March 30th, 2006

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01:46 am - on labeling love lives...

by Tanya Chalkin
So the other day I was talking to the lovely and talented sexyhockihoochi and she told me that she had had 12 boyfriends. As she's only just 21, I thought that number seemed awfully high. But then she pointed out that she was counting back to her earliest boyfriends in like the 8th grade. I found this odd. It brings up a lot of questions that have been on my mind, so I figure I might as well put them out there.

I guess it just seems weird to me to count those early relationships as... well... relationships. Sure, it probably seemed terribly important at the time. But Nicki even acknowledged that she barely remembers those early guys 7 years later. So was that really a boyfriend? And if he really was a boyfriend then should I count Sabrina as my first girlfriend? Oh Sabrina, I remember our love so well. Ok, really I don't. I mean, I was only four years old at the time. But I know she told me she was my girlfriend. At least I think so. Ummm... and I think Sabrina was her name.

It seems to me that in romantic and sexual matters, we go through great lengths to apply labels. What's the difference between someone you're dating and someone you're in a relationship with? At what point does someone become a girlfriend or boyfriend. Does monogamy matter? What if you're polyamorous. Do you need to sleep with the person? Well what if you're waiting till marriage? I've had girls that I dated but never slept with, and fuck-buddies that I never actually "dated." Are either of those girlfriends? Both? Neither?

I'm on record as stating before that I think virginity is kind of stupid as a concept. Does oral sex count as a loss of virginity? What about anal? If those don't count, then is every gay and lesbian who's never had penis to vagina penetration still a virgin? I'm thinking no. But if a lesbian looses her virginity by going down on another chick (or having one go down on her), then hasn't the straight girl done the same if she does that with her boyfriend. Does the absence of penis then imply the penis of absence? I've heard some people claim that a girl who was raped hasn't really given up her virginity. In fact, I dated a girl who was raped as a child, but considered herself to still be a virgin years later. That simply makes no sense to me.

On the other hand, what constitutes cheating? If you're married and you go out and have oral sex with someone else, is that cheating? If you're raped is that cheating? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then doesn't the answer to the same questions regarding virginity need to be yes as well? But like I said, I think arguing over whether or not you are a virgin is stupid and pointless. Virginity is an outdated concept. Unless you need to catch a unicorn or we need to feed you to a dragon or a volcano, then who the fuck cares?

And then there's orientation. Does anyone really identify as strictly gay, straight or bi anymore? If you're a guy do you become gay when you kiss one guy? What if you fuck a guy? That's gay, right? But if you're a gay guy and you fuck one girl do you become straight? Or are you still gay because you fucked a guy? Is gay just stronger than straight? And is it the same for women? I so often hear from chicks who say that they aren't lesbian or even bisexual, but that they will make out with other girls. Or maybe even fuck one if it was with another guy. How is that different (you know, other than the fact that unlike with the guys IT'S CRAZY FUCKING HOT!!!)

Even marriage. Exactly what is anyone looking for in a civil union that is different than a marriage. I have lots of feelings there, that are detailed elsewhere, but I'd love to hear from a gay person that can tell me specifically what it is they are looking for in either instance and what they think the difference is. And for that matter, I'd love to hear from straight people (both for and against the concepts) what they think the differences are and what they mean to them.

And back to the cheating thing. What denotes cheating? How far does one have to go? Is it sex (if so what kind, and back to the whole virginity and what is sex question of earlier). Is kissing cheating? What about just hanging out with someone? What about thinking/fantasizing? They posed an interesting question on the Howard Stern show this morning. If a married man goes to a massage parlor and gets a happy ending, is that cheating? Most thought yes. But what if that same man goes to a strip club, gets a lap dance and happens to cum in his pants. Is that cheating? Does it matter if the "other person" is of the same gender? I know people who think its inappropriate for me to have dinner with another woman when Steph isn't around. But wouldn't have a problem with me having dinner with another guy. But then there's the rub. Would the same person think it was OK for me to fuck a guy but not to fuck another girl? I know a whole lot of guys have this thing where they'd be pissed if their girl was with another guy, but they think its totally OK for their girl to go and do another chick (and it is totally OK, especially if you're hot, and if you do, please feel free to email me pictures). And again, what if you're poly? Where do those rules lie? So much inconsistency.

So that's a lot to ask out there this time. But I really am interested (like always). So let me know, what you think. What is sex? What is virginity? What is homosexuality? What is marriage? What is cheating? What is a relationship, a boyfriend, a girlfriend? And while you're at it... what is that thing over there?

