Monogamous relationships
September 27, 2012 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Is a casual, long-term mutually monogamous relationship the safest way to have sex outside of a serious committed boyfriend girlfriend relationship and preferred?

I've had 4 girlfriend up to this point. I'm at point that I don't want a serious relationship. It's possible that I could find the right girl tomorrow but I'm more interested in dating right now that a serious boyfriend girlfriend relationship. I don't believe in the one night stand thing because I think it is risky and I like to get to know the person and stay with them for at least a while. Leaving them is to cold blooded for me.
Are there girls that like to be dating in a monogamous relationship that is sexual, but not have it be serious. I don't want to enter a relationship if I don't feel it but at the same time I like to have a companion. I think most girls would go for this that aren't in a serious relationship as opposed to one night stand/booty call?
posted by mrfawcet to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is no one thing that "most girls" would go for, except for having someone ask each one what she INDIVIDUALLY prefers.

But that being said, yes, there are probably people who also would want what you're looking for. And the only way to find out whether the girl you're checking out is one of them is to start a conversation about it ("so, here's what I want out of this. how about you?")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 PM on September 27, 2012

I think this is called friends with benefits. Some people go for it; others, not so much.
posted by shoesietart at 7:20 PM on September 27, 2012

In my experience, yes - although I tend to date very unique women, so consider this just one data point.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 7:21 PM on September 27, 2012

i recently started dating someone and this is basically our relationship. we discussed what we were looking for from the get go. neither of us are interested in a serious relationship at the moment, neither of us are dating anyone else or sleeping with anyone else. we text a few times a week (sometimes having a text conversation over a period of several hours throughout the day), go out on dates, make out, have sex. sometimes we just meet up for a quickie if our schedules are really tight and know we won't have time for a real date for a couple of weeks.
posted by violetk at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2012

There are plenty of girls who will have sex in a non-committed relationship. There is a pretty big range of this thing from "lifelong virgin" to "fuck everyone all the time," so yeah, there are girls in the middle who want what you want. Just be clear with what you're looking for when you meet a girl you like.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:29 PM on September 27, 2012

Yes, it's safer, and yes, there are girls out there who actually prefer this kind of relationship. It's not just guys out there looking for seemingly out-of-the-ordinary things.
posted by mochapickle at 7:30 PM on September 27, 2012

are you suggesting that you date a bunch of women but only sleep with one? or are you wanting to only date one woman but not get too serious with her? i think the second will be easier to find than the first. open communication will be the most important part - make sure you both agree about what "serious" means and what monogamous means. be aware that in these situations it's fairly common for at least one person to get their feelings involved (and contrary to stereotypes, it's not always or even mostly the women). maybe have some talks along the way to make sure it's still a good set up for both of you.
posted by nadawi at 7:31 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I think plenty of people call the kind of relationship you're talking about "dating." Plenty of people enter into (maybe monogamous) sexual relationships with people without really thinking about it as a potential forever thing- I mean, how can you know for sure from the beginning that something is a serious long term prospect? Those feelings, and that level of certainty, take time to develop. In the meantime, probably lots of people are going to be OK having sex while things evolve (or don't).

On the other hand, "most girls" are going to vary in their expectations. Some women are going to balk at entering something monogamous but not "serious," for a variety of reasons. Maybe they think monogamy = serious, maybe they don't want to be monogamous in a non-serious relationship, maybe they're offended by the idea that you want to have sex and spend time with them but are willing to write them off as a prospect for a long term relationship. Some people will agree to terms upfront and find their feelings, and their comfort with the agreement, change over time (this happened to a friend of mine). The point is, you need to be able to have a conversation about this stuff with the person you're dating. Just because a relationship is "not serious" by definition doesn't mean that the person you're dating doesn't deserve your respect and to know upfront what your deal is.
posted by MadamM at 8:21 PM on September 27, 2012

You're using "not serious" as shorthand for something, but it's not clear what. Do you mean "I don't want to spend a lot of time together outside the bedroom?" Or "I don't want to feel compelled to act in conventionally 'romantic' ways?" Or "I don't want there to be regrets or hurt feelings if it ends?" Or what?

Some of those are attainable goals. Some of them, not so much.

In my experience, when people say "we don't want this to be anything serious," a depressing amount of the time what they mean is "we don't want to have to worry about each other's feelings and needs, so we'll just promise each other never to have any inconvenient feelings or needs, and then it'll be fine." Or "we don't want to have an unpleasant breakup, so we'll just promise each other never to get attached to each other, and then when things end it'll be totally cheerful and fine."

Which, well, no. You can't do that. That's not a promise that anyone can keep. Sooner or later — even if you're "just friends," even if you "aren't a couple," even if you "don't want to make things complicated" — you're inevitably going to have moments when you care what the other person does, and you want something from them that they don't want to give, and you're going to have to sort that shit out. "We're not a couple" isn't some sort of magical emotional liability waiver that keeps that stuff from mattering.

