If we are to reimagine coupledom and sexuality, we need to expand and challenge our ideas about togetherness, romance, love, intimacy, desire, sex, attachment, and so on.
Coupledom may or may not be for everyone, and does not mean the same thing to everyone. Importantly, coupledom does not hold the same value or position in our lives, even in the lives of the individuals perceived to be parts of a couple structure.
Practicing polyamory comes with the struggle of breaking down value systems and non-acceptance that may lead to ostracism not only from the heterosexual world but also from the queer and trans community. Claiming oneself as queer depends not only on how one identifies, but also, in society’s eyes, on who one’s partner is; being single does not qualify and neither does being polyamorous as the latter is considered ‘non-serious’.
Contemporary and predominant imaginations of intimacy focus primarily on a sex-centric (romance-centric?) model which assumes that sexual desire exists and holds the same value for every person and every relationship regardless of their subjective positions. Sexual intent and desire are often the cruces of how relational aspects such as intimacy are socially constructed.
Both rejections and affirmations of the couple are skewered on this doubleness: It is the fullest expression of love and proximity available to us, and it bears all the insufficiencies of present social relations. Monogamous romantic commitment, like infallible lifelong attraction to only men or only women, is surely a minority tendency expediently elevated to a general social principle.
I was not simply stuck within the binaries of “same-sex” or “opposite sex,” assuming that any reference to “same-sex” is in itself already revolutionary. But the call to recognise friendship, is a call to recognise so many forms of community that are made invisible by the emphasis within a liberal or conservative framework on “marriage” as the only path to family making.
The anthology’s pull rests in its sincere and frank portrayal of male and female desires cutting across the divides of age, sexuality, and socioeconomic position. In terms of romance, the idealistic, till-death-do-us-part fantasy peddled by our movies and mainstream literature has been replaced by a realistic portrayal of modern relationships.
I wanted to be one of those people who decide to never date again and actually follow through. Indeed, I decided that a lot. A resolution that was broken so many times that it became a running joke in my head.
He said ‘tender’ today/in such a way/I thought/I’d definitely like him saying/dirty things to me
I now feel comfortable entertaining the thought that my ease with my selfhood does not necessarily have to be threatened by the possibility of love in coupledom. Indeed, comfort with one’s self can actually evolve into healthier forms of love towards the other(s).
Is a monogamous long-term romantic relationship the only kind of relationship available to us? This School of Life video explores alternative modes of relationships through “The Menu of Love” and prods us to rethink the notion of monogamous romantic love and coupledom.
There are a lot of prejudices and misconceptions about asexual people. This comic on Everyday Feminism sensitises us to asexuality through a deeply felt real-life story of finding love as an asexual person.