I used to be monogamous. Ok, more precisely, I used to try to be monogamous. I sort of slipped and fell a couple of times, to find that my penis had landed in vaginas that were not attached to my girlfriend.
I remember what is was like being a 20-something guy with a girlfriend, having frineds with girlfriends/boyfriends and doing group activities like going out for drinks, grilling at someone’s house, or sitting around playing games and such on a Saturday. The room would tend to be full of young, attractive, sexually hungry people who flirt with each other.
I might find myself having a conversation with a girl who my friend just met recently, and it was obvious that there was some chemistry between us. And the fact that I was “taken” made it safer to make flirty jokes (see what I did there? dirty+flirt=flirty!). It was all just in good fun, and almost always led nowhere.
And then we all get to go home, paired off, and allow the sexual tension that we built up with such interactions with out monogamous partner. Well, except monogamous people don’t tend to admit that this type of flirting contributed to our interest in sex those nights.
That would prove that we are not attracted to our partners anymore, or enough, or even that we never were, right? Anyone with a very insecure partner in their past can tell you stories about those partners, after such evenings, would comment about how they saw you checking that other person out, and how they bet you’d like to ‘hit that’ (or whatever the kids say these days).
So, how often in such situations do couples talk and say things like “hey, so I saw you talking to ____ tonight. Ze is totes into you. I think their significant other is pretty attractive. We should all go out together and, like, fuck each other or something!”
Ok, if THAT conversation happens on the part of both couples, they might be ok. But more likely a less transparent conversation happens after everyone is drunk, one or two people seem really eager about the idea, and everyone else laughs nervously.
I mean, such things like partner swapping does happen. It usually includes alcohol, of course. Often, in such cases, it ends up ugly even if it starts out great. It often does not happen again. Those people later remember their younger, rebellious days where they tried swinging, polyamory, etc and all they really remember is how badly it went.
Then those people talk to me or read a blog post here or elsewhere (although why would anyole want to do that?) and think that its quite adorable how naive I am, or whatever, and go on with their life.
Except, well, they did it wrong.
Because there are more ways to do non-monogamy wrong than to do it right. Doing relationships well is hard, sometimes very hard, and the more people involved the more complicated it gets.
I would like to see a world where 20-somethings could be less monogamous. I would like to think that such people could be honest with their partners enough to not only admit the desire, but mature enough to hear it as well.
It would lower rates of infidelity in such relationships, as well as bring to the surface emotional issues which need to be exercised by people in order to be successful partners.
Will all of them end up polyamorous? No, probably not. Will people get hurt? Yes, probably. Will it fix already weak relationships? Eh, perhaps in some cases, but probably not in most.
Will it be more honest of people, considering what they really want to do? I think that it might. It might teach all sorts of lessons about what we desire, what we can handle, as well as give people invaluable sexual experience which goes far in terms of teaching us about relationships and desires.
And yes, I am aware that many younger people are not taking monogamy as strictly as generations before did, but I still want to see more of it exist transparently.
And I would like to see more people after their 20s keep their relationships from slipping into the default monogamy, especially when those old fires spark up.
This post is not completely fueled by the fact that some monogamous couples I know are totally doable.
But seriously, people, stop being so sexy and monogamous!