Ever since I started watching “The League,” I’ve been fascinated with the particular relationship referred to as “Eskimo Siblings” in my new favorite TV show. An Eskimo sibling refers to a person who has had sex with someone you have also had sex with. In “The League,” the character Taco has lots of favors done for him all around town by his numerous Eskimo brothers, because to him they share a special bond which calls for mutually beneficial and friendly relations. Although I have no idea what this type of connection has anything to do with Eskimos, becoming aware of this pretty hilarious concept has prompted me to reflect on my relationships with the people I’m distinctly connected to by virtue of having shared hook-up buddies—as well as encourage my best friends to try and become my Eskimo siblings simply to intensify the deep, loving bond that we already have.
Framing this often touchy relationship to others in a positive, funny way makes us rethink how we consider those we have sex with and the other lovers they choose to engage with before and after us. As “The League” demonstrates, men have an easier time dismissing any type of awkward or spiteful feelings towards other guys who have had sex with the same partners. In fact sometimes it’s a point of pride and liking because of the mindset that they have conquered the same piece of ass within a double standard that favors the sexual success of men.
On the other hand, this is hardly the case with womyn. Judgment and comparison gets especially intense and vicious between womyn who share the same partner. As long as you tell yourself that you’re prettier, smarter, cooler and less slutty than the girl they’re hooking up with now it doesn’t cut into your self-esteem and you start to feel better about yourself, especially when your friends fiercely back you up on it. Relations among Eskimo sisters are riddled with cattiness and bad vibes.
I’m definitely guilty of the bullshit practice described above surrounding the new girlfriends of exes I’ve had in the past. One in particular I was salty about for months due to the fact that I probably still had feelings for my ex and I was insecure about the fact that he moved on. That was until we all spent a weekend in Vegas together with some mutual friends and I found out that she was an incredibly sweet, helpful, witty, attractive and badass feminist who shared similar views and interests as me. She’s probably my favorite Eskimo sibling to date and I greatly appreciate how awesome of an example she set for being nice to your boyfriend’s ex who may be acting like a total bitch.
The fact of the matter is many of my Eskimo siblings, especially my sisters, are really cool. Once you get to know the person for who they are and get past the petty bullshit, you start to understand why your ex-partner is involved with that person. Don’t define yourself or anybody else based on your relationship to others. Account for each person as an individual because only seeing someone according to their relation to others is dehumanizing.
It’s also a good way to find closure and not be possessive of our partners, past and present. Our partners are just people and they deserve to roam and get to know any number of people that they want to. Our lovers are not “our territory” and this type of sentiment keeps us from building positive relationships with people who may turn out to be really cool. No hard feelings towards your ex, because if it wasn’t for them you never would’ve met your new favorite drinking buddy. If you hit it off with your Eskimo sib it helps you put a lot of feelings and bad vibes around your ex behind you.
So next time you run into someone you realize you’re connected to by the sacred bond of shared hook-ups, talk to them before you switch on the comparisons, cattiness and territorialism. You are not defined by your relationships, especially not by those that involve your hook-up buddies, and neither is anybody else. There’s a good chance that you and your Eskimo sibling have similar interests and it’s a great way to meet friends instead of being mean to a perfectly nice person. It’s a fun, eternal bond that may actually outlast the one with the love interest you have in common.