Monday, April 7, 2008

A Woman After My Own Heart

While checking my email earlier today, I got an email from the Huffington Post with a list of article links. When I came upon one entitled, "Less Monogamy, More Fun", I immediately clicked. It seemed as if there was someone writing for them who thinks like me.

I know some of you are sick of my posts on the monogamy/libertine thing, but I didn't have anything else to write about today, and I thought my response to this article would make a good post, nonetheless. Feel free to stop reading now if you are sick of the topic.

The author, Suzanne Portnoy, is a woman after my own heart. Portnoy is the author of two books, The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker and The Not So Invisible Woman, two erotic memoirs that recount her sexual adventures,

She is 45, divorced five years ago after a monogamous marriage. Single again, she came to the realization that monogamy was no longer for her. "When it comes to relationships, I opt for the plural over the singular, the now over the forever. When I want an orgasm, it's just a phone call away," she said.

Amen. A woman after my own heart, my female counterpart.

I wrote a rather lengthy reponse, which I had to cut down considerably because Huffpost has a 250 word minimum. The entire comment is posted below

I am the author's male counterpart. I'm in her age bracket and I've always lived an openly and unapologetically non-monogamous life. I'm not "polyamorous" in that I don't love everyone I have sex with, nor am I a swinger, as I'm not in an emotionally monogamous marriage and I don't approach my sex life as an organized couples activity. Neither am I a "cheater", as I'm not married, nor do I ever agree to sexual exclusivity with any lover. Rather, as my handle indicates, I'm a libertine, a sexual and emotional free agent, being not socially, physically, or emotionally monogamous.

I do not believe that humans are naturally monogamous and I have no desire to try, preferring to live in harmony with my own nature. My sex/relationship life consists mainly of having several "friends with benefits", along with the occasional one-night stand. From time to time, I have deeper emotional relationships,

I like the freedom to come and go as I please and it's easier for me to avoid sexual ruts, which tend to be created by excessive familiarity; the same old, same old, with the same old person. As one author put it, I don't do well, "mating in captivity".

There are quite a few other women like her,out there -- I've slept with quite a few of them. They're not wanting to put in the time and emotional effort into a committed monogamous relationship for many valid reasons. Some have recently divorced or broken up from long term relationships and don't want to jump into a new one -- but still have sexual needs. Others have busy careers that are the main focus of their lives -- but still have sexual needs. Others simply prefer to live alone and maintain their emotional independence -- but still have sexual needs. There's nothing wrong with any of this, as long as those involved are on the same page and accept the nature of the relationship. I've spend my life being the friend with benefits to many such women and will continue to do so as long as I'm able.

Many women are realizing what most men have always known -- that sex and love are not the same thing, nor should they always have to occur together. Sex with love is a fine thing with the right person, but sex without love with agreeable partners can be a mighty fine thing, too.

Naturally, the libertine life isn't for many people -- but neither is the monogamous life. But there's room for both kinds of people (and many other variations in between!) out there.

Live and let live, I say.


Suzanne Portnoy said...

Just thought I'd say 'hi' and thanks for the comment. You're spot on in your assessment of my nature. It's not easy to categorise. I hate being called a swinger and polyamorist isn't entirely accurate, though I prefer the latter over the former. At the end of of the day it just boils down to doing what I want, when I want without giving any thought at all for whether I fit into any category or stereotype. I'd call myself a libertine too if it didn't remind me of that mediocre movie starring Johnny Depp!

Libertine said...

Thanks for your visit, Suzanne. I appreciate it quite a bit.

I, too, would prefer to be called a polyamorist rather than a swinger, even though it's not a perfect fit, as it comes closer to what I am. If I ever want to settle down in my old age, that's what I'll be.

I started blogging four years ago on Blog City at the request of a friend. She thought it would be a good idea for me to write about my lifestyle and my beliefs related to it as a way to educate those curious about it and those searching for their own sexual truths. I still maintain that blog and it's a useful reference guide with an extensive reference list for those interested in libertinism and other forms of nonmonogamy.

I chose the label "libertine" for myself long before the Depp movie was even thought of. It's an older term with some history behind it that I thought was much classier than most of the current slang terms for promiscuous/sexually free people, both male and female.

Thanks again for your kind words.