just trust…STUPID NAIVE trust?

As a swinger, I treat every single sexual encounter as though they have an STI (I choose to use the “hip” and “current” lingo) that can at least be mostly blocked by sheathing my cock in latex.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  So to be apparently lectured at for a third of this article, and then to have the article change gears completely to stupid people saying:

“Do you have an STI?” (In this simulation, they're stupid, yet “hip” to the “lingo)

“No!”

“Okay, let's bone without a condom because I'm really fucking stupid and don't know that you might not even know you have an STI.” (see previous citation)

Or even worse, skipping over the question and simply THINKING: Yeah, he/she (using the miscellaneous noun, not suggesting a hermaphrodite or transgendered person) probably doesn't have herpes because they're nice to me…

This isn't a story about the dangers of multiple partners, or the dangers of detaching the romance from sex.  Let's all be honest.  While CNN may want to send a quick terror beat down to those that they'd likely brand with a big red S for Slut, what we're REALLY talking about here are stupid people.

It has nothing to do with nonmonogamy and EVERYTHING to do with stupidity.

And I, as a nonmonogamous swinger who's managed to detach romance from sexuality and is in a number of concurrent sexual relationships yet uses condoms in EVERY SINGLE ENCOUNTER, refuse to allow CNN to lump me in with those idiots.

Go pester someone else, I'm grumpy.

(let me amend this article, before someone complains, I'm NOT saying that people who get STIs are stupid, those who assume their partners don't have them, and fuck them condomless…those are the stupid ones)

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About Cooper Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory. He teaches and speaks on swinging, polyamory, pegging, play parties, and coloring outside the boundaries of your sexuality. He is a graphic & web designer, photographer, and voice over artist, has been a guest expert on Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, & is the announcer of Tristan Taormino’s radio show Sex Out Loud. He is currently working on two instructional non-fiction books, one about beginning non-monogamy, and another about pegging.

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