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Sex, Monogamy, Polyamory, False Dilemma & the Possibility of Consensus

Do you have strong views about Sex, Monogamy, and Polyamory?

Monogamy or Polyamory: False Dilemma?Notice the reaction in your body when you read the headline of this article or when you listened to the podcast by my ex Mark PostMasculine on this subject (PostFeminine is not affiliated with his site). Sex, Monogamy, Polyamory, False Dilemma & the Possibility of Consensus. You already have an opinion about this, right? Most likely in your eyes, monogamy is right or polyamory is right, and there is nothing in between. No third path. Just like those political debates that are totally exhausting because regardless of whether people are pro-life or pro-choice, nobody is really looking below the surface to the fact that none of the political positions make any sense and none of them are internally consistent.

Well, there isn’t much point in you reading this article unless you are going to be open to a new perspective. In the past, I have written very controversial and polarizing articles on the subject of sex, monogamy, and polyamory. PostFeminine has a new intention. I sincerely believe that when we go deeper than our cliched personal opinions to the deeper values that we all share, that we will escape from our false dilemma and arrive at a magical place called consensus. So I ask you to read this article with fresh eyes and an open mind.

I have thought deeply and holistically about the monogamy and polyamory debate, and I am convinced that what people actually want in their heart of hearts is neither monogamy nor the cliched and problematic promiscuous version of polyamory that we usually see. Because my new intention is consensus, I will listen to all the comments and then write clarifying articles about the monogamy and polyamory debate from there. I also give full disclosure up front that I have been mostly celibate for the past eight years. I have had enough relationship experience, however, and enough deep thinking about these issues, to know what I am talking about. In every area of life, I believe that when we think things through in advance with clarity, we can set the stage for deeply fulfilling and enduring relationships that take us to levels of happiness never before seen on this planet.

This article is just a start on this discussion of monogamy and polyamory. Let’s turn this into an ongoing conversation where we can consider all perspectives on our way toward consensus.

Definition of Monogamy and Polyamory

Definition of Monogamy and PolyamoryTo get started, we need a working definition of monogamy and polyamory.

For purposes of this article, we will define monogamy as a relationship between two people who have agreed they will have sex and physical intimacy only with each other. Usually these are blanket agreements with no exceptions.

To define polyamory is a little more complex because people actually have very different views of it. It could range from rampant promiscuity with no strings attached to a fairly committed relationship that is open. For now, we will define it as a totally open relationship, meaning two people together in a relationship who have agreed that they can still have sex with whomever they want with no restrictions.

From this working definition of monogamy and polyamory, we want to move on to see if we can develop a consensus about a new kind of relationship agreement that would serve the deeper values of both conventional monogamy and conventional polyamory.

Deeper Values Behind Monogamy and Polyamory

Drawing on principles from empathy (non-violent communication), let’s consider what are the deeper values that tend to be served by a conventional monogamous or conventional polyamorous relationship as defined above.

Monogamy Deeper Values: trust, consistency, continuity, commitment, predictability, simplicity, deep emotional bonding, co-creation, physical affection, emotional understanding, empathy, security, safety, sense of belonging and purpose.

Polyamory Deeper Values: freedom, adventure, variety, exploration, diversification of risk, physical affection, emotional understanding and bonding (sometimes).

There are probably more values than the ones I’ve listed for each type of relationship. Feel free to share yours in the comments section.

Downsides of Monogamy and Polyamory

Jealousy and Other Downsides of Monogamy and PolyamoryHere are some downsides that people tend to associate with monogamy and polyamory. We are not saying these downsides always appear, but they are very, very common. These downsides are more common than most people would like to admit. Again, I am sure we did not get them all here, so feel free to add yours in the comments section of this article.

Downsides of Monogamy: boredom, feeling trapped, stagnation, lack of growth, lack of sexual fulfillment (very common), incompatibility over time, sacrifice, exclusion of others, dishonesty and cheating (extremely common), painful breakups, co-dependency (it’s very rare to see a non-co-dependent monogamous couple but that’s another article entirely)

Downsides of Polyamory: insecurity, jealousy, fear of sexually transmitted diseases, lack of commitment, lack of trust, lack of continuity and longevity, too much complexity and “juggling,” conflicts, possibly social ostracism

Monogamy Would Be Considered Absurd in Just About Any Other Area of Life

Now, I would like you to consider drawing an analogy from the sphere of sex and relationships to other areas of life. In my experience, we can stabilize our romantic relationships by drawing on areas of life where there tends to be more trust, accountability, and integrity, such as financial relationships.

