This morning Kitty pointed me to this video of Dan Savage talking about the ridiculousness of monogamy. I started watching the video with some trepidation. Although I consider myself polyamorous, I’m not one of those people who considers themselves somehow superior for being so. I also don’t like people who spout the superiority line. But this video wasn’t about that. It is more about the myth of how rigid monogamy has to be in order to work. That it’s all or nothing. Savage asserts that this concept of rigid monogamy is actually a problem and detriment to sustaining long-term relationships. Rigidity doesn’t allow for flexibility, mistakes, or slip-ups. He doesn’t go as far as advocating polyamory as an alternative. That’s good because poly is not for everyone.
I consider myself innately polyamorous. Much like bisexuality, from the moment i realized others were attractive and that I wanted to be with them I knew I would never be content with just one. That being said, until recently, I’ve been monogamous for over the last ten years. TEN YEARS. Yeah, for the record poly people are not constantly screwing multiple partners. This ten plus year hiatus was not of my choosing or by HB’s request. It seems that I just lack that certain je ne sais quoi to attract additional partners. That may be changing but that’s not the point. The point, monogamous for ten years; didn’t like it one bit. Now don’t get me wrong, I love HB with all my heart and the mere thought that there may be a time when I’d have to live without him makes me teary. Doesn’t mean I don’t want more than him, just means I don’t value him less because of it.
How did I survive without going nuts or hooking up with a booty call? I think its because we don’t operate like a “normal” couple, besides the fact that he has another partner. One of the main things is he doesn’t get upset if I look at someone else. I can oogle someone famous or not and the worst that will happen is he will tease me about it. And that’s only because he knows I’ll get all embarrassed and flustered and he finds that incredibly endearing and funny. However I’ve seen so many talk shows where the man or woman is losing their mind if their partner so much as looks at another person, no matter how long they have been in a relationship. And heaven forbid they talk to this other person or have any friends of the opposite gender. These men and women seem to be spending their whole relationship being constantly on guard for any man or woman attempting to connect with their one true. Now I know talk shows are extreme but I’ve seen many real life examples as well. People willing to throw away years of love, fidelity, shared life, just because they see their partner talking to someone else or standing too close to a person. And heaven forbid you slip, even a little; a wandering eye, an intimate conversation, a kiss, a one night stand. Then it’s all your stuff on the front lawn and call the lawyers.
Is this what monogamy means? If so I understand why those relationships don’t last, too stressful, too hard to maintain.
I’m not saying that the solution is polyamory, I’m just saying Dan Savage may have a point. Because in the end isn’t monogamy more about maintaining a long-term (hopefully lifelong) relationship with one person and not about fulfilling a rigid, near impossible standard?