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.