Escalatoritis: “With How Many People are you having sex?”

“Yes yes yes. But with how many people are you having sex?”.

It is a sad reality that this is the burning question in many people’s minds when I explain that I have more than one partner in this world.

As if sex is a goal, a milestone, a place to get to so that you can have “A Real Romantic Relationship”.

This escalatoritis — this misguided need to understand relationships as an ever increasing escalator — it hurts us.

This is a typical relationship escalator and how most people model “success” in a relationship:

1. Go on a date
2. Get to the second date
3. Get to third base
4. Get to sex
5. Get married
6. Live happily ever after
7. Then die

Most people have a form of this ever increasing line in their head. And they want to know “with how many people are you at the sex milestone?”.

I will not answer that question. Sex is not the difference that makes the difference to me.

My relationships do not follow any line, any script, or plan.

My difference is this: With how many people am I exploring a map of infinite possibilities?

Which are the people in my life who have consciously chosen to dance with me through this world, exploring all there is to explore?

Those are my people. Those are my partners. Those are my companions.

That question, I will answer.

The “relationship escalator” metaphor comes from