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  #41  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:14 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
It is about willingly giving the gift of your intimacy to one person and feeling fullfilled. But this is only one apsect of any relationship. Monos do lots of stuff with other people and not always with thier intimate partner.
Absolutely true. And I honestly believe that this is one of the reason why monogamy hits walls so often. It isn't monogamy that is the problem, it is the peoples co-dependent methods of practicing monogamy that creates problems. (well amongst other things)

I swear, there should be a sticky on monogamy on this poly site somewhere hahaha
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  #42  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:45 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Absolutely true. And I honestly believe that this is one of the reason why monogamy hits walls so often. It isn't monogamy that is the problem, it is the peoples co-dependent methods of practicing monogamy that creates problems. (well amongst other things)

I swear, there should be a sticky on monogamy on this poly site somewhere hahaha
That sounds like a good idea. I'll bring that up with the other mods.

And I love the irony of a poly site having educational postings about monogamy!

As there are many ways to do poly, there are many ways to do mono. Bad situations in relationships don't have to do with whether it's mono or poly so much as whether the people involved can do positive relationships.
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  #43  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:53 PM
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i find it interesting that there are more and more people interested in what my friend does the older I get. She never wanted kids and now finds more dates because of that. The men my age mostly have had their kids, their marriages, most are fixed now and ready to enjoy the fruits of their labour rather than looking for their princess bride.

I guess some monos have better things to do than be focussed on other relationships because there are other things to do, not because they are mono. I can see one day possibly being like that. Why not? Whatever works. I agree, quite often mono is seen as co-dependant. Not true necessarily. One can be poly and co-dependant.
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  #44  
Old 07-15-2010, 08:30 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Poly is definitely more relationship focussed than mono in my opinion. My personal experience is that this was do to the stablity in the mono relationship I had. It was the calm area of my life where as other areas, such as how to get my grass thicker and greener, was where the challenge and learning was focussed
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  #45  
Old 07-15-2010, 10:31 PM
immaterial immaterial is offline
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I do deeply appreciate the idea that relationship and love actually resides on a level beyond the label or the definition. My authentic experience includes loving many and always has, including most of my exes. I am in fact still "in love" (whatever that means) with several exes. There has been no ongoing relationship other than friendship, but every time I see one of these exes I realize the great limbic connection is still deeply true and deeply there. I used to lie to a new SO and say "nope, no feelings for anyone other than you, darlin'."

So we honor all relationship styles, sexual orientations and preferences, etc., without having to pathologize or judge any of them.

At the same time, monogamy (like heterosexuality) is the dominant cultural paradigm and it seems a deeply entrenched part of human nature to want to label relationship and sex styles/preferences/orientations. The cultural imperative to be successfully monogamous seems very real to me. I have noticed a tendency for some, both poly and mono, who post here to brush that off, as if it does not really f*** with people on some very deep levels.

My personal experience is, it certainly did with me. My own judgments of myself as a failure and my own shame binds are intimately tied into the cultural prejudice to be successfully monogamous. I imagine the struggle to find one's own values and choices emerging out of the Great Myth of monogamy is just as difficult for monogamous people as it is for poly or non-monogamous people. I think everyone can benefit from a discussion of the shortcomings of the dominant myths of our deeply sick culture, as long as it is clear that is what we are discussing, not monogamy itself.

On the other hand, my most recent SO comes from a series of open communities and various underground, minority subcultures where attachment and jealousy are taboos, or even seen as a sign that one is not spiritually developed or enlightened enough. So she has had to struggle with emerging into her own values as well, realizing that she prefers/requires monogamy and that her feelings are just fine and not a sign of any deficiency or lack of anything.

I think her story is rare, however. It seems much more common to inherit monogamy as an assumption and then blame oneself or one's SOs if the relationships don't work out, only asking the question "is monogamy right for me?" after much suffering. This process is not monogamy's fault, but is true of any classic emergence out from under the dominant cultural paradigm. Why else would poly people refer to "coming out," in the same manner as people with minority sexual orientations?

Even if I were to decide I really am monogamous, I would not want monogamy the way it is often presented, depicted, described, defined. None of the perspectives so far in this thread are appealing to me. They all hark back to a mindset that had me in a despairing prison for a few decades. I have already shaken the hornet's nest enough on that score, however, and wait for perhaps more clear or at least braver souls (or my own bolder moment!) to revisit that area. :-)

Immaterial
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  #46  
Old 07-16-2010, 12:55 AM
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I think everyone can benefit from a discussion of the shortcomings of the dominant myths of our deeply sick culture, as long as it is clear that is what we are discussing.


