So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

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So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by reboundstudent on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:16 am

I admit that the 2nd letter in Prime on Friday really hit a few buttons for me, having been cheated on. But I think what really set off my anxiety alarms is this rising expectation that I've seen that because monogamy is "unnatural," then expectations of monogamy can be occasionally hand-waved away. For example, the expectation that if you and your partner agree to be monogamous, and they have a "one time slip" and sleep with someone, it's totally cool to not tell a partner because hey, monogamy is hard and all that.... regardless of what the partner may feel.

I am probably pretty far on the "monogamous" side of the spectrum. I have no complaints about other people participating in poly or monogamish relationships, but have no interest in them myself. However, as I've mentioned before on this forum, the last few years, it's felt more and more as if there's this social pressure* to be less monogamous. That being monogamous is synonymous with being insecure, or un-enlightened, or controlling. That if my partner comes to me with a request to open the relationship, I am a horrible person for refusing (because I'm denying him love/sex/adventures, and how could a good, loving person do that?) Or that having a desire for monogamous commitment is a "high standard" in the dating world.

I've talked myself off anxiety ledges around this issue by saying that all of this doesn't need to effect me, because I can just find a partner who also wants to be monogamous, few as I am told they are. But then I see letters, like the Prime one, where advice-givers are urging that it is totally okay to "occasionally" break monogamy and not tell the cheated-on partner. I saw it first in Savage Love, but now it's bubbling up into Dear Prudence and Dr. NL, both whom encourage the "memory hole" technique for "one time slips."

It really flashes me back to when I found out about the cheating (as far as I know, a "one time" thing). It was... soul-destroying, to find out that way. The idea that it is now becoming acceptable for people to just forgive themselves when they've betrayed a monogamous agreement, and make a decision for me that it would "hurt me too much" to tell and that the issue isn't worth risking the relationship over is heart-wrenching.

What makes it even more awful, from my point of view, is that we tell people to trust their guts.... But we also tell them, simultaneously, to trust their partner, to stop being "insecure", to swallow down that lump of doubt. That a person who doubts a partner's fidelity "without proof" should blame and/or fix themselves (stop being insecure, be more trusting, go see a therapist, break up with your partner because you're too insecure for a healthy relationship.) When it freaking turns out that we could be right. The partner could have cheated, and decided to 'stuff it down the memory hole,' and the cheated-on partner is to blame for feeling something is amiss!

Like I imagined how Doc would have responded if the boyfriend had been the one to write in, concerned that his girlfriend is cheating. He maybe wouldn't have raked the guy across the coals, but the boyfriend would have gotten a stern talking-to about how he needs to trust his girlfriend, and maybe he needs therapy, and stop jumping to conclusions, and not trusting her will ruin the relationship. When it turns out, his gut was right! It's sickening that we're telling someone their gut and their needs aren't important, that their partner gets all of the power and control over deciding if their own mistake will mean the end of a relationship.

I am terrified that it is now just an expectation that I trust my partner regardless, and just smile and accept that every relationship is now "monogam-ish" because monogamy isn't "natural" and I'm apparently a child who has to be shielded from the pain of other people betraying my trust and violating my own needs without a relationship.

Seriously, is this just how it is now? How can I ever trust that my need for being in a totally monogamous relationship and my boundaries are being respected when it's now completely cool to say sex with someone else is a "one time mistake" that never needs to be admitted?


*The social pressure may not exist in the wider "norm" culture. However, I feel the social pressure in my social groups and the places I visit online, so even if the pressure doesn't exist in wider society, it does in my immediate vicinity.
PS: I have also decided the letter is probably a troll. So LW wants Internet Guy to go away, and yet is scared he'll tell the boyfriend. Why doesn't LW threaten to tell Internet Guy's wife?? He's married, right? So LW has the exact same blackmail that Internet Guy is holding over their head. "Go away or I'll tell your wife" is a pretty easy solution to the "Get him to go away" question.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by reboot on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:40 am

The letter is totally a troll. It does not read like it was written by someone who has ever been in a LTR. A real letter would have included something about how he/she explained the money and the trip, but the Troll clearly does not understand that those things cannot be hidden from someone you have been in a relationship for 10 years with. The absence of any information at all on whether the boyfriend knew about anything hit my "Fake" button.

