Sex Does Not Always Equal Bonding

Anonymous

Sex Does Not Always Equal Bonding

I am both poly, and non-monogamous. Those terms garner a lot of controversy and hate.

"Poly" does not mean that I date and screw multiple people. It means that I am capable of being in a state of romantic love, with more than one person at a time.

I have been in a very happy committed relationship for nearly 2 years, with 1 man. He's a member of this site, and some of the contents of the article are still very painful for him, so for this reason I have chosen to go anon.

Being "non-monogamous" doesn't mean that I don't commit, or form attachments. It means that I don't bond or attach, through sex, and I enjoy casual sex outside of my relationship.

But wait! I'm a woman, how is this possible!! That's what I want to talk about today. I want to share with you, some of my personal experiences, and what they have taught me.

I have managed to have successful sex-only relationships that did not leading to bonding or attachment.

About a year ago, I first discovered that I was not a typical female when it came to sex and love. I knew that I was in love with my boyfriend, and that he was what I wanted, who I wanted. But I found myself having strong desires for someone else. And this greatly bothered me. I didn't like it, because it wasn't right! I talked to my boyfriend about what I was thinking and feeling. He said the most unexpected thing ever: Would I like to try an open relationship, with the understanding that he probably wasn't going to look for anyone else? He didn't want to limit or control me, he wanted to trust me!

2 months later, I was unofficially dating them both. At first I was very happy, on cloud 9, but very soon, it went very very wrong, and almost cost me my relationship with my boyfriend. I'll come back to this in a moment.**

Several months later, when the emotional wounds had began to heal, I started hooking up with an old friend from my past. I rarely ever see him, and really it's just a booty call. We don't "date", we don't even hug goodbye at the end of the night. I almost never think about him. Sometimes, I get a text, and either I'm free or I'm not. It's worked out great so far.

Then guy 3. He is a current friend that we were hanging out with very regularly. After the sex started, I was often alone with him. Going out to eat, taking long walks, and having deep conversations. And talking on the phone, or texting all the time without any sort of break in between. I didn't even realize that I was getting attached, until it was brilliantly obvious that he was getting attached. That also ended badly, and we took a 2 month break from the friendship entirely. It's as if nothing even happened now. There is no tension now that we're not having sex.

This seriously got me thinking. It's not the act that causes the bond, it's everything leading up to, or everything that follows. Kissing, hugging, hand holding, spending lot of time close together and alone together. All of these acts/behaviors encourage, and increase the chances of, bonding.

Now ask yourselves: How many women actually have sex with a guy, before engaging in bonding behaviors?

**That first guy I tried this with, secretly wanted to steal me from my boyfriend. He was grooming me to fall for him, making me want sex from him. And he had already long since ensured that I was good and well bonded to him, before we had sex, but I wasn't about to choose him over my boyfriend. At the time, my boyfriend was going through some very tough family issues, and he was completely unavailable to me. While I knew that it was only temporary, this "friend" used this to his advantage: always right there for me, and slowly interjecting himself into the boyfriend territories. He took me on dates, bought me gifts, did favors for me. I thought he was just being a good friend, considering this behavior didn't start until after my BF's family issues.

And now there is a guy 4. I see him once a week, no more. Sometimes, we have sex, sometimes, we don't. We do go out into public together, go for long walks and have deep conversations, but we've been doing that for nearly 10 years, off and on. He's just a casual friend. He is also poly, and in an open relationship. I have never met his full time girlfriend, but she does know of me. The nights I see him truly feel like an escape from the world and life, and when I leave, it's like I was never there. We don't hug or kiss, we stand at least 3 feet apart when we go walking. I don't really ever look at him directly, He's just some guy I know. I rarely ever think about him more than just a passing thought during the rest of the week.

I found myself getting attached to 1 man before sleeping with him, after all manner of bonding behaviors had occurred. I found myself getting attached to 1 man after having sex, and after bonding behavior began.

I have successfully had purely sexual relationships with 2 men, without getting attached, when bonding behaviors did not occur.

Sex Does Not Always Equal Bonding
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Most Helpful Girl

  • xobrowneyedbeauty
    but... if you want to have sex with multiple people, why aren't you just single? if you can't commit to one person, why are you in a relationship at all? having casual sex is fine, having purely sexual relationships without attachment is fine (and probably more common than people realize), but why wouldn't you just be single to do all that?

    i agree with the main premise of what you're saying - i don't think the sex causes the bond either. i've had sex without getting attached. it's the relationship outside of the sex that causes the attachment, at least that's what i think as well. i just don't get how you don't feel bad since your boyfriend isn't seeing anybody else and you said yourself he's not comfortable with all of it. it's probably hurting him so much! :(
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      Actually he is just fine with it. He accepts that this is part of me. To me, sex is just a physical act, like brushing your teeth or riding a bike. But there are other aspects of love, sex, and romance that I do not share with anyone but him, and I don't want to share those things with anyone but him.

