November 5, 2014

GUEST ROOM: Embracing Monogamish

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By MASC. DOM. TOP

The day has finally cum. The “gays” have officially infiltrated The Sun’s weekly sex column. Quick! Someone call The Cornell Review before I tear down too many good ole “traditional” American family values! SPOILER ALERT: You’re too late.

With that being said, I’ve come to a point in life where I’m really not so keen on automatically accepting the monolithic and ridiculously over-romanticized ideal that true, meaningful relationships must adhere to strict fidelity. Quite frankly, our society’s rather pervasive use of monogamy as a barometer for successful relationships (instead of things like, you know, honesty or happiness) creates a lot of unrealistic expectations for people and their partners. Now, I’m not saying that monogamy is inherently wrong or that it has never worked for anyone (straight or gay), but that our cultural obsession with monogamy is dishonest in how it blatantly ignores basic human sexuality. Seriously, why must your partner’s sexual attraction to other people be mutually exclusive with their love for you? Look, I’m not here today to lecture you on how monogamy is an evil invention of the cis-heteropatriarchy like some FGSS windbag, as this is a topic and discourse that I am still actively grappling with in my own life.

Although my boyfriend and I have been together for about a year now — and I’ve never been happier — there have been points in our relationship where I was entirely consumed by insecurity and doubt. While apart over this past summer, I found myself on Grindr (a gay “social networking” application) chatting almost daily with other guys, althoughnone of my conversations led to physical encounters. I couldn’t help but think that there was something fundamentally wrong with me. To make matters worse, having saved my boyfriend as a “favorite” on Grindr — which means thatI can see whether or not he’s online and using the app — I noticed that he was also online almost daily. How the hell could we both be in love with each other and at the same time actively flirt with and be physically attracted to other gay men?

The internal shame and guilt I experienced was the product of a deeply ingrained, subconscious notion that in order for love to be true and valid one’s thoughts must be wholly consumed by that one single person. However, after returning to campus this semester and confiding in each other our shared feelings of guilt that ate away at us over the summer, we ultimately realized that this was absolute bullshit. Our love for each other was always real, and it is by no means negated by the fact that we find other people to be sexually attractive and enjoy flirting with them (online or in person). Moreover, by renegotiating and deconstructing the arbitrary nature of monogamous expectations, my boyfriend and I have been able to achieve a level of open and honest communication that has enabled us to explore our innermost feelings and desires together — like having really, really, really hot threesomes. Seriously, I’m hard as a fucking rock right now just thinking about it. If The Sun ends up letting me write another guest column, I’ll make sure to devote it entirely to divulging all of the juicy, intimate details.

People can’t help having certain desires or urges, and we really shouldn’t lie to our partners about them. Some people need getting kinky with floggers, some people need flirting, some people need more than one sexual partner at a time and some people don’t need sex at all (shout out to all the asexual people out there). At the end of the day, the romantic relationships you have with people ought be built upon a constant, honest communication and (re)negotiation of each partner’s unique interests, feelings and desires, and not that of chaste preset relationship constructs.

Masc. Dom. Top is a junior at Cornell. Responses can be sent to associate-editor@cornellsun.com. Guest Room appears periodicallys this semester.