Video for the Dreamlands exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
One of the minor irritants about being married is that, at one time, people assumed your relationship was unique and individual, but now that you've tied the knot, they assume you're married just like they are. Whenever I'm at married people parties, I find myself nodding and smiling along with gags about fighting over the remote control or the taking out the garbage for the wife, or whatever, and having no idea what the hell we're all talking about. I remember a memorable party with some of my wife's lady friends joking about how they'd 'keep an eye on her' and 'make sure she's good' while I was overseas for seven months. I bit my tongue not to say, "Aw, heck, just let her get laid for crying out loud".
I'd imagine people who actually are in "open marriages" must bite their tongues a lot (well, or someone's tongue anyway). The point of my anecdote is that everyone's married differently and if that sort of thing works for some people, who can say they're wrong? I get tired of hearing people say that those sorts of relationships are "impossible" because "everyone's jealous". I'm not. I was when I was about 23 years old and, admittedly, dating a girl who didn't much like me (and was a bit of a twat anyway), which tends to make one insecure. But, after we broke up, I decided that being jealous is sort of a worthless emotion- your partner eventually gets sick of it and dumps you and then you feel like a shitheel; if it wasn't going to work out, that would happen anyway, but you'd not feel like a shitheel. So I stopped. And it's much more relaxing just to focus on your own life and not worry about what your partner is doing. Jealousy is tiring.
Anyway, this is a book about how people manage to have open marriages without problems. It was pretty fascinating reading. One of the funniest bits of advice is that you need to have a daily planner if your marriage is open. I'd imagine you would! Also, make sure to prioritize the needs of your 'primary partner', so they don't feel threatened. Probably true in monogamous marriages too. And don't leave pubic hairs lying about. That, I'd imagine, becomes a whole other issue in open marriages. And how not to lose your temper when your wife's lover drinks the last of the milk?
Anyway, it sounds like every open marriage is different as well- some people have regular lovers or girl/boyfriends; others have the occasional threesome (according to Dan Savage, this is a normal part of gay male relationships); some just cruise; and some are in multiperson marriages. What I liked about the book was that it was not overly focused on polyamorous love relationships, like a lot of websites seem to be. That seems way too tiring keeping up two relationships. Don't some people just pop off for the occasional fling with a flight attendant? Actually, a lot do that, in what the book calls "non-consensual non-monogamous relationships", or dogging around. They're against cheating because it's unethical, which I suppose makes sense- it's really the lying that sucks with cheating, isn't it?
So I like that the emphasis is on how married people 'play' without causing strife. I like that they place an emphasis on reclaiming sluttery and the tone is fairly therapeutic. I can't really remember the last time I heard anyone use the term 'slut' as an epithet, but I'm sure some people do and it's worth turning the word into a term of endearment. As for open marriages, if it works for Bob and Carol and their 'play partners', more power to them all. I'd certainly much rather live near a nice married couple and their live-in lover than some fundamentalist dickweed cheating on his wife with a rent boy. I've certainly known open couples who made it work. For me, though, I have enough trouble keeping all of my appointments straight as it is.