Immaterial
I'm glad I don't live in your culture my friend. Over a 20 year career of sailing and seeing many different cultures, I feel blessed to be a part of this one. My culture has things to learn and needs improvements to accept people, but it is not sick.

I hope I don't offend, but you sound like you had a very unhealthy monogamous relationship at one time. I had a very healthy and fulfilling monogamous relationship and now am in healthy and fulfilling polyamorous relationship. I would think that if things didn't work out I would chose to recognize the failure was to do with me and not the expectations or characteristics of the polyamorous culture, especially considering how deeply sick a lot of people view it.
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  #47  
Old 07-16-2010, 06:13 AM
immaterial immaterial is offline
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Mono, the "weak, cuckolded guy" syndrome that Monaural expresses reservations about and you acknowledge in a separate thread is a symptom of the sickness that I'm talking about.

Just one of many.

I envy your world if it's really all orgasms and daisies.

You are correct that I have had many unhealthy monogamous relationships based on lies. I have written quite frankly about this in other posts.

But I'm trying to explore monogamy as a cultural institution. It is the dominant cultural paradigm and it is, more often than not, forced down people's throats. It is not a choice, but the *norm*. Your position is unnecessary because you are arguing in defense of the prevailing cultural *norm*, already well-established and considered by the vast majority to simply be the way sexual, intimate and romantic relationships are done. It's like someone defending white heterosexual males on a forum dedicated to African-American lesbian concerns. It's also ironic because I am not attacking monogamy as a relationship style but examining the cultural baggage, given that monogamy is the default sexual and relationship style.

I am interested in the ways that the myth of monogamy has screwed people over. This is a part of the exploration of the topic. It seems like a great many poly people and a great many people who have consciously chosen monogamy might be interested in sharing their stories of how they emerged from the oppressive mandates of this cultural imperative. Monogamy consciously chosen is pretty different from monogamy based on a total fairy tale and illusion.

I'll jump right in and share my own ways. I was taught that a *real man* is able to hang on to his woman. If she sleeps with anyone else, it is a comment on his manhood and his strength. This is a lie but a part of our cultural prejudice. I was also taught that women require a monogamous commitment or they are not interested in sex. A woman who does not require a monogamous commitment but is interested in sex is a slut or a whore. This is obviously also a lie. To shorten the verbiage, I'll just make a list of all the lies I was taught as part of the Great Myth of Monogamy that was promoted by the religious institutions, media, schools, parents, therapists and partners with whom I have interacted.

-If my love were true, I wouldn't need to love others
-My love and sexual attraction for others is a sign that the relationship I'm in is failing
-A desire for sexual relationships with more than one person is a sign of my addiction, immorality, perversion or bad character
-God's love is conditional based on whether I am sexually faithful to one person or not. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period.
-Sex is base and the lower part of our nature and a monogamous commitment provides necessary discipline so we don't overindulge in this base part of ourselves.
-Sexual expression is weak. Real men restrain themselves. Sleeping around with a lot of women is a thing young men do. Real men keep it in their pants.
-If my partner were really the One, I wouldn't be interested in others. She must not be The One; if she were, I'd be faithful.
-If I can't be monogamous, I am not grown up. Grow up and get over it and just "settle down."
-My inability to make a monogamous relationship work is a sign that I am morally deficient or emotionally defective.
-Monogamy is the most practical arrangement, it's just what's easiest, get used to it.
-Happiness is only possible with a long term monogamous commitment
-You can't have your cake and eat it too.
-A real man is a reliable husband and father.
-If I "allow" my female partners to have outside relationships, I'm just degrading myself and they will take advantage of me and walk all over me. A real man with self-respect would not "allow" this.
-My monogamous partner deserves to be exclusively loved by me. If I can't do that, I am degrading and disrespecting her.
-Monogamy is the only true love, because it is pure and undiluted. If I love more than one, all of those loves will be superficial.
-Monogamous marriage is a matter of destiny. Every person has that One True Soulmate with whom he or she is supposed to spend life.
-True commitment is only possible in monogamy. It is impossible to be committed to more than one person.
-There's more to life than relationship. Monogamy just gets it settled with and done so you can get on with the rest of your life.

