- Gender and Relationships»
- Non-Monogamous Relationships
Alternative lifestyles and relationships
In the day and age of transgender issues and "What bathroom does he/she belong in?", Alternative lifestyles are moving to the forefront in a lot of topics and circles. However, does being a popular topic make something automatically good or bad? Let's look at a couple of issues that many talk about behind closed doors with friends and lovers but don't generally discuss in the open.
The first is "Swinging". The activity that involves bringing someone else into a couple's sex life. There are many that look at this as adultery and "cheating". there is a valid argument for adultery by definition. However, is it truly cheating or unfaithfulness if All parties in the relationship and the activity are in agreement and consenting?
In many cases when married couples enter a swinging relationship it involves one or both of them having interest in bisexual activities. For them to truly be themselves they feel the need to follow up on these feelings. This leaves them with 3 options.
1) Divorce. They can file for divorce from someone they love to fulfill their overwhelming need and desire for bisexual activity. To me it seems a little silly to destroy an otherwise good relationship simply because your partner is not physically equipped to satisfy your needs and urges. Needs that make up who you are but do not define who you are.
2) Have an affair. Go behind your partner's back and have a same sex affair. In doing so you take the chance of contracting STD's, and destroying a good relationship. Not to mention the psychological effect it may have on your partner. Thinking that they are not good enough or that they have been living with someone they knew nothing about. That the entire relationship was a lie, when in reality it was not a lie, it just was not completely satisfying due to no fault of the partner.
3) Swinging or open relations. Have a civil discussion about the bisexual feelings and urges. Involve the significant other into the situation. Let them know that it is something that they as a spouse just cannot fill since they do not have the desired body parts.
Contrary to what many non swinging people think about the lifestyle, rarely does it have anything to do with unhappiness within the relationship. More often than not it is to bring excitement into the relationship. Enhance it by experiencing the activity together. Rarely does it involve romantic feelings toward those brought in to the bedroom or lack of romantic feeling by those in the relationship. It often has to do with enjoying the company of others that enjoy the same things you as a couple enjoy. Spending time with people where you need not tread lightly about sexual topics, comments or activities for fear of offending someone. Friends that you can truly be yourself with in every aspect.
People will say if you can't be yourself around your friends then they are not truly friends. Not the case. I have many friends that I will consider friends until the day I die. friends I have bled with. Friends I have seen death with. Friends I have cried with. There are still certain things I will not do around those friends. Not out of fear of being judged, but out of respect for them and their lifestyle choices. Around my lifestyle friends, however, My significant other and I can make the sexual comments to one another and others and not fear that we will offend them because we know that they too have the same feelings and desires.
Next let's talk about the BDSM lifestyle. There are so many aspects of this lifestyle that it is all but impossible to cover them all so I will cover the impact of them on relatiuonships in general.
For many that are in the BDSM lifestyle it is the once in a while activity to break out of the normal routine. Whether it is the CEO that goes home and allows his/her significant other to control them or the person that finds relief from the daily stresses of life through either giving or receiving pain.
It may be someone that finds happiness and fulfillment in surrendering completely to someone else. Has no responsibility. Doesn't need to make any decisions. Someone whose only desire is to make their partner happy and fill their every need and desire, which in turn completes them.
The important thing to remember about the "kinky" lifestyle is that it is all consensual. All boundaries and limits are known and agreed upon, so although it may seem as if someone is being hurt, abused, used and taken advantage of, in reality and truth, it is what they want and some even need.
Are either of these lifestyles good? Are they bad? Yes and Yes. They are good for some people and bad for others. It isn't for the court to decide, it isn't for the legislature to decide. It is for each individual to decide. For each couple to decide. If one enters either arena for the wrong reasons or with deception to others, it will surely end badly for all. Enter with an open mind and honesty and you will either enjoy it or not but most likely will not regret it.
I write this from experience in both lifestyles as well as talking with many in both lifestyles. No one should be forced into either nor should they be denied the opportunity to expolre them.