Poly What?

I do not like monogamy.

I've been in long term relationships. I love intimacy and cuddling and comfort and even commitment, when I get to it. I like living with a lover; I like waking up in the morning to kissing and sex and conversation. I like to debrief at the end of my day with someone I care about and trust. I am looking, constantly, for someone I can share a deep bond with.

But I don't like monogamy. Even when I am in those loving, intimate relationships, I still want sex and excitement outside of them. My animal attraction to other people does not, for me, detract from my feelings towards my partner. In fact, being able to talk about and share the crazier aspects of my life and sexuality makes me feel closer to them. Jayme Waxman wrote in her blog the other week about having a monogamous heart but not a monogamous groin. That's what my anatomy looks like, too.

Through Jayme's post, I found Tristan Taormino's new website (and book) Opening Up. It's a resource site for those who don't want to practice monogamy.

Whenever I stumble upon things like this, a part of me wants to cry with relief. I feel like I am constantly trying to explain myself to everyone. It's hard for anyone to reject monogamy, and I deal with so much misunderstanding and prejudice, especially as a woman. It's so nice to run across other people who go through and can speak about the same things.

I am so tired of feeling guilty for not wanting monogamy. I often feel like there is something wrong with me, that I couldn't handle a monogamous relationship even if I tried. It feels like a failure that I "can't not cheat." I often find myself falling for people who do want monogamy, and I have to tear that apart because in my experience it can't work. People tend not to change their minds.

It's like being "poly" (look up polyamory on Wikipedia if you don't know what this means) for me is similar to what being gay feels like for other people. I never had much trouble with my sexual orientation; I'm from the San Francisco area and was always pretty comfortable being bi. Trying to negotiate and come out of the closet with polyamory, however, feels like such a struggle. I sometimes wish I could feel comfortable being monogamous. "Normal."

Lately, I've been doing much better. My last relationship was with someone who was open to the idea of, well, openness. We aren't really together anymore, but that's due to external circumstances (location mostly). I think we were doing a pretty good job of negotiating relationship boundaries and working with each other. I have been claiming my non-monogamy and trying to be proud of it. Hopefully I can keep that up.


Anonymous said...

There is no reason for you to not feel "normal" just because of the fact that what you are comfortable with isn't widely accepted by society. I think it's great that you can share your feelings with the world even though you have to deal with all of the prejudice and ignorance. Keep doing what makes you happy!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Every time I say or write it in a loud way I feel a little bit better. Kind words from other people don't hurt either. :-)

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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