Sex immediately complicates a relationship. Not by a little, by a lot. This isn’t me advocating for a sexless life. Far, far from it. But I am saying that when your sex life starts to fail, so does the relationship. What if you share a house, finances, children, etc… and your partner decides that they’ve lost all sexual attraction towards you? But you’re still attracted to them? And they’re still attracted to others? What happens then?
Maybe, maybe, you’re comfortable enough to open up the marriage. But that isn’t traditional. So scratch that. You either suck it up and go on in a sexless marriage —for the children— or you divorce and find someone else you want to sleep with. Fuck the children. And neither of those options really appeals to me.
I know myself well enough to know that I’m fickle. I’m currently happy in a sexually monogamous relationship, but years down the road? I’m going to get bored. And that doesn’t mean that I want to break up. But when that happens to most people, you do break up, and move out, and figure out finances, and split parental rights, etc… It’s awful. Just because you want to go out and get your jollies for a few hours and then come back home.
One of my professors once told me that he and his partner’s stance was “it’s not who you have sex with, it’s who you make your home with.” Or something similar. And that was pretty integral to me figuring out where I stood on relationships.
The idea started me down the road to where I am now. There are people out there in happy relationships that can sleep with other people. And it works. Who knew? Maybe I could date someone and know that they would cheat on me and just not think about it. Or be okay with it. I wasn’t familiar with the ideas of polyamory or open relationships at that point. Or at least I hadn’t put much thought into them. That came later. But now I knew that not every relationship was full of people deluding themselves about the fidelity of their partners. There was hope.