As I write this, my children are asleep in their room, Robin Thicke is on the stereo, and my husband is out on a date with a woman named Pammy. It’s his second date this week; his fourth this month so far. If it goes like the others, he’ll come home in the middle of the night, crawl into bed beside me, and tell me all about how he and Pammy had sex. I won’t explode with anger or seethe with resentment. I’ll tell him it’s a hot story and I’m glad he had fun. It’s hot because he’s excited, and I’m glad because I’m a men’s rights activist.
Before my husband started sleeping with other women, I certainly considered myself a men’s rights activist, but I really only understood it in the abstract. When I quit working to stay at home with the kids, I began to understand it on a whole new level. I am an employment-free housewife with zero obligations to provide for our family financially. Now that I understand the reality of that situation, I don’t blame men for demanding more for themselves than the life of a wage-slave.
Still, as a woman, I could, if I wanted to, portray what I’m doing as “work,” and thus claim for myself the prestige men traditionally derive from “work.” Whenever I tell someone I stay home with the kids, they invariably say, “Hardest work in the world.” They say this because the only way to account for a woman at home with the kids is to say what she’s doing is hard work.
It wasn’t until my husband mentioned one evening that he’d kissed another woman and liked it and wanted to do more than kiss next time that I realized how my status as a woman depended on a single fact: that my husband fucked only me.
He didn’t present it as an issue of men’s rights activism to me, but after much soul-searching about why the idea of my husband having sex with other women bothered me I came to a few conclusions: Monogamy meant I controlled his sexual expression, and, not to get all men’s-studies major about it, gynocentrism essentially boils down to a woman’s fear that a man with sexual agency is a man she can’t control. We aren’t afraid of their intellect or their spirit or their ability to give us children. We are afraid that when it comes time for sex, they won’t choose us. This petty fear has led us as a culture to place judgments on the entire spectrum of male sexual expression: If a man likes sex, he’s a pig and objectifies women; if he only likes sex with his wife or girlfriend, he’s boring and whipped; if he doesn’t like sex at all, he’s a virgin and a neckbeard. Every option is a trap.
Men’s rights activism always comes back to sex, even when we’re talking about everything else. The point isn’t that all men should be sexual adventurers. Celibacy is as valid an expression of sexuality as profligacy. The point is that it should be men who choose, not women — even the women they’re married to. For my husband, the choice between honoring our vows and fulfilling his desires was a false choice, another trap. He knew how deep our love was, and knew that him wanting a variety of sexual experiences as we traveled through life together would not diminish or disrupt that love. It took me about six months — many long, intense conversations, and an ocean of red wine — before I knew it, too.
When my husband told me he wanted to open our marriage and take other lovers, he wasn’t rejecting me, he was embracing himself. When I understood that, I finally became a men’s rights activist.
That was two years ago, and today we’ve never been happier, more in tune, closer, tighter, stronger. Whatever power I surrendered, I don’t miss. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but I tell everyone it works for us.
How does it feel? It feels great … mostly. Most of the time, it feels like a mature, responsible way to address our needs and desires within our loving, mutually supportive marriage. It feels very adult, especially because it depends on open, honest communication. We take great pride in all the talking we do. I meet a lot of people who say they’ll never get married because they don’t want to get divorced, and hearing it always makes me sad, because they are cutting themselves off from the possibility of the magic that happens when two people share their lives. People don’t divorce because they can’t stand sharing anymore; they divorce because they feel like they can’t share enough. I never forget that my husband is a whole person unto himself, a complete and dynamic individual, and though we are together, we’re not one. Too often people get trapped in the roles of husband and wife, and a gulf opens between what they think they should be and who they really are. Opening our marriage has allowed us to close that gap so that the person I call “husband” is the same person my husband sees in the mirror. Lying to each other begins with lying to yourself, and now we don’t have to lie to anyone.