There's more in the litany of lies, but that's plenty. The dysfunctional reality seems fairly indisputable to me. This is not the conscious choice to live in a monogamous partnership, but the cultural baggage that I have encountered around the issue. The problem with me: I bought the lies hook, line and sinker. I believed the essentially shaming messages and acted accordingly. The entire way that I sought love and security in the world of sexual relationships was based on this structure of cultural lies. I have been hiding my unconventional relationship preferences behind a desire to be conventional and live the "normal" American Dream.

Am I the only one? That would be especially hilarious.

Immaterial
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  #48  
Old 07-16-2010, 06:44 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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-If my love were true, I wouldn't need to love others (possibly)

-My love and sexual attraction for others is a sign that the relationship I'm in is failing (possibly)

-A desire for sexual relationships with more than one person is a sign of my addiction, immorality, perversion or bad character (possibly)

-God's love is conditional based on whether I am sexually faithful to one person or not. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period. (crap)

-Sex is base and the lower part of our nature and a monogamous commitment provides necessary discipline so we don't overindulge in this base part of ourselves. (crap)

-Sexual expression is weak. Real men restrain themselves. Sleeping around with a lot of women is a thing young men do. Real men keep it in their pants. (crap)

-If my partner were really the One, I wouldn't be interested in others. She must not be The One; if she were, I'd be faithful. (True for a wired mono)

-If I can't be monogamous, I am not grown up. Grow up and get over it and just "settle down." (in some cases)

-My inability to make a monogamous relationship work is a sign that I am morally deficient or emotionally defective. (possibly)

-Monogamy is the most practical arrangement, it's just what's easiest, get used to it. (partly agree...it is the most practical for the bulk of society)

-Happiness is only possible with a long term monogamous commitment (crap)

-You can't have your cake and eat it too. (having your cake and eating is a is just a bad expression. I don't have to be non-monogamous to have one cake and eat it...where's the non-monogamy in that?)

-A real man is a reliable husband and father. (if he is a parent then this is absolutely true)

-If I "allow" my female partners to have outside relationships, I'm just degrading myself and they will take advantage of me and walk all over me. A real man with self-respect would not "allow" this. (crap...although some women and men do get walked all over by their partners in polyamory as well)

-My monogamous partner deserves to be exclusively loved by me. If I can't do that, I am degrading and disrespecting her. (possibly)

-Monogamy is the only true love, because it is pure and undiluted. If I love more than one, all of those loves will be superficial. (crap)

-Monogamous marriage is a matter of destiny. Every person has that One True Soulmate with whom he or she is supposed to spend life. (crap..in part)

-True commitment is only possible in monogamy. It is impossible to be committed to more than one person. (crap)

-There's more to life than relationship. Monogamy just gets it settled with and done so you can get on with the rest of your life. (in some cases)
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 07-16-2010 at 07:17 AM.
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  #49  
Old 07-16-2010, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for your perspective, Immaterial. I do value them all, but I definitely have been surrounded by more positivity in our established culture. I am glad for my experiences but feel for you. Part of why I sometimes can get defensive is that I have been immersed in a poly community on here, and in "real life", for quite a while as a mono. I have seen too many people turned away from even listening to what polyamory is about because the method of promoting it was to attack the established culture it conflicts with. I have always found that a better way to gain acceptance and understanding is to say "look at the positives of what I have" as opposed to "look at the negatives of what you have". I'm not speaking without some knowledge, I've had to do this as I move back and forth between my old and new community for some time. It is draining and when I sense a step back in how to promote poly, (and therefore my family if we chose to identify as polyamorous) then I have a hard time not feeling all those old emotions at the beginning of my journey.

I have in essence been fighting a battle on two fronts: The poly front where I have struggled to gain acceptance that people can actually be monogamous and that the majority of monogamous people are not possessive control freaks, and the Mono front where I have been trying to convince my mono friends that polyamory is not full of non-commital slutty women and weak men. If I chose to turn my back on one culture, which is partly defined by monogamy, then perhaps I could just turn away completely and not care. But because that is where a lot of people I care about reside I cannot do that. I can't live in a poly bubble.

Take care
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 07-16-2010 at 07:31 AM.
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  #50  
Old 07-16-2010, 07:45 AM
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check this thread.

http://www.alternet.org/sex/147468/f...ogether?page=1

It's know wonder their is disillusionment towards monogamy. It's collapsing on itself, apparently.
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