It is “taken for granted” in our society that people will mostly end up in monogamous relationships. It is a very common pattern, for example, among the male population, to “sow their wild oats” for a few years and then eventually “settle down” with one woman. We do this because we are running on unconscious, unquestioned programming. And I dare to say based on the divorce rates, that we know the traditional model does not work. So why is it that we continue to follow it without questioning it?

Think about it – Virtually nobody would agree to “monogamy” in these areas:

* Nobody would want to own a house monogamously (meaning, you can never invite guests over to share dinner with you)

* Nobody would make their toilet monogamous (meaning, your friends can’t use your toilet when they come over for dinner)

* Nobody would agree to be monogamous to just one restaurant (BORING)

* Nobody would own their car monogamously (meaning, nobody can ride in your car except you and perhaps your partner)

* Almost nobody would run a business where they were monogamous to just one client (this is generally seen as a very bad idea, because there is no diversification of risk)

Even when I had a full-time job, which many people treat as monogamous and I think is generally co-dependent, I started a business in my weekend and evening hours. Thank God I did not have a monogamous relationship with my job, it would have severely limited my life options.

Before you have a knee jerk reaction, to what I am writing, I want you to be honest with yourself about this. In just about ANY area of life other than sex, you would consider it SHEER INSANITY to agree to a monogamous relationship.

So here is the cliffhanger of the day: Why is it different with sex?

Okay, this is just part one of this article. I have lots more ideas to share with you, and I want to hear from you in the comments section.

Love,

Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter

p.s. If you have not yet experienced my transformational videos, get started here for free.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

If you liked this article, you will LOVE Erika's EFT tapping video products and coaching ... Get Started Now:

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Comments

  1. luth says:

    This is interesting but you’re not developing the ideas to conclusion. What do you mean by consensus? Did you post the next part of the article?

  2. Vic Tocci says:

    I am getting more than a little tired of this wave of polyamory articles that have been kicking around lately.

    Loving more that one person rarely works out in the long run. People will always naturally gravitate to the opposite sex lover that satisfies their needs most and the other will be left hurt, broken, alone and the relationship will end.

    More power to polyamory people if it feels right for them. This is the way they are made. I feel that polyamory should be a sexual identity along with bi, or gay. The reason so many of us in the “monogamy” community react so strongly to a lot of the polyamory articles is that they always seem to be titled something like, “Is monogamy dead or outdated”. Articles about the gay community never say “Is being straight a thing of the past?” And none of my gay friends have ever asked me to come to the other side because everybody is doing it and my way of thinking is obsolete today. Yet, all of these articles seem to smuggly position polyamory as the “evolved thing” to do. I feel that it is just as supremely arrogant to question the validity of monogamy as a choice as it is to question the validity of any other sexual identity or orientation.

    Not that I’m some kind of prude either. I’m perfectly OK with people exploring threesomes if both partners are sharing an experience that will bring them closer. But if both partners just want to go on and experience other lovers on their own, independent of one another; it may work out temporarily, and some may acquiesce under pressure from the more independent minded partner in a desperate attempt to keep their relationship together, but in the long run the relationship is doomed. Someone will be preferred over the other and the other will be brokenhearted.

    These articles all incessantly laud polyamory as the evolved choice for those strong enough to be unaffected by the petty human need for security, trust, and a desire to feel that the love some partners share should be singularly special. And they always strongly try to imply that people who have enough self love wouldn’t need the comfort, security and love of an unchallenged relationship.

    These articles are always trying to make me feel that if only I was strong, and secure enough I would see the light and come over to the other side. The polyamory community is making no friends friends among the monogamy community by taking this stance. This is the equivalent of telling gays and lesbians that their emotions and reality aren’t real and that if they only tried harder, they could become straight.

