Jamie and I have been talking quite a bit lately about, for lack of a better term, “guy stuff”. Okay, we’re pretty consistently talking about guy stuff, because I find it really perplexing at best, and downright offensive at worst. So when she sent me a link to a blog post on Freaksexual entitled “Nonmonogamy for Men: the Big Picture“, I was wondering how much of it I would find applicable to my experience.
I am not a sexually goal-oriented person. I definitely did not embrace nonmonogamy because I wanted to have sex with people. I came to this because I am mostly made out of feelings, and I wanted to create emotional connections with others. I need to know that emotional underpinnings are in place before I can come close to having any kind of personally healthy sexual interaction. Based on that, I basically found the first two-thirds of the article were speaking to an aspect of the masculine experience that I find very alien.
But I do remember talking with men at some meetups here in Chicago, and I found their questions of me just as perplexing as this article. I had several men ask me how I convinced my wife to be poly, which is a question so full of presumptions that I wasn’t even sure how to begin answering. I’ve also been asked how I was able to get so many dates, which made it sound like they were looking at some kind of invisible scoreboard and presumed that I was “winning” or something. Not only did their ignorance of my experience shine through, but it also showed that they had never taken the time to consider the experiences or perspectives of women. I wish that I could have stuffed this article in their hands, and insisted they read it before they said another word in front of anyone ever.
I also heard a lot of stories based on frustration and fear, about the seeming gender imbalance, about how hard it was to find people. I always told them that, when I felt that way, it was a sign that I should go to the gym or meditate or do something to work on myself. I knew that I had to be put together inside, if only so that I could really be present in those other relationships when they showed up. It was nice to read that perspective in this article as well, because it made me feel slightly smarter for having the same ideas.
I know that I don’t have an understanding of what is “typical” in the masculine experience of nonmonogamy. And I know that I have a lot more poly experience than the audience that this article was written for. But I think that this would be a good thing for someone to read, if only to think about their own approach, and what they want their experience to be. But I think that it is a good primer and source of advice for men new to nonmongamy. This is the kind of information that needs to be out there, so that we can start changing expectations.