Non-Monogamous Urban Myths

My Pink Flamingo!

When you have a society that deems sex as taboo or negative in general, people find some pretty clever ways to come out to each other on the down low.  As you may have read in my post about Re-branding the term swingers, I talked about key parties, shag carpets, and the ways media has branded the swinger.  Now let’s talk about a few of the more common swinger myths. And a huge thanks to @yycjfl_yycguy for being brave enough to ask “what is with the pineapple, flamingo, and gnome in the lifestyle.”  So without further ado, let’s talk about some of the myths and tricks to spot a fellow non-monogamous person in the wild!

Pineapple

First up, is the pineapple.  Legend has it, that if you are grocery shopping and you are looking to get a few new sexy folks to join you for that evening’s fondue, you would put a pineapple upside down in the top part of your shopping cart.  This would be a clear sign to swingers that you and your spouse were looking to get some strange that night and to come on over!  Hot tub and sexy times were sure to follow for those special people who were in the know.

Flamingo

Second, the flamingo.  Often we see people celebrating an over the hill birthday party get inundated with 40 pink flamingos in their yard as a special shout out from their nearest and dearest.  But what about that lonely solo flamingo?  Is he there just a constant reminder that you are getting older and wiser day by day?  Maybe not.  In the world of the non-monogamous, this could be a sign that a swinger does in fact live here.  Doesn’t it have a nice ring?  Pink flamingo and ready to mingle?   I think so!

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Gnome

Third, the gnome.  This creepy little yard ornament has for a long time been the antique collectors pokemon go.  Gotta collect them all!  But for a few subdivisions in the states, having a gnome on your front porch is a signal to neighbors that swingers are willing and waiting inside.  While this does not seem to be one of the universal signs, it is one the stranger ones for me, as I struggle to wrap my brain around one of those weirdly shaped statues representing a callout for sexy times, but that could just be me.

Black Ring

Fourth, the black ring.  Now this started as an urban myth, and has actually gained quite a bit of popularity in the last few years.  So much so, that a few companies are now selling black couples rings to be worn on the right hand to signify a non-monogamous pairing.  This is a growing trend, and one still has to be a little weary as many industrial industries require black silicon rings for safety rather than metal to be worn.  So you might not want to approach under the assumption that just because it’s black, in means they are… well… I cannot come up with a catchy rhyme right now, but you get the idea.

Overall, I think these little myths and legends are a lot of fun to think about, and play around with.  But as always, you must tread lightly, because more often then not, these are just myths.  And while we try very hard to signal our sexy intent out in the wild, these are not universally known and could get you into heaps of trouble if done incorrectly.  Or perhaps that’s just the cautionary voice in me speaking out.  Maybe it’s time to just throw caution to the wind and display that cute pink flamingo, standing beside a garden gnome, with my upside down pineapple welcome mat, and the garage door open just a crack and a paper bag with a tea light in it… and OK, I could go on and on here with all the various myths and legends I have heard.  The best way to find someone?  Join a facebook group, check out a local swingers club, or find a non-monogamous social or munch.  The best way after all will always be face to face!  Happy hunting!

Do you have a fun myth you would like included in this list?  Share in the comments section, or reach out via twitter!

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Cheaters and Monogamy

Another Chapter in my Defining Monogamy Series

Cheaters and Monogamy


In my last post, defining monogamy, I compared how lenient we are will infidelity in the animal kingdom when compared with the strict social constraints that we have within our human species.  Now for a little bit of social fun, I created this little poll:

When I asked people on twitter if they would label a person who cheats as monogamous, non-monogamous, or other, it was instantly apparent that anyone could cheat and that the label of monogamy was just not valid.  And I agree with this entirely.  The reason I asked the question was to prove something that has always bugged me, non-monogamous people often get labelled as cheaters.  You can discuss ethical non-monogamy till you’re blue in the face, but there will always be someone who says that if you cannot be faithful to one person then you are not with the right person and you should leave.  Or that non-monogamy is just an excuse to get some strange and that you really are just a cheater or unfaithful at heart.  The whole negative pushback is real, especially in the real world, which is why so many of us hide it.  There are a multitude of people who, no matter what, will call anyone who is anywhere on the non-monogamous spectrum a cheater.

