Am I fooling myself thinking society accepts non-monogamy?
So of course, just when I think people are starting to come around to the acceptance of non-monogamy, I go ahead and read a few words of “wisdom” from the real world. Ugh!
Let me preface this by saying proudly that I am exuberant over the love, support and acceptance I have found in my real life, and my social media world, look at this amazing sex positive community for example. I have worked hard to surround myself with educated and loving people, with whom I respect even at moments of disagreement and with whom I have convinced myself that they show the same respect for mine. But in the last few weeks, I have seen something that takes me back to a time before I found this incredible community and it’s heartbreaking.
There is a dating blogger who is sharing her story about being in her first open relationship (the specifics about committing to this or trying to run away screaming are not really relevant here). So, I will simply summarize by saying she is sleeping with a man who is polyamorous and engaged to another women, and whatever her actual motivations are, she is sharing this experience on her blog. And as such, I have been reading and following along, with a bit of nostalgia, going back to when I first met E, and all the ups and downs that I experienced learning about non-monogamy for the first time. And that was all well and good, up until I saw her comment section explode and I made the horrific mistake of reading a few opinions on the matter.
The majority of the male comments reflect the notion that this guy is a creep and manipulating the dating blogger for sex. This sentiment is echoed by the female majority saying things like, “run now”, or “I’ve been down this road and it only leads to heartache”, and “why are you wasting your time on someone who could never love you?”. All in all, it is doom, gloom, judgement and criticism from a monogamous side of the world that I don’t often see.
How is this possible, you may be asking yourself, given the content of your blog? Honestly? I’m not 100 percent sure, so if you want to weigh in on this, please be my guest (in the comment section would be lovely!). What I do know is that my blog didn’t evolve to non-monogamy, and thus I have never captured this broader monogamous audience. I have been very open and honest right from the get go about what content lies within. And whenever I write something controversial, I try to do my research ahead of time, and aim to present a balance of ideas whenever possible. Again, this really is a point that you, dear readers are welcome to share your rational for coming back week after week.
But back to the comment section of this particular blogger. You see, she is doing something incredibly tricky, which is to explain a situation to an unwilling audience, and that is what directly challenges their core beliefs about the evils of non-monogamy. It is so easy to use words like cheater, manipulator and user. So much so, that I believe if this guy ever found out about her blog, he would end things immediately. Some perceptions you just cannot come back from regardless of your intentions. So I sit here, reading comments and feeling heartbreak and shame that this is the world that open, polyamorous and swingers really fear. This judgemental, and hate filled place, shouting uneducated opinions and all manor of unsympathetic close-minded views really exists. For you see, this is a place were logic fails, and fear takes over. This is the black hole of the social media internet that all writers and bloggers fear. This is the place where your level-headed sanity begins to question things and your resolve wanes in the face of public opinion.
I want to tell myself that I should never read the comments. But the reality is that I needed that reminder that the world is not as advanced as I have been leading myself to believe. My readers are amazing. My supporters are wonderful. But there is an entire world out there that is going to judge first and ask questions never. When I finish writing my first book, this is the world I will be facing. This is the place I need to be aware exists and this is the land I need to learn to rise above.
In the meantime, thank you for reading, supporting and doing what you can to build the sex positive community. I need people like you and I hope on some level you need me too!