As for monogamy, you only need to care about the attitude of the person you are dating. Ignore the opinions of the interwebs and social circle.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Enail on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:55 am

I'm with you, Marty, I'm pretty unimpressed with the view that recognizing that monogamy can be challenging, having some compassion for oneself or someone else who cheats and regrets it, or being open to the idea that a one-time cheating needn't automatically mean the destruction of the relationship, means it's okay to just not tell your partner if you cheat.  

I feel very strongly that people should get to make genuine choices about their relationships. Keeping secret something that is well known to be a dealbreaker for many people is keeping your partner from being able to make a genuine choice. I could imagine forgiving a partner who cheated on me; I could not forgive a partner who kept that from me.

I agree with Reboot that it's something you've got to be on the same page with your partner about. The messages you're getting about the norm or what's okay just means that it's more important to check with them that you are on the same page.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by The Wisp on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:01 pm

reboot is right that you only need to care about the people you're dating.

But just for the record, nonmonogamy in the context of a serious relationship is really, really outside the mainstream offline. Even in young, liberal, sex-positive circles. The way my peers talk about relationships makes it clear that they don't even think of nonmonogamy most of the time, and given the demographics of my college and the surrounding area, you'd think it would be nonmonogamy central.

Also, yeah some will use the nonmonogamy line to excuse cheating, but it seems to me that people have been lying and coming up with self-serving justifications for cheating long before nonmonogamy became anymore than a super super fringe thing.

I think DNL has good intentions but takes it too far. I think he's trying to counteract that fact that most people don't even consider that nonmonogamy is valid way to have relationships, that most people still think monogamy should be easy and you shouldn't ever be attracted to anyone else ever if you really loved your partner, and that cheating is never ever forgivable. But he (and some others) seem to take that too far and say, in effect, that people should lie about one-time slip-ups because they're partners might not have a "reasonable" and "enlightened" perspective on monogamy (that's the subtext I get, anyway) and so everybody would be better off with a lie. I think that's BS, and I was annoyed that he suggested such an action.

I think the "monogamy isn't natural" line comes from the pseudoscientific book Sex at Dawn, which is essentially an poly-feminist activist answer to traditional evolutionary psychology. Much like traditional evo psch, it is a bunch of "just so" stories. It's no surprise that the author is polyamorous and not himself an academic. But, even if it is true that it isn't natural, that has no bearing on morality.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Conreezy on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:21 pm

As for monogamy, you only need to care about the attitude of the person you are dating. Ignore the opinions of the interwebs and social circle.

Yep.  Your relationships are your own. You set the conditions.  Everyone else's opinions: fuck 'em.

Honestly, though, I think more people are aiming to be monogamous than you're thinking.  

However, as I've mentioned before on this forum, the last few years, it's felt more and more as if there's this social pressure* to be less monogamous.

I think there's less pressure to force people to be monogamous.

Of course, there are people who go to the other extreme and are totally dickheads about being being kinkier-than-thou.  They think it makes them more "enlightened" and "mature" because they like to swing or whatever.  Maybe they are, in certain ways--I think it takes a certain type of emotional security to do those things--but are obviously arrogant d-bags in terms of living and letting live. Fuck 'em.

How can I ever trust that my need for being in a totally monogamous relationship and my boundaries are being respected when it's now completely cool to say sex with someone else is a "one time mistake" that never needs to be admitted?

There were many commenters disagreeing with the Doc and did not excuse the LW for her infidelity.

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by readertorider on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:32 pm

Huh, I have a half finished topic sitting around about that nonmonogamy link--glad I didn't make another post!

