Home > Equality, Homophobia - Discrimination., People and Society, Personal > Open Relationships & Heteronormative Hate?

Open Relationships & Heteronormative Hate?

Being the delightful young homosexual that I am, I have a particular taste for topics that are relevant to the gay community. The male gay community, if I am to be precise. Amongst my more ‘pro queer’ friends, (keeping in mind that queer is used to describe a cacophony of divergent sexual orientations) there is a particular contempt held for the heteronormative. This is naturally understandable, as the nuclear family with approximately 2.3 children does not seem particular appealing. There is also the view of the detrimental impact of the heterosexual influence within the lives of those that consider themselves to be queer. As a response to this notion it has be theorised that queer people should celebrate their divergent sexual practices and not to allow the heteronormative to influence our sex lives and even our relationships. The rejection of monogamy and the acceptance of open relationships being the pervading result in a good chunk of male homosexual interaction. In this quasi-intellectual article, I cherish the opportunity to deal with these notions and perhaps relate them to secular and logical morality.

It was once said in my social circles, that to have an open relationship, one is just asking for trouble, and in all honesty I simply must agree. Inviting other parties into a relationship, whilst an honour for the outside party, is calling for division within the original bond. Humanity is a jealous species; this is reflected in the pervading social taboo against cheating on partners.

Open relationships remove the idea of jealousy, and is most commonly justified with the ideology that sex and love, or perhaps not even love, sex and emotion are separated for the purposes of ensuring the longevity of this particular kind of relationship. To put it in colloquial terms, you can fuck whoever you want, so long as it remains, sex and only sex, and you remain emotionally ‘loyal,’ to your partner. Does this or not raise a few eyebrows, or is it justified?

Those in favour of open relationships might suggest that in committed monogamous situations there is a subconscious or conscious objectification of humanity. That is, a mentality of one partner to the other that they are indeed their property and in sexual terms no one else is allowed to ‘play’ with them. But this is simply not apt. Commitment being a two way street implies a form of equality, or perhaps mutual objectification that is agreed upon with the consent (albeit subconscious) of both parties. This would naturally mean that partners in committed relationships are afforded the same freedoms and responsibilities as the other. Naturally my own sense of devil advocacy says that this would mean that people in committed relationships are lesser people than their single counterparts. Why? – As they are not provided the same freedoms, surely there must be some price for an emotionally stable, healthy relationship…and let’s not forget the guarantee of sex.

Power is also a massive element of each relationship, it even has made its way into the social vernacular with the ‘reacher,’ and ‘settler’ complex. The power play evident within any relationship, keeps the bond interesting, constantly evolving. Allowing the freedom, of both partners to sleep with whoever they wish, immediately brings this power relationship into disrepute. Whilst this might seem positive, to ‘break the bonds’ of some ridiculous power struggle, it merely allows it to move into the wider community. Power then becomes about the amount of men or perhaps the sexual appeal of those that a partner will sleep with. I would ask, does this appear beneficial in the long run? In my opinion it speaks as a lack of respect for our partners as individuals not to mention the additional sexual partners who are merely being used as some form of leverage in order to gain the respect of, or to spark interest by a partner.

Moving to a matter of personal development, I wanted to speak briefly of the role of sex in a relationship. Every heterosexual relationship evident on television some-how manages to always display the long running joke of one partner (usually the female) withholding sex from the other in order to achieve what they desire. In reality, there is a distinct lack, except for perhaps the usual jibe at the idea of withholding sex for a particular purpose. The usual reason behind a lack of sexual activity is a combination of lifestyle factors and emotional issues between the partners. To place the ability to achieve sexual gratification outside a relationship is to advocate for laziness in a relationship. It is to allow sexual pleasure to be provided to a partner that may require a certain period of introspection in order to better themselves as a person. Additionally this also means that a partner has no beneficial action of working on developing (or perhaps repairing) their relationship as sexual gratification can be found elsewhere.

As a way of attacking the heteronormative, I find open relationships the most trivial and ridiculous manner in which to do so. A scattered, unorganised, string of private relationships hardly creates any notoriety against the dominant heteronormative.

I always have found it ridiculous those who always desire to attack the heterosexual dominance of society, or perhaps view its pervading nature as an attack on our right to be different. Honestly, honestly? How absurd a statement! At last glance majority of these people were created from the heteronormative, I cannot understand rationally why so many people desire to bite the hand that feeds them! Like it or not, the heteronormative has numerous institutions that will assure its longevity long into the future and if some queer people lack the capacity to understand this, then they, by all means deserve to be screaming and constantly frustrated for the rest of their lives. The fact of the matter is that heterosexual dominance in society is sound, but this does not mean that there necessary need be homophobic hate speech flung around on the streets.

The notion of transvaluation provides us with a solid resolution to the issue at hand. In order to gain what we desire, what the long speculated ‘gay agenda,’ states, i.e. equality, then a process of putting a new slant on old ideas and traditions is necessary. Furthermore it is simply not possible for this to occur if all the queer community does is shout at the top of its lungs at the woeful inequality still evident in our society. It is not necessary to distance ourselves from our heterosexual brothers and sisters, stooping our souls in bitter brine over the taunts received in high school. The value of this lesson lies in human connection. People lack the capacity to fear something they are informed of; perhaps the best way to achieve equality is to spread ourselves amongst the ‘straight,’ community. To move away from the gossiping cliques and inconsequential drama of the ‘queer,’ community and stand amongst every member of our society allowing them to view us, exactly for what we are, human.

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  1. Gareth
    June 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Early on in this article of this part you mention power. I can say I have witnessed this behavior more commonly in single people than in those I’m open relationships. Surely if you are romantically emotionally connected to someone then you have enough respect for them (and your other partners) for it not to be a “competition”.
    Also to say it advocates laziness is to only put forward half an argument. One could say that it encourages a deeper connection by forcing the couple to seek other ways (other than sex) to bond.
    The ability and the desire to seek are different things. If one is seeking sex outside a relationship then there might be something wrong with that relationship. If one merely has the ability and casual sex falls into their lap (sometimes literally) then why not receive what is offered?
    it does add more complexity in one way but in another t is simple.
    And it isn’t all that different anyway. The only difference is that they hold on top each other through something else.

    • June 18, 2011 at 4:01 am

      Thank you for your thoughts Gareth, I thought I would be interesting to hear a divergent view.
      What I will say is that when people divide their affections, amongst numerous people does it not degrade the depth of emotion evident between two people? Keeping in mind I am speaking of open relationships but the argument could be applied to polygamous relationships, however, if this division of attention/time/emotion does not have an effect surely the other partners/participants may feel that this is the case.
      From my experience dealing with open relationships I have found an intense sense of jealousy and power evident within the relationship, however I am only speaking for male homosexual open relationships, but this again is also not to say that the positive aspects you espouse cannot exist in these relationships.
      Additionally, I’m not saying that these types of bonds are morally reprehensible, indeed if it is two consenting adults then they are more then entitled to this form of interaction, however I am picking them apart from a practical/emotional sense.
      One thing i will say before I depart, your point regarding casual sex, I will say that during a committed relationship with another person, to accept an offer by casual sex by a stranger, would be a gross betrayal of a partners trust. In having said that an open relationship always have rules and regulations [always using protection with other partner etc.], this might also be viewed as a betrayal of trust. That is why I would not agree to receive what is offered.
      Thank you for you thoughts,
      Take care,
      Braiden.

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