Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dear Reina,

I am a guy who is endlessly attracted to all types of women, and sometimes men, and I find this to be a main reason I have no interest in a committed relationship (seeing as apparently so few people are into open relationships). I don't think there is anything wrong with me, as a matter of fact I think that either women and/or the religious right have demonized this type of natural behavior in our society, yet we have rampant divorce and/or cheating. I had a heated discussion with a girl I am dating and she was quite adamant that it is BS that men are wired this way, which really made me believe that women are wired (in general) the opposite way. You know, the whole "it is advantageous for a man to have as many partners as possible, while a woman is better off finding one mate to help raise the offspring" theory. What are your thoughts on this in general?

Also, what do you think of the recent trend towards (famous) men going into sex addiction therapy? Seems kind of bogus to me, just another cop out by the men and opportunity for a quick fix by our mental health professionals.

Joe Anybody

Dear Joe Anybody,
    First off I'd like to clarify that one of the reasons I think that so few people are open to having an open relationship is that they misunderstand what an open relationship really is. Also, I think it's hard to pin point it's "demonization" to only women and the religious right. I think it's a bit more complicated than that and overall, a very misunderstood subject. Many people think that an open relationship consists of a relationship where anything goes and there are no rules or real commitment involved. This is completely untrue, in fact I think it's kind of the opposite. Open relationships often have a lot of rules, but these rules are different for each relationship depending on the people involved in it. In fact, I would consider there to be a huge amount of commitment and trust involved in order to maintain a healthy open relationship, since both partners need need to know that they're rules are being followed and they're boundaries respected. I also think that there tends to be more honesty in open relationships than is typically found in monogamous ones since everything is out in the open and discussed before hand. Each partner sets up their own boundaries and what they're comfortable with and because these boundaries can change, depending on the situation, there tends to be more honest discussions, more often, about how each person feels and what they are comfortable with their partner doing or not doing. People in open relationships tend to have a strong commitment to each other because of the communication that is involved in maintaining one properly. Where as many people in monogamous relationships may not have as much open and honest communication as frequently since the rules of monogamy are typically fixed and set up at the beginning, and since they don't change, they are often not discussed as often. Therefore, open relationships may actually give couples more reasons to have healthy and honest conversations and communication, where as in monogamous ones there can sometimes be more room for deception (cheating, lying, etc.) since many people get into them, get comfortable, and then stop addressing their partner's needs or even their own for fear that their partner might judge them, disagree, or get freaked out. As people, we're always growing and changing and this can sometimes effect what we want or need sexually. It's most often the people in monogamous relationships where there is little or no communication that tend to be the clientele for most sex workers, usually because they are too afraid to open up to their partner about what they want sexually and so seek it out elsewhere while their partner is none the wiser.

    Now, onto the whole men and women being wired differently theory. This is a pretty tricky subject. First of all, I do think that there was a strong basis for that theory at one point in time. In the past it was definitely more advantageous for women to find one partner and for men to "spread their seed", but we now exist in a time where a lot of this type of behavior is no longer necessary for survival. Also, we all have free will and even if our so called "lizard brains" are still set to act on this antiquated system of behavior we have a choice as to whether we wish to act on it or not. That, and no one person is wired exactly the same way, so I think there are going to be a lot of exceptions to the rule in this area. I also tend to think that some people may use this theory as more of an excuse for they're own or their partners behavior. That's when we hear things like "He cheated on me because he's a man and that's what men do." etc.

    Overall, everybody is different and the idea that the only relationship option out there is a monogamous one, between a man and a woman is antiquated and just plain dumb. We live in a world that is so full of variety on so many levels that I find it surprising that we still only have one socially acceptable option when it comes to relationships. If so much variety exists in every other aspect of our lives, then why not in our love lives and the options we have regarding relationships? Years ago there were many social, political, and religious reasons for the only option to be monogamy (but even then it was often only practiced on the surface while keeping any other illicit affairs behind closed doors), but now I see no reason for people to have to stick to these old ideals. Men and women are definitely wired differently but I don't think that means that all men are wired to spread their seed and all women to find one partner. Especially if you consider the whole nature versus nurture argument. Sure, our brains may have a lot to do with what type of relationship we seek out for ourselves but so does what we were raised to believe was acceptable and the environment we grew up in. There is a tribe that exists, called the Asmat, where homosexuality is a common practice between boys and men before marriage. However, once the men find a wife they usually cease sleeping with they're male lovers. This practice would be unacceptable in most societies, but because these men grew up in an environment where it was normal it's not unacceptable to them.

    The point I'm trying to get across is that I think that everybody is different and the most important thing in relationships is to find out what works for you and makes you happy even if it may not be the socially acceptable thing to do. Because there exists so many different types of people, odds are that eventually you will find someone that feels the same way you do about relationships and then you can enjoy your future sexual adventures and the multiple partners that may be included in them together.

