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Monogamy Isn’t Dead, But…

I was reading this blog – https://polytalkbykitty.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monogamy-under-the-microscope-cnn-time-and-the-ashley-madison-hack/ – and it was a good one, too, and one that got me thinking about monogamy and the fact that monogamy isn’t dead, but there are more people who are understanding that monogamy just isn’t as fulfilling as it may have been intended to be.  Yeah, that whole Ashley Madison thing was a joke – lots of hypocrisy and infidelity going on there as well as the owners of the site using “dirty tricks” to entice people to pay for membership and in the hope of hooking up with someone who’d be interested in having an affair.

There are a lot of people who think that because there are so many other people “turning away” from monogamy, we’ve become immoral and we’ve lost our way and so much that there’s great fear about the future of our society.  My own thoughts, such as they are, are that there are those of us who are finally realizing that monogamy isn’t all that it’s been hyped up to be and that being monogamous is more of a hinderance when it comes to certain things, namely, the satisfaction of one’s needs and the growing, obvious fact that one person just isn’t capable of handling all of which their partner may want and need which, I’m thinking, is why the tenets of monogamy imply that you shouldn’t have any other wants and needs that don’t include your partner.

Yeah, some people find it easier to cheat than it is to attempt to negotiate for a form of non-monogamy – and understandably so since for some folks, asking for permission to be unfaithful just doesn’t make any sense at all.  Some folks find that there’s a certain… arrogance in play here as well as a great deal of indifference; “I should be all that you ever need and if I’m not, well, too bad, huh?  If you don’t like it, you can always leave… and don’t let the doorknob hit in you in the ass on your way out!”

Some find being monogamous to be severely limiting, not just in the areas of sexual congress but in other areas of personal growth so, as such, some folks find that monogamy is more oppressive than anything else since they’re not allowed to be the person they feel they need to be and are forced to be the person someone else expects them to be.  Still, monogamy isn’t dead, but there are people who are just tired of being put on lockdown, tired of having their wants and needs ignored or suppressed for some greater good that never seems to appear and, yeah, to them, monogamy just doesn’t make a lot of sense these days.   Since humans are some pretty creative animals, we’ve learned that we can have our cake and eat it – and that everyone involved can have fun chowing down on the cake as well by engaging in what’s being called ethical non-monogamy or, as I like to call it, negotiated infidelity.  No matter what you wanna call it, it is quite oddly like being bisexual in that you have the best of both worlds – the stability and security and comfort of being monogamous as well as the sheer thrill of being able to attend to your needs – or the needs of your partner – as required.

Monogamy isn’t dead, but maybe it’s no longer wholly capable of handling the needs of the folks in a relationship.  I was thinking about some of the conversations I’ve had with a fellow WordPress blogger (she knows who she is) on the subject of monogamy and her views on it… and then her response to what is, for me, a simple question:  What if there’s something you need or want that your husband cannot provide for you?  What do you do?  She’s funny in that on the one hand, she contends that she’s never supposed to want anything or anyone other than what her husband can provide… but there are, in fact, some things she needs that there’s no way he can provide.  For my friend – and for countless other people bound by the tenets of monogamy, this is a problem – no, it is a major problem because monogamy demands that in this situation, you are unconditionally assed out and you’re just gonna have to learn to live without whatever it was you wanted that your partner cannot – or, in some cases, will not – provide to ensure your continued happiness in the relationship and, no, sex isn’t the only thing that can fall into this category.

Monogamy isn’t dead, but some folks, as I’ve said, are just tired of being put on lockdown; they’re not allowed to have close opposite sex friends or even close same sex friends; your life, such as it is, it totally and, supposedly, irrevocably in the hands and under the control of the dominant person in the relationship or, kinda simply, you do things in the relationship and in the way they want you to do them or else.  The way some folks approach and interpret monogamy is, plainly, frightening because, in their minds, they own you and the only hopes, dreams, desires, whatever, you are allowed to have are the ones they allow you to have.  They have this “my way or the highway” mentality that, at the end of the day, proves to be so oppressive and suppressive that not only there are thoughts of being non-monogamous to escape this environment, actions are taken toward that end… and what I believe to be the worst thing is that if there’s no action taken – and it’s not taken out of fear – a very nasty sense of resentment will settle onto the relationship and one that will signal the beginning of the end – the relationship will die a slow, terrible, and painful death.

