I just recently began noticing this, then realized it’s always happened, but I wasn’t savvy to it.
I’ll ask a question, and when someone answers, they don’t actually speak their own desires, they speak their fears.
Which is a truth of it’s own kind, but not an honest answer to a question.
For example, let’s look at a simple example, the question:
“Would you like to try nonmonogamy?”
In this case, nonmonogamy might be swinging or polyamory or relationship anarchy, or a threesome.
And there are hundreds, thousands, even, of right and honest answers to this question.
A few, so you I can lay out my thought process:
— “No. I’ve never had a desire to be with more than one person.”
— “No. I’ve thought about it, and I don’t think I’m built for that.”
— “Maybe, I’ve been intrigued by the idea.”
— “Absolutely, if I thought I could and be happy.”
— “Fuck yeah! I’m all in.”
And what makes these right and honest, for the purposes of this writing? They are 100% centered on them.
And here are the answers that are answers, but they don’t really answer the question, and they allow people to deceive themselves (and other, but mostly themselves):
— “No. I knew someone who really only used it as a way to cheat.”
— “No, I think that all poly relationships eventually go wrong.”
— “Maybe. My partner is looking into it, and I might lose them otherwise.”
— “Yes, it seems like everyone is doing it.”
And so on.
I had this conversation with someone who said to me (paraphrased slightly):
do my poly partners get to do whatever they want? Is it okay if their behavior is manipulative and abusive?
When I asked everyone in a writing if they would like a relationship (multiple relationships) where they got to do what they want.
And my response was:
…you illustrate something perfect, here.
You didn’t answer if you want a poly that allows you to do what YOU want.
You answered on whether you want a poly that allows others to do what THEY want.
And that is how many people answer questions.
Not, “Do I want to have the freedom to love who I want?” but “If everyone had the freedom to love who they want, would people want to marry their car?”
It’s a slippery slope fallacy.
It’s a way to be dishonest about what we truly desire protecting ourselves from wanting things that scare us.
Let me offer you this as a thought:
If I ask you, “What does your ideal kinky life look like?”
Do you have an honest answer that encompasses ALL that you desire?
Or do you hold back and couch it in terms that are “realistic” (often based on negativity people have directed at you in the past—and that you now direct at yourself)?