During a conversation with some of my philosophising-religion-vs-spirituality friends, we stumbled upon the subject of sexual morality. “Is sexual morality an oxymoron?” I thought to myself. “Regardless, that’s an English scholar’s debate.”
The gist of the conversation went something like, ” I don’t understand why people are so uptight about having sexual partners who are friends but not full-time partners.”
Yes, there is a double-standard with regard to gender expectations and what is acceptable, but I’m not going there, because I think the double standard is bunk.
“Hmm,” I thought as I sipped my beer. “Why are people so upset with two consenting adults having a sexual relationship without a traditional relationship or marriage?” Personally, I’ve always thought that whatever two consenting adults do together behind closed doors is no one else’s business.
UNLESS….I’m sure there are a zillion ‘unlesses’ and ‘what-ifs’ I could think of, but there are always exceptions.
The woman I was speaking with confided that once in a while it’s nice to have that human connection, a bit of a cuddle, and the friendship that goes along with it. As another single woman I had to agree. The men at the table concurred enthusiastically.
It has long been my philosophy that it’s lovely to plan a night, pamper myself with the spa treatments I want, have a few glasses of wine, put on some great music, and make love, as Lional Ritchie says,”all night long”.
This is not to be mistaken for the one night stand or drunken booty call. This is an established relationship agreement, and it can be as fulfilling as a woman needs it to be until she’s ready to settle – yes, settle– for a full time partner.
Don’t bust my beautiful buns here gentlemen. Yes, yes, yes, men also ‘settle’ for full time partners.
Many women have relationships with single men who aren’t around as a husband or boyfriend, but as a lover, a friend, and confidant. Or, just a lover. Neither partner wants or needs anything more. When one of the two becomes involved in a committed relationship (if they ever do), the relationship is ended, and both go their separate ways.
But it’s not that easy is it? A wise, older lover of mine once said, “Someone always gets hurt,”, and indeed,he was right, someone almost always does hurt. I will not deny that at times, a complicated web can be woven, but it can be avoided if you’re clear about expectations and boundaries.
Oh yes, another thing that helps, consider these men as back-up only, and as such, you shall have a pool of qualified men to draw from. These men do not replace your search for ‘the one’. They keep you sane while you’re knee deep in the guerilla warfare of the dating world. My general rule of thumb is threefold; It must be good. It must be regular. It must be discrete.
If you’re at loss for words negotiating your new relationships, just say this, “Listen, there are rules. It must be good. It must be regular. It must be discrete.” That’s clear and fair.
I have wandered in and out of a few relationships over the years that were committed and monogamous, as have many of my wonderful women friends. That meant that any other sexual relationships were off the table. The friendships, with our part-time lovers were also ended. It’s just one element of casual sex-etiquette.
One other element of casual sex etiquette does involve communication, and as casual as it may seem, there is still a very delicate balance between the partners in this carefully choreographed adult dance. Lovers cannot be lovers if you do not like them or respect them.
Simple Rules to Follow for Boy-Toys and Back-Ups
1) Never forget that they are only temporary.
2) Never mistake them for a ‘date’. Do not invite them to weddings, funerals, family gatherings or work functions. Concerts and other anonymous party type activities are ok so long as they do not inhibit your ability to socialize with men who have potential to be a real partner.
3) If they have to spend the night because they’ve had too much to drink either make sure they have somewhere to be at 5am or set your alarm early and get them the hell out so you can go back to sleep.
4) Do not let them keep any of their ‘stuff’ at your place. No toothbrush, no razor, no extra undies and socks. Nada. Nothing.
5) The Boy Toy/Back-Up should follow etiquette and supply all condoms. You should have back up condoms and impeccable birth control and health safety practices.
6) They must be clean. Do not settle for someone who smells like the gym, work, dinner, or other icky stuff.
7) Whoever is entertaining should receive a token gift – bottle of wine, or token indulgence of their choice.
8) Both of you expect to ‘be on call’. The arrangement only works if you are both relatively satisfied and available (within reason).
9) No married guys. At all. Ever. Women do not hurt other women. There are grandfathering clauses, but let’s not even go there.
My fabulous snuggly gal pals, if you’re thinking you could use a little full-bodied snog, why not go for it? Are you being honest, is the gentleman trustworthy, do you wish a light snack during the fallow season?
If the answer is yes, yes, YES! I suggest you practice safe boy-toying and enjoy.
So, as myself and many of my gal-pals head into the dark months of winter, the question arises – why not indulge in some man-comfort-and-joy this winter? Why not indulge in the occasional (or frequent), scheduled intimate winterlude-interlude?
When all else fails follow this simple three point mantra: It must be good. It must be regular. It must be discrete.