It’s hard to sift the emotions we have around sex. Sarah lives where many of the contradictions are obvious.
“When you’re with your sugar daddy, doesn’t it feel ‘wrong’ to be so intimate? Doesn’t it feel odd, especially when you are in a relationship with someone else? Even in the polyamorous community, isn’t there jealousy?” I asked.
“Of course there’s jealousy,” Sarah says. “And it can get ugly. But in our group at least, there seems to be a deeper level of communication, openness and honesty.”
I thought about that for a while. If anyone can make love with anyone else, then I suppose much of the “possessiveness” within a relationship falls away. Or becomes obvious for the baggage it is.
“That’s exactly right,” said Sarah. “Even in ‘normal’ relationships, although our group thinks of monogamy as ‘abnormal,’ couples want to believe a partner is there because he or she wants to be there. We all recognize that being there only because of a wedding ring, or the children, or mutual dependence isn’t all that great. We all want our mate to want to be with us.
“It gets pretty clear quickly in our group if someone is bringing baggage, and it gets talked about. We see it for what it is, instead of what it pretends to be, all sorts of stuff about ‘you should do this’ or ‘you should not do that.’ It’s okay to say, ‘I feel…’ or ‘I need…’ ”
“But what about intimacy? Doesn’t the fact that you are having sex with your sugar daddy drive your boyfriend or girlfriend crazy?”
“The sex is easy. But I don’t lie close and all wrapped up all night with my sugar daddy. That’s an intimacy we won’t have. I don’t want to have that. I’m not going to fall in love with him, so there’s distance, there, too. Sex is not necessarily part of intimacy, or intimacy a part of sex, but intimacy is a part of love.”
“Doesn’t it become sex for money, then?”
“There is more to our relationship than sex. We are friends, he is a mentor, I offer whatever insights I have to questions he has, we do things together that we both enjoy. Why should the fact that we also have sex stain all of that?”
Sarah made me realize we often live our lives by rules, but rules can’t be a substitute for honesty and openness. Honesty makes us vulnerable, and can be difficult, but using rules to justify behavior, or find fault with the behavior of others, always fails the most important test.
We say “You broke the rules…” instead of saying “What you did doesn’t work for me…”
Instead of saying, “I want to be with you.”