Today I read a post on Kendra Hollidays blog, The Beautiful Kind, about a threesome that she and her partner recently experienced. The threesome in question was an FMF with Kendra, her partner Mathew and an old friend of Kendra’s from high-school, who is referred to as Andromeda. So far so good, but Andromeda is married to someone else who is unaware of what is going on. The post does deal very briefly with why Andromeda was motivated to explore this opportunity but it doesn’t talk about how Matthew or Kendra felt about that situation. In fact the majority of the writing is about the actual event itself which, regardless of anyone’s marital status or possible moral dilemmas sounded like a truly hot and pleasurable experience for all those involved.
However, it is in the commenting section of this post where things get a little more difficult as some people have accused Kendra and her partner of being hypocritical. Just to give some context to this, as well as writing her blog, Kendra is one of the founders of Sex Positive St Louis “an outreach and education organization.” and she also works as a Relationship and Sexuality consultant. Much of her work, writing and teaching, advocates openness and honesty within relationships and yet it would appear in this post that she is not only condoning but is complicit in Andromeda’s cheating. It is therefore easy to see why people have left some of the comments that they have.
For me though I don’t think it is as clear cut as that. People cheat for a myriad of different reasons, some of which are simple and some of which are hugely complex and challenging. We don’t really know anything about Andromeda’s marriage or life situation from this post, all we do know is that she decided this was something she wanted to do and something she wanted to do with Kendra and Matthew. From what I know of Kendra, which is from being a regular reader of her blog for the last 4/5 years (sadly we have yet to meet in person but I live in hope that it will happen one day) I am fairly confident that this was not something she decided to do on a whim and that she would have taken a great deal of time to know and understand her friend before embarking on this course of action.
The post wasn’t written to invite moral judgement on any of the people, it was written to share an experience that Kendra and Matthew had, because that is what Kendra does; she shares her life in a frank, honest and open manner. The good bits, the bad bits and all the bits in between. For me, not writing about this experience would have been the hypocritical thing to do. That would be saying “I did something that might challenge people’s views of me and so I will not be tell them about it.” In fact what she has done is present the situation in a fairly matter of fact and way and said, for right or wrong, I did this, I don’t regret it, in fact I am happy I did it. Now that is an honesty that all too many people shy away from.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the situation is complicated and yes I think there is huge potential for the people involved, particularly Andromeda and her husband to be very hurt but life is complicated. It is not always easy and nice and sometimes we make decisions that seems to be out of character or that challenge peoples view of us, but heaping shame on people for that and not taking the time to try to understand seems wrong to me.
Since reading the post I saw these tweets from Kendra and so in the spirit of honesty and openness here are my answers.
Yes I have. I am not proud of it, I didn’t get a kick out of the cheating aspect of it what I did at all. I did get a kick out of the sex though and I did enjoy those times I had with other people. I am sorry that doing it hurt someone but I am not sorry I did it. I found myself in a place where at the time it felt like the only option for me and I think if I had never done it then it is possible that I would still be plodding along waiting for my life to start properly, not realising that the only person who could truly make that happen was me.
Would I ever cheat?
Despite my answer to the first question my answer to this one is no, I would not, but that is because my life is completely different now. I find myself in a relationship where, although we are mainly monogamous and both happy to be that way, it is not a fixed or rigid thing and so I can’t currently see myself ever needing to cheat. I hope that whatever the future holds for us as a couple we have been through enough together and built our relationship in such a way that cheating just would never need to feature for either of us.
Would you get with someone who was cheating?
I have done in the past. At the time I saw it as being their decision to make not mine. I knew the deal but the cheating was theirs. I didn’t make them do it, they were responsible for their actions within the relationship they had. Now though I think I would be more cautious. With life experiences comes knowledge I guess and being married to someone who was cheated on for many years and hearing firsthand the pain, distress and long term effects that has had on that person has altered my view. Betrayal is horrible. It can have deep and long lasting repercussions on peoples self esteem, self worth, body consciousness etc and their ability to trust and form relationships in the future. I think having seen this would mean that I would be very reluctant to be with someone who I thought was cheating. In fact a while back I decided against pursuing a relationship with another woman when I realised that her partner was completely in the dark about what she was doing.
Does seeing a sex worker count as cheating/Does going to a strip club?
For me, neither of these things are cheating. I think the first one is clearly a sign that something might be wrong, but for many people choosing this route is how they manage to deal with a mismatch with regards to sex in their relationship. The second one is definitely not cheating. For me that would be like saying reading a sexy book and having a fantasy about one of the characters is cheating on your partner, or for that matter watching porn.
What these last two questions do really highlight for me though is, that this subject is complicated and that I think having a black and white approach to what is and is not cheating only sets boundaries that many people find impossible to keep and often makes it very hard for people to then talk to their partner in an open way about their desires.
Sadly there is still too much teaching that monogamy is the ‘one true way’. Everywhere you go it is held up as the perfect ideal, the thing to reach and strive for. In movies, in books and particularly within the mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong I am definitely not knocking monogamy but what I am knocking is the idea that it is the right way. The only right way of having a relationship with another person(people) is the way that works for the people involved. Monogamy is not the gold star of relationships it is just one way and it only works if everyone on board is, well quite frankly, on board. Human desire and sexuality is so diverse and fluid and monogamy often seems to be in direct conflict with that fact. Having this goal, or ideal, often driven by a religious agenda that effectively denies that fact is not helpful. Likewise judging people for their actions when they step outside of those boundaries for whatever reason does nothing to help create a positive and open conversation about other relationship constructs.
I don’t know what will be the outcome of Andromeda’s threesome with Kendra as far as her marriage is concerned but who knows, maybe it will inspire her to try and attempt a conversation with her husband about changing the dynamics of their relationship or maybe she will just carry on being married and treasure the memory of this experience or maybe it will be far more stressful than that and her marriage will come to an end but whatever it is I think that Kendra and Matthew actually gave her a very precious gift by sharing themselves with her without judging her for her actions. They showed her honesty, tenderness, care and maybe they might even have inspired her to try a different way in the future.