Last year I took a Human Bonding class and we spent a bit of time on the "are humans naturally monogamous?" research which covered a few categories like sexual dimorphism, whether ovulation is obvious, sperm competition, penile bones etc. which correlate with sexual mating habits in animals. My overall impression was that generally the evidence was too close to be definitive (humans are missing several common polygamous traits) and that the experiments on which certain authors were basing their conclusions would not be called rigorous in any other field. I'm mostly convinced the Doc was going for some edgy clickbait when he threw that link in.

Besides, what does it matter if humans are naturally ____? Are people interested in paleo-dating?

reboundstudent wrote:I am probably pretty far on the "monogamous" side of the spectrum. I have no complaints about other people participating in poly or monogamish relationships, but have no interest in them myself. However, as I've mentioned before on this forum, the last few years, it's felt more and more as if there's this social pressure* to be less monogamous. That being monogamous is synonymous with being insecure, or un-enlightened, or controlling. That if my partner comes to me with a request to open the relationship, I am a horrible person for refusing (because I'm denying him love/sex/adventures, and how could a good, loving person do that?) Or that having a desire for monogamous commitment is a "high standard" in the dating world.

I've talked myself off anxiety ledges around this issue by saying that all of this doesn't need to effect me, because I can just find a partner who also wants to be monogamous, few as I am told they are. But then I see letters, like the Prime one, where advice-givers are urging that it is totally okay to "occasionally" break monogamy and not tell the cheated-on partner. I saw it first in Savage Love, but now it's bubbling up into Dear Prudence and Dr. NL, both whom encourage the "memory hole" technique for "one time slips."

The Pervocracy has an interesting post about The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. Specifically, points 2 and 5 might be somewhat comforting to you regarding the "more enlightened" nonsense going around. If it works for the individuals in question it works, if it doesn't there shouldn't be any value judgement attached to other options.

Dear Prudence has always advised partners to keep silent about one time cheating, especially if there's a marriage with kids involved (unless the kids were conceived during the cheating). She also has a reputation for having a blind spot involving drinking (Don't really read her much). I don't really like Don Savage or Dr Nerdlove's advice in general, so I'm not too fussed about their opinions. It does help sometimes to look at the comments, however--most people did seem to find the Doc was overstepping in his recommendation to keep the boyfriend in the dark.

IDK, I'm 95% certain I want a strictly monogamous relationship with someone I can trust to tell me if they cheat (and not be surprised if I break up with them because of it). IRL this seems like a relatively common expectation among people in my friend circle. I don't like it that advice givers are forgiving cheaters on their partner(s)'s behalf, but I'm not sure how much of an effect they will have outside of a relatively small circle.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by reboot on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:46 pm

RBS, I think you mentioned that most of your social circle is coupled. Are they all open relationships/poly?
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by jcorozza on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:03 pm

Conreezy wrote:

Of course, there are people who go to the other extreme and are totally dickheads about being being kinkier-than-thou.  They think it makes them more "enlightened" and "mature" because they like to swing or whatever.  Maybe they are, in certain ways--I think it takes a certain type of emotional security to do those things--but are obviously arrogant d-bags in terms of living and letting live. Fuck 'em.

I have definitely encountered these people, often in very liberal spaces - since I'm generally very far left on most things, I think I see a skewed amount of these people, especially online. Unfortunately, it does mean that when I look for matches online, I often end up with guys who are compatible otherwise, but not monogamous, or monogamous, but very conservative about a lot of other things.

I dislike the idea that polyamorous people are more emotionally secure than other folks, for two main reason. One is that, from what I've seen in practice, there's still quite a bit of cheating/breaking the relationship agreements among polyamorous folks, and the second is that a lot of people who prefer non-monogamy just don't seem to have the instincts for jealousy. It's not like they've evolved beyond it, they just don't feel it, or feel it less than most. My ex was like this - I'm not generally a super jealous person in relationships, but there were things that he thought were totally fine - like hanging out with someone who had very clearly hit on him on multiple occasions, and hanging out with them on-one-on in intimate settings - that, when I asked around, wouldn't be fine with most people. And when asked if it would bother him if I did the same, it hadn't even occurred to him to be jealous. It's like, on a jealousy scale out of a hundred, his natural level was at 0%, whereas people who have been cheated on might be more likely to fall in the 70s, and those of us who haven't maybe in the 20s and 30s. And he had actually been cheated on before, so if anything, I'd expect him to be more jealous.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Conreezy on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:13 pm

It's not like they've evolved beyond it, they just don't feel it, or feel it less than most..

