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The Politics of Man and Woman

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The Politics of Man and Woman

Postby MarthaP » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:45 am

This sport is male-dominated, no question there. The fact that women are picking up on it is anathema to some, welcome to others. No question there, either. The fact remains, though, that men and women, whether attached or not, are going to be spending time together doing the mountaineering/climbing thang. What they make of it thereafter is an individual choice.

Here’s my point – I have a friend (or at least I thought him a friend) who’s big on mountaineering. We’ve met up socially a couple of times and finally were able to go backcountry together. Last time we had contact and before we ended up in the backcountry he let me know he had a girlfriend and he’d promised her that he’d never go backpacking with only a woman – had to be in a group or nothing. No problem there except it ended up just him and me and off we went. We had separate bivies and it was winter so even if there was interest it’d have been hard to make anything happen, if you know what I mean.

In spite of the innocence of this trip I was asked to never mention it in case it got back to girlfriend. He never told her what really transpired and to date she thinks he went solo. She has no interest in slinging a pack, gear, or rope so there's no chance she'd come along as welcome as that might be.

We may have the opportunity to mountaineer again but if it comes down to him and me it’ll be the same BS as before. I’m not willing to do that.

What he does or how he manipulates the truth with his girl is his business. What’s mine is that I’m expected to lie by omission. I feel like the “other woman” even though I’m not. So if it comes down to this again I know I won’t be going anywhere with him without an absolute understanding of my truths and expectations.

Here are some questions. If we’re unattached is there some sort of code that doesn’t allow us to go anywhere with the other sex? If we’re unattached but are clear that anyone in a relationship, whether married or not, is off-limits is there some sort of distrust of that? And if someone’s in a relationship where they can’t be completely honest with their partner then what’s the discussion about anyway?

I guess if it weren’t so tough to find truly compatible partners I wouldn’t make a deal of this but if we’re heading into potentially hazardous terrain I want a partner I can absolutely count on. Any shred of doubt about their integrity optimizes the shred of doubt under stressful circumstances as far as I'm concerned.

I’ve obviously answered my own question, but how do the rest of you address these issues? Or is this all a non-issue to the majority? I know women who’ll fuck anything that moves, including their “best friend’s” SO (in fact a man attached to a woman becomes more interesting game to them) having been privy to it myself, and maybe that’s what ruins it for the rest of us.

Thoughts?
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Postby The Chief » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:51 am

I am happily married to the most wonderful woman on this planet!

She has no qualms with me climbing with another women. She trust me and knows I would never break our vows. I love her too much for even considering that. I have had several female clients and have had no issues.

Besides, when I go climbing, sexual/social relationships considerations are/have are NEVER in the plans.

I'm too busy focusing on the climb...period!
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Postby lcarreau » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:10 am

The Chief wrote:
I'm too busy focusing on the climb...period!



Did you say "period," Chief ???

:shock:
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:12 am

"people like to talk, Lord, don`t they love to talk..."

My wife is OK with me taking daytrips with just one other woman (often the case), and OK with me doing an overnight with more than one woman.

Once I had planned an overnight with 3 other women, and two canceled at the last moment. I asked my wife if she felt if would be OK if I went with just one woman. She said yes, but I could see the pain in her face, so I bowed out.

Even if you are fine with it... people talk, and that can be painful, no matter how strong we think we are.
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Postby The Chief » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:18 am

MoapaPk wrote:"people like to talk, Lord, don`t they love to talk..."
... people talk, and that can be painful, no matter how strong we think we are.


If I was worried about that, I'd have put a bullet in my head thirty years ago.

If anyone is worried about that issue, they either have something to hide or are totally insecure...period!
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:26 am

The Chief wrote:If anyone is worried about that issue, they either have something to hide or are totally insecure...period!


I fit neither stereotype; I just don't like putting other people in pain.
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Postby The Chief » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:40 am

MoapaPk wrote:I fit neither stereotype; I just don't like putting other people in pain.


Why would you be putting anyone in pain if you are just roping up for a climb?

This just don't make a lick of sense.... NONE!
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Postby lcarreau » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:00 am

Catamount wrote:I think it's an impossible question. Just sitting here, I can think of about 8 different answers I could give. What it comes down to, I think, is that every relationship is different and every person has a different comfort zone when it comes to his/her mate.




Geez, I think we should consult the wise and fabulous DOCTOR PHIL for the final answer!

I'm always mixing up "comfort zone" with "Twilight Zone," for cryin' out loud.

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Postby lcarreau » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:08 am

If I didn't trust my spouse, then I wouldn't be married to her.

And, I'd probably be listening to Doctor Phil reruns and drowning myself in Vodka.
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Postby Haliku » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:29 am

An interesting thread. In my opinion it is trust and communication between the couple. Sometimes that equilibrium is never reached. There were 'plenty' (~10%) of women on Denali this past season. For the wife/GF at home that could be a tough concept to accept, especially if they really don't understand mountaineering/climbing etc. Could something happen? Sure. Nothing is 100%. It’s usually not about the person going off climbing but is the insecurity/baggage of the one who is home worrying.

Can it be too many TV shows and celeb magazine planting the thought that cheating is the most common issue in our society?
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Postby The Chief » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:32 am

thoth wrote:
The Chief wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:I fit neither stereotype; I just don't like putting other people in pain.


Why would you be putting anyone in pain if you are just roping up for a climb?

This just don't make a lick of sense.... NONE!


roping up is one thing, spending the night with a member of the opposite sex when married?



Like I said, as a Guide and a Professional, I do it quite often.

Key word, PROFESSIONAL!

Your wife or other SP members wives, go to male physician/gynecologist, right?

Another key word.... TRUST!
Last edited by The Chief on Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby klwagar » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:33 am

This is a crazy question because it doesn't mean anything. I wouldn't be able to go climbing then at all if I couldn't be in a tent with another human being. Gee, does it make any difference if it is two guys for 35 days on an expedition? or two women doing a five day hike? or good friends whatever the sex or a guide and a client who may be opposities? I think you pretty much know when you get into the tent what the outcome is going to be. Even if you have to share a bivi sack or sleeping bag you pretty much have a good idea what is going to happen (you know intent?). It isn't like just all of sudden you have an enormous urge to do something to your climbing partner (unless you already have that kind of relationship) in the middle of the night.
It seems to me if the guy doesn't want to tell his GF then he had some other thoughts going on in his mind or his GF would have reason to believe he would have those kinds of thoughts in his mind which is kind of the same thing.
I can't imagine how many people I have shared tents with (and even snuggled up to get some warmth when a blizzard is knocking down the walls) in all my years of being out in mountains. I would have missed out on a huge amount of good climbs, good laughs and great company
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Postby radson » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:00 am

I like MoapaPk's answer the best. He asked his partner, sensed some discomfort and bailed. To me this shows respect and empathy rather than belligerent sanctimony.
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