As I write this, I’m talking to my partner in crime, a Cornell graduate who happens to be a man, with whom I happen to be in a very serious, very committed, monogamous relationship.
Say it with me: muh-NAH-ga-muss.
Weird, isn’t it? Shouldn’t I be out in the world banging as many people as possible to gain fodder for my writing? Last fall, that’s exactly what I would have been doing. But now here I am, attached — long-distance, even! — to a frat boy. How did it happen? The Torso Boob Face.
I met Boyf in the fall of my junior year. After a few months of much flirting and blue-ball-inducing sexual tension, I met Boyf’s penis. And a couple of months after that, I grabbed a Sharpie and drew a face on my torso with boobs for the eyes, a nose down my middle, and a smirking mouth that terminated at my bellybutton.
He laughed his ass off while I shook my eye-tits to and fro. It was a pivotal moment that changed our relationship from “friends with bens” to “Holy shit, you’re amazing and I could really dig spending all my time with you.”
Let’s rewind a little. I am a historically unfaithful person. I’ve fooled around on a lot of people lots of times while keeping up a pretense of fidelity. And unless there are circumstances that make it necessary for you to be boning someone else while looking into your partner’s eyes and telling them they’re the only one, cheating is basically pretty bad for your relationship. It’s definitely not something I’m proud of, but I finally got it through my dome that monogamy just wasn’t for me.
So I set out to hump until I could no more with no strings attached, no messy sneaking around, and no dishonesty. I climbed atop and came upon a wide variety of folks, got familiar with all shapes and sizes and depths and textures — all with the understanding that the word “monogamy” would shrivel my she-rection in the blink of an eye.
And then along came Boyf. He knew the drill: flirting, fucking, but nothing even close to A Future. If I’m being honest here, the first time we had sex … It was boring. And awkward. It was the kind of sex that’s too slow to be sensual because you’re too nervous (or tired) to move the right way. I was happy to quit and cuddle. Boyf did not impress me that night in bed, and I did not impress him.
That night resembled some — but not all — of the one-shot deals I’d had before that were affected by a lack of familiarity and comfort. Maybe you’ve been there: fumbling while taking off each other’s clothes and trying to maintain the porno-esque ambience, wrestling with self-consciousness and nerves over your performance, coming too soon or not soon enough, or — horror of horrors! — not being able to get your new partner off. It’s the stuff that leaves you rethinking your decision to spend the night.
Luckily for me I did spend the night, and came back for many more. The sex got better and better until the poor guy momentarily lost hearing in his left ear (I’m a Screamer). It’s easy to think that sex with just one person can get monotonous — monogamy, monotonous, it seems like just one way of doing something always feels less exciting — but my experience has been exactly the opposite.
The more we got to know each other, the better the doin’ it became. We know just how to reach simultaneous, body-rocking, holy-cannoli-when’s-this-gonna-end orgasms. It is AWESOME. Knowing each other’s bodies so well makes trying new things even more exciting. Wanna try a standing 69? Hell yes I do! I’m gonna put on bunny ears and hop around the living room and you chase me like you’re a hound dog and … Ahem.
But it wasn’t just the sex that led me to monogamy. It was the conversation. It was the serious consideration we gave to one another’s thoughts. It was the feeling of being completely at ease. And the Torso Boob Face, with its goofy little smirk, showed me that he and I have exactly the same sense of humor.
You can definitely get all of these things from a person you’re not monogamous with. If you can’t get it from one person — and isn’t it a little unreasonable to EXPECT to find it all in one package? — you can sure as hell find some combination in a pair, or a threesome, or any numbered group of people. What I didn’t explicitly realize when I was sluttin’ around on people was that I wanted them to be everything to me. When they weren’t — couldn’t be — I went to other people to get what was lacking. I didn’t have the guts to say, “Hey, this exclusive thing isn’t working for me. I love the conversations we have, but you can’t really make me come and when I ask you to chase me like I’m a bunny you act a little too freaked out” or any variation thereof.
Monogamy was and still is a risk for me to take with my partner. It’s not for everyone at every time in your life, and it’s OK for your feelings about it to change. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s amazing. It could be a bad idea or a great one. You get it.
So when you’re wondering whether a person is right for you to be exclusive with for a night or a month or a year, remember the Torso Boob Face. If they don’t jive with your eye-tits, it’s back to the drawing board.
Liana Mancini is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at email@example.com The Shocker appears alternate Thursddays this semester.