Is Your Desire For Monogamy Keeping You Single?

Name: Anonymous |  | Location: Pittsburgh , PA |Question: My ex-boyfriend and I dated for about 7 months (the last 3 months of it, we were exclusive).  I am the one who broke it off. This is why: one day, when I went to watch TV at his apartment (which is hooked to his computer), I found it open to a swingers site. He was not logged in, but it had his username and a saved password in the login area. I did not log in (though I was tempted). I just closed the page.

He also had a second tab open to a local adult “playground” site. and it was open to a page showing that he’d recently communicated with someone. (They emailed back and forth). This time, I did look at the history, and saw this was the only person he had communicated with, and that he had initiated the conversation.

He told me he was afraid to tell me because he thought I’d dump him as soon as I found out he was ever a swinger.  He said that he decided to “leave the lifestyle” about three months into our relationship, right before I left for a one month trip [So out of the total 7 months, we were apart for one month, during which we kept in touch long-distance; then became exclusive once I got back]. He said that he slept with someone else (one of his old girl friends who is also a swinger) soon after I got back, and he said he got back on the websites soon after I got back (not before, while I was gone) as well.  In the meantime, we were seeing each other all the time.  We became exclusive soon after.

I told him that had he been truthful, I would have been open to at the very least checking out a swingers event or party, to see what it was like, and then figuring things out from there. He seemed genuinely remorseful when things ended, and wanted to keep dating. He says he didn’t sleep with anyone he had been communicating with after we became exclusive, but I don’t know whether to believe that or not. That said, I broke up with
him for lying to me, and also because I found it disrespectful that he was initiating contact with other women for sex behind my back, when we were supposed to be seeing each other exclusively (which he had claimed to be happy about).

We have not seen each other since [I needed time apart], but have stayed “friends” and communicate regularly over email. (At first by phone as well, but I ended that so I could get over him faster). That said, I would appreciate if you would please discuss why he would go back into “the lifestyle” AFTER becoming exclusive with me and telling me he missed me so much while I was gone. Also, should I have tried to work things through with him?  Thanks.  |Age: 28

 

I have to admit to being a bit turned around here, so please correct me if I get anything wrong.

I’m not sure where he lied to you. Are you referring to the fact that he didn’t tell you about his interest in swinging? I’m not sure he’s really obligated to do that. Just like you’re not obligated to tell him how many men you’ve slept with or whether or not you’ve been with a woman or had a threeway. Regardless of the logistics, sexual history and proclivities really aren’t our business and up to our lovers to share.

I found it disrespectful that he was initiating contact with other women for sex behind my back, when we were supposed to be seeing each other exclusively (which he had claimed to be happy about).

This right here? This is where you’re 100% justified. If you’re exclusive and he’s trying to organize or set up sex with someone else, he’s wrong.

That said, I would appreciate if you would please discuss why he would go back into “the lifestyle” AFTER becoming exclusive with me and telling me he missed me so much while I was gone.

This one is simple. He didn’t really want to be exclusive. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you, doesn’t mean he didn’t really miss you. It just means he wants to have multiple sexual partners. And he wouldn’t be the first man or woman to want that. Nor does that desire make him (or her) bad or wrong. Monogamy isn’t for everyone, and there’s a debate as to whether humans are capable of it. personally, I don’t think we are. I think the only reason we use monogamy as the “typical” or “normal” outlier if an exclusive relationship is because society tells us we should.

The NY Times had a great interview with Dan Savage last month. In the piece, Savage discusses his thoughts on monogamy and how far a partner should be willing to go to preserve their relationship/marriage.

Such straight talk about the difficulty of monogamy, Savage argues, is simply good sense. People who are eager to cheat need to be honest with their partners, but people who think they would never cheat need honesty even more. “The point,” he wrote on his blog last year, “is that people — particularly those who value monogamy — need to understand why being monogamous is so much harder than they’ve been led to believe.”

How exactly does Savage think talking about monogamy’s trials make practicing it easier? In part, by reminding people to be good, giving and game. Straight talk about why we might cheat helps couples figure out ways to keep each other satisfied at home. If I promise my wife that I would never, ever, ever sleep with another woman, the conversation might end there, the two of us gazing into each other’s eyes (even if our minds might be wandering). But if I say, “I’ve been feeling sexually unfulfilled lately because I have a secret fantasy about trading dirty pictures with a woman” — well, then maybe my wife will e-mail me some of her. And so monogamy is preserved.

“If you are expected to be monogamous and have one person be all things sexually for you, then you have to be whores for each other,” Savage says. “You have to be up for anything.”

While I don’t think Savage is advocating that someone compromise themselves or push themselves to cross a sexual threshold with which they aren’t comfortable, I do think he’s suggesting that couples open the lines of communication and work to get past pre-conceived opinions that they have about sex and sexuality. A man once asked me to greet him at the door wearing stilettos and red lipstick. Given that the sexual aspect of our relationship was new, I was concerned. Was he already bored? What’s this fantasy about? Oh God…prostitutes! When he came over, I opened the door wearing an outfit that I chose. Before things got physical, I asked him the significance of the heels and cherry lipstick. It had nothing to do with porn or hookers or some random memory of his Mom schtupping the cable guy. He said, quite simply, he liked when I wore high heels and he loves my lips. I changed outfits soon after :) In my mind, I had created all these reasons for this, in my mind, possibly “deviant” fantasy. This conversation opened up the doors to deeper conversations where we confessed our individual likes, dislikes and insecurities. And that’s really where I think we get in our own way. This is where monogamy screws us up. We let our insecurity over not being enough for our partner get in the way of really understanding and talking about what we like -and more importantly – what we need – sexually.

The fact that you, OP, were willing to check out these parties with him shows that you were open minded enough to learn more about what turns him on. Had he told you, you probably could have gotten past this particular blip.

You obviously still have some lingering feelings. So I guess what you really need to do is figure out what you want. Do you want to be with him? Can you forgive him and put this instance of his dishonesty in the past and start with a clean slate? The real question is, could you get past and work with his desire to have sex with other women? Because that would have to be part of the equation, lest he slip again.

I know people will tell you to ditch him and find a man who won’t cheat. But what’s worse…a partner who secretly wants to cheat because they feel dissatisfied or just get an urge for something new..or a partner  that actually cheats? Aren’t both equally destructive to a relationship?

I think anybody – male or female – would be hard pressed to find someone who is content with the idea of having the same sexual partner for an indefinite and extended amount of time. In my mind, this is another thing that is tripping up so many people and preventing them from developing a relationship with someone else. The concept of and uses for commitment and monogamy are so vastly different now, and they’re in a continuous state of change. It’s getting harder and harder to keep up. Can you  broaden your definitions?

Sure, communication helps. Like the NYTimes piece suggested, sharing a fantasy of wanting to have an illicit affair with someone else could open up all kinds of possibilities for role playing and such. It’s possible that two people can find those sexual work-arounds, too. But both scenarios involve open communication and an honest look at why you may not be willing to fulfill such needs.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share

126 Responses to “Is Your Desire For Monogamy Keeping You Single?”

  1. Saj Says:

    You are only 28 and your standards are already in the toilet. Don’t compromise what you want in a relationship for a guy who has already lied and cheated on you and don’t punish yourself further with stupid pretexts for remaining friends with him. All it’s doing is giving you more reasons to lower your standards further and further so you won’t be alone.

    Distance yourself from this train wreck because your mind and emotions are so muddled you can’t even see what healthy is right now.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 17

    Reply

  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Yeah when did lying and cheating qualify as a “lifestyle?”. “Swinging” is only swinging if you have a partner and s/he is in on it. And, even then its pretty much cheating. Only women are fooled by this “lifestyle” bullshit because, like the OP, they are often eager to please their man. Every day I wake up and kiss the ground, well, the floor of my co-op, and thank the universe that I am a guy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 11

    Reply

    • Cricri Says:

      This is hilarious indeed! I know nothing about swinging but I always thought they had rules to only accept people in long term relationships?!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      Reply

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        Most swingers clubs also accept unaccompanied women; whether they qualify as “swingers” themselves is debatable. Many swinging couples are only looking for a third (for him, for her or for both), not a full swap with another couple.

        I’ve never heard of one that accepts unaccompanied men; within days it would be overrun and the couples would go elsewhere.

        Most clubs expect/require a couple that enters together to leave together; a woman who pairs up with a man just to get him through the door may find herself unable to return. Beyond that, why should anyone care about relationship status?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        Reply

        • Paula Says:

          The local (heterosexual) swingers club in my area allows a certain number of unaccompanied males for certain events, but sells a limited number of tickets. According to their info, some are full-swap events, only allowing couples, while others allow a certain number of unaccompanied individuals of particular genders, depending on what they’re short on. I’ve never been myself, but know an unaccompanied male who has gone alone, and the same person has gone with a woman who split up after they entered, so the rules CR talked about can vary.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            True, every club’s rules will vary depending on their particular clientele or for particular special events. I was speaking to the general patterns I’ve observed.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            Reply

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “‘Swinging’ is only swinging if you have a partner and s/he is in on it. And, even then its pretty much cheating.” That depends on your definition. To me, “cheating” means not playing by the rules you mutually agreed to; if the rules allow banging other people for sport, then it’s not cheating.

      “Only women are fooled by this ‘lifestyle’ bullshit because, like the OP, they are often eager to please their man.” How is a single woman “pleasing her [nonexistent] man” by going to swingers’ clubs? And, if such a woman starts dating a man and wants to keep going to that club, how does that automatically transform her reason into “pleasing her man?” Sure, a bunch of women are probably there to “save” their failing relationship, but that rarely works for long. Most are there because they want to be, for their own reasons.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

      Reply

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I’m not going to defend (what should be obvious) hyperbole.

        I think women accept the concept of “swinger lifestyle” because they want to believe their boyfriend is unique in some way and unlike other neanderthals that just like sex with lots of pretty girls. Sure, it’s not “cheating” as a legal matter because the rules have been disclosed. But I wasn’t making a moral argument about swinging and cheating. I was saying the concept of swinging as unique is bullshit. I don’t agree that this is fundamentally a “communication” issue. And certainly don’t think the “terms” of swinger lifestyles are relevant because, to me, it is all a con like many others that guys use to get girls.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

        Reply

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Yeah, this isn’t really about “swinging.” This is about a guy who didn’t want to stop having sex with multiple women. I’m still not seeing where he lied, which is the point a lot of people seem to be hanging their hat on. Did he lie about wanting to be exclusive? That’s like asking if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around does it make a sound.

          What I want to know is how they agreed to be exclusive. I’ve seen an heard conversation between two people where one party pretty much badgers the other in to giving them something, but then says, “Well, they agreed!” Maybe the guy felt pressured? Maybe there was never any actual explicit expression of exclusivity? Maybe she heard what she wanted? Who knows?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

          Reply

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            Moxie, don’t you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

            Reply

          • Saj Says:

            -the last 3 months of it, we were exclusive-

            Lets just assume the OP isn’t lying about that. Maybe her boyfriend didn’t mean it but that’s not the OP’s fault. Going on a webpage and trying to locate girls (even if he wasn’t successful intent is still there) is intent to cheat. Thus why those guys on to catch a predator still get arrested even if it’s just a decoy.

