Posted by Ergo on March 12, 2012
I think some clarity is required around the varieties of legitimate romantic relationship designs. In particular, we must dispel this notion that monogamy is identical to sexual fidelity.
In reality, truly loving and healthy romantic relationships can occur in at least the following designs. The different is merely in the negotiation of boundaries, keeping in mind the character, virtues, motivations, and psycho-sexual orientation of the individuals involved:
(1) Monogamous closed relationship — Sexual as well as Emotional/Romantic fidelity with only one partner
(2) Monogamous open relationship — Only Emotional/Romantic fidelity with only one partner, but sexual openness based on consensual boundaries
(3) Poly-amorous closed relationship — Sexual as well as Emotional/Romantic closed-ness with a defined and exclusive set of partners
(4) Poly-amorous open relationship — Sexual as well as Emotional/Romantic openness with an undefined and non-exclusive set of partners
In other words, the concept of monogamy does not necessarily include the behavior of sexual fidelity.
Now, there can be strong arguments made about the varying degrees of prudence, success, and wisdom attributable to each of the above relationship designs. For example, I believe that design number 4 above is highly imprudent as a practical manner of living, because it may not entail emotional stability and success in achieving some romantic goals; it may engender emotional conflicts and logistical difficulties, and it may demand unreasonable amounts of emotional, financial, and psychological investment.
Having said that, it does not follow that deep, intense, passionate, and real romantic love cannot exist and be experienced by individuals involved in any of the relationship designs described above.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: fidelity, infidelity, Love, monogamy, Open relationships, Relationships, Romance, sex | 3 Comments »
Posted by Ergo on November 28, 2007
Ha! This is for real. The following question appeared in this morning’s sex column of Mumbai Mirror–an English-language regional daily. I can’t decide which is more funny–the 20-year-old man who just discovered some new activity and his intended pathway to heaven, or the sex columnist’s response!
I’m a 20 year old man. I learnt “master bating” from my friends and now I cannot stay without it. I don’t have any bad habits like smoking and drinking. I have also lost weight because of this habit. I know many prostitutes who can show me the path to heaven but I don’t have the guts to deal with them. Please help.
Respose: You are not playing cricket; it is “masturbation” that you are doing. There is nothing to worry about. You will learn better control and masturbate only when you have something to excite you. No harm will come to you. Prostitutes or any unknown female will not send you to heaven — there are more chances of going to hell. Lead a healthy lifestyle.
[P.S. In the sport of cricket, a team bats while the other bowls--much like in baseball. Hence, the term "batting", and a misspelled version of it: "bating."]
Posted in Culture, General Work/Life, India, Love and Romance, Mumbai, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged: Humor, India, masturbation, Mumbai, sex, youth | 7 Comments »
Posted by Ergo on May 29, 2006
India is quite arguably a very androgynous – if not an outright feminine – culture; Indian men are fairly well-adjusted to displays of sensitivity, emotional depth, and homosocial intimacy.
It is not rare to see men walking around the city hand-in-hand or arms over their shoulders, displaying signs of very intimate affection towards each other. Once I saw a group of young men caressing each other’s hair, one of them combing the other’s lengthy locks with what seemed to me like so much love in his eyes, while the other men in the group carried on a lively and animated conversation amongst themselves.
Well, all of this means, it gets awfully hard for actual gay men to figure out who’s in who’s “camp.” It’s incredibly risky to assume someone’s gay or that someone has the “hots” for you just by their non-verbal behavior and overt displays of intimacy.
I suppose this type of a cultural acceptance of homosocial behavior could lead to psychological burial or repression of a gay man’s proper homosexual expression. By that I mean, a gay man may not express his sexuality as much as he may express his homosociality. The ambiguous sexual nature of the behavior he observes among the men around him may convince him that he can act likewise and be safe and find homosocial encounters as a satisfactory outlet to his gay expression.
Since one can never be sure of the sexual intentions or persuasions of another man, it becomes incredibly risky to just assume the other’s sexual orientation and make an unsolicited or unwanted move–particularly given the paradoxical fact that while Indian men are notoriously homosocial, they are equally homophobic.
At the same time, the sexual ambiguity in orientation also may lead a gay man to believe that he could effectively “convert” any straight man and convince them into being sexually intimate. While this may work for some, it also leads to disastrous consequences, such as homophobic backlashes.
Moreover, ambiguity in sexual behavior leads Indian gay men to try and seek the fulfillment of their desire to be intimate with another man in such homosocial–but non-sexual–relationships (i.e., in safe homosocial intimacies with straight men); the result of this disguised approach to homoerotic intimacy thereby represses a full-blown expression of proper gay male sexuality with other gay men. Some gay men might even end up convincing themselves of the delusion that they are not really homosexual, that they merely have strong affections for other men just like other genuinely straight men do for each other.
All of that (and possibly other socio-psychological factors) then probably leads some Indian gay men to delude themselves into thinking that they are in fact bisexual or maybe even straight!–not as a matter of fact, but as an act of conditioned auto-suggestion upon their own minds–undoubtedly with terrible consequences for themselves and for those they share intimate relationships contact with, like their wives or romantic partners.
Posted in Culture, General Work/Life, Homosexuality, India, Love and Romance, Mumbai, My Theories and Ideas, Personal, Political Issues, The Best of Leitmotif, Uncategorized | Tagged: Culture, Gay, gays in India, Homosexuality, India, men, Mumbai, psychology, psychosexuality, repression, self-esteem, sex, sexuality | 23 Comments »