Taking monogamy down a notch.
“And [Dan Savage] does not believe that monogamy is wrong for all couples or even for most couples. Rather, he says that a more realistic sexual ethic would prize honesty, a little flexibility and, when necessary, forgiveness over absolute monogamy.
~ Mark Oppenheimer
“Marriage, With Infidelities”
Not sure if y’all have noticed, but there’s been quite a bit of discussion these days on the subject of monogamy.
Does it deserve to be the pillar on which we measure our relationships? What makes it so important? What if you don’t need it? Are we really that terrible at it, anyway? What about the disease and distrust that will surely result if you don’t have it? Ahhh the blasphemy!
Once Upon A Time, I also put monogamy on a pedestal. I believed it was how to measure my relationships. I said things like “once a cheater, always a cheater” and “Open relationships? Yeah, right! Doomed from the beginning! He just wants an excuse to fuck another woman is all!”
I have since changed my tune. Just a bit. As you may have noticed.
And, as you may have guessed, I have a lot to say on the matter. However. This week kind of sucks so I will start with where I started, when I started thinking, and I mean really thinking, about monogamy. To get us started. And then I’ll probably say more of the things I want to say about it later. When I have more time. To create articular sentences. *ahem.*
Basically, I came to this:
- Part of the reason we are so freakin’ freaked out about the cheating is that we’re freakin’ insecure. A big ol’ good chuck of the reason, I would imagine. Why? Because we’re afraid 1) we’re not good enough for our partner, and 2) our partner will leave us for someone else. Basically, it’s about us being not attractive enough, or awesome enough, or good enough in bed. And thus, our partner is looking elsewhere. And, if the other person they find is so much more attractive or awesome or bed-rockin’, our partner will be gone. See ya.
I would hazard a guess that our insecurities about these things are not particularly hampered by our current culture. You know the one that’s all about competition and self-promotion? Yeah that one.
- I know who I am and why I am awesome. I also know there are other people out there who are more attractive or more awesome or better in bed than I am (but not many… ha ha just kidding!). This is just reality. Nothing to be done about it, and nothing about it should make me feel insecure.
- While I am not exactly on the Commitment Train (not even trying to find the station, really), if and when I decide to make a commitment? I will make that commitment to another person based on who that person is. And, just as importantly? I expect the same in return.
I do not foresee such a commitment being threatened by someone who is more attractive than I am, or more awesome, or better in bed. It should NOT be challenged by sex. Because it is about SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT – and it is about ME as a person. Is that other person me? Ok then.
And if it can be challenged, and my partner leaves me for someone else? Well, then. We were clearly on different pages, so good riddance. No matter how much that hurts.
No. I’m not kidding.
I know this sounds difficult. I know it sounds like something that many people would find impossible. But, really?
Who wants to settle for anything less?