PS:Don't forget the pictures...

(26 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]From: qiika Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:16 pm (Link)
Good topic. Many things to comment on, but the one that jumps at me as an easy one is the topic of cheating.

A person cheats on one (or more) people that they are in a "relationship" with when they break the groundrules that were put in place.

In "traditional" relationships, this can mean going on a date with, or having dinner with, any other potential partner. Sometimes that's okay but kissing another potential partner is not. There are definitely some social norms and cultural expectations that need to be taken into consideration.

I think the way to keep yourself from cheating unintentionally is clear communication with the person/people you are in a relationship with.
[User Picture]From: alazrael Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:24 pm (Link)
I think the way to keep yourself from cheating unintentionally is clear communication with the person/people you are in a relationship with.

Being habitually single makes it easy too.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:31 pm (Link)
ah... but that leads into the other questions I pointed out. You say you're habitually single. But how many dates do you have to go out on with a girl to say you're dating her? Or that she's a girlfriend? Does one imply the other? Is dating lesser than girlfriend or greater? And what about sex. Does that affect the terms?
[User Picture]From: alazrael Date: March 30th, 2006 - 05:04 pm (Link)
What's a "date"?

Dude, I am totally an outlier in your study. I got signed up for a monk's life without my knowledge, I think.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 06:19 pm (Link)
well, that's kind of my point. What is a date? I know for a fact that you have female friends. I know for a fact that you've been to dinner with some of them, and movies, and even my own parties. Does it have to be one on one for it to be a date? Does it have to involve kissing or sex? If you were to have sex with one of them on a random occasion does that automatically retroactively make whatever it was a date?

Hey, if you're a monk now, do you at least get the cool hair cut? And how's your hand writing?
[User Picture]From: alazrael Date: March 30th, 2006 - 06:46 pm (Link)
The answers only spawn more questions! If I go to one of your parties with a female friend who is in a relationship with someone else, is it a date? Are they therefore cheating on their significant other? Gah!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 07:10 pm (Link)
Yep, clearly you're a homewrecker.

Yeah, there's a lot to it. And the more you think about it, the more confusing it gets.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:27 pm (Link)
A person cheats on one (or more) people that they are in a "relationship" with when they break the groundrules that were put in place.

Well, yeah, I actually feel pretty similar. Honesty is more important to me than anything else. And for any given couple, I feel like they can make their own rules. And SHOULD!

But on the other hand, I'm more wondering what the group mentality of all of these things is. Take the virginity question, for instance. The what is sex question. You have a daughter, so I don't think I'm stepping over the line by letting people know that you've had sex. But if I were to ask you "when did you lose your virginity" would you only count the first time you had intercourse or other things. Similarly, if I said "how many people have you had sex with?" what counts and what doesn't?

I think this is all terribly interesting...
[User Picture]From: qiika Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:39 pm (Link)
Hm, to the virginity question, I would respond with the first time I had intercourse.

I'd ask your definition of "sex" before I answered your "how many people" question. Or I might ask if you meant "At the same time?" :)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:46 pm (Link)
Hm, to the virginity question, I would respond with the first time I had intercourse.

Ah, but isn't that the rub, then? Did you do things that you'd count as "sex" now, under your own definition, before you first had intercourse? And if so, wouldn't that be the loss of your virginity? And if not, why not?
[User Picture]From: qiika Date: March 30th, 2006 - 02:51 pm (Link)
It was certainly the point at which I had lost my virginity at the time. I think I'll leave it as that in my revisionist-historian brain.

I'm not sure where I consider "sex" to start. Is it oral? Penetration? Or is it just anytime uncovered genitals are involved? And that definition isn't very good, since then using barrier method contraception wouldn't count as sex.

Ah, the Great Questions of the Universe.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 03:16 pm (Link)
Pauly Shore once said "always where a condom. Condoms are awesome. Just think about it, You never actually touch, so its almost like it isn't sex. Let's say you're fucking your buddy's sister. And he comes up to you all mad and he's like 'hey buddy! are you fucking jennifer?' and you can turn to him and say 'no buddy, I never touched her!'"

Its about the only funny thing that Pauly ever said.

I knew one bisexual girl who claimed that she'd had sex with 6 guys and 3 women. But that she'd gone down on like 5 other guys. I asked how come that didn't count as sex, and she said that with guys sex had to involve penetration but with girls it wasn't sex because there couldn't be penetration. So it was kind of excused. That really made no sense to me.

