April 29, 2013

Relationships | It's Not About 'Ownership'

Some days I really should learn to stay away from some of the nonsense that passes as “advice and insight” in those trashy women’s magazines and relationship websites. They used to be a fun source of humour and fodder for lunchtime debates, but lately they have proven to be nothing more than ridiculous perspectives that are going to screw up reality for a lot of younger women should they chose to believe what these bitter and jaded writers put out there.

Now, I recognize that not everyone looks at the world like I do; just as I don’t share a lot of other people’s perspectives – especially on relationships and sexuality. And I have to learn to accept that the path that has brought me to where I am in life is also not one that has been walked by many.

The article I read last week that got my blood pressure rising was a “modern woman’s” position about fidelity and fantasy. The female author was writing about how she believes it is completely wrong for people in committed relationships to have fantasies that involve other people. Her position was that “your man” could be cheating on you in his own mind; that his fantasies were taking him out of the marriage.


And she went on to explain her belief that in order for a woman to own a man sexually, he shouldn’t be thinking about other women … period.

Good lord!

I have a hard time understanding how some modern women view their feminist right as one of possession – particularly when it comes to men. Their attitude reminds of those stereotypical black wives from bad 1990s sitcoms and the “Oh no, you di' unt…” finger-wagging, head-bobbing routine.

“I think however that private fantasizing is also a sure-fire way for couples to become disengaged and disconnected during sex. It also does not encourage dialogue between couples about the things with which they are unhappy,” the author writes in her article.

How are having sexual fantasies an indication that we are unhappy as people?

“What right-thinking woman (unless she’s kinky to the bone) wants her husband to be thinking about another woman when he’s making love to her? Yes, I am aware that different folks have different strokes but for those of us interested in the concept of sexual-exclusivity, why should this not also be extended to the thought-life? As my girlfriends have said, the first step to fully owning a man sexually is owning his mind and if it’s filled with thoughts of other women, how much of him do we really have?”

Are these the very same girlfriends who sit around bitching about how useless their husbands are; or how the “word according to the gospel of Oprah” says another wedge of cheesecake won’t hurt?

Is monogamy really about completely “owning” the other person sexually?

I guess I am one of the “kinky to the bone” women she is scoffing about. In our bedroom, our fantasies about other people are a widely accepted – and openly discussed – topic. I can tell you about a number of the women my husband works with on a daily basis that he would love to invite into our sex life – hell, I’d even be happy just to sit back and watch. He’s already done that much for me by allowing one of my biggest fantasies to become a reality.

Maybe I am missing something in my role as a sexual woman to truly understand how his sexual fantasies are damaging our long-term relationship? Never mind our 23-year history as a couple while we have seen less open-minded couples have their marriages implode.

Several studies have shown how having fantasies is actually healthy for the mind and people who fantasize frequently have more fun in bed, have sex more often, and women have more orgasms during sex than those who refrain from fantasizing about their sex lives. And some of those studies have shown how lack of being able to have sexual fantasies has led to boredom.

What is dangerous to the health of a relationship is the idea of “possession” and an atmosphere of judgment where one of the parties involved doesn’t feel confident or comfortable in sharing. Being connected to someone who won’t allow you the freedom to express the deepest and darkest desires is a sure-fire way to spend a life of misery.

And I can tell you I see that far too much around me – couples who clearly have no clue about the thoughts of their partner. They co-exist in a swirl of resentment without really understanding how they reached that stage, but the cohabitation passing as a “marriage” is too convenient to leave – or heaven forbid, too much bother to put in the effort to change. I listen as my own girlfriends complain about their partners, label them and berate them; rarely do they share any of the decent qualities that must have existed at one point in time.

Meanwhile, they scoff at my own tales of how my husband planned an elaborate birthday scavenger hunt for me last year; or how he secretly downloads songs I like onto my mp3 player while I am in bed asleep, leaving me to be surprised the next time I listen to it. I’ve stopped telling them that he knows my clothing, underwear and shoe size better than I do. Damn the bastard!

It's time to let go of the anger and resentment that has boiled because you are too lazy to actually talk to each other. Life is not a Hollywood movie where Prince Charming comes to the rescue, or some great revelation occurs and your marriage is fixed in a running time of 181 minutes. You have to open up, you have to talk and you have to be willing to accept the other person's delightful kinky lust for wanting you to be a part of their sexual fantasies.

A progressive relationship isn’t about ownership or dispelling the fact that human nature involves a healthy imagination. Trying to squash your partner’s fleeting mental desires is likely a quicker route to turning a monogamous partnership into a former relationship.
Andee     xoxo

1 comment:

Ayesha said...

Ahem....I own several men and women, but never had the feeling that this was dangerous to the health of the relationship ;)