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57
Okay, monogamous-bashing dickheads. You want interesting? I'll give you interesting:

My sister and I was raised by a mother who had borderline personality disorder. I was sexually molested starting at age four by my father. I developed anorexia when I was 13 years old. That lasted a couple of years. Then, after I snapped out of that, I started to physically hurt myself, just to numb out the feelings. Then, I found alcohol. I became an alcoholic. I didn't get sober until September 1996.

So, what does this all have to do with monogamy? I'm one of the monogamous guys in the first letter that Dan published above. My partner, who is not an alcoholic, put up with the hot mess that I was for the first 15 years of us being together, and we remained monogamous. You think that there weren't problems along the way? Take your head out of your ass, wipe off the santorum, and get real.
Posted by frescoboy on April 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
Fortunate 56
They may be boring but they serve a purpose, particularly on a site like this where we mostly hear about the problems. Sure, the problems are interesting, but if someone is reading they may end up discouraged and despondent because if you were just to go by Dan's questions, answers, and these comments you may end up with the mistaken belief that if you think you would be happiest with a monogamous relationship you are out of luck and will have to settle for either being monogamish or getting cheated on.

But that is not true, and while seeing examples of successful, monogamous relationships may not be particularly exciting, it is a little break from the drama and a reminder to those who seek something similar that it is possible.

And it's over already so we will be back to the angst and issues that are interesting and fun to read about, and we all survived the boring week unharmed.
Posted by Fortunate on April 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
geoz 55
@2.... I find them boring too. But they aren't if you are in them. I have my own boring (to you) story, but I like mine. The connection surpases the word "monogomy". That is the excitment.
Posted by geoz on April 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
54
Ms Noadi - I did say "probably unintentionally". Perhaps you have not seen same-sex couple sabotage other same-sex couples' reputations all as part and parcel of the sacred duty of parenthood. It's bad enough to see same-sex couples split up and use rotten legal tricks in custody battles, but to see people who formerly appeared to carry their orientation with pride gleefully playing up to homophobes for paltry rewards really dampens one's faith in humanity. I'll be quite content to be wrong.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Mittens Schrodinger 53
Gay dude here. Each time I have been in a monogamous relationship, it has been due to the other person being adamant about it. I can do monogamy perfectly well and didn't agree under duress, but each time it was definitely a big issue to my partner. Each time it was that same partner that cheated. The relationship didn't survive in either case...not because of the infidelity itself, but because of the insecurity resulting in the "rules", the inability to deal with that insecurity and have a realistic talk about fidelity and what it means, etc. Granted, we were relatively young and immature (20's and early 30's), but whenever someone is just knee-jerk "love means monogamy" it's a big red flag for me. The thing all of these successful monogamy stories have in common is the idea that monogamy is a choice that gets reaffirmed and is always under review to make sure it is meeting BOTH partner's needs. That seems pretty darn healthy to me.
Posted by Mittens Schrodinger on April 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
52
@50 Brother Bob,

Thank you.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on April 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
51
Everyone gets an honourific; it's a Crispism. I had the great good fortune to have a telephone conversation with the late Mr Crisp less than a month before he died. He was quite a sweetheart, and, allowing for the slight adaptation of Miss to Ms in most cases, it has seemed a fitting tribute.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
BrotherBob 50
@11 That helps, too! And about boring, after 35 years, we don't have kids (when was raising a kid EVER boring?) but we have bought and renovated two 1830's homes, gotten promotions, started a business, been diagnosed with cancer, had treatments and surgery, been declared in remission/cured, been fired, gone back to school, built a home for Mom, put down our dog, gotten a Border Collie, gone to Europe(sent him to Europe) on a singing tour twice and to mission work in Africa, South America and California, buried his Dad, then the other's Mom,and a brother in law and favorite uncle, and put dad in a nursing home. How cab you be bored? And wept, rejoiced, comforted and kicked ass in bed and out.
Posted by BrotherBob on April 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
49
Oh, and for my name, I'd rather be 'Gamebird' without the honorific.
Posted by Gamebird on April 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
48
@42 - That's my recollection of the book as well, as generally I agree with it. If you spend your money, then in most cases you don't have it anymore. What was particularly depressing was that the only "sure" way to become rich and break the class barrier was to live a life of great frugality and be very lucky. In other words, the game of life is rigged up so well here in America that there's really no way to 'make it', aside from strokes of luck like winning the lottery, or happening to be part of (or better yet, central to) something that makes it big, like Rowling, or Meyer, or a famous actor, or invest at just the right time on just the right stock, or invent something that sells like wildfire, etc. There are actually lots of people who manage to do that, but when put against our population, the odds of that kind of success are maybe 1 in 100,000. The odds of suffering a matching destitution, like a chronic debilitating illness, etc. are a lot bigger.
Posted by Gamebird on April 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
AFinch 47
I'm not bored with them and I've been grousing about hearing from men - well, this time we have not just one, but two men, in a relationship together (and a couple of these couples) where the urge for "some strange" is genetically hard coded, and yet they are quite happily monogamous.

