Monogamy, Polyamory, Words, Words, Words!

Some recent blog posts and conversations have got some thoughts swirling around my head.

1) I’ve always thought of myself as monogamous. When Brooke and I first got involved, we both established that we’re monogamous in relationships. I realized recently, however, that I wasn’t being honest with myself and therefore wasn’t being truthful with Brooke. So I talked to her about how I’m actually more than OK with being physical with more than one person at a time. (And no, I’m not talking about threesomes, foursomes or moresomes.) I can’t imagine being comfortable with snogging or sexing up someone I’m not close to, but getting physical with friends? Yep, I’m good with that. BUT…I know that Brooke isn’t OK with that, and it’s not a dealbreaker for me. I don’t have to get sexy with anyone but my current partner, I’m just open to it and fantasize about it. If Brooke wants me to be only with her, I’m totally cool with that. (Especially since we’re both cool with each other flirting with other people. Past partners of mine haven’t always been cool with that.) You can’t expect me to only be attracted to one person, but it’s completely reasonable to expect me to only get sexy with one person.

2) While Brooke and I are monogamous in the sense that we’re only romantic and sexual with each other, we’re polyamorous in the sense that we both love a lot of people in many different ways. It would be silly to expect Brooke to love only me and it would be silly for her to expect the same from me.

3) Brooke recently told me that she doesn’t like referring to me as her “boyfriend,” since it sounds like a temporary, lightweight relationship, and our relationship is definitely not short-term or lightweight. I agree, but I’m also not a fan of the term “partner,” which sounds to me like we’re a gay couple being forced to make our relationship sound less than a heterosexual marriage. She prefers “manpanion” because it sounds kind of silly but also indicates that I’m her male companion. That inspired me to start referring to her as my “companion,” which references two of my all-time favorite TV shows, Doctor Who and Firefly. So we’re both Time Lords and we’re both courtesans. Or something like that.

4) Rethinking the terms for each other made me think that I want new terms for a lot of people in my life. I want a word for: Person Who I’m Totally Crushing On At The Moment; Person Who I Adore But Am Not Romantic With; Person Who I Would Be Happy To Fuck Given The Opportunity But Who I Can’t Imagine Being In A Successful Long-Term Relationship With; Person Who I Think Is Incredibly Cool; Person I Love To Flirt With But Would Never Actually Do Anything With; My Companion’s Wife; My Companion’s Wife’s Husband; The Mother Of My Daughter (“ex-wife” sounds so negative!)–and so on. Just as the word “love” doesn’t always express well the various shades of feeling, the words “friend” or “girlfriend” or “partner” or “lover” don’t always express well how I relate to someone. (I love the Yiddish word “meshpokha.” It means “extended family,” which includes people who aren’t related to you by blood or marriage, they’re just a part of your extended family by association.)

This post was originally posted in a more secluded location for certain friends only. I’m more comfortable now posting it openly.

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2 thoughts on “Monogamy, Polyamory, Words, Words, Words!

  1. Adults should be free to have the consensual relationships of their mutual agreement, and should be free to call them what fits best for them.

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