James Higham made the following remark on his blog which reminded me of something I’d had occasion to think about at various points this year:
There’s another factor and I’ve left it to the end – it seems peculiar to women – and that is the need – nay, almost the necessity – to be ‘torn between two lovers’.
The reason for this I believe has to do with something I read over at Chateau Heartiste about a year ago, and that is the idea that it is rare for women to be able to sleep with two men concurrently.
Okay, women cheat. We all know that. But if a married woman is cheating on her husband by shagging the pool boy, it will either occur a few times and then she’ll end it, or she’ll not be having much sex with the husband. And if she is, she’s going through the motions to avoid raising his suspicions, but most likely she’s not.
It is also not uncommon for young women to be “seeing” two or more men concurrently in non-serious flings, but this is often for a relatively short period before she chooses to settle with one.
What I am talking about is a sustained, sexual relationship lasting several months or more with multiple partners. I have only met one woman who admits to having been in this situation – prostitutes excepted. Which is what makes female polyamorists – who I have written about before – so unusual. I’m not saying they can’t do it, or it is wrong, or they shouldn’t do it, I am just pointing out that, in my experience, it is highly unusual and probably requires a certain mindset which most women don’t possess.
Contrast this with men who – guilt aside – are easily capable of continuing full, concurrent sexual relations with a whole harem of women, should they get the opportunity.
I understand that polyamory is becoming more popular with the young folk, although I get the slight impression it is the tiny minority of practitioners that are telling us this and/or are conflating it with merely shagging around.
(I’m posting this partly because polyamory and women’s ability to participate in it is one of the themes I am exploring in a book I am in the process of writing, and I’d be interested in any feedback or readers’ thoughts/experiences.)