PQ 8.8 — More Glue, Please! Sex, Intimacy, and Reinforcing a Relationship Through Collateral Attachment

a closeup of a few dozen bottles of glue that have orange nozzles and white bottles
Image by bradleypjohnson / CC BY

PQ 8.8 — Is sex the glue that holds our relationship together? If my partner has sex with someone else, do I think the relationship will come unglued?

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As I mentioned before, I’m hypersexual. And a large part of my personal development re: relationships has been learning to control my libido.

And while sometimes people misunderstand and think that polyamory is chiefly about sex, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I didn’t discover polyamory until after I’d settled down. After I had learned ways to keep my libido in check. And while I was married to a man with low libido (yes, they exist — and more commonly than society prepares you for), who was more interested in opening up than I was. Further, there are a number of polyamorous folks who are fairly sex-negative.

Now all that said, I love sex. Yes, the physical sensations are pretty fantastic. And sex is even better when it’s accompanied with vulnerability and connection. Not necessarily capital L Love where there’s a florist and an exchange of vows. But at the very least respect.

And sure, that vulnerable kind of sex where you’re really connected? It can certainly feel like glue. Bind you together. The way that all intimacy does. I may be hypersexual. But that doesn’t mean that all the intimacy I’ve experienced has been sexual. Shared secrets go a long way. Mutual quirks. And unwavering support that humbles you. It all counts.

There are many kinds of “glue” that hold a relationship together.

And the other nice thing about glue? Adding more glue from another source, like a metamour or friend, doesn’t damage the existing connection (provided you don’t violently pull away).

Polyamory’s a lot like that. So long as a strong base of trust is there, the collateral attachment can actually reinforce what you have.

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

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