Let me try to explain a few things about our relationship. My boyfriend lives in Toronto with his lover of seven years. Most of the time they sleep in the same bed but they generally don't have sex with each other. Both partners have their own bedrooms and basically do as they wish. It is not uncommon for either of them to frequent various bath houses and sex clubs around town. Their relationship is anything but monogamous. I don't want to give the impression that they have a horrible relationship or anything because the love both of them share is quite special and apparent.
The first day I met David he was walking down the street on Pride day holding hands with his lover. I suppose you could say it was love at first sight and I felt a bit disappointed that he had a partner. I made the assumption that I would not even be able to have sex with him because he was holding someone else's hand. Well, David and I got to talking and he ended up inviting me back to their house. We had a shower, ate supper and talked for half of the night and had sex the other half. I felt so connected and excited about meeting him. I left the house the next day and called him back that night. We got together again and I stayed that night too. In the morning he drove me to the airport to catch my flight back to Regina. I was a bit sad to see him go yet I was glad to have net him. I didn't really think I would hear back from him, but I decided to email him and let him know that I thought we made a really good connection and that I appreciated the time we shared together. I decided that I would at least share my feelings and hope he felt a bit of the same. Much to my surprise he replied almost immediately and in the next few weeks to come I would spend approximately 5 hours a day both reading and responding to his emails. It was glorious yet completely exhausting. After a few days he asked for my phone number and gave me a call. Before I knew it we both had huge long distance bills and were talking for between 2-4 hours a night. In a short time I returned to Toronto to stay with David and his lover for three weeks. During this time our love for one another intensified.
Before I met David I had never given much thought to open relationships even though I was basically in one at the time. Things in my other relationship seemed to work out in regards to issues of non-monogamy even though there were a lot of other problems between she and I. I wasn't sure how or if things could or would ever work out with David over such a long distance. It seemed like the odds were against me. To my surprise I was more hesitant than I thought to enter this relationship. However, after getting to know David I realized that I would be a fool to let things go and dating seemed to be logical. I knew this would take work.
I kept wondering if I was coming in between David and his lover. I didn't and don't want that. I am assured that everything is fine on all accounts and that I have nothing to worry about. After spending a bit of time with the two of them that realization was clarified. At one point David even mentioned that his lover was a bit jealous, but not because David slept with me but because he didn't.
In the last month or so I have been seeing another boy in Regina. As it turns out this new boy is/ was quite sold on me and essentially fell in love with me immediately. One day he had told me that he did not want to be in an open relationship and felt like he couldn't get close to me because I "belong" to someone else. After much discussion and clarification we came to a better understanding of one another and he knows for a fact that our relationship will never be monogamous. When it is all boiled down this fellow had never really even considered an open relationship as a possibility. He says his friends generally aren't supportive, but he realizes that we have a good thing going even though neither of us would claim to be the other's boyfriend.
From my experiences, the two most vital things for ANY valid relationship are honesty and trust. I believe that without these two things we have nothing. I want people to be honest with me even when it is difficult or icky. I don't want people to have to hide things from me for fear of hurting or letting me down. Trust seems to go hand in hand with honesty and I always try to trust people until they give me a reason not to.
While I'm in Regina I have sex with a number of people as does David in Toronto. When we share sex stories I sometimes get a bit long faced because it makes the distance between our cities that much more apparent , but for the most part we get really excited and end up turning things into cheap phone sex.
People have trouble understanding how my relationships can work. How I can be in love, have multiple partners and have sex with numerous people. In order to make things easy for people to comprehend I mostly say that the relationship with David and his partner is rather like roommates. I could go on and on and explain all of this for hours but it gets extremely tiring and I often wonder If people even care. The roommate scenario is not the whole story but it sort of works as an analogy that people can understand. In any case, both David and his lover are committed to one another and that isn't about to change. Then again, David and I are quite committed to each other as well. This too is not changing anytime soon. I try to fully express myself to the people I care about and sex is often part of that, a way to be close to someone.
