I am normally better about posting on a weekly basis but it has been three weeks, sorry y’all. I’m fine and I hope you are too. More of my friends have been sick with Covid in the last two weeks than I can count so we’ve been staying at home. Last night Kev took me out for dinner so that helped take me out of my funk. Anyway. This blog isn’t about Covid, my funk or Kev’s locked bits and pieces. It is about dating, mating, relating, non-monogamy and other stuff I’ve been thinking about. This one may be more about me than most of my blogs because I’ve had more time to think on it. I’ll apologize in advance for my many pop culture references. Enjoy and I’ll try to be much more bloggier for all of you. I missed you. Yeah you.
The entire hookup culture is mostly foreign to me. I am a serial monogamist because I like the safety and security that I get with a partner. I have codependent tendencies but it isn’t about reinforcing those tendencies, it is about feeling more comfortable in a partnered life than in an unpartnered life. I feel safer with someone to have my back. My internal Bonnie likes to have a Clyde around. Am I more codependent than most, probably. Am I self aware enough to make sure that I understand where codependency starts and ends, I think I am. My therapist says she thinks Kev and I have a healthy relationship but sometimes I feel like she is telling me what I want to hear. I am so far off track, let’s screech those brakes and get back to hookup culture.
Hookup culture is the very definition of non-monogamy but how can it exist in a monogamist society? Why does it exist at all when our society is so set on the partnered life? There is a yin yang relationship between many opposites when it comes to relationships. Whether we are talking about the relationship between monogamy to nonmonogamy or codependency to counterdependency, balance is important. Balance is important with so many things. Finding a balance is important in other parts of life such as sobriety and alcoholism, unemployment and being a workaholic. The hookup culture is a manifestation of our dopamine driven side of strategic pluralism. What is strategic pluralism? Keep reading.
Strategic Pluralism / Dual Mating Strategy
Strategic pluralism is the fascinating idea that women seek out two different types of men depending on hormonal levels. Our mate choice mechanism is wired for two very different types of selectors. One selector looks for men who are… fucking hot. Handsome, great genes, great fitness and very strong male characteristics. We do this during the most fertile part of our ovulatory cycle. The other selector seeks out men who are not out of our league. Specifically men who are more likely to make us feel secure by investing their time and resources. We seek this type of man when we are in less fertile parts of our ovulatory cycle. You read that right, we are basically hard wired to partner with a nice guy but seek hookups with the hot guy. I don’t mean “nice guy” in the incel asshole definition. I mean the nice guy in the he would make a great partner way.
Nonmonogamy vs Monogamy
Ok so we look for a quality partner most of the time but our eyes will wander when we are most fertile due to hormones. That means we are hard wired to cheat, right? I don’t know if that is true but our reproductive system has a job to do and many of us don’t want to reproduce. We even take pills to short circuit our reproductive system. When you track your cycle, do you find yourself most horny when you are most fertile? Of course you do. Do you find that your eyes wander more frequently when you are most fertile? I’ll bet you do.
Our society embraces monogamy over nonmonogamy because it implies a sort of moral order that predates birth control. Prior to having the ability to short circuit our reproductive system, sex would usually result in pregnancy. Women were pregnant much of the time and many women would bear half a dozen children with only one or two of them surviving. Do you remember playing The Oregon Trail™? How many of your kids died of typhoid or dysentery? That’s right, by the time you got to Green River, your wagon was mostly empty. Monogamy was the glue that held a family together and marriage is the piece of paper that made him financially responsible for that family.
Is marriage an outdated concept? Yes. Is monogamy an outdated concept? Despite the flaws and inconsistencies that monogamy presents, I think it still has its merits. Remember Al Bundy from Married with Children™? As a shoe salesman, he supported a wife, two kids and a two story house in suburbia. Now a shoe salesman would struggle to pay for a studio apartment without a roommate. Life is harder to afford and partnering makes life easier. Life is more complicated too. I really enjoy having my partner around because I feel a sense of connection that I don’t feel with my family or even my closest friends. I do believe that life is easier and much more fun with a partner. Kev notices when I am feeling depressed and takes me out to dinner. When I am less self aware about things I am going through, he gives me a wakeup call. I am the yin to his yang. Some nights we switch things up and I am the yang to his yin though (for the uninitiated, that was a pegging joke).
Nonmonogamy isn’t considered ok by mainstream society but a couple with a good grasp on their communication shouldn’t allow that discourage them from exploring. If BOTH of you want to give it a try, it becomes consensual non monogamy and you should consider it. It should be stated that there are some gendered differences in terms of the science behind nonmonogamy. The male fantasy of two women doesn’t have many psychological benefits in terms of science but it can be fun and a confidence boost for the man and even if there is no benefit, fulfilling fantasies together can be fun. The female side of the equation with two men can not only be exciting but it can be a wonderful confidence boost. I must warn you, this sort of threesome can feel very comfortable and natural in very little time. Opening yourself to non-monogamy scenario shouldn’t be a rash decision. You need to gauge yourself and your man to see if he can handle this sort of thing. While men can get wrapped up and turned on by the idea, tread lightly because there is really no going back. Opening myself to two men allowed me to be more comfortable with my sexuality and more in tune with what I want. It also allowed the sexual connection with Kev to become even more emotional. I was able to better separate the physical side of intimacy from the emotion side of intimacy.
This is the first time I am admitting it on this blog but I felt intense physical chemistry with our third and it bordered on love. I talked to Kev about this when it happened and I told Andrew (our third) my feelings as well. We lived together for a time during the pandemic lockdown and even discussed the idea of a long term poly relationship for a spell. You may have noticed that I never really posted a blog summing up our relationship with Andrew because I never really sorted out my emotions. I do want to say that this was a more physical and lust-based love than I have with Kev. I have a wonderfully intense emotional connection with Kev and my love for him grows stronger by the day. Even with Andrew in our lives I never questioned my love and commitment with Kev. I’m going to abruptly change the subject now because I am still not fully ready to explore this in written form.
Ok Emma, so the wealth divide and complicated culture is your argument for monogamy? No, not really. The argument for monogamy is because loving someone allows us to better love ourselves. This is a very personal decision and my preference certainly isn’t the right way. My preference is just that, my preference. I do think that many couples may want to explore the concept of strategic pluralism and use it to enhance their relationship by bringing a third into their bedroom but that decision isn’t right for everyone. Do what you are comfortable with and enjoy each other.