I like reading these and it gives me hope - it seems like the key ingredient is making an effort to keeping it good for your partner and yourself - and having some level of sexual compatibility (GGG and all that). Well done!

ps - I didn't respond very quickly because for some reason this wasn't available until this afternoon for me (I get to them via the archives link).
Posted by AFinch on April 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 46
Mr. Vennominon @37

At this point of my fuzzy day, I may be guilty of rambling. My intent was to show that it may not be possible to remain obsessively fit (or hot or glamorous or able-bodied) - as a parameter of success - over the decades of a relationship. But that shouldn't matter, if one continues to observe one's partner through the eyes of love.

Of course, it makes all the difference in the world if my partner does the things I find "hot". When I wear a certain item of clothing (or conveniently forget to) or my partner sprays fragrance in a provocative area of the body, both of us knowing these things are a huge turn-on, a few new wrinkles or pounds between us should not be symbolic of a slippery slope leading to letting one's self go.

But, then again, I believe that's all about a couple's compatibility irrespective of sexual orientation. Though, to be honest, it helps when both partners don't resemble one another in body build (a more likely scenario in a same-sex pair).
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on April 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 45
I agree with 2...boring. Perhaps 7 is right, but still...boring.
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on April 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
balderdash 44
@7 has understood me perfectly. @4, I am not sure you actually read what I wrote, but may instead perhaps have simply seen the word "boring" and immediately taken to arms. LOL Y U MAD THO?
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on April 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Noadi 43
@32 You read an awful lot into that letter that I just don't see. They are a happy couple, they are a family, they have a kid. No where do I see judgement that they are better or more of a family because they have a kid or any mention of other same sex couples at all. You may be projecting a bit.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on April 6, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
42
@21: I read at least a part of The Millionaire Next Door several years ago, and what stays in my mind from that book was that the millionaire was focused on actually preserving their money (clipping coupons, driving an older car, staying in their modest house) and that many of the people who demonstrate trappings of wealth (driving a nice Porsche, fancy home, designer clothes) are actually in a lot of debt and don't have any wealth. I don't know how that point extends to the analogy of creating sustained good relationships exactly...
Posted by Violet415 on April 6, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
41
Mr Fortunate - You do seem right, and at the same time at least one of the couples from the letters seems to have rather more chips to lose in the cheating box.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
kim in portland 40
These letters make me smile.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on April 6, 2012 at 9:19 AM · Report this
39
Anyone who's bored by these posts can simply skip them, and start reading again on Monday.
Posted by My Name Here on April 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
38
Ms Random - Perhaps we should have had two of the first three days instead.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
37
Ms Helenka - I wonder if the "physically fit" point means something different depending on the components of the couple. In the fourth letter, the emphasis is clearly on "hot" rather than "fit". I'll admit to bias here, in that I actively dislike gym bodies (as opposed to, say, tennis bodies, etc.), but there are different ways to avoid letting oneself go. I suppose that stereotypically a wife could maintain a high standard of appearance (possibly only) for her husband without becoming a gym rat (more easily attempted than the other way around, perhaps, though I don't know how much longer women take than men on "beauty work" these days). And same-sex couples can have more direct competition with each other, which has its own ramifications.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Fortunate 36
I think that making a long term relationship work, monogamous or not, does have a luck element, but I think that you can skew the odds in your favor by making some deliberate decisions along the way.

