building a successful and enjoyable platonic relationship

Why have a platonic relationship?

Have you ever thought to yourself that you would love to have sex but not with the annoying inconvenience of being in a relationship? If you need to learn how to do this (because for whatever reason you think this knowledge is obscure and does not come naturally) you can surely find plentiful resources on the topic if not in your local library, at least out there on the Internet.

by Lauren12391 http://www.deviantart.com

This article is for those who wish to do the opposite, those who love the emotional connection of a relationship, the adventures, the ups and downs, and the ultimate joy of sharing your life with someone, but don’t want the annoying inconvenience of having to put out.

Advantages to having a platonic relationship include not having to worry about STIs, not basing a connection only on physical pleasure, and for the truly devout non-sexuals, the lack of having to do something you are not particularly interested in doing in the first place.

Structurally, it’s not too much different than an intense friendship except that the platonic part implies that this is a person you would otherwise be expected to indulge in carnal pleasure with, and the relationship part implies exclusivity, the idea that the connection you share with this person is not merely a connection shared among friends, but a thorough combination of psyches built upon the same kind of trust you would expect from a sexual partner.

So, all you non-sexual predators, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting things going with your platonic crush:

1)      Begin as friends within a group of likeminded individuals who share your same philosophical boundaries. By observing how well this person interacts with others and giving this potential partner a chance to do the same, you can understand exactly how sincere your targeted platonic crush is about forming a nonsexual relationship.

2)      As trust develops, plan outings to determine what your platonic crush uses to substitute sex. Perhaps it’s a myth that a platonic relationship requires a substitute for sex, but it’s at least profitable to know what your potential partner is really looking for, as for many this is uncharted territory. Some of the most desirable sex substitutes in my opinion include cultural activities, travel, enlightened discussion, dance, playing music and reading together. By the way, if you aren’t convinced yet that a platonic relationship is an excellent life choice, consider how these activities can be heightened by the participation of a partner you know and trust.

3)      Share private space. This is the true test of a platonic relationship. Not that you need proof for yourself (obviously you’ve already chosen to be platonic), but sometimes a timid sexual hopeful will hang on no matter how many friend groups you spend time around or adventures you have. Such a person is simply biding his/her time until a private moment can lead to an unwanted mistake. Set it up. Make it romantic if you really want to know your platonic crush’s intentions. You’re building trust at this point; you haven’t actually achieved it. Besides, a romantic scene is as pleasurable to the nonsexual as it is to the sexual, perhaps more so because the low lighting, home-cooked meal, pleasant smells and intelligent conversation are there to be enjoyed for what they are, not just as a pathway to a moment of orgasm.

4)      Continue to test trust and look for red flags. I’ve heard it said that true love has no tests. I consider that to be vain fantasy. There might come a time that your partner is no longer interested in being platonic, in which case you must either put out or be cuckolded. If your partner is flirty with others, you should not feel ashamed to say “this is not what I wanted” and despite the possible protests your partner may have, end it and move on.

5)      Communicate. Often people act in ways contrary to what they say; this is no mystery. That should not dissuade you, however, from continuing a crucial dialogue on your feelings towards each other. Even if your thoughts, actions and words are contrary to each other, at least plotting out a manifesto of intention can save your ass if your partner claims they didn’t know what you were thinking or what you expected. Of course thoughts change over time, but the mutability of intention makes communication yet more vital, for your partner has a right to know when you have altered your view of the relationship. Define what you mean by platonic. Does it mean no physical contact at all? Does it include cuddling, holding hands, kissing, or sometimes being naked around each other? Is there a financial division or commitment implied? Will you cohabitate? Are you in an “open” platonic relationship? Will you feel threatened by other potential platonic relationships? What do you consider to be the difference between a friendship and a platonic relationship? Discussing these things will save tears, awkward situations and emotional rollercoasters.

A platonic relationship ought not to be viewed as less than a sexual relationship. In fact, platonic partners are more likely to view the absence of sex as being the absence of an insincere gesture, either in the beginning wherein one is focused simply on achieving orgasm and doesn’t really care about the quality of the partner in all of her/his diversity of personality, or later on when the mechanical ritual of sexual gratification, having been the basis of the relationship, becomes the only way of expressing love, whereby if the sex is not particularly enjoyable, then the love is judged the same way. Furthermore, a radical examination of all insincere gestures may ensue. Platonic couples may find that even kissing begins passionate and slowly degrades into a mechanical gesture to signify love.

Perhaps other love signifiers you have employed, the aforementioned sex substitutes such as travel and adventure, will lose their appeal as most overindulged activities eventually do. The glory of having a wide range of love signifiers is that as you gradually become bored of them, as you would in your own solitary life, you get to see how you both grow together, dropping some interests and picking up new ones. With a sexual relationship, you don’t have this level of freedom. Once the sex is gone, there’s really nothing to replace it with other than non-gratifying sex.

My personal opinion is that a platonic relationship ought not to be partaken of for religious reasons. The religious motivation to save sex for marriage still highlights the eventual goal of sex. Marriage is, on earth (unlike in heaven), a legally binding agreement to remain exclusively coupled with a partner until either death or divorce, and ought to be treated rationally: your wife or husband is your business partner for life, so you ought to want to keep the business running for a while. The chimera of sex and business does not a happy couple make. Happiness results from a shared vision, a manifesto of intent agreed upon by both parties.

Follow this process and you may just have a fulfilling platonic relationship. Or you may just decide you want the sex, in which case, I’m surprised you’ve read this far.

Happy hunting!

