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Relationshipship, Part VIII

It's been a long while since the last entry in the Relationshipship
series, but a radio show this morning brought up some issues.

The situation: 25 year old guy, stayed friends with his high-school
sweetheart. She was married to someone else, had a kid. Now her
relationship is falling apart, and she's hinting to him that she wants
to have an affair.
His take on it is that he wants to do the "right" thing, but when he's
with her, he doesn't know if he can not give into temptation.

My own value judgement puts me squarely in the don't do it camp.
I think the kid puts it over the top for me, but let's say the kid
wasn't involved. I know where my decision would go, but yeah, I
understand the whole thing about temptation. There's a whole lot of
difference between saying no from an intellectual distance and saying no
when she's naked and rubbing herself all over you.

(Pardon my while I catch my breath for a moment.)

I am an ethical hedonist. I am a sybarite. I thoroughly enjoy the
pleasures of the flesh, and I enjoy sharing pleasure with fellow
pleasure seekers. But my ethics require complete consent from all
parties involved.

If she's in a relationship, that includes the consent of her partner.
Even if her partner does not live up to the same ethical standards. And
yes, I have had to make this decision, and it was damn hard.

This has also unburied some of the what-I'm-looking-for-in-a-partner
things. I think she also has to be an ethical hedonist and a seeker of
pleasure, which is something that I hadn't really identified before.

Something that a friend pointed out to me is that the women that I tend
to be attracted to are what he called "a little slutty". I think that
his concept of "a little slutty" is outmoded in a kind of 1950's way,
but I understand kind of what he means: I am attracted to women who are
confident in their appearance and sexuality and aren't afraid to show
it. Not the only criteria, but its probably the first thing that
attracts me.

Certainly there has to be something else there (personality, sense of
humor, general compatibility, etc.) for me to take a serious interest.
And yeah, the filter is a little more intense for a potential partner
than the one for a friend. I think that's pretty common: we all have
friends whose company we enjoy without being sexually attracted to them.
At least I think so.

But this is all about how I handle potential relationships and
attraction. I wanted to kind of codify some of the stuff that is running
around in my head to see if it made sense within the context of what
I've been seeing of myself-- and I think it's right.

It at least helps me understand what I'm willing to consider.


Mar. 25th, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
Rather well-said.

I like the "ethical hedonist" title as well as "sybarite" (which, well... I've used for quite a while -- I just *like* the term).

The whole "affair" idea.... strikes me as unpleasant and pain-creating all the way around. For me, it'd be painful to be dishonest like that (I have a nasty consciensce that won't let me do such things). And being an empath, it *hurts* to cause that kind of pain to others. (And yes, I am completely sidestepping the whole other side of the "pain" comment... :-)

Difficult to avoid temptation, yes. But honesty is *so* much more worthwhile -- brutal, sure... but I'll take "brutal and honest" over "lying that causes festering emotional pain" ANY DAY. Clean cuts heal the fastest.

My $0.02.

*goes off to find a glass of water, her carkeys, and a pillow*

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