I have a couple different mono/poly clients and sometimes it’s hard finding a way to reach an accord between the two of them. One way is to highlight that sex, intimacy and relationship are not the same. To often we conflate all three into a sticky mess and when we suss it out, we discover a lot of fascinating nuances.
I recently had a conversation with one of my clients (the mono person in the relationship) about this after she read a few of the posts I’ve posted lately about monogamy and polyamory. She had this wonderful aha moment about her and her partner. She realized that while he may be sexually poly (I call that polyfuckery) he’s romantically monogamous (or intimately & relationship monogamous). I could feel the relief in her voice when she told me this.
My education partner and friend, Nekole Shapiro is sexually monogamous and yet intimately poly. She’s definitely relationship monogamous. I on the other hand am poly in all three areas: sex, intimacy and relationship.
So, when looking at your polyamorous or monogamous identity it’s good to suss out exactly where the poly and the mono lies. While you may be sexually monogamous, you may still want other romantic, asexual relationships if intimacy and relationships are where you find your poly self. Or you may just want to have lots of sex with lots of folks but just be romantically involved with one person. Being poly doesn’t have to be all three. (I know some of you may feel that being poly requires being sexual or being romantically involved and we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that definition).