Cheers Sexy People!
I have been hard at work preparing my presentation for The 4th International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy. Ironically, I am the first speaker Saturday morning, February 14th. Yup, that’s right! Valentine’s Day! How hilarious is that?! I’m going to go up there and speak publicly about my polycule and how it came to be on a day when many people around the country are dedicating the day to their “One and Only”, doing everything that they can to make them feel special and like there is no one else that even holds a candle to their beloved. Yet, I have two beloveds. Many of you do too (or three or four).
I am very excited to go to this conference to meet other like-minded individuals, as well as have the opportunity to speak in front of at least what I am thinking is a poly-curious, open-minded group. I am hoping that having a real live polyamorous woman there telling her story and offering her insights will be potentially mind-blowing for many audience members. It will also be a privilege and honor to be your “voice” as a representative of this awesome community that we are building here. I want to do you all justice in championing our collective cause of relationship and loving-style freedom of choice, tolerance and acceptance.
As the days get closer to actually giving the presentation, I have been quietly freaking out. I have written, scrapped, started all over, and rewritten the presentation three times now. This past Saturday night, my husband was trying to help me as he has given many presentations in his career. Whereas I have given exactly zero. Zilch. Nadda. None. But I am passionate about this topic, and I believe that I can rock this given the proper preparation, motivation and support. To move me along, my husband took all of my notes, my goals and took a stab at what he thought might be a good presentation – one he would give if he were giving it. Bless his heart for really “getting in the weeds” with me and digging deep on a Saturday night to try to get me to calm the fuck down and believe in myself and this presentation. When he was done. A lightbulb went off! Seeing someone else give my talk stirred me up in just the right way. NO! That presentation was not right! Some great points and facts in there, which I’m totally gonna steal. But it’s not my voice. I want to tell my story very truthfully, baring my soul, with a touch of silliness in an effort to get them to connect with me and my message. I started all over and the hubs and I brainstormed as he got behind and understood what I was trying to do.
Here is the current working title. I welcome your feedback and your input. Please think to yourselves, what would YOU like to hear if I was giving a presentation in your town?
Polyamory vs. Cheating
(Lessons from a former serial monogamist)
As I have been preparing the visual aids and writing up my talk, I have been doing lots of research, looking up statistics, reading articles, reading books such as More Than Two (great book so far, by the way!). And I’ve been getting down and dirty with the concept of … Why Do We Cheat? Hmmmm, why did I cheat in the past? Why have any of YOU cheated in the past?
Here are some of my reasons for cheating before I discovered and fell in love with ethical non-monogamy / polyamory:
- The thrill of it – Maybe I was bored, maybe my relationship with person A was starting to fizzle out, and person B seemed more interesting. A lot of my relationships “overlapped” – meaning I cheated on one before I dumped him, and left him for the next hot thing. What a jerk I was. But that’s the truth.
- Upgrading – In my quest for “The One”, I kept trying to constantly update my man, thinking the guy I married was like “the prize”, the blue ribbon. I wanted to win the “best” one. What a fool I was! And what a silly “disney” thought. But that was the cool-aid I was drinking at the time.
- Feeling “naughty” – Hey, let’s face it – it can be damn exciting to cheat. It feels like you are “getting away with something” (unless of course you get caught, which to my knowledge, I never did).
- “Better” sex – Maybe sex is starting to get too “comfortable” or you’re “going through the motions” with guy #1. Whereas guy #2 is fresh meat. You don’t know yet how he kisses, how he touches you, what he smells like. It’s all exciting and new.
- New emotional bonds – Getting to know new people is fun, right? And wow, this new guy likes me and what I’m all about! How refreshing! Maybe we start to feel like we are being taken for granted by guy #1. It’s always nice to feel truly appreciated.
As I did my research, some of what I read made me laugh out loud. For sure, almost all of the articles are written with monogamy in mind. Phrases like: “56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages” and “Most men are still in love with their wives when they cheat” make me giggle. Maybe some of these men who have affairs have a polyamorous streak in them that they are denying? In my circle, both my husband as an example and my friend’s partner are very happily married, yet have girlfriends whom they also adore. Maybe it’s time for more people to consider thinking outside the box? With polyamory in mind, this one also made me chuckle: “A lot of women think that all cheating women are floozies – not true. The relationships are usually friendships first.” Haha! Why do many (the “haters”) always like to point the figure and yell “Slut!” first? Also, of course many “cheatees” are friends first (whether old friends or colleagues). It’s natural and human to connect and embrace friendships with other human beings that we like or care about. Cheating happens when we break our agreements, whatever they are, without consent.
Here are some of the other reasons I found given in an article for why people “cheat”:
- The romance is gone – Both men and women like the “romance” aspect of relationships. Sometimes in the “companionate” love part of relationships, we cheat because we “suffer in silence, believing we can’t get what we want from our spouses.” How sad, when perhaps just having a frank, heartfelt conversation to express our true feelings, and then plan “date nights” might help solve that.
- Men cheat to “save their marriages” – “Men love their spouses, but they don’t know how to fix their relationship problems, so they go outside their marriages to fill any holes. Men want it all and have the skewed notion that another woman will make the longing for something more disappear.” First off, again with the not knowing how to communicate our true needs with our spouse. I think it is highly important to any human in any relationship to bone up on great communication skills. And hoping the “longing for something more will disappear” just reeks to me of “trying to pray the gay away,” doesn’t it?
- Men hate themselves after affairs – Cheaters tend to “despise themselves after their indiscretions, and feel like a piece of garbage. After all, he’s betraying another human being who he claims to care about.” Amen to that. THIS is why I finally made a vow to myself to stop cheating. I *hated* hating myself. I hated being “THAT” person. The jerk. With the lack of integrity. I didn’t want that to be my legacy. I wanted to work on my own self-respect.
At the very end of the article, it states in regards to whose to blame for indiscretion:
“The ‘fault’ is that the signs of disconnection have been ignored by both parties.”
THAT is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? The partners need to put their “big boy pants on” and realize that there were signs of disconnection, and they were ignored, not discussed, not addressed.
Here is the full article I am referring to if you are interested in reading it:
I would love to hear your thoughts on any of this! Please feel free to chime in.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)