I'm not saying that's necessarily what you mean when you say you don't want something serious. But I do think you need to examine real closely what "not serious" means to you. If it means "always convenient" or "always just fun" or "never messy or complicated," then you're out of luck.

On the other hand, if it means, say, "we don't feel obligated to make a big stink about anniversaries" or "we might go a few weeks sometimes without seeing each other" or "we are both 100% certain we will never end up married and we're okay with that" — then yeah, you can totally have that. Lots of people want that sort of thing. Just, you know, you might want to be more specific when you talk about it than "let's not make this something serious," because that is so ambiguous (and so often a cover for "don't make me care about your feelings"-type douchebaggery, which most people find to be a bit of a turnoff) that it's not really that likely to get you what you want.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:29 PM on September 27, 2012 [30 favorites]

Also, a lot of people use "not serious" as code for "nonmonogamous," which judging from your question is really not at all what you're looking for. It would suck to discover after a few happy months that you meant "none of that marriage-and-kids stuff" and she meant "we're still gonna fuck a whole bunch of other people" and you'd never gotten specific enough to discover the mismatch.

Moral of the story: don't beat around the bush, don't use euphemisms, just say what you mean.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

What kind of safety are you looking for? Do you mean this in terms of sexually transmitted infections, shared expectations about the arrangements or 'more likely to lead to sex when I want it'?

For the second and third, there isn't really a shortcut. You need to keep communicating and checking in, and being aware that circumstances change along the way. I'd advise you not to assume anything about the first either.

I wouldn't expect to know all details of someone's sex life if I wasn't otherwise close friends with them. Perhaps you should focus on finding someone who has a good knowledge of sexual health issues and prevention. The monogamy part is a bit of a red herring.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2012

It depends a lot on who you are, where you are, what scenes you're hanging out at, and a lot of other intangibles you aren't sharing.

The answer is yes and no.

Yeah, the need to sex is strong in almost all of us; how attractive you're being assessed by your local pool of potential partners will dictate your relative success. Even the big-assed braggarts aren't getting as much (and usually less) as they're bragging about unless they're in a long term thing with someone with a very high sex drive.
posted by porpoise at 10:31 PM on September 27, 2012

I did this. Met a guy we hit it off and had crazy chemistry but neither of us wanted something serious with the other. After a little bit we realized that if we were gonna relax and have fun we needed to be sexually monogamous. It ended when I met someone I wanted to explore relationship with. It was great while it lasted though.
posted by the pink tree at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2012

I might like a casual relationship, but I wouldn't go for the monogamy aspect. To me, monogamous=serious. You're basically saying "This will be fun, but eventually I'm going to meet someone else." What's the point of monogamy in that situation? Seems like you're attaching a serious rule to something that is meant to be temporary, and I don't see the fun in that.
posted by amodelcitizen at 11:59 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

To me, monogamous=serious.

For me also, though obviously people have all kinds of agreements and arrangements. I think you often get what you are willing to offer, and in this case, from what I can tell from this and your previous question, a lot of women might see you as asking for a lot while not offering very much.

I am unclear in the question if you are asking about "safest" in terms of your emotions, or in terms of STDs, pregnancy, and the other physical risks. Others have spoken to the emotions; for STDs and pregnancy, the reality of life is that there is no such thing as sex with a guarantee of no consequences. At the end of the day the safe sex advice is going to be pretty consistent: wear a condom every time, minimize high risk activities, and don't be sleeping with a bunch of people at the same time. If you aren't ready to handle an unplanned pregnancy, don't have sex.
posted by Forktine at 7:06 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

You can find someone with compatible interests for all but the most obscure needs; but it's predicated on clearly stating those needs without vague terms like "serious" or "safe". Say exactly what matters to you, in concrete terms, and be casual and up front about it. Someone with equivalent or different interests will choose accordingly.
posted by ead at 9:02 AM on September 28, 2012

If what you're asking for is many/most of the benefits of a monogamous relationship without most of the work, that's fine. There are many people who will be happy with that relationship.

But be warned, as Forktine mentioned, you had better be really upfront about it. Otherwise the associated miss-communication can lead to heartbreak, hurt feelings, and a "douchebag" label for you (whether you deserve it or not).

What I would recommend is to always remember that the women you are with have their own agenda and agency. People aren't robots that you can just enter a cheat code into to get them to override their own wants and desires and serve you forever.

I am in no way suggesting that you want a sex servant. What you are looking for is perfectly reasonable, but you have to realize that when you ask someone to give you sex AND you stipulate that you want a monogamous condition BUT you want nothing to do with a relationship, you are going to get a large subset of people who will see this as asking for a lot with very little giving. Therefore, you need to look for someone who wants the exact same thing as you. To find this person, you will need to be very upfront with everyone.
posted by Shouraku at 9:10 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

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