And this is a huge problem for me.  As Dr. Liz Powell tweeted “People who are monogamous or non-monogamous can all cheat.  Cheating doesn’t define your relationship structure”.  And this is the rub, cheating doesn’t define your relationship structure, but if you cheat, then you are no longer monogamous.  You are outed from that exclusive club.  Well, that is what is indicated by the above poll anyways.  Again, we are so quick to shout that if you cheat then you are not monogamous.  But how many cheaters still call themselves monogamous?  I would hazard to say most do.  They don’t want to label themselves in the category of non-monogamy just because they had an indiscretion.  That would almost be more than they could handle.  They must keep working to remain monogamous, and learn to overcome the mistake that they made.

I am always fascinated by inconsistencies in our society.  And in this case, hypocrisy is king.  Is it a common held belief that to own that you may not be monogamous could be worse somehow than admitting that you cheat?  Are there that many people out there terrified of a little self-reflection?  Is it true of our society that cheating is almost an accepted action, but non-monogamy is still the big bad taboo?  That we are evil outliers who are just having rampant orgies and sullying the sanctity of our bodies by sharing them with more than one person?

Let’s be honest here, if you are reading this post you are probably an enlightened sex positive individual, and I don’t make that statement to brag about me.  Instead, I am actually trying to give you a compliment.  You have taken the time to research something that you were probably not raised to believe, and you are now thinking outside of the box when it comes to your own monogamous upbringing.  Wherever you land on the monogamous or non-monogamous spectrum is irrelevant at this point, because you have already asked the first question in regards to something most people take for granted, that everyone in our society is monogamous.

Now, to show a balanced view, I had one person mention that non-monogamous doesn’t imply cheater (thanks @justinaaverydc) but I think he is in the minority.  Yes, on my filtered, sex positive twitter, many of us understand this.  But in the real world?  Nope.  In the real world, we for some reason are lumped in with the cheaters.  And in fact, I can shout ethical non-monogamy rhetoric until I am hoarse and still will get blank looks and snide comments that I am a whore.  Or someone who is unfaithful, with disbelief that my partner would let me sleep with other people.  This is part of the reason I no longer date single men, but that is a whole other topic.

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Now at this point, I would like you to keep in mind how easy a subject like this is to talk about.  We all have first hand experience with cheaters so we can talk at length about what our society feels is the correct thing to do with them.  But I ask again, if you cheat, does that automatically make you non-monogamous?  Why would we, on that end of the spectrum have to include cheaters as part of our subset?  Is it fair that they are automatically relegated to our spectrum simply because those in monogamous land don’t have room for them?  Are cheaters by definition non-monogamous?  It’s a two- way street here.  And it brings biases out, the whole which is worse? being a cheater or being non-monogamous with such labels as philanderer, slut, easy, and the list goes on and on and on…

So, I leave you with this one question, if you have ever cheated, do you still consider yourself monogamous?  At the end of the day, it may only be your label that matters.

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Defining Monogamy

Cheating and Infidelity in Animals and Humans

In my last post, I asked “why are humans so strict about monogamy, and yet so flexible when it comes to animals” which if you haven’t read, please take a moment to do so here.  Perfect, now let’s get right into the heart of the matter, defining monogamy: cheating, and infidelity in animals and humans.  Cheating and infidelity are the primary culprits or indicators for the failing of monogamy, and could lead us into learning more about our human definition of the word, why it came to be, and where this will take our species moving forward.

We have all asked our selves, why do we cheat at some point or another in our lives.  In fact, I asked pointedly, Why Do Men Cheat? Our Evolution Ignored, back in 2013.  And it comes up time and time again.  We as a species, cheat.  And when we cheat, we question our monogamy.  But what if, we questioned our monogamy prior to cheating?  What if we understood our species, and need for procreation and survivability of our genetic core or at a level beyond how we were raised?  Could that information lead us to loosen our definition of monogamy to something more in line with the one we use in the animal kingdom?