Not to get too pedantic, but isn't it possible that someone can mature through jealousy? Just looking back at myself, I feel like I've become a very non-jealous person because of handling my irrational fears and realizing that they're usually baseless or rooted in myopic, sexist thinking that I've (mostly) managed to shake.

Of course, some people may be naturally non-jealous, but I can't say that it's innate since we are all conditioned to respond to sex in culturally specific ways.

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by reboot on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:18 pm

jcorozza wrote:
Conreezy wrote:

Of course, there are people who go to the other extreme and are totally dickheads about being being kinkier-than-thou.  They think it makes them more "enlightened" and "mature" because they like to swing or whatever.  Maybe they are, in certain ways--I think it takes a certain type of emotional security to do those things--but are obviously arrogant d-bags in terms of living and letting live. Fuck 'em.
.......
I dislike the idea that polyamorous people are more emotionally secure than other folks, for two main reason.  One is that, from what I've seen in practice, there's still quite a bit of cheating/breaking the relationship agreements among polyamorous folks, and the second is that a lot of people who prefer non-monogamy just don't seem to have the instincts for jealousy.  It's not like they've evolved beyond it, they just don't feel it, or feel it less than most.  My ex was like this - I'm not generally a super jealous person in relationships, but there were things that he thought were totally fine - like hanging out with someone who had very clearly hit on him on multiple occasions, and hanging out with them on-one-on in intimate settings - that, when I asked around, wouldn't be fine with most people.  And when asked if it would bother him if I did the same, it hadn't even occurred to him to be jealous.  It's like, on a jealousy scale out of a hundred, his natural level was at 0%, whereas people who have been cheated on might be more likely to fall in the 70s, and those of us who haven't maybe in the 20s and 30s.  And he had actually been cheated on before, so if anything, I'd expect him to be more jealous.

I also dislike that idea. Poly people may be less jealous about sex, but they still have all the other issues that crop up in relationships. Sure, successful poly relationships are emotionally secure, but so are successful monogamous relationships. I think you just tend to hear less about unsuccessful poly relationships in public spaces.

I do not have a big sample of poly friends, but I have some. They have experienced cheating, resentment about relationship maintenance work imbalances, jealousy about emotional intimacy, financial stress, feeling taken for granted, etc. just like my monogamous friends. Poly is not a magic cure for all ills
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by jcorozza on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:08 pm

Conreezy wrote:
Not to get too pedantic, but isn't it possible that someone can mature through jealousy?  Just looking back at myself, I feel like I've become a very non-jealous person because of handling my irrational fears and realizing that they're usually baseless or rooted in myopic, sexist thinking that I've (mostly) managed to shake.

Of course, some people may be naturally non-jealous, but I can't say that it's innate since we are all conditioned to respond to sex in culturally specific ways.

I guess I just don't consider non-jealousy to be the ultimate goal in maturity. I think jealousy is heavily influenced not just by culture, but by our experiences. If I guy I'd dated had been cheated one, especially more than once, I would expect him to behave in more jealous ways. Because of that, I think it would be important to, early on, talk about what we considered okay, and what we considered to be breaking the boundaries of our relationship, and make compromises around that. But I don't think that he's less mature because he's had different experiences, as long as he can explain his fears and insecurities, and keep communication open.

But I also think that, and this might be unpopular, maybe a 10% level of general jealousy isn't unhealthy - for me jealousy pops up less in relationship, and more in career stuff, but I think it can give me competitive drive. I think in relationships, I think, as long as people are aware of their feelings and can keep them in check, it can help them to not take their partner(s) for granted. And, if your partner actually does cheat, that jealousy seems totally founded.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by eselle28 on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:09 pm

The letter was a bit annoying to me as well, and if I'd read it a few months ago when I was single, I would have found it and the reply pretty depressing. I agree with reboot that there's a decent chance the letter is a troll. I agree with her that not explaining the money seems odd for someone who self-described as a broke grad student, and it just seemed to hit the perfect storm of hot button issues for this particular forum - cheating, sex work, lack of enthusiastic consent, stalking.

