Wouldn’t sexual relationships, which people seem to think of as so, so complicated, become really simple if there were only two types of sexual relationships.
Great news! There ARE only two types of sexual relationships and this post explains them.
Yes, only two.
You might be thinking do I mean ? :
• Boyfriend / Girlfriend
• Husband / Wife.
Erm, no. That’s what society wants you to think and that is exactly what relationship duress is for.
You might be thinking I must be leaving a lot out if I think there are only two. Ok, long term heterosexual relationships are the mainstream but what about short term relationships like casual flings? What about gay relationships? Lesbian relationships? Transgender relationships? What about relationships between married men and their mistresses? What about one night stands? What about BDSM?
There are a million different kind of sexual relationships surely?
No, there are only two.
And these two encompass all possible kinds of relationships leaving nothing and nobody out regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
These two relationships are :
Simply put, fenced means a based on the concept of sexual ownership and unfenced means not based on the concept of sexual ownership.
So, examples of fenced relationships include things like conventional boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife relationships.
If you are thinking that by “unfenced” I must mean open relationships well I don’t really like the term open relationships and here is why. The opposite of open is closed. So therefore an example of a closed relationship would be a marriage.
Shops and restaurants “close”. Lights out, metal shutters come down. Nobody is there.
People are not shops. We need a better term to actually reflect the dynamics of what is going on.
People don’t “close” or open “open” they either agree to be fenced or not.
When a sexual relationship is fenced, like a marriage, people are still going to find attractive people attractive and might even enjoy the attention and the flirting even if they don’t act on it and that is totally fine.
In such a scenario such a person is leaning on the fence and enjoying the attention or flirting with someone on the other side of the fence but just choosing not to hop over the fence while their partner is not looking.
You might be forgiven for thinking that monogamy (one partner) equates to “fenced” and polyamory (many partners) equates to “unfenced”.
Not quite. There is a subtle but really, really important difference. Understanding this difference is key.
The difference is this. It is possible to have a fenced relationship that is not monogamous and it is possible to have an unfenced relationship with only one person.
An example of a fenced relationship that is not monogamous for example would be swingers. Swingers are typically married couples. Marriage is by definition a fenced relationship. Swingers however, have a gate in their fence and, by mutual agreement, they might open the gate to let another person in or another couple in, typically another couple of swingers. Principally to “spice up” married sex life and to help prevent sexual boredom.
It is also possible to have an unfenced relationship with just one person. This is possible because unfenced does not mean you are having sex with more than one person. It just means that there is no fence. In other words, in means there is no enforced monogamy.
Unfenced means that you are sexually free. That you don’t make an agreement with anyone to for exclusivity. It means that if you wanted to have a sexual experience with someone else then you could and you would not need your partner’s permission, nor they yours.
It does not necessarily mean that you are polygamous and you have more than one sexual partner. It simply means that you have the option. Whether you choose to exercise the option is up to you. Whether your partner chooses to exercise their option is up to them.
Fenced, on the other hand, means either that you have agreed with your partner, either explicitly or by default assumption, that it’s not allowed or that (as in the case of swingers) permission is required beforehand.
Relationships go through phases. If you are in an unfenced relationship and you are, for example, in the early romantically infatuation stage of your relationship then you are probably not going to be interested at all in exercising your option. That’s totally understandable and totally fine. So, just don’t exercise your option.
It does not change the status of your relationship from unfenced to fenced just because you are not interested in exercising your option right now. It does not change it at all. You are still in an unfenced relationship. You are just choosing not to exercise your option.
Seeing things in terms of fenced and unfenced allows us a better way to describe the dynamics of what is actually going on in sexual relationships and so help us to clarify things and to help us get our map closer to the terrain.
Also this allows us to clear up a great deal of linguistic fog also. For example, as discussed earlier, the word relationship only means mutual reward whereas a one night stand is not regarded as a relationship. Indeed it is often talked about as the opposite of a relationship.
When we find out a friend has found a new person and has hooked up with them, people often ask “A relationship or just a one night stand?” like they are diametrically opposed.
If both people got what they wanted – sex – then there was mutual reward. Therefore :
One night stand.
Often understood to be the opposite of a relationship.
A one night stand is a relationship.
It is an unfenced relationship of a duration of one night.
Now don’t get me wrong, unfenced relationships do not mean just mean short term or casual relationships like one night stands, fuck buddies or friends with benefits.
An extremely common misconception is that whether a relationship is fenced or unfenced has anything at all to do with the level of the affinity, love or pair bonding that may go on in either kind of relationship.
Thanks to relationship duress, it’s a common assumption that a relationship not based on sexual ownership must be a casual and uncaring one and, for a relationship to be a loving one, that it must be a fenced relationship.
It’s a totally false belief but an extremely prevalent one.
Society wants you to think exactly that and employs an enormous amount of relationship duress to get you to think precisely that.
It’s tremendously important for society for you to keep this mapping error on your map.
In reality, the fenced world can provide you with a loveless marriage and you can have an extremely loving and caring long term unfenced relationship.
So why does society need you to keep this mapping error on your map?
Well to answer that question, we have to go back to the beginning, back to Sex 1.0 and that what we will do in my next post.