Marriage, Partners and some more thoughts on non binary relationships.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I'm married and in a relationship that includes more then two people. I only have one partner - my wife means vastly more to me then anyone else in my life. I love with a little l all the people that we're involved with. I Love her with a big L and some implied exclamations at the end.

We use 'partner' as a word for the person that you're fucking all the time - and that works fine when you're introducing a fuck buddy at the office christmas party and you don't want that person to feel slighted. But we also use the word partner for our spouse and then get confused when the two ideas inter mingle.

But when I talk about my wife as my partner, I mean 'together, we're greater then the sum of our parts, she's the largest part of my life, part of my core, I'd be less then I am if she wasn't here, every day that I don't see her is a day wasted' sort of partner. She's not just the other half of my kinky sexual practices. She's not a friend who I live with. She's this incredibly connected part of my life. And I don't think I could have two of those - it'd be too hard to keep my sense of self stable if I shared this much with more then one person.

But the other people in our lives are sex partners or play partners - they're partners in the sense that the sex positions that we're doing wouldn't work without their involvement, they're great friends and people we love - but it's much more casual then a Marriage.

But fundamentally, it's about distinguishing emotion from physicality. Fundamentally - a large part of my motivations and my biology are pure instinct. Evolutionary sexuality where species proliferation relates to how many different people I can fuck. The species proliferation also to a large degree has depended on our ability to dispose of our poop in a sanitary fashion and piss somewhere where bears won't eat us while we're holding our dicks.

We enjoy eating red meat and being in the sunshine because we need iron and vitamin D to continue the species. The fact that I've overcome those biological impulses enough to wear sunscreen, eat the occasional salad and not do a spot check for bears before I take a piss doesn't change the fact that we've got a bunch of hard wired pleasure/discomfort responses that are based around species survival.

We can fuck without any intention of procreation. We can take contraceptive drugs, wear condoms or get surgical procedures to prevent us from being able to breed and still the pleasure response from fucking is there. We've evolved our culture to fit that social need. We came up with Monogamy to fit a bunch of social needs. The argument about what social need it fits varies from 'Because god willed it' to 'because all men are pigs who should be removed from the gene pool' - there are some arguments about family modelling and disease spread that hold varying amounts of water.

But either way - there are a bunch of modern social conditions where monogamy doesn't fill any social need other then maintaining the status quo and continuing our social programming (unless you believe that god really did will it, in which case there's not much point in having a discussion about the topic).

Continuing a status quo with a pre defined set of ideas just because that's the way it's always been done and that's the name for it that we already have isn't really my thing. I think words change their meaning over time (hands up, who hears faggot and things of a bundle of sticks intended for burning? Who here's nigger and things a person regardless of ethnicity who is ignorant and incapable of changing that status). I think Marriage is a word that's become almost as emotionally laden as faggot and nigger - and I wish it hadn't. Fundamentally - I think as a society we'd all be much better off if we moved Marriage back to a religious ceremony - like a Bar mitzvah - Nobody gives a shit when a Jewish thirteen year old becomes a man - he can't buy beer or smokes - but he's got all the rights and obligations of the ceremony and he has the ceremony and recognition of his family and friends agreeing that he’s now a man.

I think a Marriage should be the same deal. Fine you're married. Nobody gives a shit until you pass the tests to be considered common law spouses. File an application of intention to become common law spouses for immigration purposes - give out civil unions (or whatever the fuck you want to call them) to any group of two or more financial entities who meet the tests as defined by law. Marriage should just be something you do if you want a ceremony or an excuse for a party to for your friends/family/superstitious union of occultists to celebrate your relationship.