I have always been a skeptic of monogamy. I’m not sure why. I mean, my parents are still happily married after more than 30 years together. Both sets of grandparents also had long monogamously successful (as far as I know) relationships. I’ve had good role models when it comes to monogamy and long term relationships. I guess my 20-something self just can’t imagine being with the same person forever and ever and ever.
I was really excited to see this clip by Dan Savage discussing swinging and monogamy. Now, as much as I’m a skeptic about monogamy, I’m going to be monogamous. I know that about myself. I couldn’t be in an open relationship or swing with someone that I cared about deeply. I’m too jealous…well, maybe jealous isn’t the right word. But, I just couldn’t handle sharing (possessive maybe? haha..not that that’s much better). Regardless, any couples that I know who have navigated this well are incredibly satisfied, until they stop navigating it well. More satisfied than any monogamous couples I know, that’s for sure. It takes a lot of open communication…without that, it fails.
I agree with Dan that monogamy isn’t natural. Never has been. Lions…they aren’t monogamous. Infidelity research (I’ve done a lot of it) shows that humans aren’t very monogamous either, with around 25% of couples cheating at some point. But just because it isn’t natural doesn’t mean it isn’t attainable.
There is an awesome book, called The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities that my friend Crystal told me to read years ago and it turns out it is one of my favorites to date. It is all about navigating polyamorous relationships well. If you’re interested in this stuff, read it!