There are of course moments of jealousy, resentment, and insecurity. Recently, my husband went on a date and fell asleep at her apartment. I hadn’t heard from him since 10 p.m., he still wasn’t home at 6 a.m. My texts went unanswered and my calls went to voicemail. A tight knot of dread lodged in my stomach as I imagined all kinds of dire scenarios and realized that I not only didn’t know where he was, I had no idea whom he was with. I pictured myself going to the police saying, “I think he’s in Red Hook with a chick named Rachel. I don’t know her last name, but I think she’s a graphic designer?” I’m not sure there’s actually a word for the unique blend of acute terror and unforgivable shame I felt that morning imagining that I’d lost my husband to Rachel, the maybe graphic designer. When he finally texted me at 7:30 a.m., relief coursed through me like morphine. He wrote, “fuckfuckfuckfuck Im soooooo sorry. Fell asleep.” I replied, “Just glad you’re ok, but next time, no radio silence. Remember: you’re not alone.”
What surprises most people is when I tell them it’s not the sex-with-other-women that bothers me. The sex is the easy part, the fun part. It’s what the sex connects to, stands for, reveals that can be difficult. I don’t want him to fall in love with anyone else, and every time he goes on a date, I confront the possibility that he might. It happened at the beginning: The first person he dated after we opened up fell hard in love with him, and my husband, overwhelmed by his ardor, tried to love her back. Watching it happen, I was confused, angry, and terrified that he wanted to leave me. He assured me he didn’t, and whatever feelings he had for her didn’t lessen what he felt for me. Believing him then was the ultimate trust exercise. We survived because eventually I did believe him, and also because I learned to trust myself.
This has been the great challenge of my open marriage: to draw strength from vulnerability. Doing so requires supreme self-confidence. You must first really, truly love yourself; it is the foundation upon which all the other love is built. From everywhere comes the message that what I’m doing is for abused women, victims, doormats, pathetic women with internalized misogyny; that if I had money and status, I could keep my husband “in line”; that his self-discovery comes at the expense of my self-esteem. My open marriage has made heavy demands on my ability to silence the voice of doubt in my head, that gnawing feeling of worthlessness. But I find I can meet those demands, and that I am able to build my self-confidence out of nothing more than the basic dignity we all possess. I’m grateful to my husband for pushing us to take this leap, and whatever happens to us in the future I would do it all again. And when he comes home tonight and crawls into bed beside me with a hot story about his date with Pammy, he’ll do it all again, too.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT?
Of course, I reversed the genders from the original article, but if this were some man, bullying his wife over time and plying her with alcohol until she finally agreed that she couldn’t really be a men’s rights activist or care about men unless she let him fuck other women, feminists would be up in arms, explaining all the ways this is abuse and the woman is completely beaten down dog with no agency or will left.
Read Milo Yiannapoulos’, take on this – it’s pretty hilarious:
The logic is simple, if you think about it. Men are canny about cutting out the middleman whenever possible. If their wives are screwing them by consorting with other men, why not simplify everything by being screwed by men themselves? Think about what Sonmore has to show for his marriage today. A Starbucks gift card from his wife’s latest boyfriend Paulo, with the message, “Please enjoy this latte while I enjoy your wife”?
We’re entering a brave new world where a small group of alpha straights share the most attractive women at will, while the rest of the male population hops over to my side of the pond, having bought into the tenets of modern feminism, which include daily testicular torture, ritual consumption of tampons, and a compulsory 5,000 lines of “Yes, You Can Be The Man Tonight, Honey” to be written in their own blood.
Face it ladies, you blew it. Your abandonment of traditional marriage values like monogamy and taking care of your husband’s domestic needs in order to embrace the quick and dirty pleasures of handsome strangers with Spanish names has created the coming wave of cuckolds that are barely a hair away from dropping to their knees for another dude.
So this is the end game feminists imagine? A bunch of pussy-whipped househusbands too frightened of their overlords to demand a bit of respect and monogamy? Any guy who buys into this deserves what he gets, just as any woman who thinks she has to let her husband fuck around on her deserves what she gets. Truly open marriages, embraced by both partners openly and enthusiastically is none of my business and I wish those people all the best.
This woman bullied her husband for months, made him economically dependent on her, plied him with alcohol and mentally manipulated him into thinking that the basic tenets of marriage were oppressing her. And it was his fault. He has not consented to this relationship, making all sex between them rape. It is coerced, therefore rape.
This is what an abusive wife looks like.
What a cunt.
Both of them.
[Ed notes: Feature image “Brown Nylon Bullwhip” by Pilgrim70 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – the post originally appeared at JudgyBitch and is reprinted here with permission – article may be a hoax – see Robert Stacy McCain]