    With all this “monogamy is dead rhetoric everywhere I turn, I’m starting to believe I might just be among the last few people alive not fucking everyone on the planet. And don’t even get me started on the “monogamy is not in our caveman nature” crap. You know what! Civilization is not in our caveman nature either. Men use to get women to have sex with by simply overpowering them. Forcefully stealing whole villages of them from their families and their husbands. Do polyamorists believe we shouldn’t have kidnapping and rape laws because it is not in our caveman nature to do so? Should men today simply be able to overpower a woman, drag her into an alley and rape her because he is being true to his caveman truest self? The bullshit is raining so hard on polyamory people they can’t see the sky.

    Finally, it’s not very loving to dismiss and diminish someone’s core belief system that they arrived at through great soul searching and hard won inner truths just because it doesn’t suit you. To challenge my monogamy as a belief system that’s holding me back or an obstacle that I need to overcome is just as arrogant as a fundamentalist christian telling a gay person that if he finds the right god he will see the foolishness of his ways and find the strength within himself to become straight.

    In one recent article I read the author says, that, “the strongest false belief on this planet I find is that we can only love one person.” It’s not that I believe that I can only romantically love one person, it’s that I only want to romantically love one person. Having the ability to do something and wanting to do it are two very different things. And they always seem to use the example,”isn’t a mother capable of loving more than one child? Of course a mother is capable of loving more than one child…but she doesn’t fuck them! Sure, a mother can fuck them…but she doesn’t want to fuck them. See the difference.

    It’s not very “evolved” to belittle another person’s hard-found, truest, inner soul and arrogantly dismiss it as folly. For Cristsake, I’m not brainwashed! And I actively dismiss and rebel against convention and many failing social/political/economic systems in place today. Why can’t you just let me be with what is true for my soul and my life? Why can’t you just lift your purpose without putting down mine? Why can’t you just fuck other people and leave me be with my life, my heart, my soul…my one true love.

  3. michael says:

    I always thought it was our soul that lives on forever and our bodies are just a temporary thing? So you’re saying the only reason we die is because we choose to?

  4. michael says:

    What do you mean by you don’t believe in aging or death?

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Michael,

      Welcome to the blog. Everything we see is an illusion. A projection of our minds. Recognizing this, and recognizing that aging and death make us unhappy, why would we keep them? God made not death, and we renounce it now in every form …

      • michael says:

        so are you saying that our physical form can live forever?

      • Erika Awakening says:

        It could. And any idea – which is what we are – is immortal. The main shift is away from sickness and death and toward a conscious life that will end the dream of earth. When it’s all been perfected, the world will dissolve into light. That is not death. It is a conscious choice to awaken from the dream.

      • michael says:

        :0 you’re blowing my mind right now! this changes everything that I know to be in my life. I don’t know what to think?

      • Erika Awakening says:

        Good to have mind blown, yes? ;)

  5. Cindy says:

    how does one deal with the practicalities of every day life with assets and longevity and security in such situations, especially when children are involved. Degrees of commitment to your young. Going through a monogomous divorce myself after 22 years of marriage, involving the care of children, and assets, it’s a nighmare and emotional mind field. Can polyamory fit into the other modern life structures within an economic sense and where children are involved and require consistency and stability for quite a few years. Are we really needing to look at a much bigger picture here such as societal structure. I’m also exploring the emotional conditioning factor of monogomy in my own life in my late 40′s and wonder if it’s tiring in older age to split your energy between more than one partner, or does more love in your life create more energy. And how does one cope with the aspect of not wanting to be touched by another man after having a warm, beautiful, fulfilling and loving time with a man you love deeply, if then your other partner needs to share. Does someone always miss out?

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Cindy,

      You raise some good questions. I teach a holistic way of life in which we question EVERYTHING. So as I see it, everything is going to evolve over the next few years. I don’t think people will be living with the same limiting structures of raising children, making money, and so on … That will take many, many articles for me to explain fully.

      I also don’t believe in aging or death. This blog will be revolutionary.

      If you are open to a new way of seeing things, I highly recommend the book A Course in Miracles.