            Also have to agree with DMN. The majority of guys I believe do use swinging as a con to cheat without punishment. Women who enjoy it for it’s own sake have to be in the minority compared to the rest who do it either to sabotogue the relationship, pressure from their husband, or fear of losing the relationship if they don’t comply.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 11

            Reply

        • Paula Says:

          What’s funny to me is that the OP doesn’t actually believe what would be the most obvious lies in the situation, choosing the set of beliefs that wouldn’t make it a lie, yet still considering him a liar.

          It’s easy to believe that he would sleep with an ex while the OP was out of town, thinking he could get away with it, and then lie about that to cover it up. It’s also easy to believe that he would sleep with an ex after he told the OP they were exclusive, and then lie to cover that up. But if he slept with someone in essence under her nose: not while she was out of town, and not while they were operating under an exclusivity agreement (which is what the OP believes), then he hasn’t lied about anything or betrayed any explicit commitment they had, whether a shotgun agreement or not.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

          Reply

        • Michael Says:

          I went through something similar. When I finally chose to be authentic with women about my uncertainty with monogamy and interest in swinging I found that most were at least intrigued and some willing to participate. Just with I’d come clean sooner. So I’d say “lying” is a bit strong, but he certainly was not authentic with his partner.

          Many people are ashamed by their sexual interests and orientations. I find it interesting that as a society we seem to be more accepting of homosexual relationships than heterosexual ones that occasionally involve more than two people.

          It’s okay, I smacked my head when I realized that one too.

          Ask yourself what you truly value. If “my partner’s genitalia in a cage” is your answer, monogamy is for you. And that’s why you’re single.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 18

          Reply

  3. Divorced Joe Says:

    OP, I don’t think he lied to you, so why resort to that? Why not end the relationship by simply saying, “I don’t want to be a swinger.”

    As for why did he want to go back into the lifestyle after being exclusive with you? Newflash, most people in exclusive relationships have fantasies of others and many, perhaps most, would act on those if it was entirely and absolutely okay with their partner and the stituation was perfect. Some won’t even wait for permission. However, if you think exclusivity means all his sexual desires are aimed at you, that is rarely the case and probably not desired–destroy a person’s general sexual desire and you destroy their specific sexual desire.

    Now, for all those who want to read this out-of-context, MOST men and women will not act on their sexual desires for others (that’s part of being a mature adult), but they still experience them, even if it’s fleeting. And don’t use the excuse that “I just that person was handsome/beautiful, it wasn’t a sexual desire.” Physical attraction IS sexual desire. Thus if you excise from someone the ability to feel physical attraction, you get a form of exclusivity, but probably not what you desired (unfortunately, there are people who do want absolute celibacy. If you enjoy sensuality in any form, it’s best to avoid these people.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    Reply

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “MOST men and women will not act on their sexual desires for others” Are you sure about that? 49% of men and 48% of women admit to cheating, and I’m pretty sure there’s a fair number on top of that who have but won’t admit to it–on an anonymous survey or sometimes even to themselves.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

      • Divorced Joe Says:

        51% is still MOST men.

        Besides that stat is misquoted. 49% of men admitted to cheating in ANY relationship at least once over their lifetime (cheating is not defined–some people consider flirting cheating.) Other statistics roughly pin the number down to a high of 24% of men and 16% of women have engaged in sexual activiting outside an “exclusive” relationship.

        Nonetheless, my point still stands. Very few, if any, people who have any sexual desire can make it exclusive. Moreover, having a desire is NOT the same as acting on it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Reply

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “51% is still MOST men.” One percent is a technicality, and even that is only if that percent was being honest, which is doubtful.

          “24% of men and 16% of women have engaged in sexual activiting outside an ‘exclusive’ relationship.” So at least 25% of men and 32% of women have engaged in something they consider “cheating” which does not meet that definition? I’m not sure how useful that info is, though it’s an interesting data point.

          “Very few, if any, people who have any sexual desire can make it exclusive.” Given the above stats (either set), that statement can only be supported if you assume that most people have no sexual desire at all.

          “Moreover, having a desire is NOT the same as acting on it.” True, but that’s not really relevant to the OP’s situation. Her man was in the process of acting on it. Even if he changed his mind at the last minute, the premeditation was still there, making it less forgivable than, say, a drunken mistake at the office Xmas party that was actually consummated.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • Divorced Joe Says:

            “Very few, if any, people who have any sexual desire can make it exclusive.” Given the above stats (either set), that statement can only be supported if you assume that most people have no sexual desire at all.

            You misunderstand my point. Sexual desire itself is not something we readily control. What we control is acting on those desires. Physical attractiveness IS sexual. But just because you are physically attracted to someone and they to you, doesn’t mean you consummate that desire.

            Her man was in the process of acting on it. Even if he changed his mind at the last minute, the premeditation was still there

            We don’t know that. That’s the problem here. OP assumed that, but for all we know the guy was asked to attend a swinger night and declined. (We don’t know who initiated the contact or why.)

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            Reply

            • Paula Says:

              The OP did say he had initiated contact with someone on the “adult playground” site. We don’t know the substance of the conversation, however: it could have been someone he knew already from the local scene, and was just saying hello. It could have been someone with whom he initiated sexy chat, but wasn’t intending to go further. It could have been someone with whom he was planning a hookup, and got busted before it was actually consummated.

              In the first situation, there is no “pre-meditation.” In the last, there is. The middle one, he might have thought he was still remaining exclusive as long as he confined it to chat and not sex (getting into the whole emotional infidelity thing, which given how they appear to communicate, was most likely never addressed when they talked about exclusivity.)

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

              Reply

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              “(We don’t know who initiated the contact or why.)” Actually, we do. The OP said “he was initiating contact with other women for sex”. She could be lying or misrepresenting what she saw, but that applies to everything she wrote; we have to assume, for the sake of argument, that it’s true or there’s no point in commenting–we’d just be making up random stuff to respond to. If it turns out she is, well, she gets what she deserves: advice that will not help her and may even hurt her.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • Divorced Joe Says:

                The OP said “he was initiating contact with other women for sex”.

                She assumed that without any corroborating evidence as far as I can tell. Moreover, there is a conflict; she stated that he intiating contact with ONE woman. This conflict in her story sets off red flags for me. I don’t assume that she’s being accurate because I’ve seen this type of “suggestive” story telling far too often. (Yes, it’s also personal; I put up with this type of crap for years from my ex-wife.)

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

                Reply

  4. sarah Says:

    should I have continued to be lied to/ disrespected/ cheated on. Man oh man, why do women always second guess themselves???

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    Reply

  5. dimplz Says:

    I think this lifestyle isn’t going to change, so if you’re ok with that, take him back. If you’re not ok with it, obviously he’s still into it and doesn’t want to let it go. You’re still young and seem to have a more traditional view of relationships and morality (being that you label him as a liar when he really just kept something from you and didn’t actually deny it), so I think you should try to find a more like-minded person.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    Reply

  6. Devon Brown Says:

    I found Moxie’s response to actually be far more interesting than the OP’s letter. Sure, “swinging” and “cheating” and “lying” and other things are interesting, but Moxie touched on something that got me thinking. She said:

    “I do think he’s suggesting that couples open the lines of communication and work to get past pre-conceived opinions that they have about sex and sexuality… We let our insecurity over not being enough for our partner get in the way of really understanding and talking about what we like -and more importantly – what we need – sexually.”

    These two sentences I think are honestly one of the biggest keys in all relationship-building. It all boils down to communication, and moreso, our FEAR of communicating. So many things could be resolved, managed, or at least figured out quicker if we all weren’t so damn afraid of just talking to one another. The OP’s boyfriend was afraid to talk about his interest in swinging. A husband is afraid to tell his wife he thinks she may not love him as much as she used to. A wife is afraid to tell her husband that she likes it better when she is on top. And so on and so on.

    To quote FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    And so we avoid confrontations and even conversations. We convince ourselves of what the outcomes will be of things before we even attempt them. And then we follow that path. The one where all of our actions become fruit of the poisonous fear tree. And sometimes we can never find out way back…

    The OP broke up with her boyfriend because he lied to her. But it probably was partially because she was afraid he would eventually cheat on her. And she was even too afraid to have that conversation with herself.

    Just my thoughts…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    Reply

    • Cricri Says:

      “The OP broke up with her boyfriend because he lied to her. But it probably was partially because she was afraid he would eventually cheat on her. And she was even too afraid to have that conversation with herself.”

      It wasn’t that he would “eventually” cheat on her, she thinks he ALREADY cheated on her by lying that he was happy with them being exclusive. See, the fear has already been confirmed at that point. She knows he is capable of cheating, even at a point where the relationship should be idyllic and communication easier. She does have a base to be worried about when their sex life will slow down in the future.
      You cannot lie at the beginning of a relationship especially about Sex. To me that would be the same as if she had found out that the BF was bisexual. Something so personal about your sex life should be disclosed, not because someone is controlling, but because it is part of who the partner is.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

      Reply

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “She knows he is capable of cheating” How does she know that? Because he admitted an interest in something she said she might have been okay with if he had brought it to her attention rather than found out by snooping?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        Reply

        • Saj Says:

          She either dumps him now or dumps him later. If one person is into swinging, bisexual, or whatever weird fetish and the other person isn’t then it doesn’t matter how the information is disclosed or obtained the two people aren’t compatible. Hiding it just wastes everyone’s time unless the person hiding the info has a genuine desire to curb his urges and does just that then nothing but drama and hurt is in their future. Or he’ll try to pressure and manipulate her into joining him in satiating the urges and again more drama and hurt.

          I can’t be the only one who notices a correlation between stubbornness in keeping with fetishes and lifestyles to chaos and difficulty in maintaining long term relationships. I’ve had enough personal experience in seeing how controlling sexual urges is more important then just fueling the fire and blaming the other person if they happen to get hurt for not being more open minded. Another part of being an adult is self restraint.

          Right now its shit self esteem, loneliness and insecurity that keeps the OP lingering around. Not because the lifestyle of swinging excites her. It’s a toll she’s debating on paying to keep this guy in her life and it’s going to eat away at her self worth. Nothing would have made her ok with it in any form of delivery.

          OP back away with this guy. In a month or two you’ll feel so much better then you do right now.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

          Reply

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            “If one person is into swinging … and the other person isn’t …” Did you miss where the OP said (and I already repeated above) that she was open to the idea and would have gone with him to check it out had he brought the topic up himself? Unless some part of the idea appeals to them, women don’t react with curiosity–they get angry, as many of the female (and even a few male) commenters here have on her behalf.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            Reply

            • nathan Says:

              I seriously have to question the inclusion of bisexuality in that list Saj. I dated a bisexual woman for over three years, and never once did infidelity or any form of cheating come into play between us. Just because she was bisexual didn’t mean she couldn’t deeply commit to someone. And amongst my friendship circle are others, men and women, just like her. Bisexuality is neither “some weird fetish,” nor is it an indication of a person’s ability or inability to commit to a single person.

              Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • Cricri Says:

                I mentioned bisexuality as an info to be disclosed. The point wasn’t that bisexual peoppe cannot commit. It’s that since bisexuality is an important aspect of your sexuality, by definition, you have to disclose it to your partner so they can make an informed decision to commit or not. Just like, if swinging is an important aspect of that guy’s sex life, he has to inform his girlfriend, before they even start dating, or at least become exclusive. Out of respect, for the health of their relations and bodies.
                I don’t think bisexual people are unable to commit, though maybe they have the double of temptations since they have more options than the average person.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

                Reply

                • Crotch Rocket Says:

                  “since bisexuality is an important aspect of your sexuality, by definition, you have to disclose it to your partner so they can make an informed decision to commit or not.” Why? Someone is either going to cheat or not cheat based on their character; whether a person of low character cheats with a man or with a woman is irrelevant–they’ve still cheated. “Double the temptations” is a red herring; we all are so awash in options these days that merely doubling the number has no practical effect.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

                  Reply

                  • Cricri Says:

                    Lol CR, relax a little! I said information to be disclosed, not liability to be disclosed. Sharing such an important information with someone you’re building an emotional and sexual bond is not a bad thing and is very important. And I never said it was an indicator of whether they’ll cheat or not (there is no way of knowing that, and that would qualify as prejudice imo), just one of the quality of the relationship.
                    Finally, I do think bisexual people have more choice since they can pick from any gender but it also means endless possibilities for them and I can actually understand them being ambivalent about committing. On a side note, I know we all like to think we all have tons of options, but I personally don’t think it is the case for me, I’m not one of those irish italian women everybody wants to date.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                    Reply

                    • Crotch Rocket Says:

                      “I said information to be disclosed, not liability to be disclosed.” However, you said it in a context that implied that disclosure would influence whether the other would be willing to commit, i.e. a liability.

                      “Sharing such an important information with someone you’re building an emotional and sexual bond is not a bad thing” I’ve dated several bisexual women, and nearly all of them were worried about telling me because they’d had bad experiences in the past with insecure or homophobic men (or is that redundant?).

                      “I do think bisexual people have more choice since they can pick from any gender but it also means endless possibilities for them” There are over three billion women on the planet; I could meet one per second for the rest of my life and not get through them all–much less the billions more born in the meantime. Doubling that to over six billion women and men doesn’t change anything. Both present “endless possibilities”.

                      “I can actually understand them being ambivalent about committing.” So can I, but not due to “endless possibilities”–at least any more than a straight or gay/lesbian person. Men and women are quite different, so a bisexual person committing to monogamy means leaving their need for one gender or the other unsatisfied–and that’s what triggers the above insecurity. Unless absolute monogamy is discarded, the only possible results are resentment and/or betrayal. And that’s what makes it such a severe liability–if the other person’s goal is absolute monogamy.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

                    • Cricri Says:

                      Ok mister,

                      I already know that you believe that people get punished for telling the truth but that’s not how I see it. If the person lies to me about their personal information ( liability in your conception), then they are punishing me instead. Don’t I deserve a truthful partner with whom to share my life? If you don’t want to know the person you’re dating, fine, but I do. Hopefully, that person also wants me to know them and will disclose that information. People get rejected for many things they cannot fight, height, color, etc… everyday, it is the process of dating. And if your BF is a homophobic asshole,( and you don’t like it), what are you doing dating him. You can be scared to communicate that info but you still have to do it. Otherwise you’re lying to yourself and to your partner, and none of you is happy.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • chuckrock Says:

        To me that would be the same as if she had found out that the BF was bisexual.

        I’m not seeing how this has anything to do with or is any way similar to someone who wants to swing. Who cares if he was bisexual or not? If he makes a commitment to be exclusive with her then it doesn’t matter whatsoever because he would not be with anyone else male or female…..if he is being truthful about being exclusive.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Reply

  7. Kay Says:

    Way to set monogamy back. Committed living relationships that last are possible. Just because certain folks get bored easily and aren’t satisfied /able to communicate with their partners, monogamy gets a bad rap. I am so sick of people saying they want all the benefits of a committed LTR with a hall pass to be with other people.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

    Reply

  8. Paula Says:

    If I understand your timeline correctly, it’s this:

    3 months dating>1 month away but in touch>you’re back and dating again>he sleeps with ex>he wants to be exclusive>he gets back on swinger sites>you find out and dump him (the last several events happening over a 3-month period).

    Sounds like he was really tempted to sleep with someone else while you were gone, may or may not have done so, but at the very least did so before he asked you to become exclusive, and then continued to frequent the sites after that looking for opportunities. The swinger thing is really a red herring and not that relevant: it’s just the wrapper he seeks to attach to his behavior.

    It sounds like that before you officially became exclusive, you thought you were in reality exclusive, when you were not. I don’t think he lied to you, as long as what happened with the ex happened only before you talked about it. Afterwards, he may have felt guilty and thought that he could banish the thoughts of other women by becoming exclusive with you, but that didn’t really work as long as he was continuing to frequent these websites and communicate with other women.

    What’s his side of things? Is he willing to stop using these sites and initiating contact with other people? Does exclusive to him mean only that he will not sleep with anyone else, and not that he won’t be flirting or sexting other women? To decide what you should do means knowing which side of the divide he’s on: either he wants to be exclusive with you, and it just took him longer than it should have to disengage from the life he had before you….or he’s not really intending to give it up, and is just biding his time until he thinks you’re all in enough that you’ll tolerate behavior with which you’re not really comfortable and which isn’t consistent with your view of monogamy and exclusivity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Reply

  9. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Committed living relationships that last are possible.. Just because certain folks get bored easily and aren’t satisfied /able to communicate with their partners,

    Yes, they are. That’s why I agreed with Savage when he suggested that couples discuss what their sexual needs and desires are to see if they can fulfill them for each other BEFORE looking else where. And I think assuming that only “certain folks” can’t is seriously under-cutting it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  10. Saywhat! Says:

    He lied. Period. Grounds for termination.
    He did not lie. Likes swinging. She must make a choice. To swing or not to. You cannot change someones pattern of thought. Move on or not.
    Please people stop trying to make easy things so difficult. You know yourself.

    To quote Bob Marley. “Every little thing will be alright”

    It will. Trust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply

  11. single much Says:

    Would love to hear how Moxie feels about the book ‘Committed’. It has some very interesting ideas on whether or not humans are capable of monogamy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  12. Divorced Joe Says:

    Let’s back up. Putting aside what anyone feels about swinging, what is known:

    Months 1-3 – dating
    Month 4 – boyfriend decided to stop swinging before
    Month 4 – apart
    Month 5 – boyfriend sleeps with previous partner from swinging and either he or they initiate other contact
    Month 5-7 – AFTER above, couple decided to be exclusive

    The OP states that she would have been open to explore swinging had he told her before they became exclusive.

    He claims he has been faithful to her.

    Where is the lying? Where is the cheating?

    Did OP really mean she would have been open? If so, why not now? Did OP tell boyfriend her entire sexual history? Did she masturbate at any point in their relationship? Did she flirt with anyone at any point in their relationship? Did she fantasize about anyone at any point in the relationship? Did OP receive an email from a former boyfriend and send one? Has the OP revealed all her fetishes to her boyfriend?

    My point is not to accuse the OP of anything nefarious; my point is that the two didn’t fully communicate their sexual wants and desires and made a mass of assumptions. Many posters here are making the same.

    What if the guy had been the one to write?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    Reply

  13. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “he slept with someone else … We became exclusive soon after.” So, obviously you are aware that you were not exclusive before that point, i.e. when he slept with her. That means it wasn’t cheating. So, why even mention it?

    “He told me he was afraid to tell me because he thought I’d dump him as soon as I found out he was ever a swinger. … I told him that had he been truthful, I would have been open to at the very least checking out a swingers event or party, to see what it was like, and then figuring things out from there.” Failing to disclose every detail of his past or to ask if you’d be interested in something is not lying; lying would be you asking if he was and/or wanted to be a swinger and him denying it. Also, your reaction belies your supposed “open”ness: you dumped him for it when you found out, just as he feared.

    “He says he didn’t sleep with anyone he had been communicating with after we became exclusive, but I don’t know whether to believe that or not. That said, I broke up with him for lying to me,” Well, it looks like you decided not to believe him if you dumped him for “lying”, even though you have presented no evidence that he actually did lie.

    “and also because I found it disrespectful that he was initiating contact with other women for sex behind my back, when we were supposed to be seeing each other exclusively” That’s the only real problem in this scenario, obscured by your overreaction to something unrelated. There’s some reasonable debate about exactly how far one needs to go before it’s considered cheating, but if they were making concrete plans to get together behind your back (as opposed to, say, having flirty online chats with someone thousands of miles away), it’s hard to defend that.

    If he wanted to bang other chicks, all he had to do was either (a) ask you for permission, (b) break up with you, or (c) not get exclusive with you in the first place. It’s not like there was a divorce or kids in the picture; he was free to do what he wanted without breaking the rules, but he chose to break them anyway. And for that, not anything else mentioned above, he should be dumped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Reply

    • pistola Says:

      +2 to your last paragraph, CR.

      OP: there are a lot of factors in your situation; maybe it’ll help to relate that I once had a not dissimilar experience dating someone who was into the BDSM lifestyle before he met me and didn’t disclose it for fear that I would dump him.

      It also turned out that in order to have his BDSM experiences, he’d cheated on his last long term girlfriend for well over a year, but rationalized it by saying that none of the experiences involved intercourse. I told him that he clearly knew that his ex would not have been OK with this as evidenced by his hiding the behavior from her. They were in an exclusive relationship and he chose to act outside of that to get his high. And I ended up breaking up with him because of what all of this said to me about his essential character–that he wasn’t someone who was strong or direct enough to tell the truth or have frank conversations, that he was willing to break promises and lie to someone who loved him, and that he would find a way to make it right in his own mind.

      My feeling, OP, is that a guy who can’t keep his mind or keyboard out of the undies of other women after only a few months of exclusive dating may well have multiple problems with dishonesty, sex or love addiction, and manipulativeness. None of these things are things you can fix. People can be addicted to behaviors and have all of the attendant problems that accompany other kinds of addiction. It’s not a scenario that bodes well for a long term relationship of any kind.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      Reply

    • Divorced Joe Says:

      “and also because I found it disrespectful that he was initiating contact with other women for sex behind my back, when we were supposed to be seeing each other exclusively”

      This is a huge leap in logic. How does she know he was initiating contact? Or why? She ASSUMED that’s why there was communication. What if he was asking this other person how to broach the subject of swinging with the OP?

      The proper course of action was to have an honest discussion of what was happening. Based on the timeline, it appears the guy was attempting to do that, but was thwarted by her prejudgements.

