Fabulous Frank: Exclusivity

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Daily Texan Comics

Fabulous Frank runs every Wednesday evening in Life & Arts.

Fabulous Frank

For some people, exclusivity represents the obvious first step on the trajectory of a good relationship. For others, it incites fear – fear of trust, fear of commitment and unfortunately for some, fear of both. In my experience, the word “exclusive” is an unnecessarily loaded word. Approaching the topic of exclusivity can be difficult. But when we are talking about sex, it is unavoidable.

I have said it before, and I will say it again – I like sex. Most people like sex. The issue surrounding exclusivity is whether or not you like sex with just one person. Opposite of Sexy Sally, who “avoids [the discussion] at all costs,” I often yearn for exclusivity.

I’ve dated quite a few guys over the years, and I generally expect exclusivity after a few dates and possibly a few sexual encounters. Some may say that’s a lofty expectation, especially in gay culture where multiple sexual partners is a stereotypical norm. Why should my emotions limit the sexuality of others? In my opinion, it’s a completely reasonable expectation, and it is a far cry from limiting sexuality.

My argument is something along these lines: You can’t use me just for sex, but if that’s what you’re looking for, then I’m all the sex you need. Exclusivity, in this sense, is not about sexual limitation. Rather, it’s about sexual assertion. It’s about allowing your sexuality to thrive with a consistent partner who will help you understand your body at a deeper level, expanding your sexual prowess.

Probably the most evident concern associated with exclusivity is a fear of commitment. I still remember having this conversation with one of my exes. After a couple of months of dating, the topic of exclusive sex inevitably came up. For me, it was basically a requirement if our relationship was going to continue. For my ex, the word exclusive was alarming. He wanted to have sex with only me, but he didn’t feel the need to assign a label to our relationship. If you’re confused, don’t feel bad – so was I. It wasn’t like I was asking him to marry me. Initially, it was hard to understand his views on labels. I really liked him, so I dug deep and found some patience, and eventually (about 2 months later), he warmed up to the idea and we were officially exclusive.

Why tell that story? It’s important to understand that not everybody shares your views on touchy topics like exclusivity. On a college campus, a fear of the word is somewhat understandable. We’re young, and we like to have fun. Exclusivity implies settling down, but that isn’t always the truth. Exclusivity can mean different things to different people, so when the topic comes up with your next partner, try to work through it together. At the end of the day, it’s just a word, though admittedly an important one.