Fran Rosa

19 July 2016


Sexual Ex­clu­si­vi­ty: There Is No Prize

En español: Exclusividad sexual: No hay premio

Be sexually exclusive with who you have a relationship is one of the rules almost everyone take for granted when they get involved. And it is also one of the main causes of lying and distrust.

Sexual exclusivity is usually misnamed as fidelity, because any sexual encounter outside the relationship must be a betrayal. But fidelity is about honesty and sincerity, with oneself first, and of course with the person whom you are in a relationship with. Some people may find it hard to believe, but you can tell your partner you have a date with someone else, o that you just met someone who wants to fuck your brains out. And her answer can be ‘have fun’.

Much has changed in the paradigm of relationships — because a relationship doesn’t have to end in marriage, nor marriage means a family or a given social position — but we let ourselves get carried away by the idea of romantic love. And it implies juggling with the truth, like avoiding any mention to any previous relationship to create the illusion of being ‘the one’.

It is something many people can not deal with. The fact that our partner’s sex life does not end with us. And I am not talking just about having a past. Someone’s sexual dimension goes far beyond penetration and that generates conflict, because even in sexually exclusive relationships, we all have our own concept of what sexually exclusive means, and we do not discuss it.

Is sexual exclusivity about penetrating or being penetrated? Is it about oral sex or masturbation? What about kissing? And caressing? And flirting? Is a revealing dress off limits if our partner is not around? And looking, cherishing or fantasizing with someone else?

All these examples are parts of our sexual dimension, some are more physical, some are more social, some are just inside our minds. Limits do not exist, and everything is part of the sexual dimension of our lives, and we can not give up on everything related to sex for an unreachable romantic ideal. Because it is then when our sexual part is repressed and reveals itself stronger when we are excited.

We try not to look at anyone, not to want anyone, and some day our parter is not with us, and we go out with a bunch of friends, and we drink and lose our inhibitions. And we meet someone who triggers our lust in a second, and all our repressed sexual energy, all our need to feel wanted make us let ourselves go whatever the consequences may be.

And we fool ourselves. We may be dating someone and, at the same time, seeing someone else from time to time. At which point is it wrong to want both? At which point is it wrong to shag both? Changing constantly the unwritten rules to tell ourselves a perfect story in which we and our parter are meant to be, to the end of times.

Also some open relationships — not sexually exclusive — use denial. Every member of the relationship has carte blanche to have sexual encounters with other people, as long as he keeps it to himself, and does not tell that she had a good time, that he enjoyed it, that they tried new things.

Although I’ve been using both partner and relationship, it also applies for relationships involving more than two. Insecurities and half truths for not talking openly and pretending that outside the relationship nothing exists.

The reason of everything is, in my opinion, not being selfish but insecure. It is not that we do not let our partner to make with his body or her time whatever she wants, or to live and experiment his sexual dimension when she is not with us, but fear she might have fun without us, try new things without us, have better sex without us, get more excited, have more orgasms; that he doesn’t need us to be satisfied.

And we hope that sacrificing our own sexuality beyond the relationship will prevent those things from happening. But sexual exclusivity has no prize. That is why I think is better not to have it, even if you decide not to explore your sexuality beyond your partner, because that way you can work your insecurities by yourselves, and be free to live your sexual life making your own rules and limits.