What Is Monogamy?

What Is Monogamy? Monogamy Is A Sexual Monopoly – That Is Why It Doesn’t Work for Anyone

JealousyMy long-time friend and now lover has rightly pointed out that I need to start defining the terms I am using in these recent articles about monogamy. So here goes … we are going to start with a working definition of “what is monogamy?” which will likely evolve as I receive input and suggestions from all of you :) So exactly what is monogamy and what are we going to do about it?

Monogamy as I am using the term is a sexual monopoly. That’s why it is a problem. According to Wikipedia, a monopoly “exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.”

What Is Monogamy?

Monogamy is an agreement made by two people to exclude all others from sexual relationship. The monopoly of monogamy often extends to other life areas. For example, a monogamous couple may have a “monopoly” over many aspects of their children’s lives as well, which is equally problematic and often leads to abuse. A monogamous couple may share some “secrets” only with each other, and generally pursues at least some “private interests” in which the interests of the “couple” are seen as conflicting with or separate from the interests of their greater community and society.

Some people say they are merely “choosing” to be with one sexual partner over and over and over again. Yet if this were true, there would be no need for a monogamous agreement. And there would be no “dire consequences” for violating that agreement. In practice, the monogamous agreement is usually “policed” in many subtle ways such as the overt or covert threat of the severing of the relationship should the monogamous boundary be breached.

What Is Monogamy and Does It Even Really Exist?

As most of us know, the rates of cheating are sky-high in monogamous relationships, so in fact most so-called monogamous relationships are not actually monogamous. However, because of the often dire consequences of honesty in a monogamous relationship, most of the cheaters are never honest about the cheating.

How perpetuating this sort of illusion is helpful to anyone is really beyond my comprehension. I would love to hear your thoughts on this :) Of course, we are going to add to this definition based on the feedback and questions that I receive …

Erika Awakening

If you’d like to learn how to become this honest, present, and fearless, check out:

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If you missed our earlier articles about monogamy, check them out here:

The Quiet Desperation of Monogamy

Five Reasons Why Monogamy Is An Absolute Bar to World Peace

How Monogamy Is Like Racial Segregation

How Specialness Ruined Sex for Everyone

Saving the Planet One “Orgy” At A Time


Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter

Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms.

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

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  1. Love Jocelyn says:

    For me its more of a time commitment in life.

  2. Daamini Shrivastav says:

    We found inspiration and support in Erika Awakening for which we're both grateful and privileged :-)

  3. Kundan Ibelieveinyou Chhabra says:

    I am not gonna deny that monogamy is a sexual monopoly, but that is not really the problem with monogamy. So many people have so much fear, rage and limiting beliefs around sexuality that coming at this from a sexual angle misses the point entirely.

    The problem with monagamy is actually that it's basis is sexuality and our cultural programming and limiting beliefs about sex, rather than unconditional love. Monogamy places a relationship on our sociobiological programming and its notions of love.

    I've seen comments on your Facebook such as: "So, if I am not having sex with more than one person, then I am not loving everybody equally. Then I am equal to being a racist. This does not make sense." And they are right, it's hard to make that connection when coming at it from a sexual angle as sex is only one form of love.

    There are four major types of love:

    Familia – love between brothers and sisters, parents and children (we don't have sex with family, do we? So, are we 'excluding' family by not having sex with them? Do we not love them anyways despite not having sex with them?)

    Platonic love – love between friends, between coworkers, and between mentors and students, or therapists and clients (there is a reason why it's such a big no-no to date your clients or have sex with them – the therapist has so much more power over the client that true consent becomes questionable, as there is no true equality)

    Agape Love – Spiritual Love, God's Love. Who You Really Are

    Eros – Sexual Romantic Love. Monogamy probably does place a monopoly on this type of love, but not on the other types of love. But the problem is not so much the monopoly but the restriction on a person's personal Freedom. And ultimately, true love wants the best for everybody, and so, would never impose restrictions on a person's freedom. THAT is the real problem with monogamy.

  4. Bonnie Gayle says:

    I feel this is a choice that each couple should choose as to whether they want to be monogamous or polyamourous. Personally I love the idea of allowing myself to grow with one person who is as open to experience as I am without the worry or possibility of what being with several people opens me up to from a disease standpoint. Like I said.. that is just my perspective for myself. I have had experience with many in my life, not really finding deep connections even though I had a lot of fun and now choose to grow together in a deeper way with one person while having lots of fun as well!

  5. Jason Hairston says:

    Seth Spain Thanks for the love Seth. I appreciate you. Namaste :)

  6. Seth Spain says:

    It's hard to think most people choose to astray from that when it is so enlightening. You are a beautiful person and I love reading your words :)

  7. Jason Hairston says:

    Seth Spain I do too, but you have to do a lot of inner work and rid insecurities to get to that point.

