Dan Savage and being mongamish

I went and listened to Dan Savage talk for the “Festival of Dangerous Affairs” today at a packed Princes Theatre in Melbourne. My Facebook friend Maureen McCarthy asked me what stuff did I hear about there. This is what I posted.

Dan talked about his usual themes in his direct, wise and engaging manner.He is a very humanistic person who believes in the rewards of committed long-term loving relationships but wants us to accept the reality of us being sexual beings. That is that monogamy is really difficult, and we should not trash a good relationship only because of the inevitability of a partner one time getting a blow job on a business trip or fucking their personal trainer. He contrasts the unrealistic and destructive ideal of monogamy with the more feasible notion of people accepting themselves as being monogamish. He is not being prescriptive and saying people must be like anything, he is just talking about an option for people to consider how they might understand themselves and each other. Being Monogamish is people being committed to a partner but accepting that they, and their partner, will be sexually attracted to others. This is different to being poly, which is loving more than one person at a time, and having sex with them too. A monogamish couple may only acknowledge the reality of attraction to others, without having sex outside their relationship. Every person should ask and continue to ask their partner “what are you into”. That is a successful relationship, and being monogamish is all about communication and acceptance.

3 Replies to “Dan Savage and being mongamish”

  1. I consider poly as a state of being rather than a lifestyle choice, much like identifying oneself as being gay etc. It therefore follows that a poly person doesn’t necessarily have to be having a sexual relationship or love more than one person to identify as poly. I guess that sounds more like Dan’s “monogamish”. Really, it’s an issue about acknowledging that humans are social and sexual animals and forging social norms that are based on honesty and respect.

  2. I love Dan Savage. I wish he’d been teaching Sex Education at my school all those years ago! Then I wouldn’t now be 47, single, & only JUST learning how to say ‘this is what I’m into- this is what I want/need, & no, I can’t be monogamous for the rest of my life and that’s more than OKAY!’ 🙂

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