Being Ethical

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Not all kinky folks are poly. in fact, most are not. The poly community is still very small, as it’s not yet all that socially acceptable. The concept of monogamy as an ideal is still very prevalent, even as many people fail to live up to it.

In spite of this, I find myself drawn to write about these issues because they effect my life so directly. And one of those issues is being ethical.

It’s not okay to be poly and not tell people, because misleading people isn’t a nice thing to do. And this can lead to a lot of rejection. People will be interested in you and seem very keen to get to know you better, until you disclose the fact that you are interested in them as an addition to your life, rather than as the center of it.

In a place with a large community like Portland, Oregon; this is not nearly as much of an issue. Sex clubs and swingers parties are normal there, and so no one thinks less of you if you’re looking to find a second or third partner in addition to the one you already have. On my recent vacation to Portland I visited Ron Jeremy’s Club Sesso for a Twisted event (Sort of a kink night) and saw plenty of couples interested in poly experiences.

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However, in a smaller community it’s much more difficult to find people who will be accepting of alternative lifestyles. And this┬ácan lead to the temptation to lie. I admit, I have thought about it. It wouldn’t be hard to do. Casually dating someone, it’s entirely possible to never mention my husband and just sort of let them assume that I am interested in a monogamous relationship with them.

And that would be unethical.

So, I tell everyone I meet and am interested in dating that I am married and we are poly. This involves a great deal of judgement. Also, I am about 95% certain that none of the people I have told believes me. I get the feeling they are all sure I am simply cheating on my husband, and that he doesn’t REALLY know I’m on dating sites. (Which is funny because we run into each other on the dating sites we use- as we obviously would since we are looking for the same sorts of people.)

I wish I could give my fellow poly folks an easy way around this issue. I wish there was a way to determine in advance which people are comfortable with this sort of thing, so as to avoid the constant shaming I endure when explaining my lifestyle. However, as of yet, I have found no solutions.

I guess I just want to say that, even when it’s hard, it’s very important to be ethical. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, and don’t mislead unsuspecting folks. Ideals mean nothing if we abandon them when we are challenged.

Also, when I say I moved to Guam, people often ask me where the hell that is. Here’s a map to help you:

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Key Parties

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A recent reader question prompted me to do a quick post on key parties.

It should be noted that this is not generally something that is associated with the kink scene. You may consider it to be “kinky,” and that is a matter of opinion. However, in the kink scene we tend to be very picky about our play partners because we have specific scene ideas and play preferences that are best complimented by a certain sort of person. A person who identifies as a “Little” will be best complimented by someone who enjoys playing the role of “Daddy,” for example. This means we are very unlikely to chose partners in any sort of random way.

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The idea behind a “key party” is that several couples get together at someone’s house and have dinner and drinks. At the start of the night, all the men put their keys in a bowl. At the end of the night, each women picks a set of keys from the bowl, and goes home with whomever they belong to.

This is typically popular among older married couples who are vanilla, because a marriage can get stale, and vanilla people all have pretty much the same kind of sex, so they can pretty much match up with any other vanilla person.

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Of course, I have been to a key party because they are sometimes organized within the BDSM community. But when that is the case, it is usually among couples who know one another. It will be something like all female Dommes and all male Submissives, and everyone will fill out consent forms and BDSM checklists first.

Obviously, as I have said many times before, spontaneous hookups are a bad idea. Remember that condoms do not protect against HSV-1 or HSV-2 and are not 100% for other STDs either. Anytime you “hook up” without first trading current STD tests, you put your life and the lives of your partners at risk. So before you go organizing your own kink key party, make sure to get the paperwork of everyone involved.

Watching My Husband Have Sex

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One of the things people talk about when they advocate for monogamy is about picturing their lovers having sex with someone else. They say they simply can not handle the thought; that it is too awful to think about. Often, in a relationship, the parties involved begin to feel a sort of ownership of each other, and of course this extends to sex.

