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Polyamory / Relationships

Non Monogamy Is One Million Freaks Holding Hands at Once

"Non-monogamy is watching your lover fall in love with someone else again and again and again– It is pulling up a new chair and making the table feed more than expected."

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Written by Sara Youngblood Gregory.
Art by Vonecia Carswell.

Non-monogamy looks like my girlfriend living with my girlfriend before I live with my girlfriend.

It looks like struggling to remember which partner I described to which coworker. It’s navigating the “I thought you said your girlfriend was German, not French” without mentioning the Russian or the Cuban. It is cutting my life into bite size pieces of mirror; Don’t look too hard or I’ll be hearing from HR.

Non-monogamy is having a party wherever you go with your best friends. There is laughter and silly disagreements on which kind of dairy-free milk is best because we all get terrible stomach aches. Non-monogamy is having a family where before there was a void.

Non-monogamy is having a family where before there was a void.

It is the freefall when a friend turns to me while driving home from downtown and declares triumphantly, “I’m polyam now too!” It has been 6 days since the end of their 6 year relationship. Non-monogamy is the catch-all term for anyone who wants to sleep with anyone.

Non-monogamy is the proximity to heartache and the constant submission to her. Non-monogamy means sharing. It means nothing I love is ever truly mine.

Non-monogamy is watching your lover fall in love with someone else again and again and again– It is pulling up a new chair and making the table feed more than expected.

It is pulling up a new chair and making the table feed more than expected.

 Non-monogamy is not driving, but it is watching the wheel spin out while praying to God.

Non-monogamy is the belief that my freedom can co-exist with yours and that our shared dignity is greater than my need to control. I am tired of control. I see red and green Christmas-colored anger. I see stars. I see the world going flat with longing then the eruption of  skyscrapers with open mouths.

Non-monogamy means being single for a long time.

It is doing the readings. It means that my life looks nothing like the readings. It means writing your own readings, comparing the notes, and then scribbling it out. There are no scripts. It means getting used to the explosions.

Non-monogamy is learning that good threesomes mean that everyone takes turns being third. If you know what I mean, I want to know more.

Non-monogamy means everyone gets their own bedroom and, if you are a non-breeder, formerly known as DINKs, it means multiple incomes without kids. Together, we find financial stability through the pooling of sex, love and interdependence. I recall how women were not allowed bank accounts without a husband’s name until the 1970’s. This motivates me.

Non-monogamy is learning to say yes again and again, while also learning to say no again and again. It is learning to tell the difference between what is expected and what is felt.

It is a breakup with spectators; A breakup is a team effort where no one wins.

It is the anxiety that I am not enough and it is the relief that I don’t have to be.

It is the anxiety that I am not enough and it is the relief that I don’t have to be.

It is the synergy of the realization that the bifurcation of sex and companionship is impossible. It is about the disappearance of the “and.”

It is being a bottom and knowing there is no shortage of people willing to bend over.

Non-monogamy means holidays are a nightmare and that family is messy. It means more secrets– or less depending on where you come from. It means something like lesbian seperatism, but I’m not sure what.

Non-monogamy means I don’t believe in primary partners. If I did she would be my cat, Pom Pom, who sleeps with me every night, which no other partner presumes.

Non-monogamy means thinking about a commune full of goats and maybe a tax cow if only my lover’s lover’s metamor can get that promotion. It means a big party the day everyone drives eight hours to my house after months of planning.

Non-monogamy has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with long, long talks and re-learning how to communicate again and again. It is learning how to ask the same question ten different ways and following up with ten more clarification questions, then asking yourself ten more.  So, actually, yes, this is sex, too.

It is learning how to ask the same question ten different ways and following up with ten more clarification questions, then asking yourself ten more.

Non-monogamy is an arsenal of sex toys, an entire room for sex, a bureua of rope, a lending library of vibrators, nipple clamps, floggers, latex, spandex, hoods, sparkly butt plugs, strap-ons of all sizes and endless imagination.

Non-monogamy is the explosion of the private sphere because there is no public sphere without the private. My lovers and I know where you work and we go there in leather-packing, plastic genitalia. There is nowhere outside we won’t fuck and there is no parking lot safe from our lust. There will be one million freaks holding hands at once.



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