    And finally, my thoughts on sexual addiction. This is another tricky topic. Do I think it exists? Sure. But I also think it's possible to have an addiction to a lot of things. I mean, they have meetings for people who are addicted to shopping, so why not sex? However, I define an addiction as when a person is so consumed with using or doing something that it gets in the way of them living their day to day life. Like how an alcoholic might lose their job for showing up late due to a hangover one too many times or a person addicted to gambling will beg, borrow, cheat, or steal for that last $20 in order to play one last hand. When you cannot stop doing something even though it is making you miserable and ruining your life, that is when I consider it an addiction. I do, however, think that people have been taking advantage of this diagnosis. Especially, in the media as of late. I think that the diagnosis of sexual addiction is most likely much more rare then some people would like to believe. But, hey, if you're Jessie James or Tiger Woods, living under the microscope that is fame these days, and you've just been caught cheating on your wife with a million other women you would probably claim sex addiction too. It's the only way to fess up to what you've done and possibly gain sympathy for it at the same time, after all. And honestly, it was probably the only way their PR person could get them out of the mess they created with as little damage as possible.


Thursday, March 25, 2010


I just thought of a question that's been on my mind on an off for a while (and, consequently, thought of you.) I generally date/get sexy w/guys, but for as long (actually longer) as I've been interested in people sexually, I've also been interested in women. Just not to the same extent as with men. Unfortunately, due to what our society is in terms of non-traditional straight stuff, I guess we'll never know if that tip toward men is just socialized or if I really have a preference one way or another. I've never really given much thought to what sexual orientation I identify with, but now that I gave it a thought and can't figure out which one I'm best suited to (how bi does a girl have to be to be bi?) I've been considering going back to not caring again. I am who I am and if someone I like wants to get me off, good for the both of us regardless of gender. In light of this, my question is: do I HAVE to identify with a specific sexual orientation? is that a cop-out? or am I just fine the way I am?

your (not so) anonymous little friend

Dear Not So Anonymous Little Friend,

There are a couple of parts to this question that I would like to address. First off, I'd like to start with the beginning of your email. You stated that you've been attracted to women even before you were attracted to men. When children are young, and just getting to know their bodies, it's not an uncommon occurrence for them to have their first sexual experiences with other children of the same sex. In fact, that's how I had my first experiences with sexuality as well as did many other people I know. Though, there are few guys that will admit to it since our society seems to think that any kind of sexual contact with another male instantly turns you gay. These early sexual experiences usually have more to do with pure experimentation than real sexual attraction though. It's usually only later on that we delve into the more emotional aspects of sexuality, as we mature and begin puberty. So therefore, even though you may have had some girl on girl experiences or attractions when you were young, it's fairly common and natural and doesn't have much to do with being gay, straight, or bisexual. Whichever tendencies stayed with you as you matured, would probably be more accurate in highlighting what your true sexual preferences were.

To address your issue with not knowing whether your preference for men is due to societal standards or not and whether you are bisexual, I think the solution is all about emotion. Nowadays, there are a lot of people who have experimented with bisexuality, or who are at least more open about it. Among these people there tend to be two groups, those that practice bisexuality on a regular basis and those who experiment with the same sex from time to time, but generally prefer the opposite sex. The main difference between these two groups is usually emotional attachment, or love. Many women claim that they really enjoy being with another woman, but they wouldn't date one because they are incapable of developing the same types of feelings and emotional attachment that they develop when they are in relationships with men. Basically they like fooling around with women but could never fall in love with one. This first group I would consider as having bisexual tendencies but not being bisexual, at least not under my definition of the word. The second group typically consists of people who are capable of falling in love with a man or a woman equally and tend have had committed relationships with both men and women.

Society has a lot to do with how we act and represent ourselves in public and even how we feel about ourselves as people, but I don't think society can change who you are capable or incapable of falling in love with, only whether you will be open about it publicly or not. So, basically my answer is this, if you feel that you are capable of falling in love with both men and women, then you are probably bisexual. If your feelings for men tend to be stronger than the ones you have for women, then you're probably just straight with bisexual tendencies. Either that or maybe you just haven't met the right girl yet.

Either way, identifying as bisexual, straight, or gay is really all about labels and labels tend to be more for other people than for ourselves. You don't have to label yourself anything if you don't want to. Or you could always switch it up, depending on your mood and confuse the hell out of everybody. Hee hee. Doing whatever gets your rocks off and makes you happy is the most important thing in the end. So label if you like, or simply say fuck it and keep your options open.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Hey guys, I've just started this blog in order to put my personal experience, researching skills, and almost completed degree to work at giving advice on sex and relationships. Over the years I have found myself often giving advice to friends or strangers that were in need of it and I found that I really enjoyed it. My experience in the field is rather eclectic ranging from personal experiences, second hand ones, and research (often to quell my own curiosity).
I'm hoping to be able to update it as soon as I receive my first questions. I'm super excited to be doing this and I hope that some of you can find it helpful.