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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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!

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Chemistry is Key… The Couples Quest Continues

Attraction matters, and is often out of our control.

Sad flamingo when the chemistry isn't there.
Chemistry is Key, Poor Flamingo

I started writing this post a few days ago in full story mode.  I plotted out all the details of our first couples date in quite a while, sparing few details of the getting ready, meeting, and the unfortunate conclusion that we came to after an hour or so of conversation.  My intention was to share with you our real life account of what dating couples is actually like, but this morning my fierce editing pen took hold and scrapped the whole idea.  Whether you are monogamous or not, you are fully aware of what happens when you meet someone for drinks and there is just zero chemistry.  I felt that I brought nothing to the table by sharing just one more lackluster date.  So, I began again, with a new focus, chemistry.

So often you have a gut reaction to a person that is far beyond your control.  You are either attracted to them, or you’re not, the chemical reaction of attraction.  I have read quite a few books as of late that talk about that chemistry, Do Gentleman Really Prefer Blonds? and The Natural History of Love to name a few, and they all conclude the same thing, chemistry is out of our conscious control.  Ok, fine, let’s trust the experts on this one.  But if it’s out of our control, then that means trying to find couples that we are attracted to, and want to become physical with becomes a numbers game.  The overwhelming variables that have to line up between 4 people becomes astronomically complex.  So complex in fact, that the headspace I need to be in to even attempt it, is a feat in of itself.  So here I sit, puzzled, and a little overwhelmed by it all.  People and relationships are complex and unique and a big part of what really attracts me to this non-monogamous lifestyle.

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But in order to get to the fun part, and build connections with people I have to take a step back and re-evaluate the initial process.  I have to take a page out of my partners book and start playing the initial numbers game.  I have to take a risk, and play the odds.  Just go out on a whole bunch of dates.  It’s time to lower the extremely high standards I have and filters that I have so meticulously put in place and just start having some fun meeting new people.  The downsides to this way of thinking of course is the money, scheduling, and time investment.  But if I really think about that, the experience of it all should outweigh the initial sting of just getting out there and being social.  Who cares if on paper the couple doesn’t seem to be a long term fit.  Maybe, just maybe they will surprize me and an amazing opportunity will arise.  Perhaps playing the numbers game, we will find ourselves exposed to new ways of thinking, new groups and a few really sexy adventures. 

If I am trying to shift my focus from the magnitude of the situation and break it down into a numbers games, I might end up in a place whereby I am not emotional about it, just practical.  And the only way to make this numbers game a viable option is to boil the whole thing down to one common denominator, is there any chemistry?  Going out into the wild, with a commonality, having some fun in an attempt to asses if there chemistry with strangers.  If there is a spark the possibilities are endless.  And if there isn’t, we finish our beers and move to the next opportunity.  So, there I have it, the breaking down of the couples quest and the over whelming magnitude of it all into one bite sized and achievable test, is their a spark?  Now to begin the messages… stay tuned.

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Oops! I Read the Comments Section When a Dating Blogger Mentioned an Open Relationship

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.

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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!

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