The Friend Zone Episode 24: Ethical JUST-Monogamy

Sometimes while trolling the dating websites, I’ll come across a picture of an intriguing looking woman, and stop to check out her profile. Yes, I ACTUALLY read what women write and often respond to their words. I know, it’s CRAZY, right? Unfortunately, not many people actually bother to read the thoughts of people in online dating.

What I’ll find in some…well a lot of instances, if I’m being honest, is the term ‘Ethically Non-Monogamous”; sometimes with the descriptive term “Partnered”, attached to it. I find this term annoying as fuck because, in my experience, some women either don’t fully understand the implication of being ‘ethically non-monogamous’, or they’re trying to jump on the phraseology bandwagon by claiming a role that falls outside of relationship norms.

Seriously, these people need their own website. If you’ve decided to be a Mormon man without the religion, take it to Utah, babe. I hate to sound insensitive to this new cultural norm, but I prefer not to taste your partners dick three hours after he didn’t satisfy you. And some women act like ‘ENM’ is something they’re born with; like wanting AH bag of dicks is a gender identity. No, this is not that and neither is it the same as being born with an aversion to gluten or a cat allergy. You just want your dick and you want to eat too.

I’ve gone out with MANY ENM women now, because there are so many out there that I just don’t have a choice if I want to go on dates. In my experience, what I’ve found is that some ENM women are just not getting enough from their partner, OR it wasn’t their decision to be ENM. As an example: I went on a date with one ENM woman who proudly humble-bragged that she was partnered and was just looking for ‘friends’ to sleep with. I love that ENM women say this like it’s just another day at the office; like it’s an anathema for emotions to be connected to sex in any way. After having a few bourbons at a bar near her place, she complained the entire rest of the night about how her boyfriend was up in Wisconsin fucking some ‘ho’ (her word) that weekend, and then she began crying. She told me that her boyfriend had brought up being ENM about a year earlier and that it was harder for her to just ‘fuck’ people, because she needed a connection first. Yeah boo, that’s called being in a monogamous relationship.

I’ve also gone out with ENM women, who told me that their boyfriends were their best friends, but they had no money, or they were asexual (not gonna lie, never heard of an asexual dude until I started dating ENM), or that there was something missing that they wanted to find with other guys. I went out with a woman who was in an ethically non-monogamous, non-sexual, genderqueer, non-binary relationship with another woman, but both of them were into men. Huh? Isn’t that just a fucking roommate? I mean, I would never question who people are, not that it’s FOR me to ask that question; but I’m pretty sure that the double negatives in that umbrella relationship identity, just mean that they’re both separate female identities, looking to date men. You can’t just make up shit as you go along just to be the cool kid in the schoolyard; it’s kind of insulting to people actually trying to get through life in the identity that they’re born into.

Then there are the ENM women whose boyfriends have a huge hog or give them toe-curling orgasms, but these guys have no personality OR interest in being with just one woman. These relationships are always missing something and being ethically non-monogamous isn’t ADDING anything to the relationship, it’s being used as an excuse to ‘settle’, to not go out there and pound the pavement until these women meet someone who ticks all their boxes, some dick assembly required. Sometimes I see ENM as the laziest form of selfishness, dragging me into their shitty relationship tropes. Now I gotta make them laugh, show them some support for their life objectives, AND pay for dinner so they can feel good about hopping on Peter North with the personality of an end table, when they get home. As Shakespeare would say: “Fucketh that.”

And I say all of this knowing what I’m getting into from the start. And, again, of course I’m not talking about all women, this has just been my experience. ALL ENM women I’ve gone out with though, have been incredibly honest up front, but so am I. My profile on all dating websites says that I’m looking to be in a long-term relationship, but I’m not dead either. If I meet an ENM woman who’s an insane clown, she can join my posse. There’s not a lot of pretenses needed before sex, no commitment, no messy emotions, or so ENM women say. Personally, I can separate feelings from sex, as long as I know the separation is needed up front because when I commit to someone, I BRINGS the commitment. You can’t just drop an ENM bomb on me 3 months into a relationship; that just means you’re a cheaty ho. (Sorry, not sorry. Don’t cheat if you don’t like it.) You tell me that you don’t want a commitment in the beginning, then you’re being separated from that eventuality, in my mind. That said, that puts more guessing into the sexual nature of our relationship.

I’ve found that some ENM women are all talk. They’ll be all gung-ho about JUST looking for sex, or even just a ‘friend’, but when it comes time to meet, they buckle like a belt. Now, I’m not actively trying to sleep with these women because that’s not what I’m looking for. If it happens, great, as I said, I’m not dead; but I’m not pushing for that outcome. I’m forty-(Train going by, drowns out the next number) years old, sex is important, but it’s not the Godhead that it was when I was 39? I want to say? (I’m still maturing, gimme a break.) I’ll talk to women who just want to be ‘friends’, for networking purposes. I’m still a huge proponent of meeting women at parties or being set up on blind dates, so meeting new lady friends is a great way to meet their single friends as well.

