Achieve the Four Modernizations.

Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
A while back there was a letter from a happily open couple: He wanted an emotional connection and so slept with old lovers, after a pleasant dinner catching up on old times and mutual acquaintances. She wanted a bad girl one-off with some guy she found in the hotel bar. Had they gone into this with "Just think of me first" or "Don't do anything I wouldn't do and we'll be fine" it wouldn't have worked, because they found each other's preferred format initially squicky. But after instead doing describe/downplay/drop they worked out a mutually happy system.
Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@104: Too young for the Clinton polls, when a solid majority of straight people admitted that they viewed oral as foreplay and not sex? Even if the standard doesn't work for the minority for whom piv sex isn't on the menu: those who include it often draw a line of some sort around piv vs other forms of sex play. (Look around a high school or college for tons of "only" exchanging oral and not really sleeping together.) Probably has a great deal to do with its connection to pregnancy. If it's truly short of PiV sex then the odds are basically nil. Cross that line and an unintended pregnancy becomes a possibility of this roll in the hay, even with birth control. That's an emotional line as much as a physical one.)

You can cheat on your spouse with actions that come drastically short of PiV sex. (e.g. A perennial debate here on which I disagree with Dan: if the sex worker or hot ex stays inside the computer and never technically touches you, is it cheating? How about if you meet in a hotel room but maintain a 1/2 inch distance at all times?)

If his objection was "obviously oral is sleeping with, come on!" I'd understand it. (Though still argue that obviously "think of me, then fuck" wasn't a very clear standard.) But the standards of when they would check in with what level of detail seem to have been more amorphous than that--perhaps willfully, more likely because "we'll think of each other" is more abstract and comfortable to envision.

A while back there was a letter from a happily open couple: He wanted an emotional connection and so slept with old lovers, after a pleasant dinner catching up on old times and mutual acquaintances. She wanted a bad girl one-off with some guy she found in the hotel bar. Had they gone into this with "Just think of me first" or "Don't do anything I wouldn't do and we'll be fine" it wouldn't have worked, because they found each other's preferred format initially squicky. But after instead doing describe/downplay/drop they worked out a mutually happy system.
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@101: Had she written in, she'd probably get lambasted for standing on a technicality. With the pretty consistent advice that they needed to have a much clearer discussion of what the other person wanted and needed to know when ("I don't need or want to know unless this gets to a certain level" being an unexceptional variation on disclosure rules), without this 'I promise to consider your feelings first, then fuck' vagary. Turns out they aren't on the same page about what that looks like.

(Her technicality being "oral isn't sleeping with" and his technicality being "call before sleeping with anyone means call before you go out to a situation where fooling around might occur.")

He seems to have hoped no actual sex would occur, at least on her end. She may have presented the abstract idea of an open long weekend apart while in actuality having someone on deck and ready to roll, which would emotionally land differently even if being within the letter of their agreement. (Or maybe she sincerely understood this as a mutual fun idea, met a guy at a gathering with friends, and understood that anything short of PiV was okay on both sides, but they'd drawn The Magic Line at reaching for a condom. Agreements in relationships (not just about openness) often have Magic Lines because everyone can tell where they are, which is very helpful.)
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@88: Re (1), one could expand this letter into a short-short story in which clearly:

A) She's a drama-lover who hurts him every chance she gets; he's the regular guy convinced that if she just thinks about the power of their love she'll settle down

B) He's a drama-lover who says something is okay but then gets hurt anyhow; she's the regular gal convinced that if she just listens better and talks things out they'll be on the same page at last

C) They're both enthralled by their mutual drama and should stay together to limit the fallout

D) They're both regular people whose first attempt at openness ran aground due to confusion about how much should be shared when and a reluctance to get into concrete 'when a hand goes here...' details, but they can work it out in some fashion since things are otherwise strong

(I lean toward D, with both admitting "okay, you're hurt and we didn't talk about this enough and I'm sorry.")

You make a good geography point, though, and that does raise the specter of an ex, and the oft-told "when my partner raised the possibility of openness in a vague philosophic way I didn't realize they had someone on deck ready to go, which is making me queasy in a way the abstraction didn't." (Though it's possible she's in town for a week coinciding with her mom's 50 next weekend, going out with her old friends to old bars where she knew she might have new options. Or that Mildred's party is THE spot to get laid every year.)
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
Had the letter come from the girlfriend in this exact situation--first 'open' weekend, ground rules were that they would call before sleeping with anyone and would keep each other's feelings in mind--then I would have had the same critique about poor communication: that 'went down on each other' was pretty well within 'sleep with' for many people and they should have clarified back at home with no horny naked people on deck whether that meant 'anything short of piv I don't need to know about, have fun' or 'anything involving genital contact I need to know first, or this will eat at me' and she should have erred on the side of caution in this first road test of openness. And maybe it wasn't for them, certainly they should close the relationship until they were more reliably on the same page, yes she might have blown her chance for future encounters by not sufficiently imagining how her bf might feel about things: all that stuff people told him upthread. Maybe they're a bad fit; maybe one of them is a nutjob; or maybe their first attempt at openness/third parties went badly due to poor communication and a failure of imagination, for which no one is going to give them a 'special first' prize. If it's that last one, no need to break up if otherwise things have been good; probably do break up if this is just the latest in a pattern. (One person violates boundaries, or one person says something is okay but then decides the details of how you did the okay thing make it not okay after all: it can go both ways.)