In fact, I have seen jealousy in the many extremes over the course of my lifetime. Once, a member of my D&D party found himself kicked out of his home by his girlfriend. I offered my couch as a place to stay until he sorted out what to do, and inadvertently opened myself up to the private details of his relationship as they continued to fight in my hallway long after he had moved out. He was vocal about he details.

It seems that she felt that even looking at another woman on the street was cheating, as was watching pornography and talking to other girls. When they had been together, she had gone so far as to “supervise” our D&D quests, sitting in while not playing just to make sure he wasn’t looking at any of the female players while he played his character.

It is not my wish to judge this type of relationship. Cheating is whatever you and your partner agree to, and that can be anything from emotional connections with others to physical love. It can be anything from your subscription to Playboy, to talking to a female coworker. And where you set limits in your relationship is none of my business.

However, I would like to say that just as I am willing to respect your right to consider pornography cheating if you wish, I think it’s also important to consider the other side of things. Perhaps my standards for what is considered “cheating” can be equally valid to your own?

With that said, I happen to really enjoy watching my husband have sex with people other than myself.

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For us, cheating is defined as lying to the other person about a relationship. It’s fine to form emotional attachments with other people (I was rather attached to my recent boyfriends in Portland, and he’s been attached to many of his lovers as well.) But we were always honest about it.

I think we knew at some point along the way that we share a bond that is unique for both of us; one of mutual love and respect that is somehow deeper than other attachments that we form. I couldn’t explain why. It’s still too new for me to understand. It will be three years in the spring, and in that time I can’t say I’ve ever really figured out how it works. We are just alike in a way that is fundamental to who we are, and it allows us to understand each other in a way that is comfortable and fun for us both.

As it turns out, we both enjoy going to sex cubs, having threesomes, and other variants on “traditional” sex. And this has allowed me opportunities to see my husband in ways that I couldn’t see him if we were exclusive. I have been able to watch him whisper in another girl’s ear during an orgy, telling her that she was beautiful and asking if she would like to have sex. And I have been able to watch her giggle and say yes, and then to see him take her in his arms and watch how things played out. Seeing him so completely enthralled in what he was doing at the time; the way he forgot about the room full of people and saw only her… and to see him so focused, in a way he never is about anything but sex…

To me, it was fascinating. And certainly it made him seem more attractive to me. Here were these beautiful girls, far prettier than me, excited to have sex with him. Moaning in pleasure. Laying back, closing their eyes, and giving themselves over to the moment…

When I see my husband that way, it reminds me how beautiful he is. It makes the silly things fade away. Yes, he drops food on the floor when he eats. Yes, he will leave all his clothes in a pile (clean and dirty!), smelling them to see if he can wear them. He has habits that I find perplexing or don’t entirely understand. But those are silly things. What do they really matter?

Another occasion where we had a threesome with a stunningly beautiful girl in Korea, I was watching them have sex after I had played with her, and I was amazed at how they were more beautiful than people in a porn. And yet here they were, giving me this little private show. And I got to see them at their most vulnerable, and in such a state of being laid bare before me, in every sense. And they were just gorgeous.

It’s not the same as the cuckold phenomenon, where a person enjoys being deprived while their partner engages in sexual contact with someone else. I couldn’t find a name for our fetish. We just enjoy seeing every aspect of one another. We like to see how we each behave, from up close and at a distance. And we like to see other people be charmed by each other.

All I know is, when I watch people have sex with my husband, or fall in love with my husband, or laugh at his jokes even; I am proud beyond words. And it reminds me how great he is, and how lucky I am to have him. It reminds me that his good points far outweigh anything bad, and that the relationship will always be worth the effort I put in, because I get so much back.

Lately I have been on a military base around a lot of monogamous people who think that my husband and I can’t possible love each other, because we have an open relationship. And this does seem to be a common view. But somehow, for us, it is the opposite. We love each other more, because other people love us too.

So I guess that I’m just asking once again for tolerance. Everyone is different, and each relationship is unique. Let’s remember that, and try to respect everyone’s unique view of life.

 

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