When I get annoyed, shit happens.
Once again, I’m irritated into action.
I see a lotta lotta poly types leveling-up their stamina by taking swings at monogamy, and monoamorous people.
Not a fan.
Mind you, there are plenty of polyfolks who doÂ NOTÂ engage in this bullshit. My excellent friend Cunning Minx, a big time advocate of poly, is so awesome as to have me on her show, not just once but twice,Â specifically to talk about being a monogamous person navigating the overwhelmingly polysaturated BDSM / Kink / Leather Confederacies. The Lovely and amazing Anita Wagner, an excellent crossover educator, came to one of my classes on monogamy in the scene years ago and we’ve been friends ever since, because of her eloquent refutation of these dismissive attitudes so prevalent among poly folks.
Recently, I saw a post on FB that went like this:
â€œIf you don’t trust that what you bring to relationship is unique and incomparable, then polyamory may not be for you.” ~ Kamala Devi
Now, Pamela Madsen, who rocks, qualified the sentiment to expand that toÂ ALLrelationships. AndÂ THATÂ makes sense to me. That is aÂ HUMANÂ thing, the need to value the self. But when I read it, my first reaction wasÂ “Wait. It isn’t tough to extrapolate that not wanting polyamory means, by this statement, that I do not / am not trusting my own awesomeness. Why do you have to define yourself by pointing out a lack in those who don’t do what you do?”Â Maybe it is semantics and I hope that the author isnâ€™t in the realm of poly people who believe their way of being is more enlightened and awesomer than us poor sods who â€œlimit ourselvesâ€ to â€œonly one loveâ€ because we â€œarenâ€™t emotionally evolved enough to love without restraintâ€ or whateverthefuckelse people are saying these days.
Fact is? I am not even a hardline monogamist. My very first High School relationship had a polysegment. However! My heart bonds toÂ one. Person. At. A. Time. I simply do not “see” other people as potential partners once I am in the stream with my partner. I can play with friends, do a scene, have a great romp, but my emotional focus? 100% of that shit is made availableÂ SOLELYÂ to the person to whom I am submitting. Trial and error and error and error have demonstrated it is very tough to find polyfolk who can manage my degree of intensity and focus while managing multiple streams of attention. That doesnâ€™t make me too needy, and it doesnâ€™t make them bad at poly. It makes us an imperfect match, and you move the fuck onâ€¦WITHOUT shredding the other person as unevolved. Or greedy. Or the relationship as a failure.
The superior-to-thou attitude is somewhat understandable. Poly people get all kinds of shit from the Default World. But it ainâ€™t sexy to slam the Default World back by putting down people who donâ€™t walk your path. And I AM an ally. An active fucking ally.
And my level of emotional evolution is not even a fucking question.
SO, I’m all annoyed and about mono/poly shit and INSPIRATION hit me.
I’ll talk about it, to The People, because why the fuck not?
Hereâ€™s a class description I just now pulled out of my ass…because why the fuck not…
Â Care & Feeding of The Monoamorous: A Primer for the Polyamorous
Monogamous / Polygynous/ Polyamorous / Monoamorous / Open/ Closed…however you self-identify, you may well find yourself attracted to or looking at a relationship with someone who isn’t an exact alignment with your default relationship style. Is this match-up doomed to failure? Are you setting yourselves up for disappointments? Well, I don’t think so. Join me for a discussion on how mono/poly relationships CAN work and thrive…and glean from the experience from someone who, despite identifying as monoamorous, has had wonderful relationships with polyamorous and non-monogamous folk. We will discuss pitfalls and perks, triumphs & tribulations, and take a look at how to co-exist peacefully and successfully as we all work towards improved communications and deeper connection.
And hey-presto! Â I just now created the outline for the class.
It’s interesting how we all take a collection of words and interpret the meaning slightly different depending on mood, experience etc. When I read that quote â€œIf you donâ€™t trust that what you bring to relationship is unique and incomparable, then polyamory may not be for you.â€ I immediately took it to mean that you should be secure in yourself if you are going to dive into the realm of polyamory. And that it might perpetuate insecurities if you follow down that path just because it’s something that sounds intriguing. I didnt take it as a bash on monogamy at all, but then again, I interpret things differently than sometimes my own partner does. I believe you should do what works best for you, and not try to go against your nature. So if monogamy is where a person derives their best self from- then its beautiful. If polyamory is where one derives their best self from- then that is a beautiful thing. there is no one “better” choice, just different choices to accommodate personal taste.
OMG, I would enjoy the shit out of that class.
Ha! I need to see about making it happen in your vicinity, then! <3
As someone who is neither mono or poly-identified, but makes that choice on a relationship-to-relationship basis, I gotta agree with you! So much annoyance about the poly snobbery and sexier-than-thou attitude. Esp. in kink communities.
Also. For what it’s worth, I think that turning your annoyance into something productive [art, education, t shirts, whatever] is the mark of a brave, strong, creative person. Or whatever the exact opposite is of ‘anonymous internet troll.’ So good on ya!
Trying to grab hold of things that ruffle me and letting them motivate is a superpower I have been cultivating for a ling, long time. Thank you for the validation on that score! :-D I was just talking with a wonderful friend about how exceedingly judgmental so many self-IDed AltSex people are…and how ironical that shit is. For real.
Absolutely! And it’s not just altsex, either… Gender minorities, radical queer punks, level four vegans… It seems that the problem is more pervasive. We get just enough education to be able to say, hey, thing X is f*cked up, but not enough wisdom yet to know what to do with that righteous, justified anger. I think the answer is usually to make art. But that’s just me. :)
Art, yeah. In ALL its forms, that is my jam, yo. ;-)
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like I sometimes have to apologize for or explain my monogamy in kink communities in a way that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Good to know I’m not alone.
