No Strings Attached

I got some feedback on my recent post about Nate and I being in an open relationship. It seems many people still believe that women cannot engage in sex without ‘catching feelings’; there is no such thing as friends with benefits, or no strings attached. Men are sexual creatures and women are emotional creatures.

Here we go with me not being a woman again. Then again, I’ve recently come across a slew of other bloggers who have the same views about sex as I do, so maybe I am a woman and society’s views are just outdated?

(This is why I identify as Androgynous.)

I am big on labeling myself. I have Bipolar Disorder — this helps me to understand that I’m not crazy and there are other people like me. I label myself as Androgynous — this helps me to understand that I’m not crazy and there are other people like me. My frenemy and I recently discovered I’m about 75% Granippy (minus the overt obsession with the environment — I’m a smoker — and the not eating meat — I love bacon), which is a phrase we made up combining the terms Granola and Hippy (even though I spell it Hippie, whatever) — this helps me to understand that I’m not crazy and there are other people like me.

See a trend? I label myself to feel more sane. To find like-minded individuals I can relate to.

You label me to make me look like a monster when I don’t fall perfectly into your subdivided categories. The category of a woman seems to be one with which I struggle most.

*  *  *  *  *

The truth is, I never wanted to get married. I still kind of don’t. I mean, I want to marry Nate, but I don’t want to get married, if that makes any sense whatsoever. My goal in life is not to be someone’s wife. I don’t need a piece of paper or a big ceremony to make my love valid. So no, I don’t need to find someone who can marry me, because I don’t want to marry someone. I don’t want to marry anyone. I will marry Nate.

*  *  *  *  *

Sex and emotion do not go hand in hand with me. At all. In the slightest.

First comes sex, then comes . . . thanks, had a good time, see you later.

I can have friends with benefits. I can have an open relationship. My heart is not in my vagina. There is no risk whatsoever of having an emotional attachment with anyone I sleep with, and I know this from experience.

I’m backwards with this shit. Sex goes hand-in-hand with love; love does not go hand-in-hand with sex.

I didn’t feel kind of dirty after sleeping with my side piece (haha) because I thought what I was doing was wrong, or because I was starting to feel something for him, or any of that. I just felt dirty because it wasn’t Nate and because I miss Nate and because hell, I want to bang Nate.

It’s really as simple as that.

*  *  *  *  *

What do you think about traditional views about sex, marriage, men and women? Do you know anyone else like me? Let me know!


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31 thoughts on “No Strings Attached

  1. Oh dear, I’m so sorry if my reply carried any of that kind of judgment. It certainly wasn’t intended, but the fault is on me if it seemed that way. All I meant to convey was sympathy <3

    As someone who doesn't think like you and views sex and emotion as going hand-in-hand, I don't think you're crazy at all, or a monster. I hesitate to use the old "Some of my best friends are able to have friends with benefits" line, but honestly, it's thanks to them that I've been able to understand where they're coming from. And in return for me not judging them, they never judged me for the narrower scope I was coming from. I think – or hope, at least – you putting this out there might help people in a similar way :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it does take listening to someone who works this way inside to begin to open up the minds (and hearts) of those of us who were “trained up” so differently, and who formed habits of thought — and of feeling — in a much narrower channel; it’s so foreign to my experience and upbringing that it takes exposure to your kind of honesty for me to just begin to get a sense of what it might be like to live in this posture and experience the world from perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! This was more-so directed towards my non-blogging peeps, but since it came up I figured I’d also post it here so everyone knew exactly where I stand.

      Thank you for your reply! That’s all I really hope, is for other people to understand a little better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are one of the most authentic people that I’ve ever known! I have had many bi-polar friends and I find this to be a trait in all! I value it more than you can know because truth, for me is vital!! Thank you dear heart!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My dad had an open marriage for close on 20 years, and many of the partners he accrued over that time had no problems with ‘catching feelings’. People need to learn that just because it’s that way for them, others live different lives. Some thought provoking stuff in here Tempest.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I totally get this and I love you for saying it. I’ve never felt that I fit what the world or my parents or society, particularly the culture in which I live says I should be. When I share these thoughts with certain people, they say — “Oh, you just enjoy pretending to be different. Just be normal.” No, actually this is the way i am and I don’t enjoy the things that seemingly 95% of the population (especially the female population) enjoys, mostly anything traditional. I’m pretty okay with that on my own but when I step out into the world, I get all these negative messages that how I am is wrong. I’ve gotten good at pretending except to the select few that I allow to see the real me. I’m being extremely vague, so thank you for allowing me to engage in my own identity therapy on your blog. Point I suppose: you are fine just the way you are and if what you’re doing works for you and your significant other(s) then awesome. Also, I LOVE labels for myself because they help me understand myself better. I hate being labeled by others who latch on to various labels without understanding what they mean and seem to throw them around as data that I’m not normal and rather crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how similar we are! I get ostracized a lot by being myself, and also told “it’s just a phase” about nearly every single thing in my life. My dad and stepmom STILL think my bisexuality is a phase . . . since I “came out” 10 years ago. So I totally understand where you’re coming from with the “just be normal” bit.

      Sadly it will probably take longer than our lifetimes for people to truly understand and accept, but we’re on our way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Some people wear monogamy like a badge of honor; they seem to believe that all morality – if they are married or in a committed relationship – centers on faithfulness to their partner. Morality, and what it means to live a moral life is far more complicated than that.

