Veto!

I don’t like the idea of another person having control over my choices. Especially sexually, I hate the idea of ownership, exclusivity and vetoes. I can’t accept someone trying to claim them from me, and I try not to claim them from anyone else.

But a relationship isn’t supposed to be two (or more) people living parallel but unconnected lives. A relationship means frequently, voluntarily sharing control of our choices.

Every time we appeal to a lover we are theoretically giving them the power of veto. Sometimes we don’t even notice the exchange:
“Shall we go to the pub?”
“Nah, let’s stay in.”

The implication by asking is that we care about and will do our best to accomodate the answer. If we have no intention of listening to the response, we shouldn’t ask in the first place – but we can’t expect a relationship like that to develop huge amounts of trust.

I’m writing about this because I just asked the Boy if I could sleep with a friend later, and heard a “No”, the first in a long while. Now I’m trying to reconcile my thunderous, thwarted, thoroughly spoiled mood with the senisble things I wrote above.

Breaking it down, I feel hard done by because:
• To my mind, having sex with someone this afternoon would be no different to having sex with someone last week, about which the Boy was fine
• J’s objection was that he has too much to deal with at work, but clearly his job won’t get any harder or easier however I spend my afternoon
• The next time I see J he’s going to be in a pub with a drink in his hand, work day forgotten, and will probably no longer see random sex as a big deal.

But I can’t argue based on future assumption, and can’t really argue at all.

It’s clear looking at these points that my anger or frustration comes from not seeing any logic behind the “No”. But I didn’t invite logic. I gave J the opportunity to present me with a blind, irrational veto, and implied that he could trust me to honour that.

I guess however much I value being rational, there has to be some space in a relationship for faith.

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3 Comments»

  s wrote @

Hi,

I am no expert in poly relationships but I think you are right that in all relationships there most be some trust and give and take. So if you ask and the answer is ‘no’ then you must accept the ‘no’ however unpleasant that might be.

Out of interest does the boy ever come to you and say I want to shag her/him/it or does it not work that way?

If I have a fault 😎 it is a habit of asking H especially if she wants to do A B or C then get stroppy if she does not pick the one I like and feel is obvious. Far better not to give people the options I feel. 😎

Good luck as always.
S

  elle wrote @

Funny you should ask. I didn’t realise this until the Boy pointed it out, but a few weeks previous he asked me the same thing about his ex. I was brought up short as I hadn’t expected it, but considered it for a while and said yes. I wasn’t 110% sure I’d be ok with it, but confident enough to go ahead and find out without being scared of the repercussions.

J said he’d felt bad because of that when telling me no, but I genuinely hadn’t thought of it until he brought it up. Generally I don’t think it’s helpful to think of these things in terms of score keeping: “You slept with her so I can sleep with him,” or “I’m at work having a boring time, so you shouldn’t have fun either.”

The latter was actually an argument put to me (post hoc), and it stung a bit. The idea that another person’s happiness should only be a function of your own is human and understandable, but still kinda sad.

  s wrote @

I take it the ex- etc. knows about your lifestyle ? (see I told you I was ot an expert)

I think the ‘I am not having fun so why should you?’ is very human if a little sad…

Cheers
S


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