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Writing this, I still feel that gut reaction, that I was raised with monogamy and cheating is basically evil.  We loath the cheaters, and strive for the monogamous ideal.  But in nature, that is not the best practice for species survival.  In fact, if monogamy was as strict as it is in humans, the genetic variability would be reduced and many species would have perished.  Think of this in a pack of lions for example.  If the alpha was the only one to successfully mate with the lioness’s then only his genes would be passed down to the next pack.  Within one generation there would be 50% less genetic variability available to pass on.  That’s huge.  So, instead, the alpha tries diligently to impregnate all the females, but thankfully he’s got to sleep sometime.  And the polygamously dominated society gets an influx of genetic material from outlying lions and the few betas in the pride, pouncing quite literally on an unsuspecting lioness.  Therefore, providing one example where monogamy would just not work from a survival standpoint no matter how attractive having a harem may be.

Now perhaps you’re thinking that this example is not fair because no one believes lions are monogamous.  So let’s look at a monogamous animal grouping, the black vultures.  Here, the species practices social monogamy for the entire mating and raising of young, and actually attack any bird involved in infidelity.  But again, the key here is social monogamy, whereby the animals are only pair bonded for the duration of rearing offspring which is about 8 months.  Compare that to 18 years in humans and we have a huge problem, which almost everyone has faced in their lifetime.  How is one expected to be with only one human being for an entire 18 years, if we agreed to hold ourselves to a universal definition of monogamy?

I for one, was raised to believe this was possible.  But once I got into the real world, the likelihood of that actually happening quickly deteriorated.  Even with my first long term partner, with whom I lost my virginity, and spent nearly 9 years with, I still strayed.  I fully embraced monogamy, yet, I could not live up to the ideal standard.  And to come full circle, at that point in time, I never questioned if I was a monogamous human or not.  I wanted to be, I was raised to be, and I tried really, really hard, so I must have been monogamous right?  The evidence of course was contrary, just as it is with our animal counterparts. 

As I mentioned, straying from time to time, is part of animal behaviour and still allows the pair to be labeled socially monogamous.  Humans who stray from time to time are labelled cheaters, philanderers, and if then embrace this as part of who they are, a whole new spectrum arises called non-monogamy. So again, what if we questioned our monogamy prior to infidelity?  What would the look like?  And has there been a point in our human evolution where monogamy was not the standard definition of human bonding?  Further, how important is monogamy to the survival of the human race?

These are the questions I will continue to ask over the coming weeks.  So please stay tuned, like, share, and as always, feel free to ask your own questions via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comment section of this blog.

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Defining Monogamy:

Humans versus Animals

My take on Elmer Fudd: Defining Monogamy

One of my favorite blog posts is Something About Ducks, and the first time I thought about defining monogamy.  It was short and sweet, but meaningful because I was able to have a frank discussion about monogamy with a family member, and then get to geek out a little with some science.  So, may I present to you a comparative post discussing the definition of monogamy in humans and the animal kingdom, and how that interpretation impacts us.  Don’t worry, I won’t geek out too hard, and if you stick around until the end, you will find the link for the sexy, behind the scenes pictures I keep reserved for fans only. 

Let us start at the beginning, with the definition of monogamy thanks to our lovely friends at Wikipedia: Monogamy is a form of relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime, or only one partner at a time (serial monogamy).  And for a little fun, let’s compare to the definition of monogamy in the animal kingdom: Monogamous pairing refers to the natural history of mating systems in which species pair bond to raise offspring. 

Did you catch that?  It turns out that the very definition of monogamy is different depending on your species.  We humans, adhere to a very strict definition of monogamy, while our counterparts in the animal kingdom are a little more fluid about it.  In fact, many species are by definition monogamously pair bonded even if during the mating season one of them strays, so long as they return to continue raising their offspring.

So why are humans so strict about monogamy, and yet so flexible when it comes to animals.  Why are we OK with accepting animals doing what they do, behaving in a way that has obviously allowed them to survive, and even flourish, and yet, so critical of humans exhibiting the same behaviours?  Why are we so adamant to separate ourselves from animalistic instinct to sleep with more than one person?  Obviously we could blame many things here, religion, politicians, the battle of the sexes, and let’s not forget sexually transmitted diseases and genetic protection.  But talking about genes, can I share one more thing that I learned in my rabbit hole quest for knowledge?  That scientists are currently working to discover the neuro-molecular genes that may lead to monogamy in animals. 

