Guest Post By Barbara Lewis
About 3 months ago when I first read Sex 3.0,it espoused ideas that were mere figments in my mind, poorly formulated ideas that I had not had the time or energy to put into a solid form. I knew that I was dissatisfied with the story I had been told, that I needed something more authentic, and that the relationship rhetoric I heard from people felt disingenuous.
When I read JJ Roberts’s book, all the ideas that had been germinating in my subconscious bloomed into fruition. He challenged the normative construct of relationships, the story we’re told or the map we’re given, and offered us something with wider boundaries, something that encompassed love on all levels, free from control. . .
When I finished the last page I pronounced, “I am never going back.”
This is my experience in becoming unfenced. It is unique because I am a married woman. The first line of resistance was my husband. That makes sense. He was protecting his rights over his property. And then, when he reluctantly agreed to an open relationship, he admonished me not to tell anyone, so “they don’t think we’re hippie freaks.” But the taste of freedom is intoxicating.
Once I got the tiniest nibble, my hunger for freedom and truth became insatiable. I was not willing to tell a story to placate my parents or my neighbours or our Orange County friends. I didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. I was like a sleepwalker awakened, and the opinions of others who were still asleep were of no consequence to me.
It seemed perverse to pretend to be something traditional just so other people would not feel threatened by the concept of love without ownership, freedom to grow in any direction, support rather than fear from our partners.
I did encounter resistance. My husband took me to a therapist, who explained to me that a marriage needs boundaries so that the other person feels secure. He asked me what boundaries I was willing to abide by. I told him none. He proclaimed to my husband, “She doesn’t want any boundaries! She wants to be able to do whatever she wants!” I explained to the therapist that I do have boundaries, but they stem from an internal source, not external. I explained that my husband is not my parent and I do not need rules.
“But how will he know what your boundaries are if you won’t come to agreements?” asked the therapist.
“By knowing me,” I answered.
“How can he know you if you won’t communicate your boundaries?” he persisted.
“I guess he just has to spend more time around me, or, if he doesn’t trust my boundaries, he doesn’t have to be around me,” I responded. Then I walked out and didn’t go back.
Later, my husband confided that the therapist told him I was a pathological liar and manipulator.
That’s when I first became aware of what I now refer to as “The Language of Monogamists.” It’s language based on a set of assumptions that are the holy grail of monogamy–assumptions such as having to agree on a set of boundaries. I do not agree to any boundaries. A monogamist will conclude that without such agreements, I will turn into a lascivious immoralist.
Believe it or not, my unwillingness to close the door on possibilities in life does not change me into something monstrous or inhumane. I am still me, just a more open me, who is willing to grow in whatever direction life takes me. It was surprising to see how refusing to have boundaries based on fear and obligation provoked in others a deep mistrust in my character. My husband actually believed that I might quit my job, leave my home and children, and start travelling the world to have sex with strangers.
Monogamists assume that character is contingent upon normative boundaries and that when you question these rules, your integrity fails.
With practice, it becomes easier to recognize fallacies inherent in monogamist rhetoric. They resemble a fundamentalist who gasps upon hearing that someone is an atheist, “So you don’t mind going to hell?!” A monogamist will accuse you of not caring about the feelings of others, or of being non-empathetic if you do not allow the hurt feelings of another person to dictate your actions.
Monogamists will accuse you of being selfish, giving up your family, security, and “everything you’ve worked for” in order to be able to have sex with more people. The false assumption is two-fold: first, that family is mutually exclusive to unfenced relationships, and second, that the purpose of being unfenced is to have more sex with more people.
Ironically, I have not had sex with other people since I decided to become unfenced. That is not to say that I won’t. But at this point, what unfencing has done for me is to free me from a set of boundaries and constraints based on someone else’s insecurities and fear. I no longer live under the umbrella of shame for noticing the attractiveness of other people. And since my awareness is no longer sublimated, it is much easier for me to simply notice and then move on. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, becoming unfenced has made sexuality less taboo and thus less important. It has actually helped me to regard people as human beings not as sex objects.
The Language of Monogamists include phrases like “emotional affair” to impute shame for connecting with another human being and enjoying the attractiveness of another person. I hope to have many emotional affairs. I hope to connect to all sorts of people, to be open to what they have to teach me, and open to sharing what life has taught me.
Being unfenced has freed me to give my love out of desire, not obligation.
As long as my husband was arguing with me about what I should or should not do with my genitals, as long as he espoused that it was his right that I be monogamous with him, I could never discern whether my love was of my own volition or duty-bound. When he acceded that I owe him nothing that I do not desire to give of my own free will, and when he decided to accept me completely for who I am, I was able to see in him someone with whom I could grow.
I make no promises about who will and won’t come into my life. I do not control such things. I can promise to be me–a seeker of truth, a responsible parent and citizen, a loving human being, and above all, authentic and honest.
Further Reading : How Sex 3.0 Models Human Sexuality