When people are unfaithful, there are many adjectives and epithets used to describe such heinous, immoral behavior like being weak-minded and susceptible to temptation, not being able to commit to the relationship, being a dog, a slut or whore and, well, the list gets longer and nastier; it’s always the fault of the person being unfaithful and while there are some situations where a partner knows that they’re the reason why their partner is being unfaithful (or having thoughts in that direction), I don’t think that anyone ever thinks about the real culprit in any of this:  Monogamy.  They don’t see – or can’t see – that monogamy was designed to accommodate a particular need and in order to accomplish that particular goal, it was necessary to suppress any or all desires that would make the goal unreachable; there’s a reason why we promise, vow, and are expected to keep only unto ourselves, that no man can put asunder, and hanging in there for better or for worse.  For a lot of people, monogamy is a hostile environment and one that’s designed to inhibit some shit even though monogamy is supposed to allow us to grow together… but only in a specified, limited way so, if you’d really care to think about it, monogamy isn’t always what it provides as a state of relationship – it’s what it doesn’t or can’t provide that causes the most problems.

Indeed, we think that the tenets of monogamy are forever sealed in lead, that the rules can never, ever be changed… except, when we’re in a relationship, we’re told that our relationship is only going to be as good as we can make it but, um, didn’t it ever occur to anyone that in order for us to make our relationship as good as we can make it, er, we might have to tweak or even break some rules to make this happen?  In being monogamous, we’re supposed to be of one mind, one heart, and all that good stuff which, depending on how you care to look at it, removes the individuality of the people involved from the equation; you’re expected and required to give up who you are as a person – all your hopes, your dreams, your desires, and even your thoughts – in favor of this supposedly better dynamic.  And, yes, sometimes it works… but not always because, again if you care to look at it, the logic of monogamy is flawed because it really doesn’t leave room or allow for anyone to change anything.  People eventually see this in some way and they think that there’s nothing that can be done about it other than dissolving the relationship and starting over… but that’s not exactly the truth and it’s a truth that, overall, we – society – won’t acknowledge… because we’re not supposed to – we’ve been told not to.

Monogamy isn’t dead, but, yeah, there are a lot of people who are learning, and often the hard way, that monogamy doesn’t always work as advertised; if you need something that your partner cannot or will not provide, you are fucked and not in a good way and if you don’t like it, well, all you can do is not like it – or hit the road which is something, oddly enough, isn’t really an option for a lot of folks.  So, um, if you have wants and needs that your partner can’t or won’t provide for your continued well-being and finding yourself being single again just ain’t gonna work for you, then what do you do?  It’s an obvious and proven fact that there are some people who will not choose to do nothing about this situation… but they also don’t want to give up the good things that being in the relationship provides them, either.  So people cheat… or they find a compromise to the situation that is agreeable to everyone involved.

It’s playing by the rules… and not so much.  That people are finding some creative ways to have their cake and eat it has always been seen as being immoral and anyone doing this is deemed to be morally bankrupt… but is that really the truth?  What more people are discovering is that they can, in fact, create their own version of what it means to be monogamous so that they can make their relationship the best it can be for both of them; they do this because they dare to question that which is supposedly never to be questioned, they fiddle with the rules that are supposed to be inviolate and, I’d say to the dismay of those fierce believers in monogamy, they find a way to make it work and keep each other happily together.

