Since I began practicing open relationships and polyamory I have generally been accused of two things: being a womanizer and having low standards. The former accusation is usually from people who don’t know me that well and have never actually conversed with me because when they get to know me they realize, in the words of a dear friend, I am not a womanizer I just love women. That is very true. I love female energy, their perspective, and their presence in my life. They balance my sometimes cruelly overanalytical nature and provide a softness to my edges. A womanizer deceives, I am always honest.
The latter accusation is what I really want to hash out though because it is something I joke about myself and I think my jokes have caused part of the confusion. It is usually people who know me quite well who say that I have low standards in sexual partners and I have not done a good job explaining why I don’t think this is accurate. I really find two problems with this statement, the first is the implication that sex is special for a singular reason and the second is that there is some sort of universal measure of beauty.
The first I have talked about before. Sex is often viewed as something that is spiritual, special, unique. It should be done when love is involved or else it loses it’s value and is dirty. I disagree. I think sex certainly can be done to build up a relationship built on romantic love, but it can also just be something fun, new, or exercise. Sex with strangers, friends, and partners can all serve very different and unique purposes.
The second seems to cause me more discomfort because the person accusing me of having low standards is generally implying that the person I’m interested in is not as attractive as I am, or maybe I can “do better”. This is really saying that there is a sort of universal rating system and it is against the social norm to operate outside of it. I don’t believe such a system really exists, I think many people can be sexually attractive for many reasons. Maybe it isn’t that I have low standards, maybe it is that I can recognize beauty in a lot of different women and translate that beauty into sexual desire.
The reality is that if you are a female that I know I have probably thought about the implications of adding a sexual dynamic to our relationships. Now, I would NEVER, EVER cross any boundary. In fact, my introverted nature and painful awareness of social norms means I will likely never even bring the subject up. As a general rule I believe sex is a good thing for people to experience together and has positive effect on friendships. If the occasion arose I would likely be interested if I find that person attractive, think it would benefit our relationship, it would be a good time, or I’m curious.
That being said, I have many, many female friends with whom I will never have sex and this does not take away from our relationship at all. I value them greatly and want our friendships to continue to blossom and grow. My interest in exploring a sexual element with my female friends is not having low standards, it is showing the diverse power of sex to help bring about happiness and fulfillment within relationships.
This is beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Thank you, I’m glad you liked it 🙂
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Thank you for writing this post. I love your views of sexuality and beauty and how you have been able to write about them. I too believe in the power of sex to transform and in the sheer delight and fun of sex. I think we so often talk only about the implications and dangers or the idealized view of romantic loving sex as the only “good” sex. Sex that relaxes or cheers, is fun or frivolous or just lovely is disdained or ignored. I often wonder why it is viewed as such a bad thing for a woman to love sex.. to delight in it or enjoy it for more than forever love. What’s wrong with bonding with and enjoying your friends when you’re interested? Thank you for writing about it.
Thanks so much! I’ve been enjoying your blog as well. I truly see sex as having many purposes at different times in our lives with different partners. I hope more people come to appreciate and support the amazing healing power and enjoyment of sexual activities. Sex with friends, partners, and strangers is beneficial for different reasons and at different times.