Being Monogamous in a (Largely) Poly Community

In my twenties, I had sex with whomever I liked, whenever I liked unless I was involved in a monogamous relationship. Biology got what biology wanted. These days, biology hardly ever gets what it wants. I love sex way more than most, but lust is no longer an acceptable reason to take off my clothes. I’ve learned that emotions are a necessary part of sex for me.

Much as I try not to, once we’ve traded body fluids, I’ll be looking for significance between us. Does my complete and utter lack of a casual sex life make me feel I’m missing out? All the time, and yet these days I prefer not to do life any differently.


I’m also hopelessly monogamous, and out in the vanilla world, that makes life simpler. Here in the hallowed halls of kink, poly is the going thing and it sucks that I can’t swing that way. With me, sex = relationship and relationship = one man, one woman. Fucking that poly guy because biology can’t possibly tolerate yet another date with a fake, buzzy penis would only end in shattered hopes.

When I’m committed to one of my many long stints at singlehood, biology hates my heart. Biology is like that three-year-old in the candy aisle who will get that chocolate, dammit, even if it means holding its breath until it passes out. My heart is the annoying mother who keeps getting in the way of my fun by saying “no”. I could have a naked man in my lounge within the hour, and sometimes that pisses me off. But I’m still not shagging that poly guy.

I’ve never had a memorable one-night stand. I have had a memorable open relationship, and not for good reasons. I despised the constant striving not to attach so much that I cared which women he was fucking. I wasn’t made for multiple partners. I see the benefits, believe me, but I’m the type who wouldn’t be able to profit from them.

Being monogamous cuts my potential dating pool in half. It also makes being single sometimes feel like a long walk in a desert. Having no access to sex isn’t exactly the most fun you can have on a Friday night, but there’s a reason mothers don’t let their kids eat all the chocolate they want. That reason is that global chocolate stocks would decline to the point of extinction within a week. Okay, so maybe I don’t know that much about parenting, but I do know a lot about me. And for me, monogamy and profound connection ultimately give me something that I never got as my 20-year-old self: better sex; a happier life.

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