Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Gaggle of Guys?

How  about a little trip into Single Girl Fantasy Land?  I bet you won't mind much.  Or Curious Married Woman Fantasy Land?  Let's test the waters of some recent books for the single, Sex in the City, market.

The premise of The Gaggle, a new book from Jessica Massa and Rebecca Wiegand, is that every woman, whether single or married, should have her own gaggle, a group of guys that occupy different roles in her life.

As Jessica Massa explained, "You probably have a gaggle of friends, who all play different roles and fulfill different needs for you.  You might call one friend to go shopping versus another friend when you’re upset versus another friend when you need a serious professional opinion. Your romantic gaggle is just another piece of the much larger, long-term puzzle of how you structure the relationships in your life to feel full, happy and loved.”

So what can this hypothetical gaggle consist of?  Well, it can include the clerk at the convenience store you flirt with, your boyfriend in absentia due to attending another university, a pal that you lunch with, someone you shop with, your platonic friend, the postman, anyone!

As she put it, "As a woman, having a gaggle provides you with a love life full of possibility: you have many men in your life, in many ambiguous but enriching ways, who are all teaching you about yourself and your needs and desires and leading you closer to the guy and relationship you want.” 

Diane Trespicio, a dating and relationship coach, suggests seeing three different men regularly.  By doing this, you reduce the pressure to commit, even if you’re not ready.  She opined that if you see two men, you feel an implicit need to choose between them.  But if you have three guys, they tend to balance each other out, like a tripod.

Like the “gaggle," these three men can fulfill different needs - maybe you like to see movies with one, travel with another, shop with another, and cuddle with a third - which removes the burden of one man to fill all those slots.  “This can also help you worry less about whether or not someone is your ‘match’,” says Trespicio, “and shifts your focus to the sheer joy of connecting with other people.”

This hypothetical gaggle might include ex-boyfriends or lovers, hot sex prospects, and perhaps even a cuddle-guy, according to the author.  Oh, wow!  Talk about a fantasy!  As she put it, "It’s your love-life, so do it your way. As long as you’re open and honest with your dates - and practice safe sex - there’s no reason why you can’t be intimate with more than one person."

Well, this sounds like a Cosmo article, one that's meant as a pleasant fantasy-inducer after a long workday but not a serious blueprint for how to do things.

First of all, there's the sheer availability matter.  There's guys aplenty out there; but finding several different yet suitable ones is another matter.  Instead of a tripod that balances, you might wind up with three boozy fraternity guys!

And there's the reality issue: most of us are not irresistible.

And, then, guys have their own feelings and preferences.  Maybe the guy you have designated as your cuddle guy or your platonic go-to-the-movies friend may want to get more physical.   Or less.  Or maybe he might feel devaluated by the role in which you have cast him.

Interpersonal relationships have a way of shifting over time.  And we're not likely to be constant, either.

Finally, "gaggle" is a word used to refer to a bunch of geese, as in "a gaggle of geese."  Guys really deserve better than that!

Therefore, read books like these as agreeable but risqué fantasy material for idle moments, but not as a do-it-yourself manual.

In their book, The Ethical Slut, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy describe the ways in which single women (and men) can juggle multiple sexual partners and enjoy intimacy safely and “ethically."   In that way, their different sexual needs can be met.  [The book title has, by its oxymoronic nature, a sure raiser of curiosity.]

Can we get an App for that?  Or maybe a scarlet letter as an accessory?


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The Ethical Slut: Now that's a change we can support!

Mike said...

A gaggle sounds like a bunch of guys that would make girls want to puke.

Big Sky Heidi said...

One at a time is enough for me,

Bilbo said...

This is an interesting concept, and it applies to me just as well as to women ... there are guys out there who would like to have a girl to mother them, a girl for hot and sweaty sex, a girl who likes going to the ballpark to watch the Nationals lose, etc, and it's tough to find one that can fill all three roles. That said, Heidi is absolutely right ... one at a time is plenty, and avoids complications. Sigh.