Are poly and sex-positive people really “obsessed with sex”?

Guest post by RedVonix
The #Obsessed Tee from Etsy seller HashedApparel
The #Obsessed Tee from Etsy seller HashedApparel

Many (if not most of us) who are polyamorous, swinger, or in any kind of open relationships, have been told we are “obsessed with sex.” But are we really?

The truth is, telling someone they are obsessed with sex, is actually a great insult to that individual in many ways — mostly because in reality, it feels like shaming.

I mean, the use of the word “obsession,” by definition, is negative: “A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.”

Therefore, when others tell us that we are obsessed with sex, they are pointing out we have a disturbing preoccupation with the joy of copulation in a unreasonable way.

Okay, sure… there are absolutely people out there who would be obsessed with sex. They even have therapy sessions, which for anyone truly obsessed with sex — that is a wonderful thing. But many of us are not dictionary-definition obsessed with sexual pleasures. We’re simply open — open-minded, open sexually, and sexually positive. Is that really a bad thing?

Apparently to some people, yes, yes it is. It makes many uncomfortable. I believe it’s very likely makes some people uncomfortable because they themselves are not comfortable with their own sexuality. But there must be a way we can intelligently respond to the sexually uncomfortable who would attack us sexually comfortable and sexually positive individuals…

Erotic, passionate, incredible sex is not something we require to survive. As a species, we simply need procreation. The other items add fun, excitement and a level of entertainment to it.

You know what else we do not require to survive? Fancy food.

To survive, all we truly need is a series of nutritional supplements. Simple, to the point, nothing we even need to spend time with or enjoy. Yet, most of us spend tremendous amounts of money and time each year to enjoy incredible food-driven experiences. Gourmet meals, fine dining, exotic flavors… heck, even a fast food burger is nothing more than a cheap and completely un-needed bit of joy wrapped in paper.

Am I comparing a delicious buffet in Vegas to a kinky sex party in Boise? You bet I am.

Am I comparing a delicious buffet in Vegas to a kinky sex party in Boise? You bet I am, because when it comes down to it, they are the exact same thing.

All of this excess and specialty food is equally as required as passionate, erotic, frequent, kink-filled sexual encounters. And if you wish to tell me I am obsessed with sex simply because I enjoy it, and I enjoy pleasuring others, then I ask you to consider whether you have an obsession with food that’s fancier than a flavorless nutritional paste.

Because you’re probably just as obsessed as I am.

Comments on Are poly and sex-positive people really “obsessed with sex”?

    • It’s not really that great a metaphor if you think about it, food is material we can touch it and eat it but he is relating it to an idea isn’t he? Also I haven’t really heard people say sex obsessed, it’s more like sex greedy.

      • If your sexual experiences do not also involve touching, then you are missing out.

        What you seem to have missed is that two ideas are being compared – procreation vs nutrition & pleasurable varied sex vs pleasurable varied dining.

        The metaphor is more than adequate.

  1. Love this. I’ve thought exactly this way before – we don’t NEED to experience sex with other people and couples, but why wouldn’t we when we’re comfortable with and enjoy it? 🙂

  2. Well said! I have had people shame me in the past for being sex-positive, it’s so messed up. I think you hit the nail on the head with examining the reasons for why they feel the need to do that (i.e. their own insecurities). It’s great to see writing about this to remind people like us that we’re not alone. Thank you 🙂

  3. What a fantastic analogy. I don’t find myself having to explain my lifestyle with anyone because I choose not to share it with anyone that I think would have a negative reaction. But maybe someday I’ll use this convenient comparison.

  4. I love this post. As a kinkster in an open relationship, I have to say I am over the moon in love wiht my finacee and Dominant. He is all I could ever ask for an more. But I also met him when I was fourteen years old. For a good long while, he was my entire sexual history. We both reached a point when we realized that while we want to spend the rest of our lives together, it is just really freaking fun to have lots of great sex with lots of great people. I really attribute our D/s dynamic and open relationship to why we have lasted when other high-school sweethearts generally don’t endure past graduation.

    • IMHO, I think it’s very important for everyone to explore their sexual options, even if they are already with one individual. It’s very difficult for one person to meet all of your sexual needs, just like it’s difficult for you to meet all of your partner’s sexual needs. But that’s why everyone is different – everyone offers a unique and different experience. No two of my partners give me the same bedroom experience, and everyone new I meet gives me a uniquely original experience all their own. It’s something I’ve found is beautiful in having lots of safe and wonderful sex with many people.

  5. Thank you for this! I’ve explored polyamory before yet I’m probably the least sexualy active person among my friends and family. I found out it wasn’t who I am but acquired valuable relationship knowledge along the way and that makes me thankful for the experience. And while it wasn’t for me I personally know others who find that it works for them. It’s an uphill battle for everyone fighting the stereotypes, even just friends of poly groups who get sideways glances (or worse) for hanging out with such “different” people.

    Honestly I agree that it’s because others aren’t fully comfortable with their own sexuality that these things arise. Over the years as I have come to terms with HOW I feel and WHY I feel it (including curiosity on this topic), I’ve opened up a lot of avenues of acceptance for other people from all walks of life. I don’t have to like a person but it’s very simple to coexist with someone despite their differences.

    When it comes down to it, polyamorous people are still people made of flesh, blood, and perhaps more importantly emotions. That’s the part that matters.

