Mental Promiscuity

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posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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Most people in marriages or serious relationships don't gratify their urges to engage other potential mates for many reasons, includinig reluctance to hurt their current mate and/or ruin their current relationship.

But, how many people revisit the hot barrista from the coffeshop or the cute cashier from the store and take things to a much higher physical level in their minds? Everyone entertains fantasies which they would (most likely) never perpetrate in real life, like throttling a pinheaded coworker. But do most people engage in mental sex with people they would not in real life?

Obviously being a mental slut doesn't have the same negative connotations as being promiscuous in real life, but is that only because no one knows about it? Does it have the same effect on the mind as real sex? Is mental cheating just as heinous as real cheating? Is there even a difference?

Please share your thoughts!




posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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Well, it's just like this experiment:

Close your eyes (read the whole thing first
)
Get a slice of a lemon or lime and bite it in your mind.
Do you sense the citric acid in your mouth and does it water?

This shows that we do this as humans always because our brain is powerful enough to FEEL without being in the actual situation.

This is due to the sociology term of partner diversity. Humans tend to get 'bored' and look for different emotions and experiences. Yet the moral standards of society make us not do such things.

Is it the same as real cheating?? WHAT DO YOU FEEL IT IS?

The difference between them is the consequences and the acts that are made.

Imagine your partner says someone else's name?
Imagine you say someone else's name?
Is this morally wrong by your standards?
Religiously (if you are) do you feel it's wrong?



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by jamiros
 


I suppose my own thoughts are conspicuously absent from the OP.

If I really dig deep, I think that mental sex is really inconsequential to real life. It doesn't effect a real life relationship because a) it's totally secret and b) no one real is being engaged on an emotional or physical level. It's like having a crush on a tv character...they don't even exist.

I think where it changes is if, like you said, someone called out the wrong name in bed...that's a real action and isn't just restricted to the mind where it can't hurt that person's partner. I would be more upset about what this means in terms of fidelity if it happened in my own relationship than I would be that my partner was thinking of someone else. Are they calling out that name because they actually have done it in real life or is it just a slip of the tongue, I would wonder.

I guess that if we interact mentally with someone other than our partner it is a good compromise between morals and biological nature. No one gets hurt yet we can indulge our fantasies. I'm not religious but morally, I do admit it's not the perfect action to be taking. But I accept that it's probably not humanly possible for my partner to think of only me in the entire time we'll be together, so I accept the tradeoff that if sometimes I get switched for someone else in his mind at least he will be faithful to me in real life.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
Obviously being a mental slut doesn't have the same negative connotations as being promiscuous in real life, but is that only because no one knows about it?


My thoughts do seem to wander to Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey on occasion, but I had never considered myself to be a mental slut.


I think it is only human nature when our minds wander, and thus no big deal. Well perhaps, I ought to preface that remark. If your fantasies involve someone close to you that could possibly be realized, and you are in a committed relationship with someone else, then that's not so good. However, if your fantasies have you romping around with someone untouchable, like a movie star or a television character, then no harm done.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 03:00 PM
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There are statistics about how many times a day certain people think about it. Some of mine were when I was with my wife when her girlfriend or sister had been visiting and was usually just as disappointing.

It would seem that females are more involved in having vivid mental promiscuity than men are. And probably why many men are in reality typically disappointing by comparison?



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
Most people in marriages or serious relationships don't gratify their urges to engage other potential mates for many reasons, includinig reluctance to hurt their current mate and/or ruin their current relationship.


Yes. I never cease to wonder how much of our monogamy is natural or a matter of loyalty and how much is conditioned by society. Is the emotional pain my spouse would suffer if I cheat due to break of trust or because she has been brainwashed to think its wrong? After all these years I still dont have the answers.



But, how many people revisit the hot barrista from the coffeshop or the cute cashier from the store and take things to a much higher physical level in their minds? Everyone entertains fantasies which they would (most likely) never perpetrate in real life, like throttling a pinheaded coworker. But do most people engage in mental sex with people they would not in real life?


This is the juicy question of the month. Because we ALL have these thoughts sometimes but almost never admit to them towards others. And we all know that the real-life-experience of a fantasy we have is often not nearly as pleasant as the fantasy. We envision something but sometimes getting the real-thing is outright horrible (I wont go into detail here).