No one is cheating on anyone and
the lines of communication are always kept open. Having this type of relationship
takes a lot of time, effort and energy, but after all is said and done I think
it is definitely worth it. The problem I have with a lot of "monogamous"
relationships is that many people only give lip service to the idea while practising
otherwise. Just think of how many people break up due to a side lover. Monogamy
is taught to us and is expected of us. We are afraid to deviate from that and
are often unwilling to at least try and have open relationships. Again, I'm
not saying that open relationships are for everyone, but rather we should not
invalidate them because they are not the norm or because they "don't make
sense." In open relationships people have no choice but to come up with
their own rules and boundaries for living. I find this exciting.
Another thing people aren't receptive to or can't seem to understand is the fact that I have sex with a number of people, some of whom are strangers. I view sex as another way to share with people, a way to get to know someone and a way to potentially have a lot of fun. We relate and interact with strangers every day. We work with them, talk to them on the street, watch them at shows and so on. So why not have sex with them too? It is another way of interaction that seems to be easily discounted in the hardcore scene. I find when meeting people a lot of the initial talk is superficial and that we put up boundaries on what we will share with others. We work up to feelings of intimacy. When you have sex with a stranger you can move beyond this. While I may not know someone before I have sex with them I know a lot about them afterward.
There is a sense of assumed or immediate intimacy during sex with people you don't really know. You can tell a lot about a person through sex; how they feel about themselves, how they feel about you, how they feel about people. Often you know more about a person after having sex with them than you do after talking to them for an hour and this is a good thing in my books. Obviously this isn't desirable with every person we meet, but I don't like to immediately rule out that option. We have too much to gain to pass off people so quickly.
A lot of people associate multiple sexual partners or even sex in general with disease. I always get letters from people responding to my columns and writings saying that sex is fine as long as it isn't promiscuous and that I'm only going to die if I have sex with different partners. As I have mentioned in previous columns there are plenty of ways to be safe and plenty of ways to have sex that are safe. Sex is NOT just about fucking, there are so many more possibilities. Sex can be about kissing, licking, touching, cuddling, jerking each other off. It can be about spreading chocolate over someone, being tied up, dildos, dust pans, paddles, floggers, restraints, feathers, the list is essentially infinite. Recognize the toy in everything!!
Another thing I find interesting is the fact that I am 22 and most of the people I end up having sex with are 30+. I get all these weird reactions when I tell people that my boyfriend is 34 or that I had sex with a guy who is twice my age. On one occasion I ended up having sex with someone who was probably as old as my dad (mid to late 50's.) I guess I felt a little apprehensive at first but was quick to realize that I have basically been programmed to think that this is a bad thing when it isn't. If people treat each other as equals, with dignity and respect I see no point in worrying about how old someone is. There are older people who I would definitely not want to have sex or be in a relationship with because I am treated as a child rather than and adult, but after experiencing great connections with "old" people I have realized that discounting a person because of their age is pretty absurd.
I guess my main point to all of this is that we can't condemn any relationship without trying it first hand. I don't claim that as a rule monogamy doesn't work but I definitely would say that it doesn't work for me. We should be careful not to make generalizations about people and relationships. We should not immediately pass off casual sex or open relationships because we are raised in heterosexist and patriarchal societies. Have sex with who you want, how you want and when you want! Explore things and PLAY SAFE!!
I don't see any point in hiding our feelings for one another. I don't see why we feel the necessity to have sex with one person in particular or only within a dating context. Sex can be an extension of basically any friendship and an expression of love and/ or affection. We need to analyze and think about how we view things if we are to have the most fulfilling lives we can. We can only gain from sharing ourselves to our full capacity. Who knows, maybe that person you have a huge crush on also digs you, take a chance. "Drink deep it's just a taste and it might not come this way again." Take care.
A NOTE TO TOURING BANDS: If you are touring Canada we can hook you up with shows. Regina is between Calgary and Winnipeg. For some reason bands always skip here. We are more than happy to put on shows for just about anyone. GET IN TOUCH!! Call or email one of us. Thanks.