Now, on the occasions that I have gone on a date with an ENM woman, there was an unspoken knowledge that sex is going to happen because SHE said, that’s all she was looking for. SHE said that, not me. I said I’m looking for a relationship, but I’m not dead. So, we go out, have a lot of laughs because most ENM women are extroverts and I can have a lot of fun with an extrovert, and go back to her place. Now, and this is on me, it’s a guessing game at that point because relationship boundaries have been set, but no sexual rules have been established.

It’s not an easy thing to separate sex from emotion, unless you’re a sociopath. Sex is an intimate, passionate, private, anticipatory and often a unique experience shared between two people, for good or bad. It’s hard to bite someone’s lip in the heat of passion, as they hold you so tight that your bodies become one, while experiencing the unparalleled high of a DEEP, DEEP mutual orgasm, without giving a tiny piece of your soul to that person, whether you mean to or not.

Typically, sex occurs during the course of building a relationship, but in the ENM case, it occurs in the midst of someone else’s established relationship. So, I have to ask myself, can I kiss, and if so, can I kiss her passionately? Is oral sex on the table or does she save that for the boyfriend? Does she want excitement and kinks because her boyfriend is boring, or does she want intimacy and romance?

In one instance where I slept with an ENM woman, I’m pretty sure that I was the first person she’d had sex with since her relationship governing board instituted that policy. Maybe it’s because I’m a nice guy, maybe it’s because I actively listen, maybe it’s just because I’m fun to be around, but in that particular situation, the ENM woman got a little clingy. The paradigm shifted a bit from spending time with her established partner, to spending more time with me. This kind of made me feel like the bottom bitch, and I really wasn’t into it. I’d already separated my feelings and tried to respect HER wishes that this just be what it was, so I was going on dates with other women who were potentially looking for a serious relationship. I was honest about that, and our ‘sexual friendship’ ended on a sour note. Y’know…sometimes it’s difficult to protect myself from women who want to exploit my present mindedness.

In another instance, the sex with an ENM woman was so boring that I just got up and dipped the fuck out when I was done. I don’t typically do this as I like the cuddling, joking and body explorations that can happen post-coitus, and that often lead to more sex. In this case, it felt to me as if because she was already in a relationship, she didn’t feel the need to ‘try’ in bed. There was no passion to it, there was no purpose, there was no fun in it. I like some fun and originality in my sexual encounters, SEX IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! This isn’t the middle-ages where we’re all just trying to procreate to make more church goers, for fucks sake. You can’t spell ‘fucking’ without ‘fun’, because it would just be ‘ckig’, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to ‘ckig’ anyone.

I tried to lean in to kiss her neck at one point during missionary and she put her hand on my chest and said “My husband doesn’t like me kissing.” My response was that of genuine concern as I stopped mid pump and said “He’s not like, under the bed or some shit, is he?”; that got an eye roll, which really wasn’t an answer, so I actively hurried up to finish and got the fuck out of there. I’m pretty sure her husband was under the bed.

I also feel like some women use ENM as an excuse to more easily ghost a guy or just generally not put any effort into showing the slightest bit of desire for a man. Personally, I like when a woman pursues me a LITTLE bit. I mean even the bare minimum of initiating contact on a dating app. Let’s say we talk for a few days on the dating app. Be nice if the next day, YOU start the conversation. In my experience ENM women just don’t do this. There’s a real “I don’t need you” vibe to these women, which can be confusing, especially for those who say they’re looking for ‘friends’. What kind a friend is YOU?

Look ladies, I get it. Women are the new men, and I’m right there with you. You can do anything a man can do, but better. But that doesn’t mean that you have to strive to reach the shittiest depths of male depravity. Be better than that. Men who feel the need to fuck a whole gaggle of women, while keeping a compliant concubine on the side, have some deep emotional issues. This is NOT the tandem act you want to fall in step with. 98% of serial killers are men, and (hopefully), I don’t see women striving to drop that percentile (yet).

Being who you are is great, I’ll never judge anyone for the gender identity they were born to, the kinks that they developed as life progressed, the shitty experiences that affected their personality, or what they generally enjoy. What I DO reserve the right to judge people for, is the hurt that they bestow upon others and themselves. And again, I always want to reiterate that I’m not talking about ALL ENM women. Some women just enjoy this for their own reasons, and that’s fantastic. You do you, girl. I’m talking to those in the category that I’ve encountered, who don’t seem to enjoy it or fully grasp the impications of it. To those women I say that there are dudes out here who CAN check all the boxes, who are more than enough to put some monogamous effort into (Hello! Yoo-hoo! Right fucking here!).

I want to see a new descriptive term on dating apps: Ethically JUST-Monogamous.

The End

Feel free to reach out with questions / comments at:

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