      In the end, I think it fairly clear that this relationship won’t work for the OP, but I think she owes it to herself and her former boyfriend to have a candid discussion about what their expectationa were and are.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Reply

      • Cricri Says:

        “He also had a second tab open to a local adult “playground” site. and it was open to a page showing that he’d recently communicated with someone. (They emailed back and forth). This time, I did look at the history, and saw this was the only person he had communicated with, and that he had initiated the conversation. ”

        The only thing that guy was attempting to do was sleep with someone else on the side. He was afraid she wouldn’t like it so he lied. He blew it!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

        Reply

        • Divorced Joe Says:

          The only thing that guy was attempting to do was sleep with someone else on the side

          OP didn’t say that, so you don’t know that. (That the OP didn’t say that suggests the conversation was quite benign.)

          The chat itself may have been initiated by him. but she may have called him or spoke to him on the street. Plus with emails, he could have deleted the earliest emails. Some emailers also cut off reply lengths so it’s hard to figure out who inititated what.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

          Reply

          • Cricri Says:

            I don’t see your point, you’re assuming way to much stuff and making a judgment based on that. We’re seeing that facts we have in front of us.
            He shouldn’t have been on that adult playground in the first place receiving/sending emails to women, or should have disclosed it, or should have hid it better.
            And let’s not be ridiculous here. Unless he was recruiting “lost women/couples” for his church, he was looking for ass. He even admittedly had sex with a women from his swinger circle. How many excuses do we want to find to this guy? She doesn’t need to enter the circle of lies that guy created and cater to his delusion.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

            Reply

            • Divorced Joe Says:

              I’m not assuming anything except to take the OP at face value and observe that she is assuming everything and so are most the posters here. They are filling in blanks that simply aren’t present in the information the OP gave.

              From the OP: “I don’t know whether to believe that or not. That said, I broke up with
              him for lying to me, and also because I found it disrespectful that he was initiating contact with other women for sex behind my back,”

              She don’t know whether to believe that [he cheated on me] or not, but assumed he was lying AND because he was intiating contact with other women (plural) for sex behind her back. Yet she earlier states that “this was the only person he had communicated with.” What is it? Women or woman? And when she referenced those emails, why didn’t she say that he was trying to arrange for sex. Rather, she tossed that tidbit in later in an otherwise unfactual statement.

              I’m not excusing the guy; I’m stating that the OPs comments don’t hold water and until then, I’m reserving judgement on what the guy actually did or even intended to do.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                Why do people here require such precision of language in order to understand concepts.

                The OP’s trust, whether earned or not, was betrayed, she felt, by her boyfriend’s conduct.
                And broke up with him on that basis.

                You want to call it lying? Feel free. Cheating? Fine. Breach of verbal agreement? Great. Breach of implied agreement. Yes. Swinging? Questionable, but feel free.

                There we are all on the same page. And, thanks, I’m taking a shot every time
                you mention your ex wife.

                Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

                Reply

                • Paula Says:

                  But for some of us, answering the question “should I have tried to work things through with him?” really depends on defining it precisely.

                  If she’s breaking up with him for lying, and he didn’t lie, or for cheating and he didn’t cheat, or for breach of a verbal agreement that didn’t exist, or for breach of an agreement that it was a big leap on her part to imply, then the answer might be “yes, you overreacted, and if you care about him, you should probably try to communicate better and work things out.”

                  If he did any or all of these things, it’s easier to say “he’s a lying, cheating scumbag, and you did the right thing by giving him the boot.” Moxie’s title asks “Is Your Desire for Monogamy Keeping You Single?” and while that’s obviously true for the OP right now, there are indeed qualities that it’s better to be single than to embrace and tolerate.

                  Personally, I was confused enough by her timeline and what they actually said to one another when they committed to one another that I don’t know where I stand.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

                  Reply

                  • Selena Says:

                    One might find themselves single after spending time in a non-monogamous relationship as well.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                    Reply

                    • Paula Says:

                      One might find themselves single after spending time in *any* relationship — that’s the risk you take. If you’re willing to compromise what you want, you might delay the inevitable, preserving your relationship status. Or, you can throw roadblocks in the way to sabotage a relationship that you might otherwise be in. It depends on what’s most important: your values or being in a relationship. Values don’t keep you warm at night, but bad relationships do their share of damage….take your pick.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

                  • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                    Actually, I don’t think one needs to have a precise understaning of terms “lying” or “cheating” for example in order to understand the concept of betrayal. That is my point. You can debate whether there was a betrayal or whether he eanred trust by words or deeds. Even if you conclude that he didn’t exactly “lie” you still haven’t gotten to an answer.
                    Why get hung up on words when the concepts are what matter.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

                    Reply

                    • Paula Says:

                      OK, I don’t know if I think she was betrayed or not. One shouldn’t assume you’re exclusive after 3 or 4 months unless a conversation has occurred where the parties have agreed to that.

                      And someone shouldn’t assume a betrayal without knowing the actual substance of the conversation. While a sexy chat might get a final warning and request that he not visit the site again, to which he might even agree if he wants to preserve their relationship, a chat that appears specifically headed towards a hookup but was thwarted by her discovery might actually be a betrayal despite the lack of consummation. And an innocuous conversation would be just that, regardless of it being situated on an adult site.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                • Divorced Joe Says:

                  Because as Paula said, precision is important when accusing someone of being a lying scum. I’ve encountered too many divorced couples where it became apparent that the original stories from one side were extremely misleading. They usually weren’t bald-faced lies, but stories couched in innuendo and scurrilous charges. My ex did exactly that to me (ironically, my ex’s step-mother did something similar to her father.)

                  In my case, I started wondering if I was being too pedantic. However, when things started to unravel and then after the divorce, I discovered that it was even worse that I’d known. Fortunately, I also learned that a close friend and a sibling had independently grown highly skeptical of my ex’s stories.

                  A single inconsistency due to poor grammar, choice of word or forgetting a word, is one thing, but the OPs comments have several contradictions and very inflammatory language that doesn’t match the stated evidence. Perhaps she got flustered and left out some damning evidence. Or she intentionally left out some exculpatory evidence. Either way, I think it valid to question the story as is and to reserve judgement. I wish I’d been given the same privilege by some family members, relatives, friends and acquaintances.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

                  Reply

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Cricri, you have no idea what his intentions were. You’re also hammering away at trust and dishonesty while glossing over the fact that she violated his privacy and hs trust.

          The real problem here is that many women have a very hard time hearing examples of men who aren’t satisfied with or by their partner alone or for whom “normal” sex and sexuality isn’t enough. The fact that fetishes are being described as “weird” is another reason why people are afraid to discuss their real sexual desires. Listen to all the judgment going on and then ask yourself why so many people keep their sexual proclivities to themselves.

          Maybe he’s bi. Maybe he enjys tag teaming a woman. Maybe he likes to watch. Sorry kids, this hardlymakes him atypical. You want to delude yourself into beleiving you’re going t find that one guy who will just turn off his sexual desires and interest in other women, go ahead. I keep saying this….even the most honorable of men are prone to developing a flirtation with a woman at work, or exchanging flirty texts with exes or jerking off while watching some cam girl.

          I’m not saying its right or wrong. I’m saying that people need to get past their egos and confront their insecurities and biases if they want a true understandig of their partner.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

          Reply

          • Cricri Says:

            Moxie, maybe you’re not familiar with this technology, but I have the same at my place. To get to the tv, I have to go through my computer, so there is little chance she could have avoided seeing all his traffic. If she had seen it and closed the computer, she would have been the idiot one, incalable to see the red flags in front of her.
            I don’t recall saying anything about him being a swinger because this has nothing to do with the problem at hand. Just like we pick our partners, we also pick the fetishes we want to partake. Some think anal is too much, others than swinging is too out there. You have to pick what works for you and your partner. But above all, if you have specific interests, you owe it to yourself to communicate that. Just like some guys want sex 5/7 times a day and say it, even if they don’t get. At least everybody knows and can make an informed decision. You have to stand in your truth, people will respect you for it, for sticking for what you want, with or without a fetish.

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

            Reply

          • Saj Says:

            It’s a dangerous slippery slope. For me the moment I start saying that my own desires are ok and not weird is the day I start giving myself permission and the day I start hiding things and the day my marriage starts going down the toilet while I start to make more and more justifications to myself to keep engaging. It’s the same thing as saying herion just makes me relax it isn’t so bad. It helps me forget.

            Fetishes are addictions just like smoking or drugs. Arousal is a high that you can’t get enough of and the more you get the more you want until it gets to the point where you can’t control it and your life suffers (such as leaving your adult webpages on your computer for your girlfriend to find). Luckily I’m not so broken where I can still have normal arousal but many people are so drawn into their fetishes where it’s to the point its the only way they can experience arousal. That’s why it’s SO important to curb that stuff rather then justify it and indulge to the point of no return.

            I’m afraid that people somehow think that their sexuality is something that makes them edgy and cool when in fact it can be something that keeps them away from true intimacy or away from healthy relationships. They hold their sexuality or their fetishes as a shield holding off more fulfilling passions at bay.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

            Reply

            • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

              Fetishes are addictions just like smoking or drugs.

              No. These things can be addictive. Not everyone who does drugs or smokes or engages in fetishes gets addicted.

              For me the moment I start saying that my own desires are ok and not weird is the day I start giving myself permission and the day I start hiding things and the day my marriage starts going down the toilet while I start to make more and more justifications to myself to keep engaging.

              You’re doing what other women in this thread are doing and applying their personal behaviors and projecting them on to everyone else. There are plenty of people who can watch porn or dick around on adult playgrounds and not get addicted. Just because some people don’t have any impulse control doesn’t mean all people do, and those who do shouldn’t be bastardized because they possess what others lack.

              They hold their sexuality or their fetishes as a shield holding off more fulfilling passions at bay.

              You’re speaking in broad, generalized terms. Some people. Not all. Some people do this. There are plenty of couples who can engage in all kinds of fetishes and games and sexual acts and it enhances their relationship.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

              Reply

            • chuckrock Says:

              This is a bunch of judgmental bs, Saj. You seem to think that just because something is different than what you think is ‘normal’ than it is unhelathy. I may have some fetishes that I don’t care to discuss here but I can assure you none of them make me abnormal and none of them make me addicted. I certainly don’t need them on a regular basis to be aroused. I certainly can be aroused by ‘vanilla’. BUT it is because of attituds like yours, it is difficult for me to share said fetishes with a partner early on in a relationship. I have to be able to know that person well enough to know how they will react to them, if suggested.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • Trouble Says:

                [i]It’s a dangerous slippery slope. For me the moment I start saying that my own desires are ok and not weird[/i]

                Your desires [u]are[/u] okay. Your sexuality is wired into you from a very early age, what gets my motor going is probably different from what gets your motor going, and both are okay, as long as I am ethical in my behavior. The fact that I want an occasional spaking is okay. Asking my partner for that spanking is okay. Forcing him to give it to me is not okay. Looking outside the relationship for that spanking, especially if I start doing it without being truthful with him, is not okay. I was married for 12 years and the sex was so incredibly bland and vanilla that it bored the tears out of me, but I never cheated. i realized then, however, that I’d never be with a partner again with whom I could not be sexually open and expressive, and who wouldn’t be okay with my particular type of kink (which is fairly mild but important to my happiness).