Being laughed at in the middle of a Munch in San Francisco when I introduced myself as mono was the motivation for originating a class on navigating the scene as a monoamorous person. And despite the fact it was painful, I turned the smack in the face into a way to validate my own nature and my own choices, and I think that, in the long run, so much positive has come from it! :-D
Thank you once again for being able to express something which I’ve never quite found the words for. I am happily and naturally monogamous and get really tired of the ‘you aren’t evolved enough’ attitude of some polyamorous folk. Like you say, it isn’t all polyamorous persons, just a few and I’m so glad you’ve spoken out for us monogamous folk. Thank you!
Hell yes, lady :-) I am so glad to be able to have this dialogue open…and hey, I even had a friend write and share that she’d paused and re-thought her position as a result of what I’d shared. So yeah. Hell yeah.
Blowing kisses to you, Mollena! I would LOVE to attend that program. Would also love to present one on this issue together some time. Ever since I met you in your mono in the scene workshop at TFW, I have felt it to be my responsibility to address the marginalization of monogamous folks in the scene at all the workshops I do at scene events. I am also quick to speak out about any snottiness I might hear from poly people against monogamy. I know it happens sometimes. In fact, I cringed when I heard one of Kamala’s co-stars in Polyamory: Married and Dating on Showtime go all “polyamorists are more evolved” on camera.
But as it also happens, I think @Cori Yoder has it right. I know Kamala a bit, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean it as a slam against anyone not identified as poly. As Cori said, bringing confidence in one’s own awesomeness (read, having good self esteem and confidence in one’s worth) is an important aspect of feeling comfortable in one’s own polyness. It is also a way of framing the idea that a partner is capable of considering us to be special and desirable for being the awesome individual we are regardless of who else they might appreciate for THEIR unique brand of awesome. Some struggle with reconciling sadness and confusion because they have trouble giving up that idea of being “most special” to someone they love. Coming to recognize what Kamala is saying in the course of my early poly journey was a major turning point for me.
Hey Miss Anita! :-)
Here’s to more people who have voices in the poly community being thoughtful. Framing ideas in terms of “What makes something work?” rather than “What are you lacking that isn’t making it work?” is, IMO, a great way to diffuse the politics of comparison that sometimes set poly people against those who aren’t poly-identified. And I would very much love to work with you…your compassion and understanding are profoundly wonderful to witness.
Thank you for this post. I get so tired of poly people inferring that I am not as enlightened, bc I prefer monogamy. I liken mono and poly to the Blues and 60’s Hippie music. And while I enjoy the 60’s peace and love vibe, nothing gets me going like the longing and heartfelt desire for only one. Monogamy is the personification of the Blues for me. Experiencing jealousy and, at times, overwhelming hunger, only increases the depth of my joy in submitting. I give myself to one; there is nothing left to give another.
I respect poly people very much and support any lifestyle that brings fulfillment to all involved parties. I don’t think it’s too much to ask the same in return. How I choose to love and play are simply a personal preferences and not indicative of my spiritual awareness or intelligence.
Thanks again, I enjoy reading your blog very much.
Thank you, Dianne! :-) For reading and for your comment…I appreciate that there are many, many ways to be and I love that more discussion seems to bring to the fore more folks willing to be vocal in support of mutual respect and consideration! :-)
Ooh, that’s a class I would love to come to. And I have to say, as a non-monogamous person, I feel less evolved than monogamous people just as often as I used to feel less evolved than non-monogamous people when I was monogamous. (Haha, say that three times fast!)
And you’re right – we really don’t need to put each other down; we’re all still learning anyway.
(You know, of course, as an actor, I totally had to run that shit until I COULD say it 3x fast!)
We ARE all still learning and making this shit up as we go along…that is for real truth.
Love this! As a poly person in a relationship with a monogamously-wired person, I would dig the hell out of this class. Like you said, we’re making this up as we go along, but it’s awesome to see a productive conversation going on about how monogamy and polyamory can be productive, rather than antagonistic, counterparts. Cheers!
I love it, too! It would be SO empowering for all involved & interested parties. And, really? For all of us who wish to further understanding in general! :-D
I just found this article and wanted to say thank you!
As a once mono, now poly person, I do not like it when ANYone proselytizes on something. Love and relationships are far too personal to take a “one size MUST fit all” approach.
The last time I saw these ideas shared in a large event setting was Helen Boyd, who ran a workshop at many early Dark Odyssey events. I think it would be WONDERFUL to bring it back and I think you are the perfect person for the job! So… FetFest, maybe??? :D
Thank you! I think it would be a great topic for FetFest…I will put that in the hopper for British Lucky Paul :-)
Yeah! I will mention to him if I see him this time. Maybe we can get a panel, and coax Helen back too!
I want to come to this class…. nuff said I think ;)
Yet another reason for me to get back over the pond! :-D
Evolutionarily and neurologically, men are not hard wired for monogamy, never have been, never will be. In fact the opposite is true. To believe otherwise is to believe (religious, social) fairy stories and weird acculturation.
Look it up. This social expectation is unrealistic and doomed to failure.
Good luck with trying though.
You are negating the millions of us who have had loving and successful relationships that are monogamous, monoamorous, or not poly-wired. Furthermore? Your dismissive (and, frankly, shitty) attitude is THE perfect example of the unpleasantries I have heard from people who justify cheating and those who raise themselves up by deprecating those who do not agree with them.
But I’m thrilled for you to have provided a flawless example of the very douchebaggery of which I speak.