“When you were having sex with her, were you thinking about me?”*
This question always confused and angered me. Long before we opened our marriage or I even considered being poly. First, wouldn’t it be terribly sad if that was the case. Presumably they would thinking about you out of malice and not any sort of positive feelings. Who has sex with someone and thinks, “Man, I really miss my girlfriend, this sub-par pussy will have to do”? And, because I think about things like this, how sad is that for that other woman (the sub-par pussy one)?
If both people sign up for a consensual, non-connection fuck, that’s one thing. But I personally know it would crush my ego to find out a guy had been thinking about someone else the whole time. Masturbating is one thing, or even fucking during porn and picturing me as someone else. Since I am someone who looks for an emotional connection with anyone I fuck, an old girlfriend would be a low blow.
Which leads me to my other issue with this direct statement. I’m not going to generalize as I certainly don’t know the manipulative capacities of all men. But, in my experience, guys are not thinking about the consequences of fucking while they are fucking. I don’t either, if I’m honest. Now, I’ve never played ‘pull-out pregnancy roulette’ as my family is as fertile as they come. So that may be something else all together.
Also, as far as I know, I’ve never been with a guy who was cheating. In my experience the guys who have fucked me weren’t thinking about how an ex or current girlfriend would feel about the situation. I’m not saying that to be egotistical, I honestly believe it to be true. Some other girls face in place of mine? Maybe. But I still would hope it wouldn’t be a past lover.
There is one more issue that this trope brings to mind for me. An admission, if I’m honest, about my own thought during sex: I don’t much. I wish I could say that whenever I have sex with someone I am 100% focused on them. Hell, I can’t even say I create a rich fantasy in my head of myself and Ryan Reynolds flying off into the sunset on his private jet. Nope, the best I can usually do is several moans and some ass grabbing (if my hands are free).
It’s not a personal thing, and certainly not a reflection if my relationship with said other partner. It’s that what I am physically feeling completely takes over my brain. During breaks I really try to make eye contact and focus on my partner. As we shift positions or move from one sex act to another I try to check in. This is generally because once said activity starts, my mind goes completely blank.
Trust me, I know how pathetic that sounds and I wish I could do better. Part of me thinks that is why I like blow jobs to much; I can completely focus on my partner. During sex I register what I am feeling physically and whether or not it feels good. How I feel about it emotionally usually doesn’t hit me until later. Which is probably why I look for guys that I have an emotional connection with. I need to trust them enough to know that they will be around for the aftercare portion of the evening (even for non-BDSM sex). During sex I let go and float along with all the pleasant feelings and moments of no responsibility. Having someone hold me as cold, hard reality slaps me in the face once again is nice.
This double-edged sword of a question also has a changing significance for me now that I’m poly. I guess I generally want my husband and Jack, or any other future partner, to know that when I am with them I am focused on them. And, I expect the same from them. I like the idea of Jack missing me and thinking about me, but not when he’s with another woman. If, for no other reason than I don’t want him thinking about them when he’s with me.
Poly, at least for me, doesn’t mean that I’m thinking about other people all the time. Whether you are emotionally invested or not I think you should be able to respect your partner enough to focus on them during sex. And, even if you don’t, consider your answer to the above question carefully, though any answer is likely to be wrong.
I should also add, if you ever find the urge to ask someone this question (or a variant of it), don’t. Even in the heat of a fight. No answer will make you feel good or win the argument. The very asking of means you’ve already lost.
*I should clarify that I’ve only really ever heard this used on television. A few sitcoms and daytime soap operas (when I watched them) would bring it out from time to time in order to add even more drama to a fight. I’ve never met anyone who has actually use it in an argument. But then, I also don’t have a lot of close friends that I talk about my sex life with. Except all of you, of course.