                In a healthy relationship, both partners ought to be able to be free and open with their sexual needs, and ought to work towards compatibility. Having said this, there are some sex acts I would not be open to doing, and that would be deal breakers for me. Such are the risks of having relationships, we aren’t all going to be compatible and sometimes they end as a result. We each have our level of kink that we’re comfortable with, it’s just another area in which to seek compatibility, in addition to the other things we are looking for.

                [i] is the day I start giving myself permission and the day I start hiding things and the day my marriage starts going down the toilet while I start to make more and more justifications to myself to keep engaging. It’s the same thing as saying herion just makes me relax it isn’t so bad. It helps me forget.[/i]

                Get thee to a therapist. If you are not able to be open with your partner about your sexual needs, your relationship already has major issues. And, your sexual kinks are the least of your problems. I will never again commit to a man without showing him what I need and being open about the things I like when I’m naked.

                I find myself more and more committed to the “total monogamous whoreage” conception of a relationship, both partners being open about what they need/like, and the couple being committed to ensure that both people get what they need sexually and otherwise. Life is too short to be false (sexually speaking and otherwise) with your partner. I could not be happy with a 100% vanilla partner who judged me and made me feel ashamed of my sexuality,

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

                Reply

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              “the moment I start saying that my own desires are ok and not weird is the day I start giving myself permission and the day I start hiding things and the day my marriage starts going down the toilet” Huh? Why would you need to “hide” things if you truly think they are okay?

              Desires are always okay. Acting on those desires may or may not be, depending on what they are and the context. Being dishonest about your desires or actions, either to yourself or to your partner, is never okay. It’s up to them to decide whether they want to meet your desires or not–and you theirs.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

              Reply

            • Divorced Joe Says:

              To be precise, a fetish is a nonsexual part of the body or an object which arouses sexual excitement in somebody.

              I’d suggest everyone has fetishes, though we often don’t couch them that way. Do eyes turn you on? Ears, the shape of a shoulder, beards, a hairy or bare chest?

              Moreover, how is being sexually excited by genitals any less “addictive” than being sexually excited by earlobes or shoes or any such thing?

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

              Reply

  14. Selena Says:

    He didn’t tell you he was a “swinger” because he was afraid you would break it off with him. It should be apparent to you that if he can’t relinquish this “lifestyle” even during the limerence period of your relationship – he probably never will. If you really are curious about this, you could date him and try it out. If you want a guy who’s not out looking to get laid with other women every month though…detach yourself from this one.

    I suppose he didn’t “owe” it to you to be honest about what he does with his sexuality early on, but the fact he hid it so you would continue to see (fall?) for him feels slimey anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  15. Cricri Says:

    We also have to consider that the OP’s ex gave her access to his apartment and left all outlets open for her to see. That guy is a careless idiot!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Reply

    • Paula Says:

      Perhaps he wanted to be found out? He might have known he was never going to bring it up, and thought a passive-aggressive way to dealing with it was the best way to get it over with. Don’t know, it could have been a complete accident, but I agree with you that if he really wanted to get away with something, he could have.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply

      • Cricri Says:

        Stupidity, passive aggressiveness, lying, and potential cheating are grounds in themselves for breaking up. Together, there is no way in hell it makes sense to date a guy like that. They all mean, separately and together, that the ex cannot be trusted.
        People don’t become exclusive overnight. There is a build up to that point. I guess the OP thought they were building their relationship and that her ex was at the same level of investment as her. The fact that he “omitted” to disclose an aspect he thinks is essential of his sexuality and went ahead and had sex with someone else while they were dating shows that they didn’t have the same perception of their relationship. Believe or not, no amount of logical, rational analysis of timelines will restore her trust in that guy. I know people like to consider that 5mns before you have the exclusivity talk you’re not exclusive which means that people “could ” technically do whatever they want, but it is hard for me to imagine wanting to be exclusive today with someone who was having sex with someone else yesterday. I believe this is where her feeling of betrayal comes from.
        I have to say, I have only heard of the exclusivity talk since I came to America, I guess culturally people are always hedging their bets til the last minute which leads to ruined opportunities such as this one. Instead of taking the time to be truthful and building, they just focus on not “losing” whatever it is that they think is “losable” (I’m going rogue with the vocabs here, ah).

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

        Reply

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          I agree that the “exclusivity talk” is a useless exercise. Oh boy, now I can SAY you cheated when you cheat rather than before when I wasn’t allowed to say it. Huh? You can break up with someone because you don’t like the color of their shirt. You don’t need approval. There is no form to fill out. This, to me, is people trying to deal with their frustration over the fact that, unlike legal agreements, there is no enforcement mechanism for moral agreements like “exclusivity” arrangements. They are unenforecable. If the other person doesn’t keep their bargain, or denies it, or doesn’t believe they made one? There’s nothing you can do.

          On a related point, I don’t think communication is necessarily the grease the lubcricates the machine of good relationships. It’s a nice platitude but too much communication is often a wrench in the gears. In reality, relationships are like theater. As others have noted, human nature is a powerful force that makes people do unpleasant things and makes people go “off script.” Some things are better left unsaid. You don’t stop the show and start a new dialogue because someone forgot his lines.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

          Reply

          • Paula Says:

            Assuming you’re not talking about marital infidelity, which is part of a legal contract, the enforcement mechanism is to break up and terminate the relationship.

            If the prospect of that happening (not being with the person you care about) is enough to cause you to conform your behavior, you will. If you’re willing to take the risk of getting dumped because you weren’t exclusive, then you’ll take that risk and suffer the consequences, as did the OP’s guy, who despite what she perceives is “genuine remorse,” is now deprived of her company.

            You might not believe it’s possible to define love in a way that everyone can agree upon (I’m not trying to twist your words, DMN, but that’s how I’ve understood what you’ve said in the past), but there is a feeling towards another person that they are so important to you that you will change or curb certain behaviors in order to keep them in your life, and knowing that you’re violating the expectations to which you’ve mutually agreed means you’re knowingly risking losing them. If you’re willing to risk losing them or not conform your behavior, then perhaps you don’t “love” them in the same way they love you.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

            Reply

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              So, whether you get the benefit of the bargain depends on whether the other person “cares about you.” Presumably, if they cared about you or loved you, they wouldn’t need a verbal agreement promising not to do things to harm you. They just wouldn’t. And, likewise, if I loved someone, I wouldn’t need them to promise not to harm me in order as a condition of not harming them. I just wouldn’t do it. The bargaining, in fact, demeans your view of ideal love. The bargain gives you nothing you didn’t already have.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • Paula Says:

                I agree with you in theory, in that you don’t do something to hurt your partner just because of your agreement, but that you don’t hurt them because you care about them.

                But in reality, there is a point where you transition from dating to being in a relationship, and the exclusivity conversation is typically part of that transition. The parties may both care about each other and want to be together, but until that explicit conversation happens, they may either consider it premature to put all those eggs in a single basket, or may not be ready to make the commitment to monogamy on the same timetable. Or, they may be incapable of doing it, because they believe that monogamy is an unnatural behavior or because they don’t feel the same way about each other. But that’s why some communication at that point is necessary…it’s not about sealing the deal so much as figuring out what the deal is.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

                Reply

                • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                  “But that’s why some communication at that point is necessary…it’s not about sealing the deal so much as figuring out what the deal is.”

                  But it doesn’t even get you that. It still depends whether the other person cares about you. Furthermore, even if a person cares about you, doesn’t mean they tell you the truth. As CriCri pointed out, sometimes when people care, they hide the “bad stuff.” If a person wants to be in a relationship but believes monogamy is unnatural, using your example, they might not reveal their belief because they would justifiably fear rejection (recognizing in advance the irrelevant argument that Paula wouldn’t reject them.). So, you are still left no better off than before you had the conversation. And, as I noted, you may have done damage to the relationship by appearing to condition your love and affection on obtaining the other person giving up something too.

                  The fact that people routinely engage in useless exercises without thinking things through, to me, is not a sufficient reason to do it.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                  Reply

                  • Paula Says:

                    Everything depends on whether the person cares about you…but what do you suggest as the alternative?

                    Say I’m still doing online dating, so I’m going out with a few guys, but my dates with you are the best, and I’m really starting to care about you in a way that I don’t care about the others. I don’t know specifically what you’re up to, but I have to assume that you’re dating other people too.

                    I could say nothing, and quietly give up dating the other guys, a couple of which also had potential if we were to continue to date. So now I’m monogamous because I care about you, not because we had any sort of agreement, but I’ve also destroyed the possibility of reaching that point with the other guys I’ve been seeing. Then, I find out you don’t care about me as much as I do about you, and that our future together isn’t going to happen. I’m now left pretty high and dry. Or you keep dating other people, thinking “I care about her and would really like to be with her, but if she isn’t pushing me to be exclusive, I’m going to be a guy and spread my seed” missing the opportunity to develop intimacy and a deeper commitment with someone you care about.

                    Or, we have a conversation, and you say “wow, I really like you too and want to be with you.” You mutually decide to tell the others you’re seeing that you’re no longer on the market. We go on to monogamous bliss (at least until you tell me that you never intend to get married and I want to be married.)

                    Or, we have the same conversation, I give up everybody else, you tell me you’re going to, but you don’t. I have experienced betrayal and have grounds to move on, and getting rid of my feelings for you and being open to seeing someone else is easier because I now hate you.

                    I see clear value and the absence of uselessness in scenarios 2 and 3. In 1 and 3, I’m left in the same place, without you or the other guys, but with 3, you’ve proven that we don’t share the same values of honesty and fidelity. In 1, I just don’t know for sure, and by not talking, we might have missed finding out we wanted the same things.

                    I didn’t mean to make this hypothetical so long and complicated, but I am curious about what you propose as an alternative to communication and some sort of mutual agreement about what you want in a relationship.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

                    Reply

                  • nathan Says:

                    I have to agree with DMN that sometimes people talk their relationships into the ground. The last several months with one of my long term girlfriends was an exercise in just that. Every little issue became a talking point, and we both engaged in picking things apart until all we had left was fear and frustration.

                    In terms of this whole “exclusivity talk” business, if you are going to engage in that kind of thing, I believe both timing and intention are very important. If you’re rushing that talk out of a fear of losing the other person, odds are the talk will muck things up.

                    But in my experience, within the long term relationships I have had, there really wasn’t an “exclusivity” talk. We just wanted to be exclusive, and after being together three or four weeks, just stopped dating other people. Perhaps I have just been fortunate in that way.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

                    Reply

          • Angeline Says:

            Ack! I meant to upvote that not vote it down I love this comment and I fat-fingered it on this tiny phone keyboard.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

            Reply

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “I know people like to consider that 5mns before you have the exclusivity talk you’re not exclusive which means that people ‘could’ technically do whatever they want, but it is hard for me to imagine wanting to be exclusive today with someone who was having sex with someone else yesterday.” That’s not how I see it at all. To me, the exclusivity talk should be a recognition of what has already happened: both people have voluntarily stopped seeing (and therefore fucking) others. I don’t know how it works for others, but In my case that usually happens when I have the opportunity with one woman and realize, sometimes after the fact, I’d rather spend/have spent that time with the other. I’ve learned enough tact to wait a while before saying something, since I know how that looks, but that is when the mental/emotional change actually occurs.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • Selena Says:

            “To me, the exclusivity talk should be a recognition of what has already happened: both people have voluntarily stopped seeing (and therefore fucking) others.”

