Erato's thread, "Please Help Me Understand Monogamy" http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3203
, along with a few other comments here and there all over the forum, got me thinking about monogamy yesterday. I posted to my blog here some comments on a negative definition of monogamy that were offensive to Mono and perhaps others and Red Pepper smartly suggested I just start a new thread, out of the blogs section.
So here we are.
I have a little piece of paper on my kitchen window sill that has written on it:
"I am free of fear. I know that I am in the right place and the right time. I am doing the right thing and I continue to do the next right thing."
If this affirmation is true for myself, it is of course just as true for anyone.
I also remember what I mentioned in another post today: "Be kind to everyone you meet, for each is fighting a hard battle."
I preface my remarks with these reminders because otherwise I am in danger of being unclear, stepping on toes, etc. Monogamy is a difficult subject to discuss respectfully, it seems, just like any other sexual and relationship choice.
Okay, enough "kittens and puppies," as Ariakis would say. :-)
I have been doing an inventory of where I got my views and opinions about monogamy. A starting place is my family of origin. My mother and father drift toward 80 and are still married, after 57 years. In my white, middle class Presbyterian upbringing, this is just "what is done." When the so-called "sexual revolution" of the '70s hit, the only impact it seemed to have on my parents was that my mom either bought herself or was given by my dad a copy of the book The Joy of Sex. (This was the original '70s edition, with the long-haired hippie lovers, the beautiful lithe hippie woman with armpit hair, who definitely became a type for me as I started being interested in women. Yes, I snuck into my parents' bedroom and read my mother's copy of The Joy of Sex. haha). I learned later that my father was not sexually faithful. I don't know the details, just that a sex worker was involved. I don't know if my mother has ever been sexual with anyone other than my father. I wouldn't be surprised. I just learned last summer that she used to drink at home all day when we were kids. Their generation seems to be the generation of secrets.
Anyway, sorry, I rambled a bit there.
I have mostly been a serial monogamist. I have always been intensely focused and loyal for the first phase of relationships. Then my heart starts to attach to others. Then the monogamous relationship ends, one way or the other. I go through a period of mourning and then I get into another intensely focused monogamous relationship. Lather, rinse, repeat.
In those intense phases of focus and connection, I have perhaps gotten some slight indication of what monogamy is. I'm not really sure as I am questioning everything these days. I suspect I am not only a sex addict, but a love and relationship addict as well. I also suspect I have not ever been in a healthy relationship. I also suspect I have never actually been truthfully monogamous, but only expediently or conveniently so. As you can see, all of my cards are on the table, everything is up for examination and overhaul right now.
What is the most positive definition of monogamy people have? Every time I try to offer a definition, my words fall short. Obviously, on the most basic level, it's having one sexual partner. But I'm interested in a deeper exploration of monogamy. Perhaps this thread will end up being helpful for the many questioning souls who stop by.