My relationship has changed and developed as we both have changed and developed, but what makes it work isn't so much the choices that we have made concerning our relationship along the was so much as how we make those choices. And that comes down to the most important choice we made, and that was to pick each other in the first place.

I think that by the time I met my partner I had gotten over the need to feel that if I wasn't open to everyone as a possibility I was somehow not a good person or was somehow limiting my chances.

I got to a point where I knew not only what I wanted, but what I didn't want. And I had also gotten to the point where I wasn't going to be swayed by the opinions of those who would think I should feel bad about either of those.

By focusing on the pool of people who fit my criteria I may have had a smaller pool to work from, but I had a pool of people who were a better fit for me.

Among the things that I was looking for were fundamental similarities with the person concerning areas that were important to me, which included communication style (along with things like religious beliefs, and certain political ideas, to ideas about having children).

While things can change, when I met my partner we eventually talked about all of these things to a great degree and we had enough of a commonality in these that we had not only a compatible base to start from, but a compatible decision and communication style that has allowed us over the years to be able to communicate clearly what we want and need, and to work out ways to achieve that.

Is there luck? Sure. We are lucky that we haven't had something come up yet that would be an impasse for us. But at the same time there are things that could have been an impasse if we didn't have compatible ways of approach them and communicating about them.

So in other words there is some luck involved, as there is with any relationship. But I also think that our success so far has had to do with the fact that I just made the right decision on who to be with in the first place. And that wasn't luck. If it had happened five years earlier it would have been luck, but by the time we met I knew what I wanted and needed, and was holding out for it.

As for the idea that monogamous people would have a harder getting through it if one cheated, I don't really think so. Cheating is a relative term, and as any reader to Dan's blog should know, what constitutes cheating is not consistent from couple to couple or person to person.

Cheating can happen in an open or monogamish relationship as well. There are always some kind of rules, and violating those rules is to cheat. And from the letters and calls Dan gets it is clear that kind of cheating isn't rare, and that that kind of cheating can pose the same kinds of issues for open relationships as the more conventional concept of cheating posses for monogamous couples. I don't think either approach proves to be less vulnerable to the effects of cheating, it is just that what constitutes cheating is different.

I used to think that the main cause for couples splitting up was cheating, but once when I mentioned that to someone they corrected me and gave me something to read that showed that no, it wasn't. Money problems were the main cause of couples breaking up.

Cheating can happen for a number of reasons. I don't think that the, 'I was really horny and had a laps in judgment' kind of cheating is actually very likely to cause the end of a relationship, be it monogamous or not. I think that often when cheating results in the end of a relationship it is often because the cheating was more a symptom of other problems that have already eroded the foundation of the relationship.

I hope that neither of us ever cheat, but I know that the foundation of our relationship is strong and that it means enough to us that if either of us did I am confident that we could get through it, although perhaps not without some changes.

But I am willing to bet that when an infidelity causes the end of a relationship there is typically more going on there than just an infidelity. The foundation is already typically compromised.

More...
Posted by Fortunate on April 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
BEG 35
So... she got to scratch her itch and you didn't?
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on April 6, 2012 at 8:42 AM · Report this
34
Mr Fortunate - I thank you.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
RTam 33
Others may be bored with these stories (plus Fortunate's), but I love them! Gives me hope that a long-term relationship can still be happy and hot.
Posted by RTam on April 6, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
32
Ms/Mr G @14 - I ding the second letter because, probably unintentionally, the two read as if they're trying to jump into the Uberassimilationist Boat, crying out to the PTA crowd, "We're just like/(one of) you! Don't discriminate against us!" with the implication or at least the uncontradicted inference that it's perfectly all right to discriminate against other same-sexers. Fine for couples who decide that their family won't be complete without at least one child, but, especially when same-sex parenting is a non-universal privilege, it would have been nice to avoid the appearance of generalizing. Granted, easier said than done in such a brief message, but it was just a ding.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
31
Mr J - Quite so. They may be lucky and hard-working and succeed in maintaining their lust, or they may be lucky and discover an unexpected bedrock of love to sustain them if they can be open to it, or they could go pfft.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
Fortunate 30
Since a couple of people have asked me to repost what I had posted on the day 3 thread, here it is. It was in response to someone asking specifically for stories from a man's perspective:

I'm not only a man, but a gay man in a long term, monogamous relationship with another man. Despite that there seems to be a prevalent belief that monogamy is practically impossible for gay men, that isn't the case for me, and it would appear for most of my friends.

