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.