12 January 2013

Zen and the incidental fuck

I do believe I have walked some road in the process of dealing with jealousy. More than anything, I believe to have found the main thing, the one solution, the cure-it-all medication: Zen.

I will, however, not talk about zen, right now, more on that can surely be asked to Osho or Budha himself for that matter. What I will talk about is not of how well zen cures all illness of wanting, needing and not having, but of its evilest archenemy: the incidental fuck.

I don't believe that there is anything about B that gives me chills more than knowing that I am eternally exposed to one of her incidental fucks. They are not present in absolutely every circumstance but rather in very specific and obvious scenarios, which is when the other partners, M and L, are present.

Whenever this is the case my reality becomes this minefield, where anything can lead surprisingly quickly to her ending up... well... fucking. A headache, sleepiness, a crisis that needs talking out, any of this is a scenario that can magically turn into her making love with one of her partners. It is indeed enough for a door to close between her and the outside world – I can turn around five minutes – for her to be naked and moaning of pleasure. And I'm not sure if this is what distresses me the most or the misleading information that precedes it: “hey hons, we're gonna go talk about stuff”, “Sweety, I'm not feeling too good, I'll just go lay down for a bit”, “Lèu, I'm sleepy, I'll go take a nap”. Whenever I look around myself and wonder where the kitten is, if she has said any of these things and was walked anywhere closed by one of the metamours (loves of my love, partners of my partner), odds are she's fucking.

I have so far walked into a room to see her fucking, not been able to walk into a room 'cus' she's fucking, hear her fucking while I await her return, arrived to meet up with her to know she has just had sex with an ex, found out she's had sex with a common enemy...

So well, I know what you may be asking yourself: So where's the problem? Are you complaining? How would this be any different from her ending up unexpectedly watching a movie, whenever you turn around for five minutes?

Well, yes, what transpires here is that my sexual relationship with the cat is conflictive. I don't handle her making love with other people in my vicinity very well, and how well I handle it depends on how close or far removed I am from zen. And the deterioration of zen will be directly equivalent to how much incidental fucks affect me, unnerve me, or even hurt me. And indeed, lack of zen makes many things harder to tolerate, or even things I have to tolerate at all as opposed to not caring or even being able to enjoy them.

So what is this zen already!? Well, detachment. Lack of expectations. When we want something, not having it can lead us to pain, so zen is not wanting or wanting but being able to detach. Or as Yoda would put it “desire the way to pain is”. Does this mean that in order to have a happy polyamorous relationship you should stay away from love? Is love not a direct equivalent, does it not immediately precedes wanting?

Well I got no idea. Not anymore. Mexicans like to say that if you love somebody you should let the person go. If he or she comes back to you, he's/she's yours. If s/he doesn't, s/he never was. My problem with this is the clear message of possession that's hides behind this phrase; mononormativity teaches ownership. So granted that love be defined alien to ownership, can it really be defined detached from all expectations? And what are expectations if not desire. “I wish you would come home after dinner”, “I hope we can meet this summer”. Even if expressed in the most constructive of manners, “I'ld like it if we could write a book together someday”, the want transpires. You can add “If that's not possible, I won't mind” but it is necessarily bullshit. By saying you would like something, you mean to imply that should it not happen, you will automatically not have wanted it and not be disillusioned, thus the use of the conditional “would” instead of an already expressed desire in “want”. But is it honest? Does one really not care if something one “would like” does not actually happen?

I don't think so. I think zen is the measure in which wanting is quelled, but I don't think a perfect zero is attainable. And if complete detachment is impossible, who is to say love does not actually exist without it, or is, in fact, independent from it. “I can stay apart of my loved for any amount of time, as long as I know the person is ok, I love him and want her to be free”. Sure but what happens if I actually tell you you won't see the loved one again. It's a perfect equivalent to him or her bieng dead. I could also do the opposite, lying about the person having died and instead continue telling you he or she is fine and happy. “I care only about his happiness, even if I can have no part in it and indeed know nothing of it or him”. No wishes, to know or see or share, nothing, no needing or missing, so what are you still calling love? Wishing the person well? “If he ever needs me, I'm here for him” … Fair enough, perhaps.

In fact, I will allow doubt to take over here and not define zen as opposite to love (unlike budha). I will allow us to imagine in a psychology-fiction scenario that love can, in fact, exist despite absolute detachment.

Then sex comes in. And I know this is cultural, but here I will simply admit defeat. Nothing erodes my zen, my detachment and peace, like sex. I live sex like a fusion of poetry and obnoxious cliché. I've gone into this zen-corroding exercise of metaphor in sex, where I make the body is a metaphor for the person and as such, sex is a direct interaction with everything you love about a person. And I get the fusion desire, and the adoration and the condom commercials. Pathetic like all innocent beauty.

The conclusion I've arrived to is a boring one: Unlike love, my zen and my sex are definitively opposite. They are antagonists in an unimaginative Apollo/Dionysus Nietzschian narrative. And I'm fucked sideways, for the more I sex the less I zen. Which is fine for monogamy, but sucks in polyamory. Specially at parties, gatherings, meetings, conferences and pretty much any space and time where L, M, B and Me share a common roof (and have doors to close readily available).

If polyamory is a war, zen is your sword: it'll scratch, chip, splinter and ultimately shatter. Like the samurai katana in an old Japanese movie it is an extension of yourself, knowing your soul is knowing your sword. It's holding your zen in place. And indeed, the war is not against your partners but against yourself, your need to merge, the frailty of your boundaries, the burning heat of your needs, and the challenging, even treacherous environment.

I'm Léu, and I'm an able swordsman, but I hope somebody invents shields soon.


  1. I don't have such a problem combining Zen with sex, but I know how society basically does make them opposites. Masturbation for me is a little harder to be Zen about. But I think that might be a practical issue. If you draw too much energy upwards in the body, as many meditations do, it can be hard to come.

  2. :D Wow, you speak of a very practical, almost trantric Zen here, I was trying to explain a much more general, lifestyle Zen. The capacity of deattachment from things of everyday life. So letting things be becomes harder through the feelings that I load with when 'constantly' having sex or making love with my partner, you know? it's not like an immediate thing that happens right then and there while we're at it, but in general during those days or weeks or months when "we're having sex" :D