As much as I adore when people discover that there is a world outside of monogamy, I equally loath the stuff that comes out of their mouths (especially from those who have done zero research!). While I have ranted before on the judge first, ask questions later, this post is about people who claim that non-monogamy is merely a luxury. In fact, there was a person lurking on R/nonmonogamy who made a comment to this point and went on to say it should be easy to just discard it when faced with obstacles (like the current pandemic). And I feel that we are finally deep enough inside this year of hell, that I can talk about this subject without accidentally encouraging people to race out and have sex with a bunch of random people. My main message is still clear, non-monogamy must stay on hold. But, when it comes to people trying to just brand these relationships as a luxury, I, have many thoughts… AKA this post. So join me as I try and process everything that makes me cringe about this line of thinking.
Non-monogamy takes an insane amount of work. Yes, maybe you could draw a correlation that luxury items are expensive, therefore take a lot of money and effort to get, and non-monogamy has similar parallels. However, the truth is this is a correlation vs causation fallacy. Non-monogamy, while on the surface may seem like something unnecessary, the fact of the matter is that for many (myself included) it is an essential extension of who we are as sexual and social beings. There is no luxury to be found. Rarely do you get to just sit back and marvel at your new toy. Nope, you are constantly working, scheduling, talking, flirting, co-ordinating, and compromising. Sure, you have the incredible afterglow of a first meeting, sexy session, or incredible flirtation, but let me tell you, it is more like a full-time job, than an item we lust over.
Now, perhaps you think that it is selfish to be non-monogamous, as many luxury items often are. Why you ask, can you not just settle down with one person. One person is rational, level headed, but to seek more than that… sheesh? And I say to you… NO! What if you were in a sexless marriage? What if you loved your partner so much that you wanted to help them live out their fantasy? What if you believed in free love? What if you were just inherently polyamorous and recognized that loving more than one person was the most natural thing in the world to you? Would any of these questions be akin to a luxury item? Definitely not. So, whereas luxury items are not necessary, non-monogamy often is.
Having to pause a part of who you are for the greater good is not easy. I am a social person, who thrives around people and with physical touch and intimacy. That being said, I would never put myself, or my partner in jeopardy to fullfill these urges. And while the original person who got me riled up went onto explain how amazing it was getting back to monogamy, calling out everyone who swings, is poly, or practices any level of non-monogamy as a trifle want really pissed me off. I have had to close off a part of who I am, and how I engage with other people, for the greater good. This isn’t like giving up an extravagant trip to that upscale steakhouse, that I crave all the time. Or cancelling that yacht vacation that you had been saving up for all year. No non-monogamy is much more than that for me. And having people just dismiss it hurts.
There is one more thing that I will add. Luxury items are in essence a way to splurge, brag, or are simply an extravagance that enhance a moment, goal, or express a want. For me embracing non-monogamy has made me a better person. I am more open to situations, and far more loving. And if I am completely honest have become a much more passionate and expressive soul as a result of not having to hold anything back. While I cherish a few rings, and that bottle of champagne I hope to open this year, they are far removed from making me a better soul. And who out there can say the same about that fancy diamond?
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