      Cheers,
      Erika Awakening

  6. Bjorn says:

    One other thing: Honesty of course is an essential cornerstone of any relationship, especially intimate ones, then respect & loyalty. Its really about the ability to love more than one person simultaneously. Its not for everyone, many aren’t ready for the deprogramming of society that from an early age places heavy emphasis upon singular & one on one relationships. (ie pulling yourself up by your own boot straps mentality.) Self reliance & personal responsibility has its place certainly. In a relationship of two or more it can be a very profound, beautiful & stable emotional, physical, intellectual & even spiritual experience. Besides, its nice to always have someone to share life with, talk about your day. I’m not currently in a poly relationship now.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Bjorn, thanks for sharing your experiences. I believe we can indeed build profound connections among multiple people. We can do this more effectively if we create relationships that first meet people’s need for safety, consistency, and reliability. It’s usually the fear that screws things up, so we need to make sure everyone is well taken care of in these situations.

  7. Bjorn says:

    My poly relationships occurred (by choice) in my 20′s & 30′s, now in my early 40′s I don’t know if I’d have the energy, time, or patience to contend with other’s cultural biases & preconceived notions about relationships who weren’t already familiar with Polyamory. In my 20′s it was all about the sex, then it evolved as I grew. I began valuing the emotional aspect of loving more than one woman, through these relationships I discovered I was nurturing. I actually want to talk, share & connect with my partner/s. I miss that aspect of being involved in a poly relationship. I’m not actively looking for another poly relationship, but certainly wouldn’t discount the possibility with the right person/s…but only if, it wouldn’t jeopardize my current primary relationship. As with most things, they work smoothly in theory & in real-life people are astonishingly unpredictable & complex. Still the experiences were profoundly invaluable.

  8. michael says:

    this site does not need to exist. the whole movement of puas, post-masculinity, male life coaching ,all that was in response to the developing power and influence of females across the world. men in the modern western world need advice on how to deal with their lost power in relationship to women and how to reassert their lost masculinity and usefulness now that females have gone out in the work place and don’t need them anymore. you offer nothing of true value since you only can spew out same old spiritual advice. your new site has no market and your business model is weak. most females know just as much as you in dating and relationships. you will turn into another female life coach/ holistc healer/woo woo consultant who gets 2 clients a year.

    focus on what you do best, the eft, at least there is something unique there. ultimately you do not have a truly sustainable business model like anthony robbins. who teaches nac, an nlp derivative. if you can create something original and worth of real value, you will get that abundance you talk about and internet market to uninformed people.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      I’m sorry to say, Michael, that your comment shows why this site needs to and will continue to exist. You speak from ignorance, not having educated yourself first, and you seem to want to suppress the feminine. That, unfortunately, has been the problem for centuries. A counterbalance is needed, and here it is.

    • Also Erika has much more than 2 clients a year, and her business is thriving. lol

      • Erika Awakening says:

        Thanks Alex. Yes, it looks like I’m making $40,000 this WEEK and we are well into the multiple six figures for the year already. This blog is not about money and business, it is about healing and justice. It may become about money and business, hopefully WITH Mark not against him. Cheers.

  9. Jessica Burde says:

    Honestly, my first reaction to your headline was ‘why does one have to be better?’ It was a pleasant surprise to get into the article and see that you were looking for a real middle ground rather continuing the usually ‘my way is superior idiocy’. After, we don’t need to agree on chocolate or vanilla; cats or dogs; hardwood or carpet or any other area of life. So why should we all have agree on one style of relationship.

    That said, you are defining polyamoury EXTREMELY narrowly, and that grates. Many people do not do couple based polyamory. They are in networks, triads, and a wide variety of other arrangements, and if you base you consensus on couple based relationships you are excluding those.

    Some folks have started talking about designer relationships, with the idea that since every relationship is unique, the people in them should actively discuss, negotiate and design the relationship to fit their needs, and not worry about fitting into ant ‘type’ of relationship, be it monogamy, polyamory or anything else.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Thanks Jessica, yep we have a new ethos here at PostFeminine. I like the idea of designer relationships. That’s where these articles will be going … to talking about what we can create through powerful and honest communication. Glad you chimed in.

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