    • but you specifically said "some of the contents of the article are still very painful for him"

Most Helpful Guy

  • ObscuredBeyond
    Too many partners can dull the brain's natural association process, making it hard to recognize meaningful bonds when they happen. Which, in turn, frustrates the pursuit of meaningful relationships, in a world where selfishness runs amok and already makes the pursuit of meaningful relationships difficult.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Sekrett

      @Obscured interesting comment, however do you have any study to back it up or anything regarding this theory. Would love to read more.

    • Curious about whether or not there's any data behind that too.

    • @Sekrett: It was what I was taught in Human Sexuality class at Ferris State.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

714
  • Adadah
    Hmm... What you wrote is very interesting. I think I still classify myself as monogamous because when I was with my ex I never though of other guys the 3yrs we were together. After the break up I was single for 10+ years. the first few was to get over the break up even though I broke it off. And the others years I was trying to figure myself out.

    Now that I'm ready, I've been moving a too fast (according to my cousin). I've hooked up with 5 guys (I don't hook up with everyone that offers), one is a repeat booty call. The others aren't worth repeating but my booty call is respectful, honest, caring and sweet. I feel really comfortable with him but I don't have romantic feelings for him. We talk 3-4 times a week for approx 3hrs each time. He doesn't say much, it's mostly me talking and him commenting or advising. He'll answer anything I ask but I don't ask much because we are not in a relationship and I don't want to overstep. I even tell him about my hook up experiences if they are funny or crazy.

    I can be very emotionally detached with my hook ups. To me it's just fun, when people say they are using me I reply "but ain't I using them too?" The reason my booty call is a repeat is because he make me feel good after our hook ups. I felt like crap after a married friend manipulated my emotions and I was stupid enough to agree to sleep with him. I also hooked up with a delusional guy who thought I was gonna marry and have kids with him. Both times I felt much better after hooking up with my booty call.

    All my friends tell me to be careful, that women always fall for the person they have been intimate with. But I don't find that happening to me.
  • hellionthesage
    So your boyfriend is monogoumus and he find it painful that you go out and have sex with other guys and you know it hurts him but continue to do it and claim that its polyamoury despit the fact that your not actually emotionally attached meaning its purely sexual and you could get the same physical gratification from him but enjoy the variety enough that you will repeatedly hurt him in order to get it? Doesn't sound like your polyamourus, or amourus. You sound like your self indulgent and don'r really care about any one but yourself. What your describing is quite honestly nothing more then an excuse to sleep around which if that is the case then don't lie about it just admit you want to have uncommited sex and that is your priority not that your "poly".
    • Yeah it sounds like that to me too, seems kind of messed up... if both of them did the same thing, or they weren't that serious about it, then okay. But it sounds like the guy is more in love and is taken advantage of a bit. I've been in a similar situation and had a negative experience with it though so maybe I'm biased.

    • @frozenhorizon I have never been in that situation so I don't think its your bias. She is actively doing something that hurts him and doesn't care. Thats not a healthy relationship thats using him. If she did care she would break up with him or be monogamus.

    • Anonymous

      No, he's not I pain because of who I am. He's still hurting over something that happened last year that led to me discovering that I don't attach through sex.

  • MsKitty23
    Sex does not equal bonding because you can have sex that does not bring you any closer to the person emotionally, only physically. But when you have an exotional bond with the person, it can bring you closer together than you were before you had sex. It is important to establish an emotional bond before having sex with the other person unless u plan on keeping the relationship strictly physical.
  • Spiorad_Aisce
    That has always my issue with sex only relationships, they only work if all sides agree that it is only sex and no other feelings. What guarantee do you have as your story tells that no feelings will develop on either side. Maybe it is my personality but I think that would very rarely happen for me. I don't judge anybody for doing it but would advise that you are full sure what you are entering into. I will finish off by agreeing it could happen but to me the risk is too great of feelings developing and complicating things. I definitely wouldn't advocate it unless you are full sure of the personalities of those involved. There are those who can do it and live that way but quite frankly I found it hard to keep track of who was who in your take, I am obviously not cut out for the lifestyle (LoL).
    • Anonymous

      Yes, it's definitely not for everyone. There are people who are truly monogamous, my boyfriend is one of them. He trusts me to always come back to him, and he's allowed to have other too, but he's just not intersted in having anyone else but me.

  • TheFlak36
    Yeah and then you come back here whining and post questions like "Why do I have depression? Why can't I keep a partner?"
    • Anonymous

      2 years, strongest relationship ever, the first guy that both my friends and family have accepted, first boyfriend with a family who likes accepts me, despite the fact that I'm pagan. Not that my religion matters on the topic at hand, but that's the reason previous BF's families didn't like me.