Obviously being a mental slut doesn't have the same negative connotations as being promiscuous in real life, but is that only because no one knows about it? Does it have the same effect on the mind as real sex? Is mental cheating just as heinous as real cheating? Is there even a difference?


As long as we, as a society, take dreams and thoughts to be of less substance and importance than physical action, mental cheating is no issue.

But I´d bet good money that too much mental cheating eventually leads to real life cheating. Thoughts eventually become deeds.

Looking forward to reading more by other posters.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 03:16 PM
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Is nothing wrong with fantasizing once in while and to tell you the truth I will have no problems with the mental pictures of Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey


They are after all very pleasing to the eye, I mean the mental eye.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 03:30 PM
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Its a normal for most people to fantasize that way. Its human Nature since the times of the cave men except now it is not socially or morally acceptable to have more than one mate......except for certain religious groups. imagination is a great thing to have especially when it can put more zing into your relationship without cheating on your spouse or hurting someones feelings.

Like the saying goes "you can look at the menu but you cant order"

If that makes me a mental slut then so be it. It doesn't mean that I am unhappy with my wife and would act out and cheat on her. Hell, Im pretty sure she, like others have posted here fantasize as well. No harm done.

As for people having more than one wife......yikes!! sure 5 girlfriends I can understand, but wives? thats just 5 more times the nagging...no thanks (JOKING)



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 09:31 AM
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The problem with 'mental intimacy' is that you start to objectify the person. Removing personality and substituting it with fantasy, which is a negative thing. Learning to interact physically is much healthier for a peace of mind.



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Shpow
Learning to interact physically is much healthier for a peace of mind.


Without the pretext of sex or sensual gratification, yes.

Unfortunately a lot of kids these days can't even begin to understand how that would work.

It's always "What can you do for me"...



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 10:01 AM
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I can only speak from my own personal experiences.

I have engaged in "relations" with many different partners, in my mind.
Physically I am totally committed to my partner and would never stray from our bed. However, I do have a pretty vivid fantasy life. It's something he would not understand and probably be hurt if he knew, therefore it is a secret I keep from him.

And that makes me feel guilty, even if I don't believe it IS wrong, I can't help but to feel wrong about it. *shrugs*

I also don't think cybersex is wrong as long as it stays online whereas my partner would consider any type of online "playing" to be cheating therefore I don't do it. ( We met online, so that probably has something to do with it..lol)

Good post. I do enjoy thinking about these sorts of things - I mean philospphical issues, not sex..*grins*



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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'being a mental slut' -
, I never thought about it that way.

Absorbing a lust mentally could be better for the marriage / partnership in the short term but in the long term the person will become more worn by such thoughts, and this could place a strain on the relationship.

I have attached a snippet from my dissertation that may help to explain this phenomena from a different angle:

Subsequently, Duncombe & Marsden, (1995) found that mainly female partners in the early stages of the relationship ‘deep act’ away any doubts about their emotional closeness or suitability as partners’ (in difficult times).

Interestingly however, later in the relationship, with growing suspicions, they ‘shallow act’ to ‘maintain the picture for their partner and the outside World’. In this case, shallow acting involves pretending to their partners and others that the relationship is satisfactory. However, this places considerable emotional strain on the female partner, but it is the price to pay for keeping the family together.


Shallow acting is when you tend to use facial expressions and body language over your mental aspirations. Deep acting is when you brush such thoughts to the back of your mind, absorb them into your system and carry on - I.e. they are a part of your life and you accept them.

As such, ''mental cheating'' can become manifest through your body language to your partner, even though you may not be conscious of this. Some people mentioned saying someone else's name etc. This is that.

The longer you play the 'game' of keeping your 'mental secret', the more your partner will be hurt - given the knowledge, and the more guilty you will become at this. Whilst your mind's detail does not hurt anyone, the more intense your detail becomes, the more it plays on you as a secret and the greater the chance that such thoughts will become emotional disclosure to your partner. The less intense your secret thoughts are (and we all have them), the less strain you are under and so on.

My thoughts.

