Thanks for the clarification, and I totally understand how we run things through the filter of our own experiences. I've never personally been with or seen a man who felt less on fire because he had learned to have more consent-oriented and connected sex, but I suppose that might be variable depending on how much deprogramming one has had to do from equating sex with control as well as various other personal factors.

I've been with my husband for almost 30 years, and wasn't dating anyone else until about 5 years ago, so way back when, consent wasn't a part of the overt conversation and the men I'm with now are all younger than I am, and so perhaps are less steeped in that conflation of sex and control or maybe it's that they are from poly and kink communities that tend to be more egalitarian. I don't really know. In any case, we mostly just have really frank discussions up front about what is on and off the table, and then when the "action" starts, nobody has to hesitate. It works really well.

My satisfaction is very high because I am at the age and stage of my life where I know how to ask for what I want and to not say yes to things I don’t. Polyamory has taught me how to stand as an individual and to consciously co-create relationships with the people that I’m involved with, so I don’t just accept sub-par anything. I think there are more and more women out there like me, but that they still aren’t the majority. There’s an awful lot of cultural programming that has to be overcome to get there, and it’s hard to do that work in the confines of traditional monogamous relationships, in my opinion.

Here’s something I wrote along these lines a while back.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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