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Can you imagine if they find an actual mechanism that predicts or determines if a person will be able to maintain monogamy or not?  This may not just be something that people do because they were raised that way, or want to for their children, or even just by sheer force of will alone.  It might actually be deeper rooted than that, it may turn out that we have genetic indicators to determine if we are supposed to be non-monogamous or a monogamous species.  Watching researchers trace monogamy in invertebrates and seeing where we branch off, or takes turns, and then following those shifts absolutely fascinates me.  It’s one thing to trace our human origins of non-monogamy in such amazing book as Sex at Dawn, but to delve even further, into our animal counterparts and discover genetic material and our actual make-up? 

Honestly, the impacts of this make me super excited.  Mixing science, and knowledge, and a subject matter that has been my identity for what feels like a decade is just beyond… well… I think I am going to go formulate a few more posts to follow this up.  The first thing that comes to mind is the comparison between the young raising cycles of humans and animals.  And of course how this duel definition could impact our views of cheating, or infidelity.  The possibilities are endless with science at our side.  So please, if you have any suggestions you would like me to research or discuss feel free to share via Twitter or in the comments section of this blog as I would love to hear from you!

And as promised, here is the link to my behind the scenes photos… enjoy!

The No Kissing Rule

The Lengths People go to Avoid Catching the Feels

No Kissing Rule

The No Kissing Rule, and other ways non-monogamous people try to keep from catching the feels.

No matter who you are or what you try to do non-monogamy at some point, will push your comfort zone limits.  It is a guarantee.  Actually, the only certainty there really is.  it’s And even though it is 100% going to happen, people create rules, especially swingers, to prevent any sort of feeling from arising with those outside of their spouse in order to protect their own comfort.  While the rational human knows this is doomed to fail, it doesn’t stop people from trying.  My favorite one of these such rules is the no kissing one, it is extremely common, and in my opinion an effort in futility.

Let’s take a step back here though and start from the beginning.  Non-monogamy is a way for people to share intimacies with people other than their partners, or if solo, with more than one person.  There are a plethora of ways to show intimacy, from flirting, to kissing, to sex, and pretty much everything in between.  And people choose to break free from monogamy for a variety of reasons, including sexless relationships, dead bedroom situations, variety, adding spice, or just a basic urge to enjoy the bodies or explore relationships with more than one person “till death do you part”. And at this point I feel it’s important to state that this blog is a judgement free zone for the most part.  Every flavor and style are welcome here.  I love variety and certainly hold the stance that love should be free, and should be something that works for you, whatever label suits you, or in my case, breaking free of labels and just living authentically for my own happiness.

However, this whole, no kissing rule pushes my understanding of freedom of expression.  Why in the world would you allow your partner to express themselves with their genitals, but restrict the touching of their lips?  What makes lips so sacred?  My hunch, is that there is a huge amount of intimacy surrounding the kiss, and couples restrict that contact to limit catching the feels.  They are OK with objectifying the act of sex, and less OK with the existence of intimacy.  Orgasms and adrenaline, hell ya!  Feels and intimacy, fuck no!  

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And the hard truth of the matter, from my perspective, is that they reduce sex to a physical act, and turn an orgasm into a regular bodily function, which is absolutely not my thing.  I don’t ever want sex to be just another motion.  I want it to be whatever it can, with flexibility and surprise and intrigue.  Not to be relegated to restrictions on what body parts can touch.  For example, have you ever heard of an mfm where the rule is the guys can never touch?  Haha!  Yeah, good luck with that.  It is damn near impossible not to at the very least have accidental grazing.  And when that happens, it does not mean you have to turn in your straight card.  Just as with kissing, it does not mean that you are instantly going to fall in love with another person… but it might…

The point is, I try to live my life restriction free.  And while I am not always very good at it, I am trying.  Point of fact, every single time I have placed a restriction on my partner it has blown up in my face and vice-versa. So knowing my own shortcomings with restrictions, I find it very difficult to understand couples who allow sex to occur with others, but draw a hard line at kissing. The whole “I trust you with my body, but not my lips”? Or more often than not, one partner can adjust or accept someone having sex with their partner, but seeing or thinking about the intimacy of a kiss would send them into a spiral of jealousy. And I cannot help but boil that down to desensitizing sex to the level of porn. Something viewed, and not experienced for it’s entirety.

So now that I have probably pissed off a whole bunch of kissing free swingers, I should probably just stop here. I question things I don’t understand, and if you would like to share with me how this works for you, or where I have missed the point, please know I am absolutely willing to listen.

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