Not to pull any intellectual gymnastics, here, but I don’t consider that true polyamory — that’s monogamy with extortion: “Let me sleep with multiple women while I demand that you are faithful, otherwise I’m leaving you!” isn’t an attempt at experiencing multiple partners just as it isn’t an attempt at maintinging a sacred physical faithfulness.
It’s not an open and honest discussion about the merits of having multiple partners, it’s a case of unilateral control and demanding faithfulness that’s one-sided — it’s not monogamy either, it’s abuse; just as we shouldn’t say that the person who does this is monogamous because they demand their partner be devoutly faithful, we shouldn’t say that the person who does this is polyamorous (polyamorous, especially, rather than just poly-sex).
Double standards shouldn’t be the standard that any relationship type is measured by.
Much of my view of polyamory hinges around this distinction — people who do this are taking monogamous relationships and trying to get some additional perks out of it, they haven’t actually shifted their frame of thinking to be polyamorous and promoting of a loving environment of multiple people quite yet. They aren’t polyamorous yet…in some ways, they’re monogamous but demanding of an exemption.
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I even put a clause in the piece which specifically states that I’m not mentioning anything about monogamy but toxic monogamy culture:
“While this isn’t a contrast with monogamous relationships themselves, this is a contrast with the frequent toxic monogamy culture that many people are tired of and have left behind.”
Conflating monogamy with toxic monogamy is like conflating race with racism because they both sound similar, and in both cases, the two are nowhere near the same thing.
Also, this entire piece was centered around my experiences as pretty much every single opening statement of every single paragraph stated.
I even said that this doesn’t apply to everyone explicitly, meaning that, well, it doesn’t apply to everyone and isn’t an absolute, but a suggestion towards a cultural problem, “One friend recently told me that when we “free up” the options of sexual partners, women will always have the advantage because they simply have more options, and while I’d say this might apply to everyone…”
What I’m implying here is that many men have intimated to me that they feel that liberal sexual attitudes will reduce their levers of control, and this actually takes place whether or not polyamory is a thing, this has more to do with social attitudes towards having multiple partners, even if those partners are monogamous and subsequent.
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“In the past, I’ve had monogamous relationships that failed, for this reason, many times,” speaks to my real experiences that simply can’t be invalidated.
I’ve seen toxic monogamy first-hand, I’ve lived it, and I’m not saying that monogamy is equal to toxic monogamy, but I’m saying that toxic monogamy is something that I set out to get away from in my life and succeeded admirably in this endeavour, and I feel that it’s important that others know that they can too if they’re diligent and work hard enough.
If you want me to post stories about all of the failures of polyamory, I’ve simply not experienced it and have yet to meet people who’ve intimated to me their experiences in any detailed way (I’ve only run into it here on Medium in the comments section), so I’m not saying that poly is without flaw, I’m saying that those problems are simply something I have no grounding or evidence to draw upon in order to do a piece.
I don’t write to discuss my relationship as an either/or scenario, or say that polyamory is better than monogamy, ever, under any circumstances, I write to describe my world from the inside and how it pertains to society at large, which is why I reference conversations I’ve had with people who’ve intimated to me that they fear polyamory because they fear not being able to “shame” their partners into doing what they want their partners to do, and these are real thoughts that real people have which shouldn’t be dismissed because we want to have some notion of fairness. Monogamy is a sacred and beautiful bond between two people and it should be both honored and charished, while toxic monogamy is the biggest threat to this bond that one could possibly imagine.
The goal isn’t ever to tell others what to do, it’s to offer my experiences so that those who aren’t sure may come to understand what my life is like, along with the lives of those who allow me an intimate glance into theirs. I do this because I’m a success story, and I think it’s important that people know that there are successful people out there with healthy relationships, because so many fail at relationships — it’s the hardest thing one can ever do.
Let’s not invalidate the experiences of others in our quest for fairness in appearances, especially when some things like toxic monogamy aren’t deserving to be put on the same level as successful polyamory.