Let’s Talk About Sex Baby

First I want to welcome Delilah Devlin blog readers who visited this post today after joining me at my guest blog appearance over at her site. Stay tuned at the end, everyone, for a contest opportunity. Now, on to today’s topic.

When a friend linked me to an article the other week from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine about polyamory, I knew I needed to include the link on my blog.  So here it is:  http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2010/01/03/loves_new_frontier/  I was pleased indeed to see mainstream media address an alternative lifestyle in so direct a fashion.

My publisher, Ellora’s Cave, offers a wide selection of stories categorized as ménage. My own story fits into this subset among others. While not all ménage stories involve a committed relationship in the end between the three or plus partners, a good many do. To those one might apply the label of polyamory quite fairly. I guess it’s not considered erotic romance lingo because I don’t hear it used when referring to the sub genre categories as a rule.  A good amount of ménage or poly stories are purchased at Ellora’s Cave, indicating that this lifestyle choice intrigues many.

But putting aside a discussion of whether people are or aren’t into or supportive of alternative relationship  lifestyles, there is something of utmost importance to take from the poly community. Communication.  Being part of such a complicated relationship choice involves great challenge and a great amount of time. And people do it by being explicit about their expectations and needs.

The BDSM lifestyle necessitates a similar need for clear discussion about expectations and boundaries. They even have forms for it.

Perhaps these communities have a jump on many traditional heterosexual relationships where healthy communication about wants and needs and personal limits  is an ideal, but not built into the bargain by necessity.

The web has infinitely increased the opportunities for individuals to talk about sex and lifestyle choices in an open and thoughtful manner. People need all the help they can get with communication in their relationships. It’s damn difficult even under good circumstances. So what do you think about the state of communication today between sexual partners?  Committed or otherwise. I’m talking generalizations, mind you. I appreciate that every relationship is different. Let me know what you think.

One lucky commenter on this post will win a $10.00 amazon gift card. I’ll choose the winner randomly after  the end of the day Monday, January 18th.

Safe, sane and consensual.


10 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex Baby”

  1. Hi Michelle,
    I made my way over here from Delilah’s blog and loved your post. The internet has definitely made me more open to alternative lifestyles. While I don’t practice them the books that I’ve found from blogs and other internet sources has made me understand why some people choose the lifestyles that they do.

    Unfortunately I don’t think communication between sexual partners has changed that much, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.


  2. Sherry S. Says:

    I found the Ellora’s Cave books before I found the internet I find it all very interesting to read about. I just don’t know how I would feel personally about being in that kind of relationship. I have major trust issues and I think I would be very paranoid. Now the bondage if it’s just a little I like it but when it gets into the really heavy, going to the clubs I just don’t get that.


    • cl–Thanks for your comment. I agree overall people do not communicate close to enough. Whether you practice anything less traditional or not, I can’t help feel increased understanding benefits everyone. Including acting as a model to tell folks it is fine and dandy to talk about sex and relationship expectations.

      Sherry–Trust issues are difficult. But in general it’s better to have it all on the table. I think that’s the point. It is important to know yourself well enough to recognize what kind of relationships would or would not work for you. Thank you so much for commenting.

  3. jennifer mathis Says:

    communication with your partner is still in the dark ages for most of us course I live in a small sleepy town, and thats what i basing that statement on.women I know are turning to this card game that this really nice person sent me 😉 to spice up their love life and at the same time its a gentle nug for their partner to take sometime and think about sex.

  4. Jennifer, I didn’t know my prizes actually provided potential for relationship growth. Wow! (LOL) Communication may be in the dark ages, but at least we know where the lightswitch is now if we choose to turn it on. Take care and thanks for dropping by.

  5. Communication is pretty much at the top of the list of what is wrong with all relationships. I’m talking lovers,friends,family,co-workers, strangers-I can go on. I don’t think it’s something that can be taught. Either you’re good at it or you’re not. And I find those that think that they are good at it usually aren’t. For the most part, I think that each couple/group just needs to find out what works for them. There is no set rule to follow as far as communication goes because as much alike as we are we still all have our unique qualities.

  6. Leni, I agree that we all have different and varied styles and abilities when it comes to communication. It’s one of the most difficult of all skills, I believe. I’m not sure we can’t teach it at all, it’s simply that our culture doesn’t choose to work on those basic skills explicitly. Let’s at least send the message that working on the skill and practicing it are highly valued endeavors.

  7. Hi Michelle,

    I made my way here from Delilah’s blog.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a link to that newspaper article. I must say, Boston is forging a path. I have to admire those that choose a lifestyle different from the typical. Certainly there are lots of criticism they have to face. The article did not mention how these relationships handled exposing that information with the kids involved in those families. I imagine its quite a sensitive area one needs to tread lightly.

    I have read several romances with polyamory and it can be so romantic. I sometimes wonder what happens beyond the HEA when kids are the product of that relationsip. Communication and lots of love I’m sure will be a key in the long run.

  8. I agree communication is the key here too with raising children in complicated family situations. But there are many family situations that are complicated having nothing to do with polyamory or supposedly non traditional relationships. Blended families of all types are a real struggle to balance. But children have a way of thriving in any type of situation when loved and respected. And a loved child can cope with the outside world even when that world doesn’t understand difference. Good points you raised. Thanks for making your way over.

    • Michelle,

      That’s why you are the writer. I couldn’t say it better. You wrote exactly what I was feeling about this subject and tried to convey.

      Have a great rest of the weekend.

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