I think that sex is sex. Oral, hand jobs, anal, vaginal, straight, gay, whatever. There's nothing magical about a vagina or a penis. If two kids think that they are saving themselves by only giving mutual oral sex rather than penetration then they are fooling themselves. Hell, if they're just using fingers and hands, I don't think there's really much difference. if you can handle one, then you might as well be able to handle them all.
From: wooble Date: March 30th, 2006 - 06:09 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 06:21 pm (Link)
nah, everything my penis can do can be explained by a sufficient understanding of science. For some of my tricks you need to understand a lot of really advanced biology and quantum mechanics. But it is explainable.
[User Picture]From: blk Date: March 30th, 2006 - 04:32 pm (Link)
"Sex is anything that can or should require latex." :)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 04:35 pm (Link)
yep... both finger painting and dishwashing are HOTTT!!!!! or something. :-)
[User Picture]From: mokatz Date: March 30th, 2006 - 04:59 pm (Link)
Also brain surgery and crime scene cleanup!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 06:22 pm (Link)
oh yeah... brain surgery is hot!
[User Picture]From: arilinn Date: March 30th, 2006 - 03:53 pm (Link)
Virginity -- gah, who knows? I can't define it anymore. is oral sex still sex? what if it's same sex versus opposite sex?

That thing over there - my cat, duh

ok, gotta run to work, more comments later probably
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 30th, 2006 - 04:10 pm (Link)
hey... you just asked all the same questions that I did. That doesn't help! :-P
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: March 31st, 2006 - 12:23 am (Link)
Does anyone really identify as strictly gay, straight or bi anymore?

Yeah, I identify as strictly straight. I'm not hung up on it; I'm just not attracted to guys.

As far as your list of questions goes... they're just labels and boundaries. I'll give the answers that are correct to me at the moment.

Sex? Activities involving erogenous zones and whatnot.
Virginity? Ain't had sex with another person yet. Each person knows in their heart of hearts whether or not they're a virgin. Gone down on someone? Not a virgin.
Homosexuality? Sexual interest in the same gender.
Marriage? A specific type of contract giving you certain rights regarding another person or persons. See your local justice of the peace or magistrate for details. See also: civil union.
Cheating? Violating the terms of a romantic agreement.
Relationship? In this context, a romantic and/or sexual arrangement that doesn't involve the exchange of goods or services.
Boyfriend? Male member of a relationship as defined above.
Girlfriend? Female member of a relationship as defined above.
That thing over there? GIR

Nice icon, BTW.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 31st, 2006 - 01:54 am (Link)
bah... you're not fooling anyone... you know you look at hunking pieces of man like me and have "feelings"

actually, pretty cool that you answered so thoroughly...

and your new icon there is cool too.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2006 - 02:39 am (Link)

Here you go Mav...

I'm too lazy to log in...

I only count one person before High School, and I actually went on dates with him. It wasn't the whole hand-holding, in school dates kinda thing. I don't remember their names because I tend to block things out.

I think virginity is relative. According to the books, it's penetration of a penis into a vagina. In reality, I think it's whatever you define it as for yourself.

Same with cheating. I wrote about that a few entries back. It's relative. To me, cheating is not going to a strip club. However, if my guy touches a stripper or gets a lap dance from one, I consider that cheating. ::shrugs:: It's all in what you believe I suppose.

It's like some people think a size 14 is fat, but others think a size 26 is fat. Relativity.

~Nicki :-)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 1st, 2006 - 05:31 pm (Link)

Re: Here you go Mav...

Yeah, I totally see your point on relativity.

that's actually an odd place to draw the line. He can go to the strip club, but not get a lap dance. I don't mean to say that you're wrong to feel that way or anything. I just wonder how common that mentality is. I've never heard any girls break it down like that before. Either they've been entirely anti-strip clubs or didn't care at all. You've got a weird... "half caring" thing going on. That's interesting.
[User Picture]From: uomo Date: April 7th, 2006 - 06:08 pm (Link)
I had a girlfriend when I was four as well, and let me tell you, that relationship is hard to beat. Plus her name was "Haunukka," how cool is that? I remember laying down in the inside step of a volkswagen bus, out of sight of our parents, hugging for the whole ride... if anyone asks about my first girlfriend, that's my answer.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 7th, 2006 - 06:22 pm (Link)
So did you get lucky, you old stud?

Actually, yeah, that is an awesome name!

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