I tend to read a lot of advice columns, and it's sometimes good for me to take a step back and remember that they deal with very particular problems and sometimes from non-mainstream viewpoints. Cheating comes up frequently in all of them, since that's something that both interests and upsets readers, and often columnists seem to deal with fairly extreme cases. In law, there's a corny old saying that hard cases make bad law, and I think sometimes that's the case with advice column situations as well. If we go from the general columns like Prudie and such to DNL and Savage Love, there's a more frequent focus on either non-monogamy or couples who have problems that non-monogamy could be one, but not the only, answer to. I try to remind myself that these columns specifically deal with relationships and relationship problems that might encompass these relationships, so they're going to be more heavily featured.

In real life, non-monogamy is still fairly rare. I generally choose people who are willing to question social norms as friends, and I only know a handful of couples who've tried non-monogamy and been open to their friends about it. Only half of them are still together, and there were plenty of ethical problems in the couples who are still apart. Frankly, the people in non-monogamous relationships who treated their partners poorly when they tried to be monogamous were still unethical partners in non-monogamy. Also, in real life, cheating is judged pretty harshly. People who are cheated on are sometimes urged to forgive, but there's a reason there's always a backlash when there's an article about cheating online.

I do think DNL mishandled this one, because of the Sex at Dawn stuff, because of the passing over of the boyfriend's right to make a decision in this case, and because he didn't even take a pass at some of the other potential issues going on here. I react pretty strongly to cheating, but lying about money is actually something that worries me even more, and when people pointed out that lie my degrees of sympathy and empathy toward the characters in the fictional story shifted considerably.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by PintsizeBro on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:31 pm

Even among people who prefer non-monogamy, only a minority of loudmouths are arguing that monogamy is unnatural. It's like PETA ruining it for the rest of vegans. And (not unlike vegans, now that I think about it) overall, people who prefer a non-monogamous relationship are the minority.

And even if people who want a monogamous relationship are in fact a sexual minority, so what? Sexual minorities find partners all the time.

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by eselle28 on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:45 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:
And even if people who want a monogamous relationship are in fact a sexual minority, so what? Sexual minorities find partners all the time.

That's a very good point, and certainly one I make to others all the time.

I do think that some of the reason this fear pops up more on cheating threads than elsewhere is that sometimes people suspect that many people's preference would be for them to be able to have multiple partners but for their partner to be monogamous, which might lead to people misrepresenting what they're looking for in a relationship. But this is far from the only unethical thing people do when seeking relationships, and I think it gets dealt with under the general heading of looking for honest, kind people and avoiding manipulative, dishonest ones.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:09 pm

And from my personal experience it's not always an either-or in terms of somebody being totally polyamorous or always monogamous. My Define The Relationship talk with my boyfriend basically went "I feel I'm falling for you, and I know I just can't honestly do this as a friends with benefits things--would you be willing to try an exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend relationship?" He said yes, and that's where we've been ever since. I've had a continuing conversation since then where he said that in a perfect world he would likely lean more towards open relationships/multiple partners, but that's never really been a thing for him--partially as those aren't hugely societally supported at the moment, partially because he thinks a lot people enter them for the wrong reasons, and he doesn't want to get involved in that.

However, at the moment he is perfectly willing to be monogamous with me--he knows that it's something that is really important for me, and accepts it as part of the "cost of entry" (as Dan Savage says) but also his sex drive is lower than it was when he was younger, and absolutely no time or interest in looking for other partners. Also we're in a relatively short term relationship (for him at least--a year and a half at least before he moves out of the area) so he isn't committing to this arrangement for forever.

