• @Septimaeus
    2 months ago

    I like that analogy. Is the blessing of a traveling companion measured by miles shared? Of course not. They had and will have their own adventures apart from yours. Pretending otherwise is just immature, but demanding otherwise is selfish.

    Yet many do. “Me or no one” exclusivity under “till death” contracts are considered normal. The coercive nature of these relationship parameters are rarely considered, and neither is their cost, many of which relate to consent.

    This is where I usually get pushback so I’ll explain. For simplicity, consider the typical (sexual) consent scenario, where Alice gives Bob consent but withdraws it later. Can Bob retain her consent by getting her to sign a written contract? No. But what if the contract just prevented her from leaving? Again, no. But what if the contract specified an incentive she forfeits by leaving? Legal, but no. But what if the contract made him her only option without forfeiture? Again, legal, but no.

    Perhaps, having signed such a contract, Alice might acquiesce, and may even be enthusiastic at times. But sadly, Bob just put a lot of effort into making it difficult for him to ever know for sure, because “to have and to hold” Alice was more important to him than her freedom and happiness.

    This is why I insist on relationships that are explicitly open from the start. It’s not important to me to have multiple partners, but it is absolutely essential to me to be chosen freely. Not in exchange for anything. Not to fulfill a promise, duty, or obligation. Simply their current preference and desire. The result is I can be certain in each moment that my partners want me for me. Not my status or money or security I provide. Just me. And my life is so much better for it, because that kind of trust is precious and, apparently, quite rare.