Ah, man… this is such a hot-button topic, ain’t it?  At least in my mind, it comes down to something I find interesting:  When you’re in a relationship, are you supposed to do things with and for each other out of love… or are we supposed to do things because we’ve been told to do only certain things?  I know that I love Linda… just as I also know that for me to think or even believe that I am all that she will ever want and/or need is just patently ridiculous; I’m good… but I’m not that good.  Monogamy requires me to be all that she will ever want and need… but my love for her is quite capable of finding creative ways to handle this.  Given that we’re both bisexual – and this is usually a problem in a monogamous relationship – if she were to tell me that she wanted a girlfriend to play with and it would make her a happy camper, my love for her will not allow me to tell her no – but monogamy demands that this is exactly what I’m supposed to do… and I’m thinking that monogamy has no fucking idea what it’s like to live with Linda when she’s unhappy about something.  I know that if I were to tell her that she couldn’t have a girlfriend/playmate, one of two things are gonna happen (or both will):  She’s going to be hell to live with and she just might veto my decision and go get that girlfriend/playmate anyway.  In my mind, it’s kinda simple:  If I can’t be totally responsible for her happiness, then she has to be responsible for her happiness.  My choice in this is easy – it’s better to contribute to her happiness and growth than it is to be subjected to her ire and displeasure and, really, running the risk of her walking away from me and all because I wanted to be stubborn about it and hold her to a standard that just ain’t working for her totally and completely.

Monogamy isn’t dead… but it’s not the only way to have a good and meaningful relationship.  Yep, cheating sucks but most people just cannot see or understand why cheating happens and one of the reasons why it happens is because of the restrictions being monogamous puts on us.  It is said that it’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission – and this is what a lot of people do and often with disastrous, catastrophic results… but a lot of people have found that is it better to ask permission and, of course, more so when permission is given and shared because what’s good for the goose can be good for the gander.  Happiness in a relationship is something that we have to make for ourselves and not something that’s”automatically” provided or assumed.

This is my thoughts about this for the moment and I’ll leave you to your own thoughts about it for now…

 
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Posted by on 1 October 2015 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Isn’t It Odd…?

Do you know Rougedmount?  Have you read her blog about her plight?  I have and my heart goes out to her and those like her… but she said something in one of her latest blogs that just struck me as being a bit odd (http://rougedmount.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/traditional-affair/) that I wanted to do a little writing on and I quote:  “…a traditional monogamous type affair…”

Isn’t that odd that a person would take what I’d call a ‘typical’ move toward non-monogamy… and yet would want to be monogamous in this?  Rouged, don’t get me wrong – you know how I feel about your situation so I’m not busting your ass about your decision to pursue such a thing – I just found your choice of phrases rather interesting.

Now, it makes sense that someone who has decided to have an affair would want to engage in this with one person that suits their needs; trying to manage multiple ‘partners’ in this tend to be beyond most people’s abilities since we’ve been conditioned to only be involved with one person at a time and, aside from this, trying to have an affair with multiple people involved is just a bit too complicated and, usually, dangerous in the sense that you increase your chances to get busted – and that’s provided whether or not you give a shit if you get caught or not; some folks are aware of the consequences of their actions but if they were to get caught and some shit hit the fan that would dissolve the original relationship, hah, that would be a good thing for the person having the affair – getting busted would do them a huge favor.

But while one may decide to have an affair with someone, would it be a given that the person they’re having the affair with would engage in this… but be monogamous in this?  Would this arrangement go south if the person they were having the affair with was having an affair with someone else?  Would they be required to stop having this other affair in favor of engaging in a singular, monogamous, non-monogamous event?  Is this… requirement a little bit of an oxymoron given that once a person enters into an affair, whatever beliefs they had about being monogamous have already gone out the door – all bets on this are off – and now requiring the person you’re being non-monogamous with to be monogamous just kinda/sorta sounds weird?

What do you think?  Is having an affair still a one-on-one proposition just like being in a monogamous relationship is?  Is it realistic to say, “I’m gonna do this with him/her and I pray that they’re only gonna do this with me…”  Does it even matter as long as they’re willing and able to take care of your needs?

And, Rouged, I do hope that you find someone who does suit your needs and that they’re exclusively yours – again, I just found your phrasing odd and interesting.

 
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Posted by on 9 February 2014 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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At the Mercy of Others

I’ve been chatting with Pyx about AFF and CL and, really, just how totally fucked up AFF is; those of you who have ever checked out this site knows what I’m talking about.  You’ve already made the big leap from being totally monogamous to opening things up in your relationship, do what a lot of people new to this do and join AFF… and then find out that it wasn’t such a good idea or smart investment of your money if you paid to be a premium member.  To that end, paying that fee just opens you up further to be at the mercy of others and their not-so like-minded thinking.