    • TheFlak36

      Respect for your pagan beliefs.

  • Rawrzz
    Good for you. Though, sex is thought to cause bonding behavior. Particularly in females. You might be a non-typical female, but it's thought that oxytocin is released when sex is had.

    Wow. Look at all the hate.
    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I read all up that long ago because I was curious about why I didn't bond with some of my past partners, but I couldn't find a single one that took just relationships like mine into account. I'm not sure if the studies were done on women who were in relationships or not.

    • Rawrzz

      They do the same kind of studies with kissing, because kissing releases oxytocin, as well, which is probably easier to measure. I'm not sure. It's probably pretty complicated and convoluted when trying to figure out all environmental and biological possibilities. There's always an exception, or many, when it comes to human behavior though.

      But you did bond with the one guy, right? Just not the others?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, but only because we were engaging in bonding behaviors like kissing hand holding etc, and that's kinda my point. It's those things that create the bond, not the sex.

    • Show All
  • ManOnFire
    To be honest, I don't think you're really one of few females to be this way. Although I certainly have to say I don't agree with it, I do think there are more women like you than they really admit, yeah.
  • joeb73
    your B/F is a better person than i could be. i wouldn't be able to handle knowing my S/O was out with other people well i was left home alone thinking bout what you are doing, when i wish you where that doing that with me
  • forfundude
    you are anon to post are you still thinking that you are not cheating that person. if you really not cheating him then you don't need to be anon here for this article , if you are interested i having sex with multiple people do it but live with a person who is not bothered with such a things.
  • sp33d
    I'm glad you understand. Personally, I don't get the "sex is an ultimate symbol of love and affection" type of deal. Okay, yes, it is, but why is it necessary to perpetuate it to end? Not everyone deserves the love and affection, but we'd still like to let off some steam and engage in some semi-violent roleplaying action.

    Now, tell me I'm a sick son of a bitch who deserves to die for saying these things. Call me a shallow, soulless bastard and I can die in peace :)
    • Anonymous

      I'm a member of the BDSM community and a submissive ;-)

  • skinningk20
    How do you do that?
    I'm still deeply in love with my ex boyfriend and were sex friends!!
    I want to not feel anymore other than orgasim when I'm with him not love and orgasim!
    I need your help please
    If you want message me
    • Anonymous

      Not everyone is capable of sex without emotion. Some people are completely monogamous and once they're in love, the only way to get past what you're feeling now is being single and abstinent.

    • I missed him terribly the only way I get to see him is by sex

  • HorrorFan
    Makes sense.

    Logically, I would have to assume that the sex itself isn't nearly as much of a factor in bonding as basically everything building up to it, otherwise, I'm not sure how pornstars, particularly female pornstars would be able to function without them living an incredibly drama-filled life.

    Look throughout history. Granted, it was mostly men who had some form of wealth or power, but many of those types of men throughout history had a wife or wives, while also having mistresses and concubines.

    Variety is the spice of life. Nearly every aspect of life leads to mixing it up, trying different things, but yet that is completely frowned upon for relationships in society and this leads to boredom, cheating and various other kinds of disfunction.
  • orphan
    Confessions of a slut.
    • You say this like its something to be ashamed of. To be open about who you are.

    • You're very uninteresting, aren't you?

    • brain5000

      Comment of an idiot.

  • Melcart23
    Sounds like a ho to me..
  • TriniMed
    Why did you decide to Anonymous for this?
    • Anonymous

      Because my boyfriend is a member of the site and part of my journey into self discovery is also his past as well, and some of those memories are still painful for him.

  • Lukapum
    Nice post
  • xxcchhllaauu
    if he has a small it doesn't
  • Stanley23
    And... that's when hoes comes into place.
  • Anonymous
    ok now THATS the type of woman i never want to have in my life. its refreshing to read articles like that from time to time and remember what i want to avoid... .
    • Anonymous

      oh and i disagree completely with the main premise of the take of course... . i'm talking for healthy human relationships at least... .

    • Poppykate

      I think that she is in love with guy 4, but is using avoidance and distance to protect herself. She is just a women who is scared to fall in love and form an attachment.

    • Anonymous

      @Poppykate WHOA. Hell no. "In love" with guy 4? The guy that I see once a week for only 2 hours, and don't even talk to or think about in between? Wrong. He's not even really a "friend" at this point, just a booty call.

      I'm VERY much in love with my boyfriend, who just proposed last night by the way. Our 2 year anniversary is next week.

  • Anonymous
    You sound like a sexual reptilian devoid of emotional outlet.
  • Anonymous
    what i understood is that you are a nymphomaniac and your boyfriend is a mangina.
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