Tuesday, March 28, 2017

And What It Did to You

Morning, honeybushers!
The sun’s streaming in my window, and I can tell it’s going to be a gorgeous, almost-warm day. I’m lying in bed, drinking black coffee out of a boob-shaped mug, and rolling around on my new pink satin sheets, which were a stunning impulse purchase that make me feel like a 50s Hollywood blonde excited about getting a single line in a B horror movie.

[sophistication costs exactly $14 on Amazon]

Today I woke up with somethin’ on my mind: Non-monogamy.

Specifically, some of the not-so-cute behaviors that sometimes come along for the ride with non-monogamy.

Why’s this on my mind?
Because I’m dating around and sleeping with queers and trying not to hurt anyone too much in the process, and...so is almost everyone else I meet these days.

Maybe it’s the homos I’m hanging out with, but damn—there is a definite uptick in the number of people doing non-monogamy from when I was dating people while in a committed relationship five or six years ago.

In my experience, just a half-decade ago, being into non-monogamy was still perceived as a bit ~out there~.

It was something you really had to explain hard to friends at brunch, who would nod and then nervously put their arms around their girlfriends before asking the waiter if there was any way they could get more soy creamer.

It was a slightly more innocent time. Battered copies of The Ethical Slut were passed around. People quietly asked you how your open relationship worked, then sighed and said, “I’d love to do that but my girlfriend would never go for it.”  

[I'll loan it to you but only if you don't return it all sticky]

Fast-forward to today, and suddenly, it feels like everyone’s doing it.

Pretty much every other Tinder profile I see says “ethically non-monogamous” or “poly and proud” or “in an open relationship.”

Most queer couples I know are into the idea of possibly having an open relationship at some point, if they’re not already actively doin’ it.

Things are different now, sluts.

And? That is wonderful. I’m thrilled!

It’s a gorgeous thing when people are open about their desires and needs, and upfront about exactly what they’re looking for in a potential new relationship.

I’m personally excited that non-monogamous relationships are becoming a more mainstream choice for living.

(It means I get to explain myself less and fuxx more, thank the Goddess.)

[via look_at_this_pussy]

But! I’ve been noticing something odd lately.
Something real gay.
Something that is the literal opposite of what’s going on in HeteroWorld™.

Queers are starting to feel bad if they’re not into non-monogamy.

Non-monogamy: so hot right now.

All the kids are doing it!

And what if...what if you don’t want to?

That’s fucking OK, lesbiqueers.

You don’t have to do it.

I’ve been noticing some gheys apologizing for wanting to be monogamous, or feeling kind of “uncool” if they’re not toooootallly OK with the idea of non-monogamy.

And here’s the thing: feeling uncool can sometimes lead to shitty situations, like people who are not actually into non-monogamy feeling pressure to be in or stay in a relationship situation that they’re not ready for.

Non-monogamous relationships, in any form, do not work and are not healthy unless everyone involved wants to do it.

You cannot have a healthy non-monogamous relationship where one person wants to be open and the other doesn't...but is agreeing to do it so they can keep dating the person who wants it.

That’s not how this works.
Everybody has to want it, or somebody’s going to get hurt.

Guess what else? If someone wants to be non-monogamous, knows the person they’re dating does not, and continues to date other people, actively causing their original dating partner pain…that is fucked.

I keep seeing this! What is this, sugarplums?

You know the person you’re dating.
You know when they’re in love with you.
You do. Admit it.

[this is Stella and literally everyone is in love with her]

If someone is in love with you, and you know they’re only agreeing to an open relationship to keep you in their life, and you are hurting them, end it.

End it! What are you even doing?

It’s like the thing my mom told me about sex (when she still thought I would get married to a man and have wedding-night sex as a virgin):

If something hurts in a bad way, no one should be getting pleasure from it.

Don't get your ego stroked by having someone ache over you. 

Now, everyone is grown, but:

If your person is not 100% capable, re: being in love with you, of ending your relationship together, and you know they are quietly dying inside while you date and/or fuck others, you need to end it.
Non-monogamous lovin’ ain’t for everyone, and it’s certainly not for people who don’t really want to be there but are taking what they can get from someone they’re heartsick over.

Let me just say this:

Non-monogamy is not cooler than monogamy.

Poly is not better than monogamous.

Open is not better than closed.