The first indication that the shit on this site is funky begins with your profile picture.  We had a non-nude picture of us as our primary pic… and weren’t even getting a passing look.  On a whim, I put a kinda nude picture of my lady on there – and the hits just exploded and, oh, yeah, despite what our profile said about what we wanted, we were getting hits from people who just weren’t into what we were into and some of them had the audacity to suggest that if we didn’t want to do shit the way they wanted to do it – read this as have their way with my baby’s rather luscious body – then we were all fucked up, clueless and was even told we had no business being in the lifestyle.

Say what?  Wait, what happened to being open- and like-minded?  Hold up… when your profile said that you were down for anything and that you were wild and kinky, um, were you lying about that?  Oh, so, you want to play with us but you’re not sure if your wife will want to play?  If that’s the case, why are you talking to us?

The questions could continue unabated on why people behave the way they do when it comes to sex and being on AFF and similar sites.  You learn a lot of things rather quickly and what you manage to learn often isn’t very pretty and can be rather distasteful, revealing prejudices that one would think that sex, one of the universal languages, could easily overcome.

So if you went into being open or swinging and had the thought in your head that joining AFF (or some other site) would open the doors to sexual nirvana for you, uh, guess again.  I’m not gonna say that you won’t find what you’re looking for because people are rather successful on AFF… but what I am saying is that chances are good you’re gonna find a lot of shit that you weren’t even looking for and even get requests for sex in ways that would make a porn star shudder.

Like the one ‘couple’ that contacted us on AFF and said that they’d be willing to do whatever we wanted them to do… as long as my baby gave the man a golden shower.  Uh… okay…  So when we stopped laughing and told them there was no way we were going to do that – did you not see the part in our profile that said no watersports? – then we were deemed too ignorant of the needs of others and, thus, unworthy to fuck.

Your needs?  What about our needs?  Ye gods, one wouldn’t think that this question would ever come up, right?  But, more often than not, it does because one of the other things you learn is that being on a swinging site ain’t about your needs and no matter how clearly you state them:  This is about everyone else’s needs and if you can’t, won’t, or are otherwise unwilling to play the game their way, then you ain’t shit and never will be.

After messing around with some of the idiots on AFF and other sites, it’s no wonder that couples who want to swing take a big step back and opt for swinging celibacy, willing to just sit, wait, and watch for that one elusive couple who will want what they want and the way they want it.  One of the things I noticed on the various sites we belong to is that you are often expected and required to do some version of taking one for the team, something that swingers generally aren’t fond of doing.  Even in real life, having sex with your partner is about compromise, figuring out that list of things you’ll both do and won’t do for whatever reason… and what you find out is that if you had it in your head that jumping into the deep end of being non-monogamous was going to be easy, yeah, sure it is… because you’re now in a situation where you may have to compromise and negotiate for sex when you’re really not of a mind to do so.

AFF, in my opinion, is the worst of the many sites and if anyone’s ever joined AFF and they don’t have their own horror stories to tell, I’d be surprised.  AFF would have you pay a premium price so that you can get your feelings hurt, be offended, be summarily rejected, ridiculed, and just flat-out dissed; shit, if that’s your cup of tea, you can probably go to your next family reunion barbeque and have all that happen – and for free, at that.

You can join these sites and be as aggressive in your pursuit of whatever’s floating both of your boats… and you’re still pretty much at the mercy of others because if you can’t get them to agree with what you’re proposing, that aggressive pursuit’s not really working for you all that well.  I think it’s sad to actually see how totally fucked up people can be when it comes to sex and in a lifestyle that’ll make you think that everything’s wide open, free-spirited, unfettered, and unadulterated sexual pleasure – and the reality says that it’s anything but which, of course, is why so many newbies get totally discouraged and give up their goals and dreams of an enriching and liberating non-monogamous relationship.

 
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Posted by on 10 August 2013 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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To Be or Not to Be… Poly

A long time ago now, I wrote a blog about relationships states, with being single on the ‘low’ end of the scale and being poly at the zenith, this being the ultimate form of having a relationship.