    In an open marriage/relationship, no one lies or deceives or keeps secrets — and in my experience, these things are far more damaging to a relationship than is having sex with someone other than your life partner.

    Infidelity is a problem because it involves deception, but we aren’t talking about infidelity. We’re talking about open relationships … big difference.

    Sleep with whomever you feel a need to sleep with, but don’t lie to me about it. Don’t deceive me. And don’t keep secrets that will destroy our bond and our intimacy.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! That’s exactly how I feel about it.

      I actually told Nate today (first time I’ve been able to talk to him since it happened, although he gave me the Okay before-hand) and he was completely fine with it. Happy I told him, actually.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, I remember all the times I was told as a teen, “Don’t have sex! You’ll catch feelings and the guy won’t. Then you’ll feel used.” So as a sensible, logical person, I decided – why not turn it around on the guys? Use them for sex. Then we’ll all be happy, right?

    Well, it turns out it’s not that simple. Apparently guys catch feelings, too, and unfortunately I was really insensitive to a LOT of guys while I figured that out.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. For me, the other thing I found was that even when I was upfront about telling a guy, “I love sex and I would like to have it with you, but I DON’T want a relationship,” and he would AGREE with me, there would still be some feelings on his end.

        My solution for a while was to only consider dating guys in their 30’s. While I was in my early 20’s. This seemed to work well, because for some reason, I found that guys over 30 weren’t such emotional wild cards. I mean – come on! I’m a single mom in college, I enjoy blowing off steam with alcohol and sex, I do NOT want to deal with a guy’s emotions, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always been baffled by our society’s standard belief that all women respond to sex the same way (with the feelings and the emotions and blah, blah, blah, BAM) and that all men respond to sex the same way (with a skeezy, lecherous “SCORE!”). What nonsense.

    While I do fall firmly in Camp Monogamy as far as my marriage goes, I also happen to believe that what goes on in other people’s marriages and relationships and fun time is of absolutely-without-a-doubt-100% NOT my concern. My opinion is this: No matter what your pleasure or who you’re indulging in that pleasure with or on what terms, as long as no one is getting hurt (in a way they don’t enjoy, that is), have it and make merry. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I 100% agree! Honestly, if Nate weren’t in jail we would probably be monogamous as well (except for lovers we might ask to join us, together, but that’s a different topic), but as it is we had to work out another arrangement, which totally works for us.

      We had a long (or, 15 minutes because that’s how long phonecalls are) talk about it today, just to make sure we’re both comfortable with it. It made him happy to know that I’m happy, and it made me happy knowing he was truly okay with it. We’re good, that’s all that matters.


  8. I think that it’s more about who you are as a person as opposed to what gender you are. It’s about how you’re wired, and how you deal with emotions and sex.

    If I am interested in a guy, having sex with him is most likely going to cement that feeling and make me feel closer to him. And thus, getting feelings involved.

    If I’m not, if I only feel for someone as a friend (or even less), I am fully capable of having sex without getting mixed up in lots of emotions.

    And I still view myself as a woman ;)

    So yeah, I’d say it’s a personality thing rather than a gender thing. I know people of both genders who go with either of the two lines of thought as well.

    I do personally believe in fidelity/monogamy when in a committed relationship. But that’s for myself. What other people choose to do, it’s up to them. As long as both parties agree, I see no harm in an open relationship. I think everyone should do what works best for them/their relationship. :)

    With you and Nate not being allowed conjugal visits, I fully understand your agreement. My boyfriend lives in another country, so I only see him a few times a year. If I couldn’t even have that, I’d go crazy. We all have needs, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Everyone should do what works for them. This works for us.

      And honestly, if he weren’t gone for so long we’d still be monogamous. It’ll be 3 years on Christmas Eve, and I just now started sleeping with other people. And, now that I’ve done it I’m not sure how often it’s going to continue.


  9. I’ve delved into the world of FB’s. Had nooooo problem not becoming emotionally attached. It was purely physical. It annoys me that the perception is men can do it but women can’t because they are too ‘fragile’ with emotions ‘n stuff. I call bullshit! I’ve even taken it a step further……. I do believe a whore house, but for women, would be the perfect solution. As women we want our needs to be met just as much as men do. They have a ‘service industry’ that can accommodate their needs. What about us women??

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s SO true! Well, I mean, I’m bi so I’d frequent a women’s ranch (ranch? I call them ranches because of the Bunny Ranch) as much as, if not more than, a men’s, but you’re totally right. There are seldom straight male prostitutes.

      Most of my friends have been friends with benefits at some point. Some of us dated, some of us didn’t, but we’re all still friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s refreshing to read your post because it’s authentic. I can tell!!!!! You aren’t advocating to run down the street naked or to yodel in line at a coffee shop or steal a car. You have actual experience with these issues and know what you are and are not capable of doing. You aren’t spouting any cliched, boring party lines about females & sex vs. males & sex. I like that! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It is all true — I know EVERYONE is different when it comes to sex and emotions, but for me, personally, the two don’t go hand-in-hand, and all I want is for others to realize that about me, personally.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You made it really clear…I’m SO glad you didn’t back down to try to sound “P.C.” and/or be a people pleaser. That’s why folks love you and love your blog. Your backup blog motto could be the same one my kids’ preschool teacher would say, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!” I didn’t read any comments where followers threw fits, but then again, I didn’t read every single one. I know that you can handle weird judgements though, which is awesome – you don’t just handle them – you’re able to write about your solid reasons explaining why you feel the way you feel about all kinds of stuff. Tre coolio!

        Liked by 1 person

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