Asking the Tough Questions

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Mismatched Relationships and Your Assumptions (Photo by E)

Relationships are not stagnant. They grow, evolve, and change no matter how desperately we may wish they would remain in the same state of bliss that found you first declaring “I love you”. We can blame temptation, new information, boredom, ourselves or even our partner, on shaking the foundation of what seemed like a loving, balanced partnership. With the introduction of children, new jobs, conversations with friends, and really the list could go on and on you may find yourself, as I have, wondering who that person is in the mirror? And by extension who is the person that you’re sharing your life with? …


Spoiler Alert: This is a Myth

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Writing About Sex as a Woman

I had a man tell me the other day that “writing about sex is easier for a woman than for a man.” He continued by saying women get a free pass to say whatever they want whereas men are not able to have a voice. Apparently, woman have a unique “privilege that we are not even remotely aware of.” He boasted that he has done years of research on the subject of writing, and that I should just believe him. Oh, did I mention that this guy was using this little dialogue as an introduction to me on an online dating site? At this point, I went ahead and poured myself a drink. As I sipped my scotch slowly, I let myself wonder why this person felt this way, what research he could have possibly done, and why I was drinking to prevent me from writing him an actual research-based essay in response. …


Are We Doomed to Fail Being Raised with Outdated Relationship Models?

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Mismatched Relationships (Photo by E)

If you grew up anything like me, you were taught that relationships consist of one man for one woman, until death do you part. Your parents and/or church provided a living model of how relationships worked (or completely failed), and with your young eyes you took the good, bad, and ugly to heart. Using that frame-work you set out to find that mate who shared similar values and interests so you too could have the long-lasting companionship that your role models did. …


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Social Distancing and Isolation

Being non-monogamous allows me the freedom to be the sexual being that I never could in monogamy. The ability to flirt, and interact with other sex positive people in my community on a level deeper than just friendship gives my extroverted nature room to blossom. And thus, when I first heard about social distancing, I was frightened, and in truth, a little angry. It was as if, everything that I had worked so hard to achieve, was suddenly taken from me. Yes, I recognize the selfishness of this statement, especially as this pandemic continues to shake our world order in the most brutal and unrelenting of ways, but, I felt it none the less. Telling a sexual extrovert like myself, that there will be no contact with another human for a minimum of 14 days was gut wrenching. I went through the stages of grief. But, once I took a deep breath I realized that this was an opportunity to learn about what I could do without human intimacy. This is a rare opportunity to reconnect with my partner and deepen the connections I have outside of my home in a safe, and direct contact free way. …


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The “dirty” stigma around non-monogamy

There is a stigma about people in non-monogamy being “dirtier” than those who are in monogamous relationships. The “dirt” I am referring to, is the perception that this community has a higher prevalence of STI’s. I use the word perception, because that is what non-monogamous people are often up against, rather than facts, science, or anything else. And as a result this is one of the major barriers that people experience when “opening up” both internally and externally. So, let us talk about the risks of contracting a sexual infection in non-monogamy both internally, externally, and more.

Internal Risks

In monogamy, many sexual assumptions made. One of the major ones is that an agreement of monogamy will go hand in hand with removing some or all of the STI transmission barriers. In essence, the aim (for most), is to become fluid bonded and say goodbye to those pesky condoms and dental dams forever. Until the couple’s bond ends (death, divorce, infidelity) there is no reason to ever have the safe sex talk again. It is like unlocking a monogamous achievement. …


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Anxiety in all shapes and sizes

It is no secret that being non-monogamous comes with its own sexual challenges. Whether you are a swinger, polyamorous, or in an open relationship, at some point or another performance anxiety is going to affect you. For me, body image concerns creep up about an hour before I start getting ready to attend a lifestyle party. For some, it may be difficulties getting an erection or even staying hard during a play session. For others it may be difficulties in reaching an orgasm. No matter what gives you anxiety before or during a sexual encounter, know that you are not alone. From newbies to seasoned pro’s (so to speak), we will at some point have to deal with it in ourselves or in a partner. There is nothing shameful in feeling uncomfortable or having a physical reaction outside of your control (or inaction). …


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Consent Chart

The Definition of Consent: Canada VS the USA

I feel lucky to live in Canada where the consent laws are written such that “The absence of “no” doesn’t mean “yes”.” In a court of law, what this means is the onus is on the person to prove that they had consent, rather than the victim proving that they said no. Yes, you read that correctly, the law in Canada is written with consent in mind. Obviously this is not a perfect system, but after reviewing consent laws for each individual state in the USA, I can tell you with certainty I am happy to be Canadian. …


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Morality is: a personal or social set of standards for good or bad behavior and character, or the quality of being right and honest (Cambridge English Dictionary)

When I first was first introduced to the idea of non-monogamy, nearly a decade ago, it really shook my moral code. I spent a lot of time soul searching, reading, and absorbing every item that mentioned non-monogamy. It took a lot of hard work, but I ultimately reached the conclusion that I was still the ethical and moral member of society that I was in my previous monogamous relationship. I rationalized that my sex life was no one’s business, and as I didn’t judge anyone else’s sexual choices, I felt safe and comfortable making my own adult choices. …


In person and Online

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Some people are natural extroverts, and can walk into a room of strangers with ease; full of charm, charisma, and wow you as they confidently approach anyone that they desire. They seem emboldened by the gift of gab, no matter what medium of communication they are faced with. Let me be brutally honest in saying, I am not one of these natural extroverts. It took a lot of trial and error, and a few great mentors for me to overcome this hurdle into non-monogamy. It’s all well and good to figure out where the non-monogamous people are hiding, but if you don’t know how to open up a conversation, well, let’s just say, your going to be missing out on a lot of sexy adventures. Building up the confidence to start a conversation with strangers has strengthened every aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. And if you are really ready for a challenge, try to open a conversation with a stranger wearing barely anything. Trust me when I say that every introduction I have made since then seems like a cakewalk. …


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The sexual landscape is constantly changing, and if you, like so many out there are delving into your first non-monogamous adventure, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed at having to have that safe sex talk, or thinking about sexual obstacles. Things have probably changed since the last time you were out dating, and let’s be honest, having sex with new people, or more than two, brings with it some unique challenges. So rather than discovering everything out the hard way, let me share a few things that will better prepare you for sex outside of monogamy.

Getting Tested

While this may seem like the most common-sense place to start, it is often overlooked, until of course you begin to suspect something may be wrong or you get asked about it. We have a tendency to assume that as you have only been with one person for X amount of years, you must be fine right? Wrong! Before starting your first non-monogamous adventure, get tested, and make a plan to make it a regular part of your life. Depending on your sexual activity level, this could entail yearly, quarterly, or even monthly testing. If you are uncomfortable asking for a full STI panel from your family doctor, there are amazing clinics that specialize in testing, (Planned Parenthood for example) and there are even a few online companies that now provide tests in a box, discretely shipped right to your door. So do a little internet searching and find out what options will best suit your lifestyle and budget. …

About

Krys Ghislaine

Krys is a sex positive blogger, podcaster, and a lover of craft beer. Read about her non-monogamous journey at breakingawayfrommonogamy.com.

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