            That’s been my experience as well. More often than not, without any kind of “talk” involved. If you are spending most of your free time together and becomming closer, there is already an understanding you aren’t seeing (fucking) others. “The talk” seems to be necessary when you are unsure of each other – perhaps with good reason.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

            Reply

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              There may or may not be such an understanding, unless you’re together so much that neither of you has time to see anyone else. I prefer to make things explicit so that we know where each other stands and that we agree that we’re intentionally focusing on each other, rather than it just being some happenstance that we’re both going through a dry spell or tough time at work and plan to start seeing others again when possible. And it doesn’t have to be a drawn-out thing either; I’ve had cases where it took less time than writing this comment.

              I should point out, however, that the vast majority of my dates ask me, usually on the first date, whether I’m dating anyone else, and my answer is always “yes, but nothing serious.” (And I ask the same in return and always get a similar response.) It is only fair that, when that situation changes, I give them an update. And, in virtually all cases, they’ve told me the same, and we move on from there. It’s only when the other person hasn’t gotten there yet (which is rare in my experience) that a longer talk ensues.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

              Reply

      • pistola Says:

        I’m kind of with you on this, paula. Seems like the guy just didn’t have the courage to bring it up.

        I certainly understand the reluctance to disclose non-mainstream preferences but at the same time…trying to rope someone else into that without talking to them openly about it is just not a cool thing to do. All of the good people I know in alternative communities take responsibility for their preferences and make that a part of their communication upfront. After all, there’s a difference between having tried swinging or BDSM or whatever a few times and being someone who self-describes as living the “lifestyle.” It’s a distinction that’s made within those communities themselves from what I can see.

        As someone who’s not infrequently been approached by guys who were into being subs on some level, it seems to me that what happens is that they don’t meet anyone within that subculture they can see themselves with (to be frank, they say the women are not attractive enough for them) so they go outside that community looking for a more attractive partner and hoping to talk her into participating. However, the problem they usually run into is that if a woman wanted to be doing those things, she’d be doing those things. It becomes a breaking point for their relationships again and again.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Reply

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “there’s a difference between having tried swinging or BDSM or whatever a few times and being someone who self-describes as living the ‘lifestyle.’ It’s a distinction that’s made within those communities themselves from what I can see.” Yep; there is a definite distinction between those who dabble and those who make it a central feature of their life, as with most other things. However, it should be noted that the former group is usually an order of magnitude or two larger than the latter and, when it comes to sex, usually rather close-mouthed about it.

          “if a woman wanted to be doing those things, she’d be doing those things.” One doesn’t have to be a member of a subculture–or even aware that it exists–to do the things associated with it. For instance, one survey found that ~24% of Americans dabble in BDSM at home to some degree–usually by talking a confused vanilla mate into trying it. Whips and chains aren’t for everyone, but a surprising number of Americans enjoy being spanked, blindfolded, tied up, ordered around, etc. by someone they trust. I’ve certainly run into more of that than I would have ever expected. That doesn’t mean they’re all going to run out and join a club or out themselves to friends and family, though.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          Reply

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Or he just trusted her. Does that make him an idiot too?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      Reply

      • Cricri Says:

        I know there is a lot of people trying to find excuses for that guy but really, there are none for him. The only thing that guy trusted was that the OP wouldn’t find his internet activity. Maybe he thought she wouldn’t know how to operate the set up he had (I have same at my place btw). The point is he gets no credit for “trusting ” a woman he was so eager to cheat on and lied to. This is where it gets embarassingly humiliating I’d say for the OP. If it were me, I’d actually think my bf did it on purpose so I broke up with him. Because, just as expected, the OP found the evidence, felt betrayed and dumped him. So the OP’s ex had to be either a careless idiot or a brilliant passive aggressive mastermind. We can pick whichever option makes it less damaging for our our ego.
        I don’t think the OP’s finds comfort thinking “At least he trusted me while he was trying to sleep with other women behind my back. ” It wasn’t that he trusted her, it is just that he didn’t care enough to hide the bad stuff from her and since he gave her access to his place, you know they were definitely an item and he knew he was transgressing.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

        Reply

  16. Maargen Says:

    I agree with Savage that monogamy is very, very difficult. I would even say it’s unnatural among higher primates. Freud may have been wrong about a lot of things, but I think he was mostly right in “Civilization and its Discontents” when he says that civilization imposes behaviour on us that is contrary to our nature, and that this causes stress.

    The OP needs to be first clear with herself and honest about what she can handle. If she can’t handle swinging, then she needs to be with someone with a more compatible lifestyle. She shouldn’t do something she’s uncomfortable with for his sake, nor chould she expect him to change his sexual expression for her. He might agree to it, and he might be very sincere about trying, but then there will always be a motivation for him to lie to her, or resent her.

    Sometimes, however, it’s stuff like this that make a relationship gel into something stronger and more lasting. If she examines herself and is able to seperate her own specific feelings from the social taboo of “swinging”, is it then something that she can consider? Because if she can, there’s a good chance that trust and honesty can exist between the two of them, without the need for lying and cheating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Reply

    • Selena Says:

      I’ve never found monogamy difficult. Much less very, very difficult. Wouldn’t consider it unnatural among higher primates either – actually monogamy is pretty distinctive in the animal kingdom and for people it is a CHOICE.

      If people do not want to be monogamous (because they find it ohhh, so difficult) they don’t have to be. They should be honest about it though.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

      Reply

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        And where would that honesty get them? Dumped.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Reply

        • Paula Says:

          Maybe or maybe not. The OP at least claims that if he had been up front about the swinging part, she would have been willing to try it out. That seems a little convenient after the fact to claim, in my opinion, since she’s so eager to break up she is calling him a liar when it’s unclear that he lied.

          However, we still know nothing about the exclusivity conversation. If he initiated it or readily agreed to it, without disclosing something from his very recent past that might make it more difficult for him to be exclusive, then he really blew his best and last chance to reveal it to her under circumstances that would test her genuine reaction. It would have been a lot easier to consider in the abstract than when she thinks he’s trying to bang someone specific, which is why I think this ultimately isn’t about the swinging so much.

          Or, if it was a shotgun conversation, where he gave in and agreed without really wanting to, then he’s probably using the “swinging lifestyle” as the conduit for doing what he was doing at that time, which was banging the ex and initiating contact with other women while still dating the OP. In that case, her willingness to check it out with him wasn’t really going to make a difference, because it’s not something he ever really wanted her to know about or participate in with him.

          Look, don’t get me wrong, I think he was on the road to cheating, even if he technically wasn’t far enough down that road to have done so. But the question is whether you dump the guy and never give him a chance, or whether you try to make it work, at least for now. I think that is a very close call.

          Mitigating in favor of dumping: is this swinging thing something that he’s always going to want, and the OP is always going to be uncomfortable with? is his idea of exclusivity that anything’s OK with someone else as long as there’s no sex? will he keep using sites like the two he was visiting to initiate contact with new women, so that it’s only a matter of time before he lapses?

          Mitigating against dumping: now that the swinging thing is out in the open, is he willing to include the OP if she’s curious? is he willing to give up the swinger sites and cut off communication with people from there, especially with new people? is he willing to acknowledge that banging the ex, while not technically a violation of any exclusivity agreement, gives her reason to question his commitment to her and that she will need time to rebuild her trust in him? basically, is he so sorry and missing her so much that he’s willing to actually “give up” the prior lifestyle and not just say he’s going to without his actions matching his words?

          I really can’t tell if he’s a lying douchebag saying anything she wants to hear because he got caught, or someone remorseful for effing up. She was so eager to react by breaking up and cutting off contact that I have the sense that she doesn’t really know the answer to that either.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

          Reply

        • Selena Says:

          Dumped by those who want monogamy. Free to pursue those who don’t. Easy.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • SB Says:

            Right. I know a lot of people who are polyamorous in my circle, and I know one girl who loved a guy enough to accept his polyamorous lifestyle in their relationship; they are now engaged. Honesty doesn’t necessarily get you dumped, but it does allow a partner you presumably care about to know exactly what they are getting into and the freedom to choose.

            What this guy did to the OP? That was dishonest, and whether she was a swinger herself even before meeting him (we know she wasn’t, but what if that was a complete non-issue?) the dishonesty itself merits being dumped. Good job, OP, lying by omission on something of this proportion deserves nothing less. Not only that, but he thought it okay to try to keep up his lifestyle behind her back. (if he was really seeking advice on how to broach the subject, it seems a lot easier to ask the swinging ex he slept with in person, rather than a complete stranger on what is the equivalent to us nonswingers of a dating website). But that is my biased opinion, since I have lots of contact with people in nonmonogamous relationships, and the main tenet as they all say is, communication first and foremost, mutual love, caring, and respect next. OP got none of these.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

            Reply

      • Maargen Says:

        I’ve never found monogamy difficult either, but what is this anecdotal evidence worth? There are many people who do find it difficult. This is not a moral lapse on their part, or due to any personality quirks. Monogamy is a standard imposed on us by society.

        Those who prefer monogamy for themselves (as I do) are fine with it, but we should understand that there are others who aren’t. I certainly understand anyone who doesn’t want a mongamous lifestyle – this is a perfectly valid choice.

        And yes, a guy who is honest about not wanting to be mongamous would get dumped by many women. So what? He should date someone who doesn’t insist on monogamy. They are out there. If he can’t find anyone like that, this doesn’t give him an excuse to lie about it to get what he wants from his partner.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

        Reply

    • Paula Says:

      Here’s a clear and detailed article about social structure among primates:

      http://anthro.palomar.edu/behavior/behave_2.htm

      While monogamy may be common among humans, it is rare among non-human primates. This makes it pretty clear that we’re not biologically hardwired to be monogamous, but it is something that many of our social and culture structures have compelled us to do (at least in the US and a number of Western countries, but there remain a number of places where other structures are more common and/or more tolerated than here.

      Whatever the parties commit to as part of their agreement is how they should behave, which is why what Dan Savage says is so important. If they haven’t communicated, then one or both partners can allow their biological urges to override their partner’s assumptions, which wouldn’t be necessary if both were on the same page to start.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      Reply

  17. Selena Says:

    Human beings do many things they aren’t “hardwired” to do – communicating using a computer as one obvious example. Going to a job for 40 hours or more a week for another. It’s our higher capabilities to reason that separate us of from the rest of the animal kingdom. In most of which, monogamy is rare. Though swans and penguines seem to be hard-wired for monogamy – compelled by their social/cultural structures perhaps?

