I read an article today from a men’s magazine. As I was rolling through my Flipboard feed the article came up. It was a Q and A article and the questions were from readers concerning various topics of sex. The first question was from a man who wanted to watch his wife have sex with another man. There were many issues I had with this article, but polyamory was not one of them. The author responded with, “if you really want to watch her make love to another man, then” and this is where something doesn’t sit well with me. The problem is watch her make love to another man. Here’s why:
Make love is euphemism for having sex with a partner. Words have meaning. I know this is redundant, words have meaning (we know!), but words have meaning beyond their literary and linguistic values. Words and even just letters have meaning. The weight of words and letters or syllables are often used in meditations and chants; for example, Om. On top of all of this, words acquire additional meanings, grammatically called connotations, which are the extra meanings we personally and as a whole society attach to words. This is why we should think before we speak and why word choice matters. Words have a conscious and subconscious reach to which we react both instinctively and deliberately. And so, using the word love commonly or when referring to acts that do not actually involve love, strips away its meaning and worth.
The issue is that in the example of the aforementioned article the word love is being used in a situation that is devoid of love. The example is this: A man wants to watch his wife have sex with another man. He explains that he is not gay or bisexual, but really gets excited/aroused when thinking of his wife having sex with another man. That is the mainframe of the situation and this does not include those other situations where a relationship may be established with another man giving shape to a polyamorous relationship. In this case, it is purely sexual and physical. In the case of this man and his wife, the wife would not be making love to another man, rather she’d be having sex with another man. Making this distinction is important in relationships because what if she does end up making love, meaning what if she does end up feeling love for this other person? How would he feel? Would she leave him? Would she be confused?
Sex is sex. Love is love. And then there is affection. These three things can sometimes come on strong and cause confusion in relationships, whether friendships or polyamorous. We can feel so much affection for someone that it begins to look like love, and in a way it is, but something about it feels different. To confuse things even more, there are different types of love (familial, romantic, etc.) So when the word love is used to describe a sentiment that doesn’t quite rise to the weight of the actual thing that is love, the word and idea become hazy and bland. You begin to hit a plateau in your mind concerning love and what it feels like, and it loses its importance which is why so many couples complain about the lack of spark in their relationship. So, it is not that there isn’t love but that your mind has become numbed to it because of overuse and oversaturation of a lofty concept that does not match your reality.
Making this distinction between love and sex is important for your internal wellbeing as well as for the wellbeing of your partner. This distinction is important to make not only in situations of threesomes but also within yourself when you are single and when with your partner. When with your partner you may not always want to make love, sometimes may just want to f***. And that is okay (highly recommended) and it does not mean that there won’t be love, just that the love energies are not going to be raised and it will be a more carnal session. Going into a sex session with certain expectations or expecting that every single time be an emotionally overwhelming and blissful event can breed disappointment when it doesn’t actually happen, making it seem like the relationship is losing its love when in fact it is just a different shade of love. There are different ways of experiencing bliss. There is the meditative bliss, the sexual/carnal bliss, and the romantic/love bliss. See, this is the problem with trying to categorize love and sexuality; there is overlap between the different aspects and experiences. Furthermore, the three blisses can be combined during sex, but it takes meditation and a deep connection to your lover.
In order to avoid confusion in your relationships and within yourself, reserve what matters to you and maintain it clear within you. What this means is that reserve the word love for those things or persons whom you truly feel something special for. Reserve those phrases of affection for those you truly feel affection for. In today’s society, and perhaps this has always and will always be the case, we are taught to mask our true feelings in order to be professional or friendly even when on the inside the contrary is happening. That new psychological trick of smiling even though you don’t feel like it to make yourself feel better will only dampen your experience, so that when you really do smile it will feel no different than your fake smile causing an emptiness to grow within. Be true to yourself and be aware of what you feel. Be aware of the mask you wear, when you wear it, and of the essence beneath it.