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]|
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?