    Again, human beings have CHOICE – which the “hard-wired” adherents like to ignore when making their arguments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Reply

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Indeed we do have reason and choice, but if you expect people to freely choose unreasonable behaviors that directly violate their basic instincts, you’re going to be disappointed most of the time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Reply

      • Selena Says:

        Monogamy is an unreasonable behavior? That directly violates basic instincts? Maybe yours CR, but not everyones.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        Reply

    • Maargen Says:

      I am a “hard-wired” adherent, so I’ll tell you where I’m coming from.

      Of course have choice. However, choice does NOT override biology. We act as if it does, then we’re surprised by the results.

      You are 100% right when you say that human beings aren’t hardwired to work 40 hours a week, and sit for long hours in front of a computer. And yes, we choose to do it. The result: hypertention, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, stroke…I can go on and on.

      We have created a society that compels us to make unhealthy choices. Our bodies are still hard-wired to conserve energy, which worked fine for our ancestors, but they had to spend a lot of energy to get energy. We, on the other hand, still crave the energy, but it is very, very cheap for us to get it (I’m not talking about money, I mean how much it costs in energy to get energy) so we end up not spending hours walking, hunting, digging and farming for a meal…we go to the drive-thru or pick up a candy bar. Why? Because we make that choice.

      When we created a society that kept women at home, yet still in need of money, we created a society that had women dependent on being taken care of by others. We also created a society that insisted on patrimonial transfer of property. It was necessary for a man to make sure all the children he was responsible for were his, and for a woman to have a man to take care of her and her children. Setting up a system of monogamy accomplished this. However, despite the strict societal code (even “morality” was brought into it, although what consensual sex has to do with morality I don’t understand) we still have high incidents of cheating, adultery, etc. I think this is highly due to biology asserting itself.

      Now that conditions are changing, do we still even need monogamy (and here I’m using the term “monogamy” in its fullest sense: marriage and sex with just one partner)?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      Reply

      • Selena Says:

        Maargen,
        The issue I have with “hard-wired” adherents is that they are fond of telling us what we are hard-wired to want and do – usually THEIR preferences. And they almost never take it all the way either. We are hard-wired to not be monogamous? Well, the only thing biology cares about is survival of the species – to that end sperm meets egg. Biological imperative doesn’t care a wit about what packaging the sperm and egg come in. Doesn’t matter how tall, how buxom, how good a provider, how good a nuturer – suvival of the species would come down to fucking anything that would hold still long enough – CHOICE wouldn’t enter into it. Funny thing – even non-monogamous people seem to prefer choice in who they screw.

        Also, you may have unconsciously observered: human beings are the most territorial species on the planet. Conflict, wars have been in existence dating back to drawings on cave walls. You believe monogamy is a fairly recent social construct? One that has outlived it’s cultural precepts? I think it’s going to be hard to irradicate given the desire of so many humans to have one mate and have some security knowing their progeny is indeed THEIR progeny. Though ofcourse we have DNA tests now for that.

        As far as hard-wiring goes, we may still be hard-wired to wander lifetimes foraging for nuts and berries, capturing small animals and eating them raw. Most of us choose not to do that though, thanks to a nifty thing called Evolution. And that’s what bugs me most about hard-wired enthusiasts – how they neatly explain human behavior completely discounting 10’s of thousands of years of evolution. We may not be “hard-wired” for monogamy, but we’ve evolved to it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        Reply

        • Maargen Says:

          Hmm…

          Well, the only thing biology cares about is survival of the species – to that end sperm meets egg. Biological imperative doesn’t care a wit about what packaging the sperm and egg come in. Doesn’t matter how tall, how buxom, how good a provider, how good a nuturer – suvival of the species would come down to fucking anything that would hold still long enough – CHOICE wouldn’t enter into it. Funny thing – even non-monogamous people seem to prefer choice in who they screw.

          Of course biological imperitave cares about what shape the sperm and egg comes in! The female is attracted to the more dominant male, and the more dominant male has a larger choice of mates than the less dominant. Of these choices, he will choose the ones most fertile.

          Of course this can be seen most clearly in a state of nature, which doesn’t describe human society. Despite the fact that we’ve adapted our behaviour to society, males who have more of what it takes to be successful in the society are still more attractive to women, and women who give off more signs of health and fertility are more attractive to men (Of course I am speaking in a general sense…not anecdotally)

          As far as hard-wiring goes, we may still be hard-wired to wander lifetimes foraging for nuts and berries, capturing small animals and eating them raw. Most of us choose not to do that though, thanks to a nifty thing called Evolution. And that’s what bugs me most about hard-wired enthusiasts – how they neatly explain human behavior completely discounting 10′s of thousands of years of evolution. We may not be “hard-wired” for monogamy, but we’ve evolved to it

          Selena – the above stement makes me think that you don’t understand evolution at all.

          Evolution has NOT caused us to change from foraging from nuts and berries. The conditions imposed on us from the societies we have created makes it no longer practical for us to forage for nuts and berries. And since we no longer do what we have evolved to do (forage for nuts and berries) we pay a price (stroke, hypertension, obesity, etc.)

          Yes, we have chosen to change our behaviour. but for those changes in behaviour to actually change our biology would take ages and ages – if it happens at all. The 10s of 1000s of years that you say we hard-wired enthusiasts neatly ignore have absolutely NOT evolved us into properly processing a diet of Big Macs – nor into monogamy.

          Regardless of my biology, I do NOT choose to live off of nuts and berries. I also choose to live a monogamous lifestyle. This is because I am responding to the conditions of my society, and to my personal choices – not biology. These choices don’t keep me from understanding the effects of biology, though – or understanding why others would make different choices.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • Selena Says:

            Of course biological imperitave cares about what shape the sperm and egg comes in! The female is attracted to the more dominant male, and the more dominant male has a larger choice of mates than the less dominant. Of these choices, he will choose the ones most fertile.

            This is based on the assumption there is a range of choice.

            What if the more dominant males were wiped out? What was left were the feebler, nomadic males? Do you believe early females would refuse to mate with them? (Or modern females for that matter.) What if the most fertile, “attractive” females were wiped out? Do you think the existing males would not mate with those who were older, less “healthy”? The hormones remain the same. The biological drive to procreate remains the same because it’s essential for the species to survive.

            It’s only when there is choice present, or the illusion of, preferences are allowed to develop.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

            Reply

            • chuckrock Says:

              if the ‘dominant males’ were wiped out, then the feebler, nomadic males would become the ‘dominant’ males…thus your analysis is flawed.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

              Reply

            • Maargen Says:

              I’m sorry. I thought it was obvious that when I said the “more dominant” and the “more fertile” that I meant of the ones who are not dead.

              Of course, those who choose to mate with dominant males or fertile females who have been wiped out are free to try.

              The rest will choose from the ones who remain alive. Although I could argue that a live male is always more dominant than a dead one, I guess I should have said “of the males who are alive, the female will be attracted to the more dominant…” etc. Excuse me for not being more clear on that.

              Please note that I did say “will be attracted to”. Whether or not the individuals actually mate with their first choice depends on the availability of the choice, of course.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

              Reply

    • D Says:

      Yes, we do things that aren’t natural. And a lot of people are unhappy and stressed out as a result. There is loads of research in economics and psychology that shows humans don’t behave rationally. There’s even a bestselling book about it: Predictably Irrational.

      Until very recently (culturally speaking) monogamy was a one-way thing: men of means (i.e. the most desirable men) had multiple wives.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply

  18. Paula Says:

    I might disagree that we are hard-wired to do those things, Selena, in that, for your computer example, we have an innate desire to connect and communicate, we have five fingers on each hand which allow us to type quickly enough to facilitate communication that is in the same ballpark of rapidity as human speech, and we have a collective ingenuity that has enabled us to figure out methods of communicating with people who aren’t in the room. And swans and penguins aren’t higher primates, which is what we were discussing.

    But I agree 100% that monogamy is a choice, and if you choose to embrace it, you need to embrace its consequences, for better or for worse. For better, you should be getting a more reliable partner who is more likely to take care of you when needed, cooperate with you in raising family members, and who will pool resources with you for your mutual good. And who will engage in sexual contact with you in some frequency, preferably one that is mutually acceptable to both parties. For worse, it means you sacrifice sexual variety, and in some cases, either fantasy fulfillment or sexual frequency (or both). If you can’t live with that bargain, or you accept it but the other partner isn’t holding up his or her end, then you should end it rather repeatedly violating that bargain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  19. Selena Says:

    Apparently the OP’s boyfriend didn’t want to make that bargain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  20. Trouble Says:

    It isn’t particularly hard for me to be faithful to a romantic partner. In fact, the idea of letting another guy touch me makes me feel physically ill. I can’t speak to anyone else’s wiring but my own, but I want someone who is wired similarly, and views monogamy in the same way I do. I’m not going to judge swingers, but that’s a lifestyle choice that isn’t something that would be compatible with my own desired life.

    I’m not going to judge the OP for wanting monogamy, I want it too, and I’m prepared to give it to my partner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  21. nathan Says:

    I don’t want to judge the OP for wanting monogamy either. Nor do I want to judge swinger dude either. To me, it seems like both avoided having the hard discussions necessary to decide if they could be compatible or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    Reply

    • Selena Says:

      Swinger dude avoided having any discussion about his lifestyle when they started dating for fear of turning her off. If she hadn’t been on his computer, he might have continued to avoid having any discussion and just did what he wanted to do. They were together for 7 mos. If he didn’t want to give up his “lifestyle” he should have told her straight out. And much sooner.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

      Reply

      • nathan Says:

        Yes, you’re right about swinger dude. I’m not interested in defending him because it sounds like he was going behind her back by using the website.

        But I don’t get any indication from her that, before 3 months ago, she was really that serious about him. So, if you’re talking about his responsibility to be honest, it comes in the last three months, when they were “exclusive.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        Reply

        • nathan Says:

          I’d like to add, though, that this is one of the problems that comes up when people treat relationships as casual until there is some kind of “exclusivity talk” employed. Leaving things open for months, and then trying to reign them in isn’t all that easy. I’m not saying it’s impossible because people do successfully switch from casual to committed, but I do think that the longer things go in a certain direction, the harder it is to steer them in another direction.

          This relationship was, apparently, open ended on both sides for four months. Although the guy probably should have been honest about his interest in swinging from the beginning, he chose to hide it early on, probably figuring that if they’re just casual, it’s better not to say anything. I’m not saying that’s right; it isn’t.

          But if she was really intent on having an exclusive relationship, she could have brought that up much earlier. Before the trip anyway, given that going away for a month often leaves the other person in a confusing position if nothing is said about the relationship.

