jealousy, compersion

Compersion Definition: The Anti-Jealousy Drug

Compersion: future vs present

Compersion is a young word that has not turned 18. No entry has been so far made for it in academic dictionaries: today you can find it either in Urbandictionary or articles of sex-positive bloggers. Semantically it is opposite to jealousy meaning positive respond (joy, excitement, interest) to a partner’s emotional and sexual contacts. So unusual the phenomenon, it may seem to have come from the realm of fantasy. But none of sci-fi sources tells about it.

In the Black Mirror – the most surrealistic series of our day - it is nothing but monogamy shown when it comes to intimate relationships. Even Hollywood scriptwriters having minds full of fantastic plot-twists proceed to stick to this uniform and single-minded idea of the relationships form. People of the futuristic series have managed to create a paradise and defeat genetic diseases but failed to cease being ashamed of their bodies. They proceed to condemn homosexuality and fear infidelities. Whatever fantastic their reality is, their love lines abide by the rules of monogamy. And it is the phenomenon of infidelity that underlies the Black Mirror characters’ major troubles and concerns.

Monogamy vs sexuality?

It is not only in movies that adultery comes as couples breakup’ most popular reason. Public opinion tells you’d better leave the partner who has been infidel. Infidelity happens to be a simultaneous termination of both love affair and good fellowship with a partner. A reason for life-long resentment. A phenomenon that definitely impairs one’s life.

Another relevant spicing-down issue that so far “surviving” couples bring to their therapists is the crisis of desire. The two turn to sexologists to renew the skill of wanting each other.

That is, the key problems of monogamy happen to be infidelity (i.e. feelings and desire to smb. else in addition to a regular partner) and absence of sexual desire in respect of the partner.

Monogamy cultivates our having desire for one person only. Nature loves diversity. And so it would punish us for suppression of the interest we have in others. While the suppression grounded on one’s trust in the myth “our being liked, our flirting or sending a smile shall come as an offense for the beloved person” is road to nowhere. And it’s high time they introduce teaching the concept of suppressed desires that search the way out - if not at school, then at least in college. We have a joke about bike and expensive car, but we never have this joke applied to our sensual desires. We still think we can choose the one to have desire for – at least this is what monogamy suggests we should believe.

This kind of situation brings us to the deadlock of “sexuality evolvement” vs “long-term relationships”. But the phenomenon of compersion is our chance to break the impasse, coming as the experience that allows fulfillment of sensual desires in long-term partner relationships.

Why withdrawing from monogamy?

Compersion is not antonymous to monogamy. Yet the ability for compersion gives rise to a new kind of relationships, for instance, any of alternative relationships’ numerous types:

  • monogamish (a transitional stage between traditional monogamous and alternative relationships. This type of intimacy is no longer traditional yet has not turned totally alternative);
  • alternative relationships and open marriage (umbrella concepts that encompass various types of intimate relationships open for more than two; include swing and polyamory);
  • polyamory   (with more than just a couple featured, these relationships are based on sexual or emotional ties);
  • swing  (partners enjoy sex with other people but share emotions with each other only);
  • BDSM-relationships (partners set up their emotional and sexual relationships by dominance-submission rules).

There are many prerequisites to one’s searching for a new kind of relationships instead of monogamy:

- monogamy is a 1000 years old’ most promoted type of relationships. But we know notions actively promoted and advertised by “fathers” to be not always the most adequate in the context of modern age;

- we have promiscuity embedded in our genes, while long-term sexual life with one and the same person is secured neither by the level of vasopressin nor by precedents among wildlife;

- they are our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and some more of great- generations who were monogamous, but not all generations of human beings. There were many sexual revolutions and there were times in our species’ 200 000 years period of existence when monogamy was far from being in high esteem.

- we live longer. Considering oneself to be monogamous is easy with average lifetime been 40 years. At the time of Mermaid, Cinderella and other epic and romantic accounts death was so early they had no time for changing partners.

- sexual desire is continuously accompanied by its escort – the sensations of the new and the unknown. The mysterious unknown entices. Freshness excites. While a partner you’ve been learning for 5, 10 or 30 years becomes a too well-known ‘piece’. So that sexual drive makes you start out to new journeys after new bodies and fresh emotions.

- the theory of EQ (emotional intellect) represents feelings to be evolving throughout life. A man is capable of advancing and learning the skill of a different emotional response to customary situations. When facing adultery, one may set to thinking about compersion instead of traditional resentment and indignation.  

- psychoanalysis tells cultivation of sophisticated feelings like gratitude or generosity to be impossible without having mastered the stage of jealousy and envy. But this is just a stage. It is not only ageing of cells and a network of useful contacts that maturity brings, but also a new level of social and emotional intellect.

In consideration of the above, we understand jealousy, the monogamy’ constant companion, to be just a phase on the way to emotional intellect upgrade. This is a stage in every person’s development, as natural as wetting a diaper. We’ve got parents who teach us using toilet instead of diapers. Yet substituting compersion for jealousy is no one else’s job but our personal.    

Compersion in real life

Just like a sated man who abstains from teasing a hungry one with a sandwich before his face, people who experience compersion never scurry with blowing this horn of theirs. Social norms endorse being proud of one’s jealousness or suffering from that of a partner. Getting pleasure from partner’s emotional and sexual intercourses is the very sandwich that monogamy adherents can’t have. No one wants to act as ambassador who brings weird news. People shall either take pity on his weakness or tell him to be feeble-minded.

But compersion penetrates even through the veil of secrecy. He living for his own pleasure and by his strange rules without posting this to social media shall anyhow become a model for the inner circle and children. Or be used as a prototype of books and cinematography’ round characters. Of complex personalities like Frank Underwood in the House of Cards: season 4 has demonstrated transformation of presidential feelings into pure compersion defined by the following words of his:

“…one person cannot give everything to another person…”.