Dear Mimi – Casual Sex

This new section is called Dear Mimi and it is meant to function in mainly two ways:

  1. Advice column – about sex, relationships, writing, starting a blog, sex toys, BDSM, LGBTQ, website related crap (which will actually be Joseph responding since me and technology are not friends yet),  porn, disability, etc.
  2. Get to know your beloved sex blogger – about… me! Oh, and Joseph. You can tell a lot about us through our blog, but if you have any other questions, this is the place for them.

I want to remind our readers that we are not experts. Like so many other voices on the internet, we are individuals with opinions and knowledge that intermingle, and we present our perspective based on that intermingling. We read, we observe, we research, we ask questions, we experience, we reflect, we think – but we are not professionals or experts. (In fact, it’s our general experience that even people who are called such should be handled with a degree of suspicion and/or inquiry.)

As such, all medical inquiries should be addressed to a medical professional, preferably more than one. Also, if I believe your answer is out of my capable hands, I’ll provide you with some links for further research, but I recommend doing so on your own as well. I cannot possibly provide you with everything. I am one person and thus represent one vantage point. If you want to ask Joseph or one of our guest reviewers a question, you can address it to them. It will still appear in this column with their input.

When it comes to personal or fun questions about us, I reserve the right to answer or ignore at my own free will; however, I will always attempt to address matters that I feel may be helpful to a wider audience. Thus, if you send me offensive nonsense, I will probably ignore it outright. And if I think it’s a little too invasive on the intimacy between myself and my husband, I’ll politely decline.

You can sign your actual names, if you want, but I suggest a pseudonym. The question posed below was actually said to me in person, so I just filled in a “name”, knowing he’d prefer total anonymity.

Dear Mimi,

I want to have a non-committal sexual relationship with this girl and I’ve told her I don’t want to date anyone right now, which she says is fine but I don’t believe she means it. She just seems to act like eventually I’ll change my mind. Is it wrong if I sleep with her anyway? How can I get her to understand my position or be more honest about hers?

- Not tryin to be a dick

Dear Not tryin to be a dick,

The boundary between dating and casual sex can be really blurry and uncertain, especially because people sometimes change their minds over time. We depend on various modes of communication to be able to distinguish where we are in a relationship. The fact that you’ve told her what you want is a really great thing and I’m sure people who have been misled everywhere can appreciate your decision. You cannot control her level of self-awareness, but you can be diligent about your own. Were you clear? Did you make it sound like you might change your mind? Were you trying to be polite, but instead it came across as instilling hope in her mind? You need to ask yourself more questions and then you need to bring your thoughts to her to discuss. First and foremost, you need to secure an inner dialog that can extend to the other person (or persons) involved. Honest communication is key.

I’ve been in this situation before – a man I was sleeping with would not believe that I only wanted casual sex. He kept talking about us as though we were dating, and eventually it left him feeling really bitter because I never changed my mind about our status. I knew – on some level – that he wasn’t capable of maintaining the relationship I wanted. But I slept with him anyway, deciding that we’re all responsible for ourselves. I’ve been honest with everyone involved, he hasn’t even been honest with himself. That’s not my problem.

That’s also a very cold way to go about this, especially if you want to be friends or share mutual friends. I would recommend not having sex with her until you feel confident in the mutuality of desire for non-commitment. She may feel slighted at the rejection, but if she’s worth her weight in pudding, she’ll respect you more for it. And you’ll respect yourself knowing that you’re not being a dick.

Have a question for Mimi? Send it here.

Tristan Taormino’s “Opening Up”

herandopeningup1

Tristan Taormino’s “Opening Up” Provided by us by our favorite: Babeland

Mimi

My romantic relationship with Him actually began as an open relationship because neither one of us was ready to give up our casual, sexual relationships with other people, plus for a few months I lived about a thousand miles away. As friends we had already established trust through a mutual commitment to self-awareness and communication, so it made acknowledging our independent sexual exploits easier to cope with.

We are currently (happily) monogamous, but seeing as how it’s unlikely I’ll wake up one day no longer desiring vagina, we’ll probably negotiate terms for nonmonogamy in the future. I have never really believed that I could be monogamous without lying or cheating, which is unacceptable to me, but I think it’s working for me right now because despite being in a “normal” relationship, we still think about it on very individualistic terms. For example, I do not believe that I can fulfill all of his needs all of the time, nor do we believe we possess each other by virtue of our love.

