I’m a sexual person. I love sex, and sexual/physical things in general, and I have very little inherent shame when it comes to my body, my sexuality, and the people around me. I have always considered this a good thing, and I still do. Sex is nice, shame is not. However, lately I have found myself in a bit of a situation.
Acts of intimacy (exchanging naked photos, talking freely about sex and sexual interest with each other, touching non-sexually, appreciating each other’s body in a potentially sexual manner, being comfortably naked around each other, etc…) are, to me at least, a very natural part of close relationships, romantic or not. It’s not that I look to make friends with people “I’d do”, it’s more that when a very close friendship grows, a certain intimate tension grows with it. And I have no qualms with responding to that tension. To put it simply, to me physical intimacy isn’t restricted to romantic relationships only.
I will use intimacy to show my appreciation of people, be it esthetically (I think you’re physically attractive), platonic-emotionally (I am truly comfortable with you, I love you as a friend), or romantically (I love you as a partner, I have a romantic emotional connection to you). I have even used it to express my appreciation of someone’s skill at one time. (The Abstract Algebra assistant wasn’t physically attractive, nor was he my friend or partner, but he made the most elegant proofs. I just couldn’t resist him. *sigh*)
This poses a bit of a problem when it comes to conventional monogamy. You can probably tell from the above explanation that I’m not a natural at being monogamous. One one side it is a very strange concept to me, I mean, why should you limit the amount of people you can physically appreciate to just one? There are so many different kinds of love, trust, and respect between people, why should only one of them be eligible for physical intimacy? On the other hand I have come to understand monogamy a lot better by trying to practice it. There is a certain emotional possessiveness that comes with romantic love, and the stronger you relate emotional and physical closeness, the more difficult it becomes to allow your partner to have intimate contact with others than yourself. So, I understand it, even though it’s not an instinctive thing to me.
Me and Experiment No.7 agreed to being monogamous when we started our relationship. For me it was a first time and an experiment, for him it was an absolute requirement. At the time it was quite easy to me; I had just been released from the mental hospital, and most of my close friends had either moved out of the vicinity by that time, or had downright dropped me when I became sick. The monogamy agreement to me was simply “even if you find someone pretty, or pretty smart, you still can’t have sex with them.” And that works, because of all those “intimate impulses”, the esthetic one is the easiest to ignore. My current situation is different. I have a slowly growing friend circle again. I am rebuilding my life and trying to reconnect with society and the people around me.
Maybe something is wrong with me, that friendship is always somewhat physical with me, that sex is such a normal commodity to me, that the stronger I feel for/about someone the more I need this to be expressed intimately/physically… (Oh yeah, I forgot hatesex. Hatesex happens.) I just can’t seem to feel shame about it.
Where does the line lay? I won’t have sex (aka touching of genitals) with anyone other than No.7, because I promised. I tend to keep my word. But everything else is sort of free game for me, and I wondered where the line lays with you people. A bit of perspective would be nice.
I occasionally have ended up with physical things with friends because yes, the closeness breeds that and that physical relationship is indicative of affection or appreciation. However, even though I would say I can easily be polyamorous I prefer monogamy or nothing, it just keeps things simple.