I just finished clearing out my queue, know what that means? It’s a great time to submit your question. Haven’t asked before? It’s pretty easy. Submit your question by hitting “ask” at the top of my site. All questions are anonymous. Most people ask things about sex, sexuality, and relationships. If you’re curious about something and want to ask, give it a shot!
Questions are answered on my blog on Mondays and Wednesdays but they can be submitted any time.
If you don’t have a question but just want me to write about a topic you’re curious about, prompts work great too! You help guide what is on my site, so tell me what you’re curious about, and let’s get at it.
This week there was an interesting discussion of prostitution, call girls, and street walkers. Sex workers. With the internet and the migration of sex work onto the internet, street walking has decreased. Our mental images of what prostitution is (often based on what we see in the media) may be distorted. This conversation followed two interesting stems. The first: Why do we need to buy intimacy? Frequently these encounters are less about sex and more about power or experiencing a certain intimate experience with someone else. The second: Does exchange of goods or services count as prostitution? What needs to happen for it to be considered sex work? Is marriage sex work?
I brought up a few points which I thought were interesting. The first being that we may separate our partner and our family life with obtrusive fantasies or “unnecessary” needs. Which are both seemingly confusing statements – so I’ll go on. Let’s say you’re in a perfectly happy marriage but you really feel like to be satisfied you need to have a woman spank you every now and then. (I apologize for those of you who do study this, as that’s a pretty basic example.) You go outside of the marriage to satisfy that desire now and then to not risk upsetting the balance within your marriage that is otherwise perfectly fine without this one thing. You may consider this fantasy obtrusive but you may also consider it unnecessary. Except, clearly, it is necessary. If you have to go outside of your relationship to obtain it, it’s necessary to you. Maybe in your ideal fantasy relationship you don’t have that need and you don’t need to rock the boat to obtain that need, but if our needs aren’t being met, we should rock the boat. We shouldn’t find satisfaction in secret and pretend that we’re okay.
We also discussed the virgin/whore dichotomy (lady in the street, freak in the bed) and how some people (perhaps without acknowledging it) may prefer their partner to be untainted by these fantasies. They’ll go to someone who is already “dirty” to be dirty with.
But what about marriage being sex work? If we bring along our negative associations with prostitution, some may find it an offensive statement. But let’s break down sex work into the simple exchange of something for some type of physical or emotional sexual/intimate encounter. Doesn’t this happen all the time in relationships? Even if we don’t actively “use sex” to get what we want, we’re aware of the inherent worth of sex. We’re aware of the power our bodies have. We’re aware of how our behaviors may influence our sex lives.
We grow up being told that we have “self-worth” or “value” and some people grow up thinking they are “worthless.” What does this do if not establish that the body can be used in exchange?
What do you think? What constitutes sex work? How should someone fulfill those fantasies they have within the boundaries of their long term commitments?
I’m curious how many of my readers wear a fragrance (like cologne, perfume, or heavily scented lotion) on an average day. If you wear some kind of fragrance more often than not, select yes. If you rarely to never wear fragrance or only think about it on special occasions, select no.
I am in an open relationship with a really great man, and have been dating a married man for the last couple of months without his wife knowing. They are clearly NOT OPEN, and after sitting on the idea for weeks I decided to dive in, love on him when its convenient, and its been great. I have not been open with my primary partner about this relationship completely, because his wife does not have any idea about what has going on, and I just feel like it needs to be privatized for the time being. Is it awful to continue this even thought I KNOW it would hurt her? Or is it okay to continue knowing it will always be a secret kept between married man and I? -D
I’m a big fan of ethical non-monogamy, so this falls under my personal list of no-nos. It may not be what you wanted to hear! I think that open communication, trust, honesty, and CONSENT are the most important parts of having an open relationship. Because the wife is clearly involved but doesn’t know it, I would not say that this relationship falls under the umbrella of ethical non-monogamy.
This becomes an issue in open relationships quite frequently. Are you responsible for making sure that your new partner is abiding by the rules that they set up in their relationship? I don’t think so – but I also would not be interested in involving myself with a person who would willingly go behind the back of their partner in order to have the kind of relationship that they wanted. He’s not being faithful, and I’m not sure if the circumstances that led to him not being faithful are particularly important. There are many other paths towards this scenario that involve everyone being open and honest and consenting.
I couldn’t personally condone continuing the relationship unless their situation changed and he was able to pursue out-of-relationship affections with the consent of his wife. That would surely not be a neater or easier solution than staying. It’s up to you to decide what to do and what is right for you. I can’t say with 100% certainty that continuing would be the wrong choice. But I don’t feel that it’s the just one.
Have a question about sex, sexuality, or relationships? Hit ‘Ask’ at the top and I’ll answer it on my blog.
Are there any blogs or forums/communities you can recommend that talk about self discovery and learning to communicate to death?
I cut your question down a bit, but thank you for the nice words, and I am glad that my blog and other blogs in the community have been able to help you open up and start looking at your relationship in new and productive ways!
I am not personally a member of any forums anymore (the art of the forum is dying, though I suspect it will return with full force just as the blog has) but I can recommend some that I’ve passed by in the past. I would highly recommend finding blogs that you enjoy and reaching out to the writers of said blogs via email or twitter to ask questions. Most of the people I know who write blogs are pretty responsive and would take to helping someone looking for more information. Writing a blog yourself can also be a great way to interact with people based on your specific thoughts, feelings, and explorations.
You can also feel free to reach out to me via email if you want to talk more – or suggest blog topics you think would be useful. I really would recommend reaching out to many different people though because there are lots of different perspectives out there and they can all be helpful in you developing your own.
Lastly - Books are a great resource! I’ve included some in my resources link at the top which you might be interested in checking out.
Note: Thanks to whoever pointed out that names were “required” in submitting questions. Most people bypassed this by entering nonsense into the name box, but I’ve made it optional now. Feel free to include your name if you don’t mind me knowing who you are (I obviously wont include it when I answer your question) but feel free to leave it completely blank if you prefer I don’t know.