Also, I really don't fear that he's going to cheat, because keeping one's promises and commitments is hugely important to him, and he regards cheating as deeply, horribly unethical. Actually, it's strange, I have something much closer to Dear Prudence's attitude of "if it's just once, you feel genuinely remorseful, don't want to ever do it again and mean that, then likely don't say anything and just don't do it again" which he finds absolutely incomprehensible. But eh, I don't know. I guess I don't see it as so cut and dried that you have to be on one "side" or another, and there's no changing that.

Also, as a vegan and someone passionate about animal rights, I can vouch for the general attitudes of vegans towards PETA is "Oh would you just SHUT UP already, goddammit! Seriously, you're just making things worse."

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Ron Ritzman on Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:28 am

My experience has been just the opposite. I participate in several Facebook poly groups and some people there get weapons grade grief from their friends and even family about their lifestyle choices, including some who have cheated in monogamous relationships. I myself have been told that my open relationship is not a "real relationship" and there is no way I can say that I love my partner because I have another partner. Ive met women who were willing to cheat with me when they find out I have a girlfriend but go all "that's icky" on me when I say the relationship is open. It's as if they don't want to be with me unless we would be doing something wrong. The latter has convinced me that it's "hypocritical lip service monogamy" that's the social default not true no shit monogamy.

Am I capable of being monogamous? Sure. I just prefer not to and I prefer to be straight about that from the jump. Do I think that monos are unenlightened? No but if you are going to be monogamous then be really fucking monogamous. Don't give lip service to it just to pacify your friends and family and then step out on your partner.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by PintsizeBro on Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:57 pm

Ron Ritzman wrote:Ive met women who were willing to cheat with me when they find out I have a girlfriend but go all "that's icky" on me when I say the relationship is open. It's as if they don't want to be with me unless we would be doing something wrong.
This shit right here, dude. And I can verify that men do the exact same thing, too.

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Autumnflame on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:26 pm

Yeah, I remain unconvinced that nonmonogamy is really that widespread; my circles lean pretty far left and nontraditional, and most of my coupled friends are in monogamous relationships. (There are a few monogamish/open, there are a few open poly, there's three closed triads, etc., so there's a fairly wide sampling - but all of those combined are still in the minority.) Pretty much what Wisp said, really. I didn't like DNL's advice there, either, as honesty is one of the most important thing to me in a relationship, especially honesty on anything that has to do with one's partner (and sleeping with someone else definitely has to do with it, if only because of sexual risks and the money issue, let alone the partner's emotional well-being). The LW doesn't get to make that choice for someone else.

FWIW the idea that poly people feel less jealousy or are more emotionally secure strikes me as bunk. It's consistently brought up as one of the major topics that any NM relationship has to address. I wouldn't be surprised if people who just naturally don't have a jealous bone sort of gravitate toward nonmonogamy, since it'd be much easier for them on the feelings side, but as someone who's practiced and is in an open relationship now (though it's more theoretical than actual, even if it didn't start off that way), I've had way more issues with jealousy and emotional insecurity being open than when I was in strictly monogamous relationships, or even just swinging. Monogamy doesn't have all the same expectations or triggers that trip jealousy/insecurity that kind of come with the territory of nonmonogamy. (Which isn't to say monogamy doesn't have some issues that can trigger jealousy, obviously, but you're not going to be discussing whether or not your partner's bringing someone home or only elsewhere, etc.)


Last edited by Autumnflame on Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by PintsizeBro on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:40 pm

Poly people proclaiming that poly people are better at relationships are just falling into the very common human misconception that a thing they happen to like is objectively better than things they don't like. Kinky people think kinky sex is more sophisticated than vanilla sex. People with a highly specific kink might describe their kink as "like [other kink], but for people with PhD's." (I'm not making this up)

But it's not just limited to sex and relationships. People who read only books by dead white men think books by dead white men are superior to books written by people who are still alive/not white men. Americans who obsess over anime think it's better than Western cartoons. I could go on.