It is OK to want whatever you want, loves.

It is understandable to NOT BE AT ALL OK with the idea of your beautiful sweet tender partner sharing beautiful sweet tender moments or sex with anyone else.

It’s OK to want a closed relationship, just you and another person.

It’s OK if you’ve tried non-monogamy in the past, gotten burned, and are no longer interested in trying.

If you want to be the only very special person in someone’s life, and be their only other very special person, with no one else involved, it’s OK to openly say that. You don’t have to pretend to be fine and casual about being in a situation that makes you incredibly uncomfortable or hurts you.

You deserve the kind of love that you want, in whatever form that comes in (as long as what you want isn’t illegal.)

You’re not down with non-monogamy? Say so.

You don’t want to deal with the massive amounts of communication that healthy non-monogamous/open relationships require?

It’s alright, BB.

Don’t agree to something that you already know will cause you pain, even if lots of other queermos are doing it.

[via childmagazine]

And so many queers are doing it.

And some queers are using “being non-monogamous” as an excuse to act like assholes.

Being non-monogamous is not a license to do whatever you want, all the time, without regard to how it affects others.

Being ethically non-monogamous or poly or open is the literal opposite of that—it’s an agreement that you will check in.

[via TwentyFirstCenturyBlues.tumblr.com]

It’s an agreement that you will have and respect clear boundaries.

It’s an agreement that you will spend more time than you even thought you had making damn sure that every single person involved with you feels respected, safe, and heard.

It means you listen, even when you are exhausted by the idea of listening to one more person having one more feeling.

You don’t get to just do whatever you like and cause an emotional massacre all around you while claiming that no one can blame you because “you warned them” you were non-monogamous.

Ew, my loves.

Let's do better, shall we?


  1. In the Bay Area it seems like practically all the queermosexuelles are in open relationships. Once again, you have your finger on the homo zeitgeist :)

  2. There are lots of mono/poly relationships that work with a lot of communication/time/patience/love/understanding. They're not all doomed.

  3. Thank you so much for this, Krista. I have this exact problem! I want to start dating, but as a very recently out lesbian I do not want to be in a polyamorous relationship. It makes me feel bad especially because I am inexperienced...

  4. Thanks for this. My partner and I are in monogamish relationship. Basically, we can make out with other people while out dancing (one of my fave activities), and there's one person that I fool around with about once every three months or so. It works well for us but we don't advertise it and I'd be fairly content closing our relationship again. Too many queers get on a high horse about being open/poly, but like you said, one is not better than another. Glad to have you back, Krista!

  5. I am a bi male in a closed relationship with my wonderful dyke. She knows the guy that I go to every now and then and I know her lover. We are into each other but on occasion want the same as we are. Don't want to watch her and she doesn't want to watch me. All is good

  6. I love being poly. FOR ME, it is just as much an orientation as being gay. COULD I do monogamy, for the right woman? Maybe. But she'd have to respect poly identities and at least attempt to understand it. Also, the second that inherent possessiveness that tends to creep into mono relationships, we're gonna have problems.

    I'm always upfront about my preference for polyamory. Also, in mono/poly unions, why is it that it seems that the mono person automatically rules out? Why can't a mono person try open, too? Ugh, so many feels here.

  7. Yes, Krista! I'm not monogamous, but I'm tired of hearing people say monogamy is inherently "unradical" and accusing the people who practice monogamy of being conservative or insecure. It's not for everyone, and it doesn't need to be. So many of the kids who live in my little college own practice one-way non-monogamy (where one partner sleeps around and the other pretends to be okay with it, or they are openly not okay with it and don't think they can leave). It's tragic to watch.

  8. I'm glad you're back, with Effing Dykes!! Happened to see a link to one of your posts a few months ago, and was all, Oh that's right! I used to love reading that blog!! And then gleefully caught up on the most recent posts.

    As a queer who could maybe be into having an open relationship, but has no desire to do the full-on poly thing, thank you for writing this post! Especially because suddenly being poly is all cool and hip and verging on being viewed as the only way to be in a relationship.

  9. ugh. totally. i am one of those un cool ppl who arent into non monogs. and guess what. i finally found me a queer who is totally on the same exact page <3

    ... so far at least knock on wood...

  10. I am so glad you are back!! Its like Christmas today right now. I. Am. Stoked.