At the time I met my partner I was dating three other guys. Just casual dating, so no monogamy implied. I was having fun and not really looking for anything serious. I had first seen the guy I eventually ended up with almost a year earlier. I was performing at a benefit function and he was in the audience. I saw him before the show started and he definitely caught my eye. But after the show I got roped into doing some publicity and by the time we were done he was gone (he later told me he wanted to wait to see if I came out from behind stage, but his friends were eager to get to a party).

I ran into him several times over the next few months, but circumstances prevented us from really having time to get to know each other.

Then almost a year later (I first saw him in February) I ran into him at a Christmas party and we ended up spending the entire night talking. As I said, I hadn't been seeking anything serious and was dating three other guys at the time fairly regularly, but the very next day I called each of those guys and basically told them it had been fun but that it was over.

Because even though I didn't know for sure where this was going to go, I knew this guy was special immediately, and I wanted to give pursuing him my full attention.

That was almost 17 years ago, and I still give him my full attention.

I had lots of fun when I was single. I wasn't exactly a prude, and I honestly never kept track of how many guys I slept with over my life, but it is enough that every time I have tried to recap I always come up with a different number for some reason. In the course of my life I have had four relationships that I considered monogamous. In none of those cases did I ever cheat, and only in one was I cheated on (he was actually bisexual and not gay, and decided he wanted to settle down with a woman, he just neglected to tell me that before he decided to pursue it).

The thing is that I have had the experience of sleeping around, dating multiple people, and all that, and I honestly don't miss it. Because along with the fun came a lot of other things not necessarily so much fun, and in the big picture, for me, not having the not so fun things is far more of a benefit than the variety of bed partners I used to have.

We made a conscious decision to be monogamous early on, once we realized that we were both interested in more than just dating but in a more committed kind of relationship. It was a mutual decision, and not something that one of us insisted on despite what the other felt. In fact I was trying to find the right time to bring it up with him when he actually brought it up first, so it was what both of us were wanting.

Would we renegotiate that if one of us had a change of heart? Probably, but that doesn't mean that we are monogamish. Right now we are both clear, we only have sex with each other and that is that. Being willing to renegotiate if one of us felt differently in the future is only sensible. People change and if they do and you want the relationship to have a chance the relationship has to change too. But our goal at this time is to keep things monogamous, and being willing to renegotiate doesn't mean that we would necessarily be able to save the relationship if one of us decided we wanted to open it up.

In fact I have a feeling that if we ever did open it up that would not be saving it but just an easing into the beginning of the end because I can't see either of us wanting to open it up unless we were having some other serious issues with the relationship. That isn't a comment on why other's open theirs, just us and our dynamic together.

But the fact is, I may find other guys attractive, and I may fantasize, and I may look at porn, and so may my partner. But that doesn't mean that either of us has an actual desire to pursue other guys in real life. In fact one of the things we both have agreed is that it is nice not to have to deal with all that. Being a couple we tend to hang out with mostly couples, but we do have some single friends, and have a few friends who weren't single when we met but broke up and are still friends. And we see their trials and tribulations in trying to negotiate the dating world, and the hook up world, and we both feel glad we don't have to deal with any of that anymore.

I know some people love that, and we do have a couple of friends who will probably never seek a committed relationship because they just thrive on the whole dating scene, and we are very happy for them. But it holds no attraction to us.

If we were straight and met I have no doubt we would have ended up as best friends. We really have a lot in common (but enough differences to keep things interesting) and honestly enjoy each other's company. Given the choice of going out and trying to meet someone new or doing something with my partner it is no contest. I love doing things with my partner and would pick just hanging out with him over almost anything else.