          I understand that sometimes it takes time to decide if you really want to be with someone. However, if you choose to date multiple people, and leave everything open ended for months on end before trying to close the door, you have more of that “casual momentum” to deal with.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

          Reply

          • Trouble Says:

            This is all the more reason, in my opinion, to have the “what I’m looking for talk” much earlier than people appear to do in many cases. I’m not interested in a longterm FWB relationship, I wanted a relationship that was going to be exclusive with the possibility of marriage. If me having that desire scares off potential partners, too damn bad, I don’t see it as a loss. It is what it is. We all are looking for certain things. I want to know what a guy is hoping to find as soon as possible so that I know whether he is romantically viable for me, or not. Why would I want to waste my time on someone who doesn’t want monogamy? Because, for me, that would be a huge waste of time.

            The OP is at least partially responsible for not clarifying what she wants from the relationship to the guy in question. In other words, she’s not at fault that he’s a swinger who was potentially pursuing other options. She is at fault for not being open with him about what she wants, and asking for similar openness from him.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            Reply

            • Selena Says:

              Trouble,

              What makes you think she’s at fault for not being open with him? She said they became exclusive after 4 months – don’t most people assume exclusive is synonomous with monogamy? Who thinks to ask someone if they are a swinger if they haven’t volunteered that information? I don’t think the OP is at fault anything that transpired here.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

              Reply

              • Trouble Says:

                Why would you wait 4 months to have the talk about exclusivity, if that’s what you’re looking for?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                Reply

                • Selena Says:

                  Maybe because she left for a month?

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

                  Reply

                  • Trouble Says:

                    Yeah. there’s that. Still 2.5 months longer than I’d have waited to tell someone what I’m looking for. I have usually done it by date 2-3, and way before sleeping together, because at the time when I was single, I was 42, and I didn’t have months/years to waste on someone who wanted something different. Frankly, at that point, I’d already wasted enough time on a dead-end relationship.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

                    Reply

                    • Crotch Rocket Says:

                      Exactly. I’m used to women telling me what they were looking for during the first few dates–and asking me the same. If they don’t, I assume they’re just looking to date for dating’s sake, for the social validation of having a man and/or for the social permission to have casual sex, because that has been my experience.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

                    • Maargen Says:

                      I’m not sure how this dating thing works, so this is a genuine question – not rhetorical.

                      Trouble, when you say “Why would you wait 4 months to have the talk about exclusivity, if that’s what you’re looking for?”

                      and “I have usually done it by date 2-3, and way before sleeping together”

                      Is it really a good thing to mention exclusivity within 2-3 dates? Knowing that what someone is ultimately looking for is an exclusive relationship doesn’t mean that they know within 2-3 dates that they’ve found the right person for that. In saying you want an exclusive relationship, isn’t there a danger that the person you’re speaking to will assume that you mean with him?

                      I may want an exclusive relationship, but I certainly don’t say anything about that unless I find someone specific that I want to be exclusive with. Is that the wrong way to go about it?

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

                    • Selena Says:

                      I’ve never told someone what I was looking for – sounds like a job interview. I would just agree to get to know someone and see how it unfolded.

                      It never took me more than 6 weeks though to determine if something was casual or more than. And I’ve yet to date anyone for 3 months that I didn’t end up spending years with. Is there a ‘typical’ time frame when people decide to be exclusive? Four months does seem kind of long to reach that point, is it?

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

                    • nathan Says:

                      To me, leaving town for a month, when you’ve only just started a relationship, means you better have a conversation about where things are going. It would be different if they’d been together a few years and already knew where things stand. But they’d only been together 3 months.

                      Selena, you’re right that almost no one would think to ask the person they are dating if they are a swinger. I certainly wouldn’t have expected the OP to go fishing for such information. But again, I get the sense that they had an open, casual thing for 3 months, she left town for a month without initiating any serious conversation about the direction of the relationship and then, upon getting back, things had held together enough for them to move forward as an “exclusive” couple.

                      It seems to me that you’re quite willing to peg swinger dude for his part in the situation, but are willing to overlook the OP’s seeming lack of direct communication about her desired direction for the relationship to go in the first four months.

                      I mean, if you were really into someone, and wanted a committed relationship with them, would you leave town for a month without sharing that with said person?

                      Swinger dude blew it, but there’s something off about the way the OP handled things as well.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

                    • nathan Says:

                      Maargen – seems to me like there’s a lot of time between the second date and four months. I have never gone more than a month with someone before things had gotten exclusive on both sides. But she had a built in time frame with that trip – in month 3 – to gather enough info to decide in my opinion.

                      Some people seem to act like “exclusivity” is one step from marriage. hen in reality what it means is that I want to be with you, commit to you, and see what we have together – which might lead to marriage and might not. But how in the hell will you know if someone is right for you if you have multiple people in the mix for months on end?

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

                    • Paula Says:

                      As we’ve discussed here before, 3 months is a critical test period for a lot of people. Escalating before that may feel like it’s too soon, or be before they’ve had a chance to meet the friends and family, or before either or both opens up enough to really start to trust it will work.

                      It would not surprise me if the OP was starting to feel like this was serious, but wanted to take the time while she was out of town to see whether he would stay in touch and remain connected in her absence. Or a month is a long time to be gone, so it may have involved a significant work or family issue that required her full attention. Or it could have simply been a case of “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and the degree to which they missed each other during that month prompted the exclusiveness conversation upon her return.

                      It seems well within the normal range of time that people take to move from dating and being in a relationship.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

                    • chuckrock Says:

                      There is a big difference in telling someone what you are looking for and asking for exclusivity with that someone. I would expect that a discussion of what you’re ideally looking for would happen in the first handful of dates, however if someone asked me for exclusivity that quickly it would be a red flag most likely.

                      It usually takes me a couple of months to determine whether I want to be ezxclusive with someone, and I (when things are going well) will continue to date others until I figure that out. Sometimes continuing to date others will help me realize that someone has the things I am looking for and will lead me towards wanting to be exclusive.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                    • Trouble Says:

                      Is it really a good thing to mention exclusivity within 2-3 dates? Knowing that what someone is ultimately looking for is an exclusive relationship doesn’t mean that they know within 2-3 dates that they’ve found the right person for that. In saying you want an exclusive relationship, isn’t there a danger that the person you’re speaking to will assume that you mean with him?

                      I haven’t said that I want an exclusive relationship with that guy, but that my goal is to find a person that I can eventually get married to and spend the rest of my life with. It takes time to figure out if the person you’re going on dates 1-3 is that person, but I definitely am a fan of telling people who you are and what you want. I wanted guys to know that I was a serious person, looking for someone who could be a life partner, not just an occasional casual shag. For me, at least, it had the net effect of weeding out a lot of the FWB guys, because I knew I wasn’t interested in that anymore.

                      I can’t speak for what other people should do, but it worked for me. My boyfriend bought an engagement ring on Monday, but hasn’t proposed yet. Asking for what I want is something i definitely give a thumbs up to.

                      In this case, being so casual about where things are headed may have given the OP’s guy the impression that she was much more casual about things than she actually was. If she’d spoken up earlier about her longterm goals, and even talked about things like the importance of monogamy, he might have realized that they weren’t a good fit. That would have sucked in the short term for her, but it would have potentially avoided a longterm complicated emotional entanglement that hurt far more in the long run.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

                    • Crotch Rocket Says:

                      “Is it really a good thing to mention exclusivity within 2-3 dates?” I think you misunderstand. We’re talking about letting them know the reason you’re dating, i.e. what you’re looking for, whatever that may be. Most (but not all, unfortunately) of those dating for other reasons will realize you’re not a good match and gracefully exit, but those who are dating for the same reason will take you more seriously.

                      “In saying you want an exclusive relationship, isn’t there a danger that the person you’re speaking to will assume that you mean with him?” That’s just a matter of getting the wording right, and I’ve never had a problem with it. Say you’re looking for an exclusive relationship with the right person, leaving it an open question whether they’re the right person or not. Figuring that out is the reason you’re on a date with them, after all.

                      “Is there a ‘typical’ time frame when people decide to be exclusive?” I think there’s a pretty wide range on that, depending on how often they see each other and what their other (perceived) options look like.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. Vox Says:

    To me, that it was a swinger site specifically isn’t all that relevant. If he were chatting with women on a “vanilla” site like Match or POF after three months of exclusivity I would still lose all trust in him. A person is either honest or not; the why part almost always doesn’t matter. Fear of being rejected due to his sexual proclivities just isn’t a good enough reason to be deceptive, not to me anyway. It isn’t unusual for a deal breaker to reveal itself at the three month point; dishonesty about sexuality is most certainly a deal breaker for me.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  23. Memoirs of a Single Dad Says:

    Is this a discussion only because the guy was a ‘swinger’? If he wasn’t a self-proclaimed swinger it would be a case of good old fashioned cheating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  24. Selena Says:

    Nathan,
    The OP found out about her bf’s ‘proclivities’ after 7 mos. by accident. Since he never said, or did anything prior to that to clue her in (as far as we know) , I don’t see what she did wrong. Should she have brought up exclusivity sooner? Maybe she was just letting things unfold as they would. Even if they became *exclusive* at month 2, he still could have been trolling at month 7 as he did. Fact is he didn’t tell her about his deal until after he was caught at it. When they became exclusive doesn’t matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply

  25. nathan Says:

    We can disagree on this one Selena. I’m not defending the guy for hiding the truth, and for flirting online after they had become exclusive.

    And you’re right, they could have become exclusive earlier on and he still could have been trolling at month 7.

    But you know, nothing in her letter suggests that they had any clear communication about either their desires for the direction of a relationship near the beginning, nor the direction of their particular relationship, until after she returned from that trip. Now, you can say she’s totally innocent here, and technically be right. In fact, I wouldn’t even say that it’s right or wrong necessarily that they waited until the 5th month to make things exclusive. Relationships do unfold on their own timetable. My main point is that it’s harder to shift things the longer the tide goes in a certain direction. That’s all.

    The way I see it, if you are passive or indecisive about what you want for long enough, then either people with be confused about what you want, or they will simply keep operating the way they have been operating.

    Both partners always play a role in what happens in a relationship. That’s even the case if one partner does something awful, is totally abusive, or is just plain jerky. I want to make it quite clear that I see abuse, cheating, and the rest as always the responsibility of the person committing them. The OP isn’t at all responsible for swinger guy’s behavior – he chose to do what he did.

    The way I see it, the longer you let things go without making an effort to point the relationship in a specific direction, the easier it is for casual behavior to reign. It’s one thing to have an “exclusivity talk,” but quite another to demonstrate exclusivity in the relationship. I guess it would be nice to know if they were doing things differently after that discussion. Like spending time meeting each other friends and family. Taking trips together. Any kind of future planning. Did the relationship actually change, besides spending more time together? Or were they basically acting the same in the relationship as before, but now with a new label put on it?

    My view would be the same with the situation reversed as well, and he was the one writing this letter. People seem all too willing to defend lack of clear communication when other, more negative factors like cheating are involved. But not being clear or at least trying to is part of the problem. Even if someone is otherwise innocent.

    I’ve certainly been guilty of not saying what I think or feel about something within relationships and even when crappy things have come my way from a partner, I still had to own up to not speaking up and trying to say something about where I was at, or what I thought should happen, or not happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply

Leave a Reply

© 2013-2017 And That's Why You're Single All Rights Reserved