Don’t try to force all your relationships into the monogamous till-death-do-is-apart model.
One of the most valuable things we learn from open sexual lifestyles is that our programming about love, intimacy, and sex can be rewritten.
We are people who are greedy to experience all that life has to offer and are also generous in sharing what we have to offer.
The language that we do have often carries implicit judgment.
“The ideal of lifelong monogamy as the only proper goal for relationships is so deeply buried in our culture that it’s almost invisible: we operate on these beliefs without even knowing we believe them.”
“the suppression of sexuality was essential to an authoritarian government.”
“We have no culturally approved scripts for open sexual lifestyles; we need to write our own.”
“a ring around the finger does not cause a nerve block to the genitals.”
“Letting go of old paradigms can leave you in a scary emptiness, your stomach churning as if you were in free fall. You don’t need the old myths, but what will you have instead? We encourage you to seek your own truths on your way to slutty bliss”
“While we sometimes may feel jealous or territorial, we own those feelings”
“Our monogamy-centrist culture tends to assume that the purpose and ultimate goal of all relationships—and all sex—is lifelong pair bonding, and that any relationship that falls short of that goal has failed.”
“Longevity is not a good criterion by which to judge the success or failure of a relationship.”
“bring your locus of control into yourself,”
“You might dance with someone you found very attractive and not know if they were chromosomally male or female.
“Getting used to differences can feel awkward, but every time it happens you’ve learned something new about how people go about being human.”
“There are no universally accepted boundaries of gender or attraction among consenting adults,”
“Listen to your fears: they have a lot to teach you about yourself.”
“Each relationship seeks its own level, or will if you let it. Like water, you and whatever person has caught your fancy can flow together as long as you let it happen in the way that is fitting to you both.”
“Being single is a good way to get to know who you are when you are not trying to fit as the other half of somebody else; learning to live with yourself and enjoy it gives you a lot to share with a partner when you choose to have one.”
“how to get their needs met in a straightforward manner. Do not commit yourself to a lifetime of hinting and hoping.”
“A basic precept of intimate communication is that each person owns her own feelings. No one “makes” you feel jealous or insecure—the person who makes you feel that way is you.”
The problem is that when you blame someone else for how you feel, you disempower yourself from finding solutions.
“Remember, you can’t learn from your errors if you always have to be right!”
“Being responsible for your emotions doesn’t mean that you have to conquer all your difficult feelings bare-knuckled and solo. You can ask for the help you need—reassurance, validation, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent in, a brain to brainstorm with—from friends, lovers, and/or a good therapist. And you, in turn, will do your best to make yourself available when your friends and lovers need this kind of help from you”
“Learning to operate our emotional system consciously may require changing some old habits and can feel very shaky, sort of like learning to ride a bicycle. Weird, embarrassing…you’ll probably fall down a few times, but if you pick yourself up and keep going, eventually you get the feel of it. And once you get your balance, you’ll never forget.”
“this lifestyle gives me a very concrete feeling of individuality that I re-create every day.”
“Ethical sluts do not make promises they can’t keep.”
“to be more assertive in asking for what they want”
“It may be that this is the only real definition of jealousy: it’s the experience of projecting one’s uncomfortable feelings onto one’s partner.”
“The idea is to be nice to your feelings, to welcome them as guests, till they feel finished and move on through.”
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”
“Be good to yourself, and remember that the most important part of love is not loving someone’s beauty and strength and virtue. The real test of love is when someone sees our weaknesses, our stupidities, and our smallnesses and still loves us.”
“emotions are never wrong; only actions can be wrong. Emotions are an expression of our emotional truth, and truth cannot be wrong. Nor do they need to be justified. They just need to be felt.”
“But sometimes there is great pain and there is no villain.”
“experience your jealousy without acting on it”
“nothing deepens intimacy like the experiences that we share when we feel flayed, with our skins off, scared and vulnerable, and our partner is there with us, willing to share in the scary stuff.”
“The downside of growing up in an unusually healthy family is that it can be hard to understand why everybody else gets so scared”
“feelings like to be heard and validated, so don’t analyze or try to explain things.
“There are lots of ways to relate, to love, to express gender, to share sex, to form families, to be in the world, to be human…and none of them in any way reduces or invalidates any of the others”
“Sex really is a physical expression of a whole lot of stuff that has no physical existence.