We have both changed over the years, and our relationship has evolved with us over the years, but neither of us have ever expressed any desire to open it up and I would be really, really surprised if either of us ever did. We both have what we want right now, and as they say, if it isn't broke don't try to fix it. Our relationship works very, very well. And one of the reasons is that we are on the same page when it comes to the most important and fundamental things about it.

For those who are happy without monogamy then great. I am for everyone having what ever form of relationship works for them. Mine works for us, and others can nay say, or assume that we are unfaithful behind each other's backs (and while anything is possible it would be really surprising since neither of us are very good liars and we know each other well enough that we can tell when the other is holding back even minor things), but we know the rock that our relationship is built on and we are both confident and secure in it. Let the doubters doubt, but I know I am happy and grateful to have the relationship I do have, in the very form I have it in.
More...
Posted by Fortunate on April 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
29
Gamebird@21, you're right that a lot of luck goes into building a successful long-term marriage, whether monogamous or not. Wishing you all the best going forward...

JrzWrld@27, I think that line should be included in the standard wedding vows -- though perhaps with the edit of "...hot monkey sex and a bit of luck."
Posted by EricaP on April 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
28
Ms Bird (or do you prefer Ms Game?) - What an interesting post. Please reappear in a straight thread, when I might go on a side track or two that would be a distraction here.

That's a curious combination - that your experience would go against cultural norms and yet that your brain would instinctively go in that direction.

I suppose we can safely say that parenting concerns are generally going to be in the mix less often for same-sex couples, and that those who have children will generally have fewer. I can't say anything with authority about how comparable the pressures are if one specifically compares on the precondition of X number of children (possibly arriving the same way as well).

In general, your post makes me think of an entrapment comparison. Some people aren't going to fail in a particular regard, some people are, and some are only if tested. Luck comes in in that some people aren't tested and in that some self-predictions can't be made with all that much certainty.

Very sorry about your contested divorce.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM · Report this
27
"In the end, honesty, trust, dedication, and hot monkey sex are all you need to keep any marriage together, open or monogamous." I shall live by this if I should ever get married.
Posted by JrzWrld on April 6, 2012 at 7:56 AM · Report this
26
Seems apropos for Monogamous Week: I'm getting a book from the library called Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, by Esther Perel.
Posted by My Name Here on April 6, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 25
I was actually amused by this round of letters. They're far better than the too-lazy-to-be-anything-but-monogamous examples.

I love the fact that the more recent letters (both straight and same-sex) show the participants actively pursuing the use of non-traditional tools (porn, strip clubs) and adherence to a life-long openness to being GGG to add spice to their relationships. The other thing I admire is that they don't appear to allow the addition of children to restrict their sexual expression.

I've always had the impression that American teens are the greatest prudes in the world when it comes to the concept of their parents having lots of sex. Mind you, I've always wondered if that could be an unanticipated repercussion of the abstinence movement or insisting that procreation is the only purpose for (PIV) sex.

There are still many people who believe that an admission of watching porn is just the same as cheating, so it's refreshing to see others who shatter that misconception. Being able to share an aesthetic (or lust-filled) appreciation is a terrific way to avoid jealousy.

I do have one caution for people who get carried away with the ideal of remaining as physically fit as possible. What happens when one of you comes down with a debilitating illness or disability? Ideals are terrific but reality can still smack you in the face.

The other major stressor that was absent was money or the lack of it. All of these couples (families) seem to be doing well which helps insulate their lives.

But, even if readers were bored by these letters, hey, Dan asked for testimonials for active monogamy and he got them!
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on April 6, 2012 at 6:51 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 24
What terrific stories, not only about being monogamous but also about being crazy in love for so long. You brightened my day!
Posted by samanthaf63 on April 6, 2012 at 6:38 AM · Report this
23
@9 Mr. V
Thanks for the mention. Indeed, I was surprised at the assertion:
But the main reason we're happily fucking our way into a third decade together is that our marriage was built on a strong foundation of mutual lust.
That makes the marriage a house of cards from what I know of the transient nature of sexual compatibility. In my limited experience, the death of sex in the relationship leaves you much more focused on love and the myriad of other things in your life together.

