Monogamy & Public Opinion.

A couple of  years ago, I had a rather unpleasant moment where I was on the receiving end of a roomful of laughter when I introduced myself as, among other things, monogamous. If you care to read the whole story, you can do so here. After realizing that part of the rich stew of emotions I felt when this occurred, a thread of this was embarrassment and shame.

Living in the Bay Area, where the overwhelming majority of people in the BDSM Leather & kink community are poly-identified, it was feeling more and more true, for me, that being monogamous was looked on as “quaint” and not treated with much respect. I had to look at why I was feeling this way, and part of it was that human feeling of wanting to be accepted, and realizing that people mocking something that is core to me did NOT encourage that feeling. I don’t like feeling like the weirdo among weirdoes, and this seems to be mt place as often as not ;-)

Od course, the more something bugs me the more I want to talk about it, so here I am a couple of years later doing a class on one aspect of the monogamous experience in the BDSM / Leather / Kink community. There aren’t many of us out there talking about it, and so I felt compelled to add my voice to the mix.

As I think and write and discuss and study, I would be honored and appreciative to hear from other monogamous folks about how they cope with being monogamous in situations where that choice / orientation isn’t necessarily common. How do you deal with feelings of shame or discomfort? Feeling discouraged, or as though your search for a partner is that much more difficult?

And if you have something you’d like to share with other monogamous-identified folks, please do so. Sometimes, a simple word of encouragement goes a long way.

I know I could use one right about now :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. HouseWench on August 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    I used to be poly and he turned out to be all I needed. I cannot possibly be ashamed of that!

  2. Ang on August 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Mo, your sticking to the fact that you’re monogamous has long been an inspiring thing for me to watch. While I am poly identified, there are many other aspects of myself that would be very easy to just throw away to make other people happy – and yet I don’t because you constantly remind me that to do such a thing is to be untrue to myself. You remind me, with this and with many other things, that it takes a different kind of person, a stronger kind of person, to hold on to aspects of one’s self that may not be underworld-mainstream but are still important and valid nonetheless. You are, quite honestly, the most amazing person in this lifestyle I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and while you would still be just as cool if you were poly the fact that you are sticking to your guns as monogamous just makes you that much cooler. Thank you for being such an inspiration and someone to look up to as a model for openness, honesty, and self truths.

  3. Nadia West on August 29, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    One of my close friends is kinky and monogamous. She’s said that she appreciates that I don’t give her a hard time about it. She’s had those same sort of moments you’ve had in the kinky community with her monogamy being looked down upon. I think poly and monogamy are both options – neither is better than the other – both should be respected. Poly people putting down mono people is as stupid as kinksters acting superior to “vanillas.”

    I’m a poly person who definitely supports people’s right to be monogamous.

  4. Molly Ren on August 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    I went back and read the post about you getting mocked for being mono, and all I can think is, “Gawd, people are jerks sometimes.”

    Like Ang, reading about how you stick to your guns helps me resolve to stick to mine. I am still trying to tease out what poly *and* monogamy mean to me, and I was surprised to read that you still think of yourself as monogamous even when you play with other partners. Most times I’ve heard the term “open”, which I suppose carries less Christian baggage?

  5. Wendy Blackheart on August 30, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    The thing that kills me is that so often, you hear the same thing from both the pro-poly camp and the pro-mono camp – “OMG, (MY THING) IS THE BEST THING EVER AND THE WAY IT SHOULD BE AND NYA NYA NYA THOSE THAT DON’T DO IT THIS WAY ARE SILLY AND WEIRD!”

    And I hate that, because there are all sorts of options for all sorts of people.

    I tend to lean more towards monogamy by nature, however Anon and I are semi open – he likes being able to kiss other people and maybe get random blow jobs (though he says that the option of being able to do so is more of the factor than the actual doing at times) and I like being able to put my fist in as many people as possibly.

    I also like co-topping him with friends, and sometimes topping my other friends – but still sort of think of my self as mostly mono – and that should be ok. So should being poly.

    Somtimes I’m really irritated at the idea that everyone should be a bi/poly/switch. Yes, its fun, but what about those of us that lean towards one Ds role, one gender, or monogamy? I should be just as valid for being a Male/Queer interested/mono/top.

  6. knotty on September 1, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    When my Partner in Crime and I decided we were in this for the long haul, there was a lot of talking, about what that meant, etc. Particularly that if a relationship is to last, it has to be allowed to change, and we talked a lot as if monogamy couldn’t be a permanent solution. 8 years later, while we know that if one of us were to bring up the possibility of poly – it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker… we are still happily monogamous.

  7. BeeHonest on September 1, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    I attended your BR class last night and can’t thank you enough for all that you said and shared. It is difficult and challenging to feel like a “weirdo among weirdoes” but I have to say that since coming to the acceptance of how my heart really works and taking my hand off the stove (How I LOVED that analogy!), feeling comfortable and happy in my own truth is FAR easier than the near constant struggle and pain of trying to be okay in a relationship construct that didn’t work for me, despite 10 years of being philosophically poly and truly believing that’s what I wanted.

    As for encouragement, if nothing else, know that your standing and openly speaking your truth is inspiring and resonating with others who are also struggling to be “one of the cool kids” in this community and turning their backs on their hearts and their truths.

  8. Nicktunes on September 11, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been active in BDSM for almost 3 years and have known about it for close to 20. I also get the weird looks when I say that I am strictly monogamous and feel extremely uncomfortable whenever it is discussed. The main problem I have is that my Sir is poly and I am not, nor will I ever be. He seems to think that he can change my 38 year old mind. I think I am waiting on the shoe to fall because one day He will come home and say that he brought home some stray for “Us” to play with and expect me to be thrilled about it. He had a relationship with a woman half way across the country and I hated that. Unfortunately/fortunately it ended because she felt jealous that I got collared before her and she felt that she should be getting more time. He doesn’t realize it but I was planning to leave that week because I couldn’t deal with it. I am holding my breath because I know that will be the end of our relationship and my service to him. I know me and know that I do not find any joy out of that.

  9. Loli on September 12, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Hum… easy for me, I’m monogamous where monogamous is the standard. But I think everybody should be entitled his/her own choices, and be respected with them.
    You rock! (that was for the encouragment part ;)
    Take care

  10. Ranai on September 27, 2010 at 6:29 AM

    Hello Mollena,

    instead of saying ‘Hi, I happen to like monogamy too’ I’ll say this:

    You already know that if monogamy is what you desire inside, your desire is valid.

    (Even if people interested in monogamy were merely a tiny fraction of humankind, the desire would still be valid. Same goes for polyamory. Mass validation from the outside does not change validity of individual desire one way or another.)

    I’m also wondering: If you’re experiencing any particular group as an environment where other individuals exercise considerable pressure to conform their preferences, rather than a pressure-free environment where an individual’s own wishes are relevant – is that group even worth spending time with?