Let’s not kid ourselves, most of us would like to have more than one partner. But we rarely dare to admit it. The taboo on polygamy is too big.
I hate taboos though! Let’s loosen it up a notch! Let’s talk about non-monogamy and why it’s not as evil and depraved as it might sound.
Well, imagine you had to decide for just one type of food to eat for the rest of your life. Such a limitation would be absurd, right? Even if you picked your favourite, a tasty and nutrient dish, you’d still be miserable that you’re not allowed to taste anything else. You’d be craving for all the other types of food – and admitting without shame that you do. Obviously, relationships are way more complicated than food, but the analogy still holds.
Just try to think about all the jealousy-and-cheating-related plots in movies, series and books, but replacing people with food. Some guy being screamed at by his pizza because he looked lustfully at some spaghetti bolognese? “Don’t you love me anymore? I know you’re thinking of her! You want to eat her, don’t you? You dirty cheater!”.
We’re a polygamous species. We’re explorers, we crave new experiences. And it’s not wrong to pursue those cravings.
If you share true love with your partner, but you don’t happen to share the same kinks and fetishes, do you have to resign from one or the other?
Why do we think that love, closeness and sex have to be necessarily connected with each other? I’ve loved a lot of people, with whom I’ve never even tried to have sex with. And I’ve also fucked with a lot of people, to whom I had no more feelings than just pure liking. All of those experiences were valuable and amusing. As wonderful it might be to have both love and passion with a single person, I fail to see, why I shouldn’t have all those other experiences only because it has just one of those.
“You don’t love me anymore”
Love and sex are not inseparable. Truly loving someone, while lusting for someone else is not strange. Actually, it’s how almost everybody feels, even if they don’t admit it. Coming back to my food-relationship analogy: if I want to have some salami, does that mean I stopped liking cheese? If I claim that burgers are the best food in the world, do I have to eat them even for a dessert, for which they certainly aren’t made for?
“You just want to fuck as many people as possible”
Do you, when you’re single? You’re just as free as a person in an open relationship to fuck however many consenting adults you can. Does that mean you have to be promiscuous? Even if it did – why would it be morally wrong in any way to be so?
“Good idea, but it doesn’t work”
In your mind it might not. In your relationship it might not. But for many many people it does – with its ups and downs, like any other relationship, but it does make some people happy.
Models of non-monogamy
I’ll start with this model of non-monogamy, because it’s arguably the most common one. It’s basically when people cheat on their partner, while keeping on appearances that they’re so faithful, loving and prudish.
It’s based on a lie. It’s hurtful and it’s wrong.
And it shows that monogamy simply doesn’t work. If it was natural and healthy to be monogamous, then cheating wouldn’t be as common as it is, would it?
In those models of polygamy either a man has multiple official wives, or a woman – multiple husbands. And those I consider wrong as well, because of the worst kind of asymmetry. If I’m in a relationship I require all of its members to be equal in rights.
Some people are fine with sleeping with others as long as they do it together. The sex might be amazing, way more possibilities in terms of positions, body types, etc. On the other hand, it might be hard to always agree on whether everybody fancies everybody else and whether everybody is into the same stuff.
IMO the best of two worlds: sharing your life with one person, loving them, being close to them, and putting them always in the first place, but also not considering it cheating, if they have some fun with someone else, as long as they don’t get too involved emotionally. It might be problematic though to get rid of the jealousy and to neutralise the envy of the partner’s “conquests”.
It’s a fetish where a person gets turned on by getting “cheated” on. Watching their partner do it with someone else, maybe participating just a little bit, or maybe just being aware that they might be doing it.
Is it impossible to love more than one person? Obviously not. So if three people all love each other, why would they necessarily decide to form a couple and leave someone alone? Let’s just form a three-person relationship: “three” + “couple” = “trouple”.
On one hand it sounds like a perfect idea, if you happen to be in such a situation. On the other though, the social stigma might be hard to live with. You might not go around telling people that you happen to have a threesome once in a while, but it’s a bit harder to hide a fact that you have two boyfriends or two girlfriends.
Why stop at three? Polyamorists say that ”love is not a finite resource”. We can love and care for many people, not just one. Polyamory is about building intimate relationships without restricting oneself to one person. You might form different “constellations”, without everyone necessarily loving everyone else.
I recon it might be awfully hard. Also very rewarding, but still. Having one relationship is complicated enough for me. I can’t really imagine maintaining a stable relationship with more people – without any of them feeling worse than the other, not given enough attention etc.
There’s probably way more models of monogamy than I have listed. More arguments for it, more arguments against it... One could discuss this topic for hours. One could argue which way is “better” or “more moral”...
But what I was meaning to show is quite simple: there’s more than one way to live your sex and romantic life. You might want to experiment a bit to find out which fits you best. Good luck and have fun!