It’s miserably hot and my mind is wandering even as I try to stay cool and hydrated… and my mind got stuck on this one and, really, more about the mistakes in being poly than the good things relating in this fashion can bring to the table.  Once you get past the hurdle of finding others who are willing to forego monogamy for that rare chance to have their cake and eat it, too, my mind reasoned that the biggest problem after getting started is management and more so than being in a monogamous relationship.

No relationship is really self-sustaining; you don’t start one and then it just goes and takes care of itself – we learn, and often, the hard way, that relationships take constant work and attention:  They have to be managed.  If you think managing a monogamous relationship takes a lot of work – and they do – then the poly relationship will severely test your ability to manage things as well as your ability to either multi-task or compartmentalize.

In a word, it sounds and looks good on paper… but the reality can be the mother of all motherfuckers.  I’ve learned that management can be a problem when you’re trying to do your poly thing while holding on to monogamy’s rules; they are not any easy thing to get rid of and understandably so because you’re still pretty much having one-on-one relationships… just with more than one person… and we tend to deal with one-on-one relationships in the same manner we deal with marriage and being monogamous.

Doesn’t sound all that inviting, does it?

There are a few polyamorous bloggers I follow – and I point out that they are women – and you can read their blogs and see both the joys of being poly as well as the migraine-inducing headaches and mostly because management of multiple ongoing relationships is a bitch – I cannot think of a word that would accurately describe it with any more emphasis.

You’re either getting or giving too much attention or not enough; depending on how your poly relationship is formed, even having sex – which one would think is pure joy all by itself – can be problematic; again, you’re either getting too much or it’s not enough.

Management isn’t all about ‘scheduling’ or parceling out your time and energies so that each of your poly partners gets to spend time alone with you; it’s also about managing personalities; it’s about being intimate with each person in ways that have nothing to do with sex.  You all might have that shared goal of making the poly relationship work but it’s not entirely about what you’re doing or how you’re doing it – the shape of the relationship – as much as it is about the individuals that comprise said relationship… and that makes things both very different and a near nightmare to manage.

It can be done, though – let’s not lose sight of that.  But if people have tried to be poly and have failed, well, I’m the guy telling you where the failure points are.  You really do have to be an exceptional person to manage the complexities of a poly relationship; you also need equally exceptional people to not only be in such a relationship but to do their part in the management side of things.

Some have asked me what the most difficult thing about being poly is and my answer has pretty much always been trying to keep everything straight in my head – management.  As I mentioned, a ‘normal’ relationship just doesn’t run on its own – it’s not self-sustaining – and each person in the relationship must do their part to push things in the agreed-upon direction.  It’s not easy, as a lot of us have found out… but then add another person… then another… then two more and now you see how incredibly difficult managing not only the people but the relationship as a whole can be.

I’d have to say that if you’re doing things right, what others may see is you having a weird kind of relationship – and you’re making it look easy, which is so unbelievable that you’ll get asked just how in the hell you can be doing such a thing – and you get asked that a lot.  I know that when people asked this of me, I’d smile, kinda shake my head, and tell them that it’s not as easy as it might look.

Think of icebergs, if it helps; it’s not what you see that’s the problem/danger – it’s the part of the berg that you can’t see.  You know it’s there… but you have no idea of how much is really hidden.  Think of a punch in boxing:  The one you see might hurt you if you can’t dodge it – but it’s the punch you don’t see that’ll knock you the fuck out.

Trust me, you don’t handle the management in a good way, you will get knocked the fuck out.  Of course, it all depends on what poly ‘style’ you have adopted or have put in place, the more common varieties are open – anyone can add folks to the mix – or closed – it’s just us and additional entrances are debatable or out of the question.  I cannot honestly say which poly state is the easier to deal with; to me, they have their inherent issues where management is concerned.

In a lot of ways, being poly does and can mean “the more, the merrier” – and not really because at some point, you’re gonna find out just how much work maintaining such a relationship can be – it can make being married look easy but just like being married, you have to make it work because just like any other relationship, it’s only going to be as good as everyone can make it.

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on 16 July 2013 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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