    • I have been very fortunate, especially as of late, to spend a lot of time with people who wish to branch out from monogamy and find themselves, and those who realize monogamy is just not for them. In almost all cases, I hear that they have been spoken down to by friends, family or even total strangers for their decision. Nobody has ever spoken down to the monogamous individuals – as society has been taught it is “the only correct answer”. However, as you very well put it – “still people made of flesh, blood, and perhaps more importantly emotions”. It’s wonderful when the support is there and available, though I think a lot of people forget that they’re still human as well, and they are seeking their own paths in life.

  6. It’s a shame that people that participate in other forms of relationships are met with such misunderstanding. I’ve never been interested in anything but monogamy, but I don’t see why other consenting adults can’t participate in different forms of love and dating. I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together for over 10 years and never had sex with anyone else. I have friends that are polyamorous or are in a Polyfidelity relationship. We had trouble becoming friends because they assumed I automatically judged their relationship because I was so monogamous. They threw the “not comfortable with my sexuality” line on me numerous times during the first few months, but luckily we were able to get past the misunderstandings. I understand that it’s hard to see the other side of fence, and getting painted as one thing or another is really annoying.

    I can’t really understand the want to reach out and be with other people besides the person I choose to be with. I never even had multiple crushes at the same time, and I’ve only liked one person at a time. When I started dating my high school boyfriend (now husband) I haven’t seen another person as a potential lover or partner. I’m sure to other people that’s hard to understand too. My friends who have never experienced feelings like that had a hard time understanding it, and we’ve had tons of conversations about both sides. It’s pretty interesting how different everyone is.

    • You however accept that open, poly and all of the other styles of relationships are just as valid as any other type of relationship. That immediately puts you right there with the rest of us in a world of understanding and love. Thank you for being awesome! 🙂

    • And my partner will always order a black and blue burger when we go out to eat. Some people know what they like and don’t see a reason to experiment outside of it. Some people like having a reliable staple while still enjoying trying something different from time to time. As long as you never tell someone else “Why would you get that when you know you like the mac n cheese?” your own preferences are fine however they are.

  7. I could care less . its live and let live as long as you are honest and not fooling someone. My ex is polyamorous or whatever but he sure hurt me because he was not honest and lead me to believe he was monogamous because that’s what I want. There is just no excuse for people misrepresenting themselves and leading people on. Its as if he got off on some power trip deceiving and hurting someone. His way of devaluing or demeaning monogamous people is an attack and hateful against those values just as much and is more common. There are plenty; ofdiverse people with the same or similar interests and relationship values to be deceiving and conning people. Its damaging and wrong. Also, he is a hypocrite as its okay for him to be poly but he wants monogamy towards him

    • I’m very sorry he hurt you like this. There are indeed people out there like that unfortunately, and when we are lucky who they are gets spread through the community until it is well known the kind of monster they are.
      But it doesn’t always happen, and doesn’t always happen in time. Don’t give up – it hurts, and it always will in some way – but there are honest people out there. Most people are… However people like your ex give the rest a bad name. The truth is in the end he didn’t care enough about you to respect your desires, and made his desires and wishes the only available option. You and your desires and needs are always just as valid – and if your partner cannot see that, they shouldn’t be your partner anymore.

  8. He demeaned me. Bizarrely he pretended he was monogamous when he’s into orgies, threesome’s, sex parties and relationships with prostitutes. He seems to prefer them. Had the nerve to compare me that they are pros when they just get paid for sex with no connection whatsoever. That seems soul destroying after awhile to me or that nothing is sacred. Good for him, he can keep on with that. Seems like an empty shallow life to me. And it showed, he’s rather cold, egotistical, trash values, superficial, harsh but does have high sex drive. In short, his choices has negative consequences, some sadly not so obvious as a corrupted, tainted, lonely broken soul with no real friends but for a good time but since he’s the same, that is all he appreciates. Geez

    After he knew he had me as in my heart, moved everything in and was committed, he showedd his true colors not only with his sexual excess but mistreatment and neglect of me. It seemed he wanted to use me as security . it was humiliating and hurtful to be betrayed and also he is talking about our life with other women like I’m being ganged up on and made a laughing stock. Complete nightmare. He’s like the devil and I don’t respect those women either when they knew he was in a relationship and have to sneak around as well. People try to justify all sorts of selfish behavior. Deception is unethical and even if your poly is no excuse either. Do sluts realize that?? strangely enuf they don’t seem to like it either.

    • There’s nothing wrong with sluts – some of my best friends are sluts, and we should never shame them. I could probably be considered a slut as well.

      BUT – deception is always bad and wrong. Sneaking around, bad and wrong. In a healthy poly relationship, there are no secrets – everyone knows what is going on, and everyone are equal partners. With my wife and I – she knows every girl I go on dates with and spend private time with, just as I know every guy she spends time with. It’s healthy, never demeaning, and we make time for each other as well. You’ve had a very bad experience with someone who sounds like a narcissist, and I for that I am truly sorry. But never give up – there are good people out there. Just remember the general rule – if they lie to you once, they’ll lie to you again. Be prepared to cut them off before you become a source of power to another narcissist. For now though, I’m very happy that you were able to escape that clearly horrible period of your life. Now you can move on to bigger and better things, and meet people who truly love you and want you to be an important part of their lives.

    • And it’s probably worth pointing out that, if he was deceiving you, he was most likely deceiving others as well. While I no longer engage in Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell relationships, when I did, I honored that with discretion. Poly communities can be very easy for dirtbags to hide in, and I’m sorry that he hurt you.

  9. I love this analogy! I suppose my only critique is that pricy and fantastic buffets are all over Vegas, and Boise has a serious lack of kinky sex parties.

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