Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Monogamy revisited and value propositions in the bedroom

First a confession: “Working Toward Monogamy” was likely the most intimidating post I’ve put out there.  Unlike a sexual fantasy or a political stance you can walk away from if it’s not your thing, I was very aware of the fact that a post suggesting I was considering monogamy had the potential to scare off partners and disenfranchise the wider network my lover’s lovers.  I was tempted over and over again to temper the post with “oh no but I’m not going to steal your boyfriend or fuss your life I promise.” And in fact for my casual, married, and otherwise partnered lovers my exploration of monogamy should be of little consequence in the immediate future.

However, I’ve gotten a plethora of private questions about that last post and so I wanted to explore further.  The most common question/conversation has been around poly drama and how to avoid it in order to have a better  experience.  I agree that poly done right avoids drama and brings understanding and joy into your life.  I have nothing but respect for my partner’s partners, and my experience has been, on the whole, quite positive.  I don’t begrudge anyone their love, I am simply a little burnt out on logistics.

Monogamy is a pretty strict concept and as I am learning in other areas of my life, judgment and compassion is better than rules and regulations.  Rules are an easy response to uncomfortable situations, they are fast to implement, compliance is easy to judge and consequences are frequently spelled out in the body of the regulation.  They are also dynamically opposed to human centered systems.  Judgment and compassion on the other hand is both an in the moment thing (requiring you to stand back in the face of discomfort and understand the others perspective rather than enacting a policy) and a long haul commitment to nourishing understanding and an environment that is safe enough for compassion.

I’m tired, I’m operating in an economy of need which does not make me feel safe in being compassionate, I am still licking the wounds of my last relationship and so I am tempted, like all people, to take refuge in in known and defined boundaries.  Contrary to popular belief this is not a bad thing.  Bounded systems work well for a lot of people, if the system prioritizes your needs it is likely to be a safe and comfortable experience on the whole.  However, this is probably not how I want to build my life.  I am in fact committed to good judgement and compassion both in my work, and in my private life, so even if monogamy is the right answer for me, or the right answer for me right now, I’d like to get there more organically.  For the moment though, this is all theory.

Which brings me to my next thought of rebranding…
A new romantic interest confessed that he had a hard time picturing me as a life partner.  He knew me before my last significant relationship started and had me pinged in his head as someone who does not want to be in a relationship.  This strikes me as a branding problem.  Three years ago, I was not interested in a relationship, this is no longer the case.  Then again, I am also not a bend-over-backwards for love kind of person until I’m actually in the relationship already.  It takes me a little while to warm up to the idea of being in love, and longer to start restacking my life to fit someone else into it.  I still have a fear of losing myself in a relationship, which I don’t think is an irrational fear, I’m pretty sure this is something that just happens to everyone to some degree (you come home from work as expected rather than taking an out of the blue detour, you negotiate your living space, time, and hobbies rather than just doing it your way, in short you become interdependent with another person.) honestly, if I didn’t have a positive experience of this process in the past I’d never sign up for this shit.  Right, so that’s the part that needs rebranding I guess.  How do you brand yourself as life partner material? I think it depends on your target audience but perhaps a more friendly disposition toward interdependence, the existence of space for the other in your life,  and the perception of stability are all good places to start.

This made me think about such strange things as “if you were a brand what would your value statement be?”  After several beers and at least one cup of coffee, however, I think I can safely say that I don’t want to rebrand my sexual self.  Though as a thought exercise, this has been fascinating.

Written by kinkinexile

October 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm

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