In sum, we are predisposed to favor a lifestyle that follows self-created standards instead of societal standards. I was really looking forward to reading “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino.

This book reads similar to a sociological study yet with more frequent use of humor, personal insight, and bias. It’s also much more approachable, which is important considering the nature of the subject. There are moments when Taormino’s obvious preference for nonmonogamy becomes like propaganda to join a special club. (All the cool kids are doing it.) One can overlook these moments, though, because they’re minor in comparison to Taormino’s commitment to helping people live as authentically to themselves as possible.

If you are even a little experienced with nonmonogamy, parts of this book may seem monotonous to you; however, I recommend reading this book in its entirety because Taormino slips in things that are good to remember. In relationships we have a habit of forgetting ourselves and/or the values that made the relationships so great in the first place. It’s good to be reminded of things like this:

“When you don’t honor your feelings and instincts, when you don’t verbalize what you want and need, when you keep silent so you don’t rock the boat, it’s only a matter of time before you feel bad. “

After reading this book, you may find that it can help reinforce/redirect your monogamous relationship because the necessities of nonmonogamy apply to other styles. Communication, personal boundaries, self-awareness, trust – these are all aspects of a healthy partnership.

Aside from the clarity and examples Taormino offers, I really enjoy the practicality she employs, which makes her message truly penetrative. Continually I thought to myself, ‘Yes, that makes sense’. It makes sense to not make promises about the rest of our lives because we don’t know what’s going to happen. It makes sense to embrace other people you love instead of lying about it to yourself and your partner, where it will breed resentment and mistrust. It makes sense to challenge your fears and insecurities by forcing them to the surface.

“Opening Up” is not just about fucking multiple people. This book is about re-thinking what history and culture has brought us, then make a decision for yourself. Are you monogamous because you consciously choose to be or because everyone in your family is monogamous? Would you be happier if you could pursue your interest in the same sex? Can you be the submissive that your primary partner wants? Do you believe that the current family structure is really the best for raising children? These are the kind of questions you’ll ask yourself (and perhaps your partner) while reading this book and probably long after your done. It’s an excellent beginning to an exciting, interesting, and totally relevant subject.

Joseph

Opening Up is a must read for anyone considering an open relationship for the first time and must skim for those with previous open experience.

The book is very well written and approached from a holistic and qualitative perspective. This gives much of the book an academic feel that can be tricky. You (or at least I did) have to keep reminding yourself “This book is not the result of an extensive sociological study. This book is one woman’s opinion.” Taormino’s opinion is that open relationships are vastly superior to traditional monogamous relationships and that comes through quite clearly in the book. Some aspects are quite heavy handed. Which is fine for a book that is one woman’s opinion, you just have to keep reminding yourself. There is no et al here, it is just Taormino and her personally edited interviews.

Aside from sometimes having a deceivingly decisive feel about it, it is a great book for beginners. It outlines the history of open relationships, the different types and styles (and acknowledges that there is limit to what can be done), some of the problems that are more common in open relationships, and best practices for making relationships work. On that last item, I left out the word open because most of the things that Taormino reccomends for making an open relationship work are really things that are needed to make any relationship work: honesty, respect, time management, consideration of your partner(s) feelings, etc.

Each chapter is smattered with excerpts from interviews that Taormino conducted while researching the book. This gives a healthy “real people” feeling to the book and often puts Taormino’s points in the words of real people living the lifestyle.

Taormino also includes the legal considerations of being in an open relationship as well as different approaches to raising children, coming out to loved ones, living in peace in this society and safer sex practices. The holistic way that the subject is approached in this book is what makes it fantastic and indispensable. Open relationships are a LIFE choice and not just about getting to fuck other people while keeping someone to watch TV on the couch with and Taormino portrays that wonderfully.

As someone with a little experience with open relations and a lot of experience with interpersonal relations, I did find parts of the book to be tedious and painfully simple. But I am not who the book is written for. For someone that is approaching open relationships for the first time, it is gold.

fridge-family

Do more mommies and daddies mean more birthday presents?

The Naked Truth:

Design: ★★★★★

Readability: ★★★★★

Educational Value: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★