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by jcorozza on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:59 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:Poly people proclaiming that poly people are better at relationships are just falling into the very common human misconception that a thing they happen to like is objectively better than things they don't like.  Kinky people think kinky sex is more sophisticated than vanilla sex. People with a highly specific kink might describe their kink as "like [other kink], but for people with PhD's." (I'm not making this up)


This is an attitude that crops up in certain circles - I notice it a lot with nerdy folks, artsy folks, certain activist types...

When I was doing my fiction MFA, I met a lot of people who gave me shit for liking Harry Potter. Because, you know, fantasy and adolescent literature aren't sophisticated genres, and therefore aren't as good. Please, tell me more about how sophisticated you are. It's super charming.

As long as your thing doesn't hurt someone else (physically or emotionally) or encourage hurtful behavior in others, can we all just stop criticizing other people's taste?
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Ron Ritzman on Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:42 pm

Yes poly people feel jealousy and insecurity, even more so then monos because the idea of your partner seeing and having sex with someone else is not just an idea, it's reality. Yes there are those lucky few who experience no jealousy and insecurity at all and there are even some who feel happy when their partner spends sexy time with someone else, it's called "compersion" and it's the holy grail of emotional states even though I suspect it's rare. The best most polys can do is recognize those negative emotions and check them.

This is why the whole loving multiple people thing is actually the easy part of being poly. The willingness to allow your partner to do likewise is the hard part. It's easy for a man to imagine all the "strange pussy" he's going to be getting. Dealing with the idea that there will be nights he's in bed alone while another man's penis is going into his wife's vagina is a whole different thing. I'm reminded of the article DNL posted last year about the guy who bullied his girlfriend into an open relationship and then completely lost his shit when his girlfriend was swimming in men but he had no luck at all.

One of my Facebook polyamory groups is full of stories about polyfails due to insecurity. There was one man who required his partner to text him before she had sex with a date and prohibited her from having sex with a man whose dick was bigger then his. There was one woman who was very enthusiastic about poly and had several partners herself but lost her shit the first time her primary spent the night with another woman and demanded that he break it off.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Ron Ritzman on Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:27 pm

Ron Ritzman wrote: but lost her shit the first time her primary spent the night with another woman and demanded that he break it off.

I of course meant the relationship. Laughing
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by PintsizeBro on Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:22 pm

Riiiiiiiight. Facepalm

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by the littlest viking on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:11 am

This is a frustration that I've felt recently also. Though I've not in the last year or so, been actively looking for a partner.. when I was I came across this sort of thing a lot. So many of the women who I find I like often expect me to be okay with open relationships (I'm not), pan sexuality, so on and so forth.. and so because of this very basic deal breaker I can't see them as potential relationship material anymore. Maybe it's just the sort of hipster-towny college educated but doing nothing with it crowd that I tend to interact with.. but it does seem that this attitude is uniquely ahem, promiscuous, these days..

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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

Post by Caffeinated on Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:06 am

the littlest viking wrote:This is a frustration that I've felt recently also. Though I've not in the last year or so, been actively looking for a partner.. when I was I came across this sort of thing a lot. So many of the women who I find I like often expect me to be okay with open relationships (I'm not), pan sexuality, so on and so forth.. and so because of this very basic deal breaker I can't see them as potential relationship material anymore. Maybe it's just the sort of hipster-towny college educated but doing nothing with it crowd that I tend to interact with.. but it does seem that this attitude is uniquely ahem, promiscuous, these days..

I think if you meet someone you like and you go out enough times to feel like you might be compatible for a relationship except for this one thing, it would be worthwhile to lay your cards on the table as far as wanting a monogamous relationship rather than an open or poly one. (This is assuming the person isn't explicitly poly or pansexual or something, but rather that she's been dating in an environment where non-monogamy is a social norm. If she's explicitly stated that she's poly or whatnot and wants that kind of relationship then this would be a waste of time.)

Basically, I think you might find that some of the people dating in your town are really into the open relationship thing, but others are either trying it out to see if they like it but aren't committed to that relationship style, and others maybe don't really like open relationships but feel like they have to go along with the prevailing social norms.
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Re: So Non-Monogamy Is the Expectation Now? [Rant/Disc]

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