 

 

 

 

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family stories: flying fish (pt. 3)

I swam back as quickly as I could to the mass. Many fish had been awoken by Jody’s screams. Policefish were assessing the damage. They were muttering about an act of nature, which was commonly accepted as the only reason anyone died around here. I screamed towards the huddled clump of scaly bodies.

“No! It was not an act of nature! I’ve seen what’s really happening! Listen, please.”

The fish, many of whom recognized me from my charity program earlier that day decided to turn their attention to my plea.

“I didn’t tell any of you this, but I went up to see the stars last night. Then I went again tonight. What I saw there, I can barely describe. They’re sending us food! They’re hooking us!”

Constable Catfish interrupted. “What is that fish bubbling about?”

“Let me explain! We’re being used as food! Don’t take what they send you!” Before I could reveal who it was that was hooking us, I felt a fin reach around my head and cover my mouth. I tried to fight it, but I couldn’t. The fin just held more tightly. A voice I recognized called out from behind me. “Sorry, Constable Catfish. He’s my friend. He hasn’t been getting much sleep lately. I’ll take him home.”

The Constable sighed. “Thanks, ma’am,” I knew the voice behind me perhaps better than my own. “Oh, and if you please, make sure he gets some rest.” It was Justine. We had been friends for a while. We loved having conversations about the most interesting things. She always had the best sense of humour, and she loved to sing.

“Yes, sir,” she responded politely.

We made our way to my pebble shack in silence. Just as we reached the door, she turned around and looked me deeply in the eye. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll never mention that again.”

“No, Justine, you don’t understand. They’re killing us!” Again, Justine’s fin wrapped around my mouth, as her other fin touched her lips to indicate that I should be more candid. “Shhhh. C’mon, let’s go inside. We need to talk.”

I opened my door, embarrassed about the clutter everywhere. A few provocative issues of Muskellunge were lying on my stone coffee table. I quickly batted them under the table and sat on my igneous rock sofa. I instantly launched into my argument.

“Why won’t you let me warn you? Terrible things are happening.”

“Look, I know all about it.”

“There’s no way. You know about the food?”

“Yes, and the giant thing up there. It’s called a boat. In it, there are giant creatures that take us out of the water whenever they want.”

“If you know about it, why don’t you try to stop it?”

“I’m trying. But you can’t just run around yelling at people. You wanna know what’ll happen? You’ll be put out at the zenith.”

“The zenith?” The zenith is the prime spot for hooks. No one goes there anymore, but it is rumoured that long ago, fish were taken to the zenith as a punishment. I had taught the lesson a hundred times at school. There was a group of rebellious fish, and their minds were set against the schools. All they wanted was destruction and anarchy. They kept talking about a boat, and how we needed to relocate. For this, they were sent to the zenith, where they were quickly fished out. I could still recall the sounds of my students’ voices, speaking in unison, responding to my question in class: “And what should we do to avoid being sent to the zenith?” “Never rebel! Stay in school!”

“So you’re just echoing the lessons, then!” I accused Justine. “You’re the same as all the other fish!”

Justine crinkled her eyes. “No, I’m smart. And I’m right. If you want to make change, you don’t do it by flapping around and stirring up a tidal pool. Think about it. If you rebel and get put at the zenith, what have you done? You’ve only served as an example. You’ve reinforced the idea in the minds of other fish that rebellion means death.”

“Then what do you suggest?”

“Do what I do. I sleep with one eye open, looking for hooks. I’m passing the tests, and hitting the marks. I’m keeping my head low while swimming up. Once I rise to the level of principal, I’ll be able to make changes and steer us into better waters. Until then, I do what I can to get by. And I suggest you do the same. Do this charity thing everyone’s talking about. Be beyond reproach. But when it comes to it, don’t forget what you saw.”

The tension eased, and soon we were talking about neutral things again. Making jokes. I loved to see her laugh again, and I couldn’t help but smile. Then I suggested something.

“Can I show you something? Follow me.”

“I promised the Constable I’d put you in bed.”

“Aw, c’mon. Just one little thing.”

“Oh, fine.”

I brought Justine to the edge of the schools and led her out quickly, fin in fin. She was pleading not to leave, but I pressed on. I really wanted to show her the stars. Once she saw them, she’d know what I knew: that there was something beyond this world.

Finally, we reached the surface. “Aren’t they beautiful?”

“Yes, I love them. This isn’t the first time I’ve been here. Jacob brought me here.”

“Really? Did you go into them together?”

“I’m not going to tell you what I did with Jacob.”

“No, of course not. Sorry.” There was silence for a moment, and I turned to her. The starlight radiated in her eyes as she stared out beyond the surface. I broke the silence abruptly, and judging by her response, my timing was terrible. “Will you go with me?”

Justine looked at me with soft, sad eyes. “I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s a special experience, going to the stars together. It really means something. It really meant something to me before, and I—” I hung onto her words, hoping she might change her mind. “Look. We’re really good friends. I don’t want to jeopardize what we have, because what we have is truly special. Once you’ve gone to the stars with someone, it’s never the same again. You can never look at each other the same way. And after, if you swim away from each other, you know you’ll never be friends again. I’m too close to you to want to take that risk. I hope you understand.” Justine began to head back toward the schools. I started to follow, and then I stopped myself. As she went off, I mouthed, “I understand.”

                Of course I understood. What does it matter? There are plenty of fish in the sea. But what other fish would ever want to take the risk of flying past the surface? She was the only one I could imagine really understanding all this. I got a feeling in my gills that we would look out at the stars together again one day.