Lust is so easily found with people outside your marriage. What a slippery handhold that is to keep what you have!
Posted by Mr. J on April 6, 2012 at 6:22 AM · Report this
22
Mr Married - That is true. I have just seen this sort of thing so often that I look for it instinctively, even when the less desired alternative isn't deliberately being set up to fail. And there was particular discussion some few years ago elsewhere about magazine covers and what could or should be done about them.

Part of the fun of this week is guessing the pattern behind why we are being fed these particular letters in this particular order. You may recall how, occasionally a letter pops up which leads a commenter or two to speculate that it might have been conjured by somebody wanting to trick Mr Savage into taking a position that can be used for political advantage by an enemy. And I once floated the semi-serious idea of Ms Erica potentially making an excellent operative to infiltrate and sabotage a Christianist group. Now, I am not saying this is happening, but - IF I were an operative for a certain unnamed former Senator or another of Mr Savage's enemies, it might occur to me to see how far one could alter his path. Various tactics have sugggested themselves to me.

Your crafty conclusion probably merits a thread of its own.
Posted by vennominon on April 6, 2012 at 6:19 AM · Report this
21
I saw 'gay day' and I must confess to a moment of cognitive dissonance pairing 'gay' with 'monogamous', which I thought was quite beneath me. I'll be doing some soul-searching to figure out why those two didn't go together so easily for me, because most of the gay people I've known have been as monogamous and not as the straights I've known.

The idea of a sex room, date nights and so on remind me of how difficult it is to keep a flame burning when trying to advance one's career, parent multiple children and deal with the typical stressors of life, like difficulties with in-laws, loser friends, poor judgment, ill parents (or spouse, or kids), etc. that can happen to anyone.

I am reminded of the most depressing book I ever read, called The Millionaire Next Door. It purported to tell how you, too, could be a millionaire if you worked hard and kept at it. But as I read through it, it revealed that the *real* trick to being a millionaire was to be lucky - be healthy, never divorce, not have any expensive hobbies, never have a debilitating or expensive accident, have a healthy spouse, have healthy children, have healthy parents, none of these could have debilitating or expensive accidents either. Also, you should never be involved in expensive litigation (not only could you not commit serious crime, but you couldn't be the victim of it either, or be targeted by someone sue-happy or vengeful). You should never get fired or laid off. You should never move or refinance your house. You must avoid being scammed. You must avoid being the victim of a natural disaster, fire or other unexpected event. You must not give excessively to charity, or to your children, friends, parents or favorite animal shelter. You must not be robbed too much or lose anything too valuable when you do. You must have chosen an occupation that has enduring employment opportunities in your area, including opportunities for advancement and growth. You must be able to take advantage of those opportunities for advancement and growth. You must have a family situation that allows you to work full time (or more) for your entire life. You must start working as early as possible in your life. And don't have too many kids (not so much because kids are expensive - and they are - but because every one of them multiplies your chances of being hit by the big unplanned expenses, like chronic illness, accident or one of the kids being a long-term leech or in trouble with the law).

If you could accomplish all that, most of which is outside one's ability to influence directly, then by the time you retire (assuming you survive to 65 - not everyone does, after all), then you would be a millionaire.

Like I said, depressing as hell.

So I read these letters from the monogamous and wonder if they're doing anything right, making conscious decisions that lead to happy, long-term monogamy, or if they're instead just the lucky products of random chance?

Even with the benefit of hindsight, looking back at the twenty or so men I knew well enough as a young woman to consider as marriage potential, I think I made the best choice available to me. He was smart, well-educated, at the time of marriage he was healthy, we shared many hobbies and interests, the sex was hot, and he was employed (modestly, but employed). Moving to college with me and then to another state for work, his jobs ended and never resumed. He developed diabetes. He became severely emotionally abusive. We're currently in the last stages of a contested divorce, after nearly 19 years of monogamous marriage.