Breifne



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 01:10 PM
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To aleon, you said:



It would seem that females are more involved in having vivid mental promiscuity than men are. And probably why many men are in reality typically disappointing by comparison?


I've never thought of it that way and I believe I concur. I definitely think females give more of themselves to their fantasies making them more vivid and detailed than men do. I know a lot of women have unrealistic expectations for men, especially in the physical department...usually the reality of anything doesn't compare to the flawless fantasy in one's mind.

Skyfloating said that




But I´d bet good money that too much mental cheating eventually leads to real life cheating. Thoughts eventually become deeds.


and I have to disagree. Rather than the fantasies becoming more intense as someone else mentioned (for me at least), I eventually get tired of my crush and then forget about him. At first I can't get enough of him and he's my new desktop and then eventually I'm just not interested anymore....haha kind of like real life. Then I notice someone else and it starts over again.

To Merigold: I am in complete agreement and my mental life stays seperate from my physical life for the same reasons and in the same ways.

Cybersex is definitely a tough issue because some people think it's definitely cheating and some people think it's definitely not. I'm interested to hear others' opinions on it. I'm torn, because it's not even real. But even so, most partners would definitely be hurt if their mate was doing it. It may be the betrayal of the secrecy of it or it may be jealousy or both that makes it so potentially hurtful.

Briefne: Thank you so much for sharing a part of your dissertation with us. It was very interesting and raised topics I'd never heard of. From first hand and second hand experience I would definitely agree with you and your sources about the occurrences of deep acting giving way to shallow acting in relationships.

I'm curious, you said that mental cheating could manifest via body language to one's partner. Besides calling them the wrong name, how else might this occur?

Thanks for the great replies, All!



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 02:35 PM
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I'm a little unclear what we're really talking about here.
Are you --- and other posters -- talking about vivid, extended fantasy lives with objectified others, or just flashing fantasies when having a go at yourself or speeding things up when getting it on with your significant other?

If it's the latter, I don't really think of that as promiscuity, but evidence of a healthy -- and an often practical
-- sex life... And now that you've got me thinking about it... I gotta go... do... something... for my health...



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by Anti-Tyrant

Originally posted by Shpow
Learning to interact physically is much healthier for a peace of mind.


Without the pretext of sex or sensual gratification, yes.

Unfortunately a lot of kids these days can't even begin to understand how that would work.

It's always "What can you do for me"...


Sex has become a pivotal point of society. Where the body is constantly becoming degraded to a sex object. We're living in a world were beauty has become perverse, where a nude body isn't a natural beauty, but an explicit object that instantly triggers sexual feelings. It's one of the core problems in modern society. People are prosecuted for exposing a nipple in public space, which is overall really ironic. They try to "cleanse" spaces by forbidding nudity (youtube is an example, but even outside on the streets) but all it does is make it seem more forbidden, and more like a temptation and goal to fantasize about a person, increasing the perverse nature of society. Of course, even the nature of the person can change everything. There must be a sense of dignity when one is nude, rather than being 'easy' or degrading themselves.

You see, people have to fight degradation, but all they do is limit true freedom.



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
and I have to disagree. Rather than the fantasies becoming more intense as someone else mentioned (for me at least), I eventually get tired of my crush and then forget about him. At first I can't get enough of him and he's my new desktop and then eventually I'm just not interested anymore....haha kind of like real life. Then I notice someone else and it starts over again.


Yes, but eventually you´ll want to experience something physically, imo.

While imaginary sex can be satisfying (often even more than "real-life" sex), I think that an overdose of mental promiscuity will eventually lead to "cheating".

In other words, if way too much of these thoughts are coming in its either time to quit my current relationship or come clean towards my partner.

Im not talking about the ocassional weekly fantasy but about someone dreaming of others on a daily basis.



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


Hi sc2099,

I’m glad that you found it interesting.



‘’I'm curious, you said that mental cheating could manifest via body language to one's partner. Besides calling them the wrong name, how else might this occur’’?



