Ex Sext Ethics

Yesterday, I encountered an all too common, but kind of modern, ethical dilemma. While searching through my old emails for an address I stumbled upon a message that contained nude pictures of an ex. Since the invention of pocket porn studies (smart phones) most people in modern relationships have sent nude pics to their lovers and friends and, until the popularity of Snapchat, those pictures were pretty permanent. That brings me to my conundrum, what do I do with pictures of ex partners?

My intuition is to just trash them, but intuition isn’t good enough to guide just actions. My primary moral guide (the non-aggression principle) isn’t really a lot of help. I am certainly not harming or aggressing against my ex by having these pictures or by┬áusing them for masturbatory pleasure. I guess you could make the argument that there is an implied contract when you send the pictures that they are only to be used and kept during the duration of the relationship. I’m not sure if implicit agreements are really a good thing to assume, and these particular pictures are from a fuck-buddy who I am still on good terms with. It wasn’t a romantic relationship and it wasn’t a bad separation, we just stopped living in the same area. Should I treat photos in the same way that I would treat other items?

Take, as an imperfect example, a situation where an ex let me borrow a jacket and after we separated I still had the jacket. If it was raining outside and I needed to go out to get the mail, would it be unethical of me to wear the jacket to keep dry? I would think not. It isn’t harming anything. But, does the situation change if I have access to other jackets but simply prefer my ex-partner’s jacket because it is comfortable, familiar, and I know it will get the job done? Again, I would think not. I am still not harming anyone. Is sexual release (and pleasure) a different ethical category? I don’t think so.

This also raises other questions. Like, is it wrong to think about an ex or a friend or a celebrity while masturbating? The “be excellent to each other” half of my moral code offers little to no guidance. Using my mind to receive pleasure through fantasy harms nobody by itself. I think it is probably socially unacceptable to admit to fantasizing or using photos of your friends for sexual pleasure, but society is pretty terrible as a moral compass, especially a society like in the US that is incredibly sex-negative and shaming.

So, I am left without a real answer. I think the appropriate middle-ground would be to contact the women in the photos and ask if they want me to destroy them or if they care if I keep them. We live in an interesting time.

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5 Discussions For Intimate Moments

My partner and I have gone to a local BDSM club a couple of times now to enjoy cheap drinks, a drag king show, and just the general sexually charged atmosphere. This particular club has several play rooms filled with equipment that people are free to use if they wish. I’ve never actually seen anyone having sex (I don’t even know if that is allowed to be honest) but I have seen several scenes where people are being flogged, whipped, tied up, and in various other kinky situations. While the club and situations are awesome they themselves actually attract a fairly niche audience, what isn’t unique is the rules that are announced and plastered all over the venue. Kinksters are very good at communicating and this particular venue has five rules for scenes that I think should be explicitly discussed for all intimate sessions whether they are kinky, vanilla, monogamous, swingers, polyamorous, orgies, or whatever.

Discussion 1: What are you into?
Sadly most people do not openly discuss with their partner(s) what they are into. This can be anything from something you know works for you or can be something you are just curious about. If you are comfortable enough to put your penis in someone, rub on or against someone sexually, or have a penis placed inside of you then you should be comfortable enough to talk about what you enjoy first. If you can’t talk about what you like and enjoy the experience then what is the point?

Discussion 2: What don’t you like?
Which brings us to the next discussion, what don’t you like? This can be full on “hell no I would never allow that to happen” to “hmm, maybe under the right circumstances”. Having this discussion helps remove any type of confusion that can happen in the middle of fun. Sometimes body language can be misinterpreted but if hard no’s are discussed ahead of time it can prevent discomfort and confusion.

Discussion 3: Are there any health issues?
It may not be the most comfortable subject but health issues should be discussed in any intimate environment. This can be everything from HIV status to what form of barrier or birth control is going to used. The last thing anyone would want to happen is one person to think condoms are going to be used and the other person has a latex allergy that wasn’t discussed ahead of time. It is much better to be aware and prepare for health issues before the clothes come off.

Discussion 4: Safe Words.
Sometimes the action needs to slow down or stop, even during vanilla relationships. Having key words or signals that can work to signal to your partner is incredibly important. Red (stop everything) and Yellow (slow it down a bit) are commonly used in kink play. Some people also prefer words like “banana” that can be a little funny and really can’t be confused with any other word. If you are in a situation where you can’t talk for some reason it is important to develop a non-verbal signal, like holding onto an item that you drop if things need to stop.

Discussion 5: Aftercare.
This is probably the least discussed but it is incredibly important to prevent post-coital discomfort or confusion. Some people need cuddling while some need to be alone. We all operate differently and establishing aftercare expectations allows everyone to know what is coming… which allows for increased comfort between partners and better future experiences.

So, I hope that no matter what type of relationships you have you are open and communicate your needs from start to finish. Have fun out there everyone! ­čÖé

“Secret Confessions of a Poly Girl” – Guest Post

The amazing author of ┬áLanes of Love has a new post about her experiences in polyamory, in particular she debunks some of the myths that are often associated with it. It’s a great read and I recommend you check it out.

http://lanesoflove.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/secret-confessions-of-a-poly-girl/

Poly Communication – My Story This Week

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Getting a little personal here…

It’s been a bit of a hectic week on the relationship front for me. Many people know that I call myself a polyamorist, which I am, but there is a big difference between subscribing to a philosophical ideal and actually living your life that way. I’ve been seeing two girls for a while now, both of them had been aware of each other on a philosophical level but there was never really any details discussed. That changed this week.

There was not an attempt to deceive or anything like that, it is just that the specifics had never really needed to be discussed. This week was time to end that and I talked to both of my partners about the other one. It went really well and communication really is key. There were the normal emotions but for the most part jealousy was not an issue. The information provided in The Ethical Slut and other poly resources really helped me out with these discussions to make sure everyone’s needs and desires were met.

It was an exhausting week, I’m very much an INTJ and between my relationships, work, and the holiday season I feel tired… satisfied, but tired. I’m happy though. My relationships are going great and I have found two incredibly, independent, and intelligent women who provide me with friendship, intimacy, and love. They have not met each other yet due to geographic distance but I hope that will eventually change. Polyamory is proving to be the right relationship choice for me at this point in my life.

Post Script After talking to my partners it appears I have view things a little more smoothly than they do. This is not surprising, I admittedly tend to be bad at understanding or noticing emotional issues. It’s better than it used to be but I’m still learning and growing.