  8. Seth Spain says:

    I agree. But I feel each individual in a relationship should be able to have sexual relations with anyone they choose, If they feel a connection with another person.

  9. Jason Hairston says:

    @Seth I think you could have a healthy monogamous relationship if too people choose to grow and expand together while allowing each other to still be individuals. Our conditioning leads us to believe monogamy is the only way though. It's hard to shake when our belief systems around sexuality are built around guilt and shame.

  10. Seth Spain says:

    I've told many of my friends and family this and most disagree completely.

  11. Very interesting article – we are making a documentary film titled, WHY KNOT which explores this issue in depth – go to igg.me/at/whyknotmovie
    to watch the trailer and find out more.

  12. Michele Nitti says:

    what is poly-amorous? Love this dialogue: morethantwo.com/polyamory.html

  13. Jason Hairston says:

    I think monogamy limits your experience as a human being.

  14. Jason Hairston says:

    I think monogamy limits your experience as a human being.

  15. Alexander says:

    Hey there Erika,

    Thanks for the post on a tremendously important part of daily life: the conviction ‘being monogamous is a good thing’. In fact; all identifications we have as humans are ‘relationships’ and therefore are also monogamous. I seems that this remark might make things a lot more complex and yet simplifies things a 100fold, if people were only to under-stand what is really happening.

    Frankly: I totally GET what you’re saying here, but most of your readers – I presume – do not. They seem to be stuck in the sexual part of it all, which is highly explainable of course.

    I’ve noticed that since you started posting your ‘mono-poly’ articles, comments have declined. There is a lot of resistance out there? Or maybe not? Are people afraid to post there opinions? Or do they not fully under-stand what ‘this´ implies… you’re ‘touching’ the entire spectrum of ‘relationships’ in general. So there is much more to it than ‘just’ the sex-part… which – by the way – is very nice when it is full of unconditional love without ‘being chained to the wall’ (I’m not into that sort of thing ;) ) or, more precise: ‘without crucifing yourself’.

    I’m not preaching to the converted here, you know that right? I’d just like to suggest that you start explaining more why you were to come to your conclusions about monogamy and polyamory by explaining what relationships are (in the broadest sense of the term). For instance: what purpose they serve (projections) and where they can be found (in humans, animals, behaviour etc) but their importance is easy overlooked?

    Love and Light,

    • Erika Awakening says:

      No worries … I’m not working alone here … we are just taking a big deep breath before we continue on …

      As for more articles, yeah there’s a lot to explain … I’ve been thinking about this for a long time …

      All in God’s timing, my friend … all in God’s timing.

      Thanks for commenting :)

  16. rosa parks says:

    I have a question :)
    So, you are saying that there is an agreement in monogamous relationships, right?
    What is the difference about polyamorous relationships? There are no rules?
    If you want to spend Christmas with your new lover and his wife and kid (and possibly their families), that would be okay? Because I do think all kind of relationships (even friendships) need rules to be healthy.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Rosa Parks,

      These are great questions and very worthy of our exploration here. We could have a very long conversation about this. Perhaps this will turn into a new blog article. This weekend I came up with a new name for my model of relationships – not open relationships, not “unfenced” relationships, not poly relationships … I think the best phrase is “inclusive relationships.”

      Inclusive means we are now embracing other people instead of trying to keep them out. And yes of course we are going to need to think deeply about how this is going to work. Well, all my family relationships were dysfunctional so I already had to think deeply about those and get them healed. Now they are much better and we actually enjoy spending time together. Now I enjoy including my family in my home.

      So let’s extend that to other people as well. Now as I first did this, problems did arise. Those problems needed to be faced. Sometimes I let people stay with me and there was lots of anger, or they didn’t respect the space. Well, all of that needs to be tapped and released so it can transform.

      I don’t think we need “rules.” Rules are too rigid. I think we need to clarify our values (such as honesty, respect, equality, integrity, mutuality, and so forth) and then communicate in a compassionate way to help everyone understand the values. My new lover and I had several long conversations before we had sex. I wanted to make sure our values were on the same page before we had sex so that I would not run into the same problems I’ve encountered with previous lovers. I also feel way more detached from the outcome and relaxed this time around. I don’t feel like I need to force some particular outcome because I have let go the false ideals of the nuclear family. The combination of clear communication and no agenda has so far led everything to be peaceful and enjoyable.

      Does that help? We could write a book about this, and right now I’m going to bed. Thanks for stopping by :)

      – Erika

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