Sunday, 4 December 2011

An Ethical Slut?*

Well, the Sunday Times has done it again - not just one article on polyamory/sleeping around, but two!  (MM reckons that now that The News of the World is no more, the ST are utilising a gap in the sunday morning "sex with your breakfast" scene.  If it's in the Sunday Times (albeit the Style section, which gives it some cachet) then our lifestyle choice is becoming quite routine amongst the middle classes.

 "The More the Merrier" examines the ethics behind polyamory, which is based on open and honest relationships between all involved parties and, "What it Feels Like to be the Other Woman" is an irritating self-involved piece from some woman who goes round finding married men on websites (oops, that sounds a bit like me).  It's a pity my current tri-partite involvement reflects the "Other Woman" relationship model, rather than the "More the Merrier" one, but it's not for lack of trying.  It's just that most people are not cool about their partners sleeping with others.  Both Jim and Sam are happy to sleep with me, but neither would be happy for their women to sleep with someone else.  Although Sam did at least try swinging when he was with his ex.

So, how ethical am I being, really?  I am completely honest with MM - and we often discuss our relationship and sometimes we discuss the jealousy he occasionally feels about me sleeping with others.  (Interestingly, he is just as often jealous because, being a woman, it's usually easier for me to get laid than it is for him -so it's not always possessiveness, just the far more prosaic "it's not fair"!)  Nevertheless, I can't get away from the fact that the other women in my lovers' lives don't know and I do feel bad about that.  Not bad enough to stop, though.  The only way I can justify it is that both men were looking for an affair and if it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else.  The other thing I have noticed as well is that for Jim, at least, he seems to be happier in his marriage than he was when I met him.  He was talking about leaving her within the next year but now they are looking to move house together.  I don't know whether seeing me has relieved some of the frustration and unhappiness he was feeling, but I do hope so.

All in all, things have settled down nicely for me - I see Jim and Sam alternately, usually one in one week and the other the week after. Affection is a big part of it for me and both are affectionate as well as good lovers.  I like to hear about their lives and they hear about mine.  I want them to have a nice time with me, and they want me to enjoy myself too.  None of us are falling in love, but I hope that we are becoming friends as well as lovers.  I know I'm a slut, but I like to think that, on the whole, I'm an ethical one.

*"The Ethical Slut" is a 1997 guide to "infinite sexual possibilities" by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.  I must read it...