Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Normal" is overrated

"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all." -- Andrew, The Breakfast Club

The Pervocracy has a great post on the end of "normal" relationships in general, but I particularly liked the part about gender norms:
you don't have to be non-heterosexual to question what gender means to your relationship.  If "which one of y'all does the dishes?" is a stupid question to ask a gay couple, it ought to be an equally stupid assumption to make about a straight one.  The fact that assigned gender roles are available for a straight couple doesn't mean they ought to take them on without question. 
What kind of relationship you have is your choice, and one choice isn't better than another.  What's important is that you make a choice.  That even if you're you're monogamous, vanilla, and heterosexual--you're doing it because it's what you want and because you and your partner have agreed to it, not because that's what people do.  What's important isn't what path you take, but that you know there are paths. 
Paths?  Fuck, there's an entire open world out there once you get past "man buys dinner, woman agrees to missionary PIV until he ejaculates.  (Or rather, a world including "man buys dinner, woman agrees to missionary PIV until he ejaculates," because, hey, if that's your thing.)  There's a million goddamn ways to love, a billion things  "partner" or "lover" or "fuckbuddy" or "spouse" can mean to you, and you get to decide
How fucking cool is that?
Very. The emphasis in this post is on what it calls "consciousamory"-- the idea that no orientation or lifestyle is necessarily superior or more evolved, but what matters is that people are aware that there are options and feel free to choose from among them. There's a problem when consenting adults don't feel that, when pressure from the outside or from one partner only determines the nature of their relationship rather than it being based on an agreement between them.

People write in to Savage Love all of the time asking whether the particular conditions of their relationship or the things that turn them on are normal, and every time the answer is the same: who gives a damn about "normal"?  If you like it, and your partner(s) like it, then it's right for you. If you're aware of the possibilities, have a preference, and all involved parties want it, that's what's important.  That means that your relationship, whatever it might be, is freely chosen.

Pervocracy goes on to point out that if everyone is aware that they don't have to be normal, people who engage in polyamory or any other non-standard relationship style are no longer abnormal. They're just a perfectly normal way.

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