If she was LW and his focus was not "third base IS sex" but rather "I expected you to call me if you thought you might fool around with someone you met later that night, and I expected you to remember that we had sex twice before I left," that gets a lot harder to parse. It's an odd spot to put the boundary, and harder to figure out where violating it happened.
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@75: If "all sorts of crazy stuff" means she's into boundary violating then they should break up, even if this particular case isn't a good example. "We tried an open relationship so I wouldn't feel bad about my partner's cheating any more, and they still made me feel bad" is a very old tale around here, one improved by breaking up rather than by coming up with better rules.

Dan regularly goes on about how adding extra people is varsity stuff and requires careful discussion of what is and isn't okay, rather than trusting the three-way or open weekend to unfold in a fun and unhurtful way so long as you think about each other's feelings. In this case, from what's in the letter, it seems like she respected the boundary in one sense (called before sleeping with, where he agrees third base isn't sleeping with) but not the other understanding (called before thinking of sleeping with, which was where he seems to have understood call before sleeping with to emotionally fall). If a woman were writing in about how she gave her bf a hall pass for the weekend so long as he thought about her feelings and called before sleeping with anyone, and then he went and fooled around with this girl even though the two of them have great sexual chemistry, that wouldn't mean he was a cad. It would mean both of them should have been clearer about boundaries and she (as the LW) should have thought through whether a guy who just had great sex but has your blessing to seek more might take you up on that thing you said was okay. Violating a clear boundary (call before any physical contact, call before any genital touching) is one thing; violating an amorphous moving one (call before sleeping with someone in the sense of meeting up with them, when those aren't synonyms) is very different.
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
E, if the woman's boundaries are "think about what I might later on decide I object to, like I said third base on this trip was okay but maybe I mean third base only one way, or with no kissing on the mouth, you need to take my desires into account before you have sex with third parties though I'm giving you permission to so long as you also think about me and how we had sex twice before you left" I would be first in line to call that too vague. I'm also a huge critic of "anything the woman (or one partner) later feels bad about makes consensual sex retroactively into rape."

Parsing this letter (which Dan may have edited to be too vague) I get that "sleeping with" equals "PiV" and "call before sleeping with" equals "call before going out with." Those are not crystal clear instinctive definitions all people would use, even if they think about each other's sexual desires first.

(More often the poor communication re open relationship and gender comes as something like "My wife and I agreed to a Don't Ask Don't Tell policy when I'm out of town, and I slept with her sister on my last trip, and I don't get why she's now upset?" DADT carries a lot of implications re discretion, not overlapping her social circle, not rubbing it in her face, and "that includes not nailing my sister" shouldn't be something that needs to be spelled out in a special list. But the line "call before you do stuff I might not like unless I know beforehand" needs a lot more explicit nouns before reasonable people will all agree they're clear where the boundary is.)
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Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
The line was "call before sleeping with." By his phrasing, he believes that she did that. However, she did not call before thinking of going out with that night. Again his phrasing.

Now, possibly they had a pre-trip conversation in which unambiguous lines were laid out, and Dan just edited that part. e.g. "We will call if we're thinking of doing anything, including kissing or flirting. Before we do those things. And after we've talked to each other, we can go to whatever line we agreed in the phone call." If that's the case, then yeah, she violated trust etc and the problem is her and if this is a pattern break up already. But if that pre-trip conversation was about "call before you sleep with someone" (because 'meet up with while thinking of maybe fooling around later on that night' isn't usually synonymous with 'sleep with') and "take each other's feelings into consideration" and other vagaries, then the problem was on both of them for not being clear about their boundaries and trusting that "think about my sexual desires" would make those instinctively clear.
Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
Shorter: The standard "take each other's feelings into account" is wildly vague. Yes, we all want to date people who take our feelings into account, but that can mean the lyrics from "You were always on my mind" ("Yes, I treated you like crap, BUT I thought about you. That's what matters, is that while I cheated and lied I still thought about you, too.") It can mean a failure of mind reading. Anything can be in or outside that standard.
Jan 19 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@68: When did she lie?
His phrasing 'got her to admit' does not indicate that she claimed to not have given him a blow job, then admitted she had. It suggests that she opened with the information that she'd gotten to third with a guy, he went down on her, and when pressed for more details included that she also went down on him.

Switching "conditions" away from the very vague ones here--"take each other's feelings into consideration" "take each other's sexual desires into consideration" "so long as we talked about it before sleeping with anyone"--to someone being unconscious is really weird.

Two phrases from his complaint: "Okay... sleeping with other people as long as we discussed it beforehand" and "(asked) if it (would be) okay for her to sleep with the guy (she'd fooled around with)." If he believed that she had slept with the guy, then I'd expect him to call that out right there. He doesn't complain that oral is obviously "sleeping with"; instead he seems to agree that she called him before "sleeping with" the guy. But she didn't call him before "going out later" with the guy, which is where he thinks the "call before sleeping with" line obviously lay if they were going to "take each other's feelings into account."

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