1. As already mentioned, the name thing – ‘’Oh Sarah’’, … ‘‘who the hell is Sarah’’ – or Brad or Matthew as some of you prefer!!
This can be referred to as a ‘leakage of true emotion’, when you can no longer hold those sexual ‘thoughts’ deep within you. This is obviously bad for the relationship, as you have almost breached the barrier between the mental and physical. You are now ‘subconsciously’ wishing for your partner to be your dream lover: that is until you open your eyes or have them opened by your partner – not nice!

2. Another form of ‘release’ would be, well, a more physical form of ‘release’ which we shall not discuss for obvious reasons. This would be done without your partner’s knowledge, of course.

3. Avoidance

An example - if challenged by your partner why you were on ATS talking about mental promiscuity all night (for talk sake), you will either deep act because its just chatting and you have nothing to fear therefore you will show empathy to your partner for taking an interest in you, or shallow act, in that you will try to ‘act’ your way out of the situation – you may become nervous, lie, say you were not on ATS, cross your arms, look angry, say that you have no ‘me time’, walk away etc etc. Just act – basic social display rules.


4. Independence – the greater the need to fantasise, the greater the need to want more independence, without seeking ‘permission’ from the partner. More time to themselves, getting out more, going for a drive or walk alone or with members of the same sex etc. Whist this is not directly related to fantasising, it will inadvertently lay a stronger foundation for your fantasy given the freedom you have to undertake a more daring fantasy later on.

‘Eye contact’ and ‘gaze avoidance’ are interesting avoidance cues. They are more applicable if one actually had an affair or guilt is strong.

The reason? If we are interested in someone or what they are saying, we are more than likely to position ourselves towards them. We will also look more at their face (especially the eyes), thereby signalling interest. It’s like flirting, it makes you feel good, confident, wanted.

How many of you actually flirt with your partner, make as much eye contact or even want to make love with your partner, right after fantasizing about Brad Pit or Angelina Jolie, or even the next door neighbour? You’re probably more than likely (but not always) to practice gaze avoidance. This is the opposite of eye contact obviously, and is associated with guilt, shifty behaviour, suggesting trickery or even dishonesty.

We will all ‘wander’ (mentally), possibly frequently and possibly with intensity. Its how we deal with it that could be most important: an indicator of the relative strength or weakness of the relationship – IMHO.



Does it have the same effect on the mind as real sex? Is mental cheating just as heinous as real cheating? Is there even a difference?


It depends on what it means to you and how you deal with it.

Breifne.



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:04 PM
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Sorry, this just adds to my last post as it was too large to combine.

IMHO, fantasizing about others could be looked upon from two perspectives:

‘Self-regulation’ and ‘release’.

Self-regulation as in using the fantasy as a means to actually stopping you from actively ‘looking’ for another partner (even ad hoc partner). You are conscious of the pleasure but you are also conscious of the consequences of any action that may come from it. Thus, it prevents you from taking any further steps.

I.e. I would love that chocolate bar, but if I eat it I will feel bad, therefore I do not need it – by fantasizing you are provoking thought, you have choices.

Release, would be more to do with inability to delayed gratification, in that you cannot wait for that moment and there has to be some form of subconscious, conscious or even physical release to satisfy any demands.

I.e. It’s like a child wanting their presents on Christmas Eve, only to wake up on Christmas Day and cry because their presents have been opened. Whilst they do not want to acknowledge the fact that they already opened them, due to their demands of same, they then want someone to blame who ‘let’ or ‘authorised’ them to go ahead and open them (I.e. the parents). Anyone ever hear of a partner who blamed the other partner for his or her affair? This is a similar event IMO.

All done.

Ta

Breifne



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
being a mental slut

OMG .. I've never heard that term before. That's FUNNY!


Please share your thoughts!

On this subject, I can't. It would get this site shut down!




Just to throw some cold water on ya'll's fires ....

Christ said in reference to all this lust of the heart and mind - (paraphrase) if you think it, then you are guilty of it.

So if you have an affair in the mind it's the same - to God - as having an affair of the body. And if you think about it, it's true. You ARE cheating in your heart.

And yes ... most of us are guilty of this.



From a psychological view and not from a religious view -

It's expected and, in small doses, it's healthy to go to a 'happy place' in your mind and 'get happy' with someone. But there is such a thing as fantasy addiction.






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