One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?” And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”. You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time. And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream. But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real. That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world. Thus, began my blogging adventure.
If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality. I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality. My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance. As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra. And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous. Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not.
Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew. I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me. I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible. I’m not proud of this. But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there. I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault. I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out. I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.
I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon. It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing). I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards. They will do it again, and again. For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon. They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice. It does not make you good, bad or anything in between. It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you. Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges. Or you can take a path that I chose. One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation. There is no judgement from me either way. The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you.
There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that. But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was. And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways. For example FWB’s, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.
Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out. I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug. Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy. These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up. We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.