Obviously I could have made a *different* choice, but given the information I had available at the time, I don't think I could have made a *better* choice. I wonder if that's how it works for most people. I wonder if, like becoming a millionaire, a long-term happy relationship is mainly based on luck.
More...
Posted by Gamebird on April 6, 2012 at 5:55 AM · Report this
20
@6 Torchy,

Only because of there being white history year! After a while it gets tiring to hear over and over, "We went someplace, found some (nonwhite) people, and took their stuff/killed them. Then we moved there.". Or "We found some people that didn't believe in our God the way we do so we forced them to do it our way/killed them".

@10 Vennom-san,

Brevity in responses may also be due to burn out from so many responses earlier in the week. Fortunate's post should be here, it was well written and satisfying to read (if you're into monogamy). Still, it should be noted that these queer people had stable relationships and yet heterosexuals continue to marry and procreate as always...

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on April 6, 2012 at 4:38 AM · Report this
michijo 19
Most cheaters and promiscuous people have a need for attention and perhaps some vanity: they believe they are cute. Once they cease to be cute, they become Republicans, and the person they really love is sick of their games already. It must be a rude awakening.
Posted by michijo on April 6, 2012 at 4:13 AM · Report this
venomlash 18
@17: And then you proceeded to masturbate furiously, right?
Posted by venomlash on April 6, 2012 at 1:14 AM · Report this
17
Tonight when I was crossing 5th near Top Pot, this 5' 8' pencil thin blonde was crossing the street in front of me, wearing a micro skirt, which she pulled up so she could scratch her sculpted left buttock that was clad in a black, skin tight leotard. An it lasted like a quarter of a minute too, not just a quick itch. Then she got in an SUV and drove away.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM · Report this
16
@1

Hit the gym!
Posted by stephen.g on April 5, 2012 at 10:10 PM · Report this
BEG 15
The stories have been okay, but yes we mostly come here I think to read about interesting problems -- and these people don't have problems.

I think the most interseting thing so far has been some of the extended discussion about just what monogamy _is_ -- and getting well beyond the "is voyerism or strip clubbing monogamous or not" and into is it monogamous right up to one mistake or what. That was fascinating -- and entirely within the comments. If people aren't reading the comments on this series of letters -- they should.
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on April 5, 2012 at 10:06 PM · Report this
14
@9 Why ding the second letter especially? I went back and read a couple times. Because of the signature? It read to me like just descriptive.
Posted by CLDG on April 5, 2012 at 9:33 PM · Report this
13
The first three days of Monogamous Week there were a bunch of people popping in to complain some longevity. Tonight is weirdly quiet on that front. Does it not count if it's gay longevity?

Also, as a bisexual, I would not like to see Bi Week. It would look a lot like any other success week since most bisexual people settle down with either a same-sex or an opposite-sex partner. I think success stories are sweet, but after 4 days worth, I do start to miss the problems. I do like hearing about other peoples' problems.
Posted by random_lez on April 5, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 12
One can only hope that these same-sex monogamous couples will be able to survive, *should* a dalliance occur. That is the biggest pitfall for monogamy- it seems to require absolute, infallible adherence to itself, or else.
I like to hope that these folks, so in love and lust with their one and only, could forgive and maintain their relationships should one half stray. I saw that ability in the earlier straight stories, but wonder about these gay/lesbian couples.
The biggest crime of monogamy is the destroyed relationship when it fails.
Posted by OutInBumF on April 5, 2012 at 9:16 PM · Report this
internet_jen 11
Where do people get the time to be non-monogamous? After a 40hr work week I start to feel my one boyfriend is encroaching too much into my Me Time. Maybe me and myself are in an open relationship with my BF.
Posted by internet_jen on April 5, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
10
Oh, just to clarify before I fall asleep, my final sentence is too severe. These letters didn't convince me all by themselves. They might have convinced me that my own story does not belong in a thread with these.

I hope we can at least make this thread a respectable length; if it ends up being short, I fear that might be taken as evidence that Straight Threads Draw Better. It's bad enough that same-sexer-oriented magazines sell better with straight people on the cover. But maybe this thread appearing later in the day than the letter-threads on previous days can absorb some of the responsibility if needed.
Posted by vennominon on April 5, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
9
Perhaps tomorrow will be Bi Day. Anyway, my thanks to Mr Savage for these and to the assembled company for getting that Every Day is Straight Day.

Given the understandably defensive tone of the week as a whole and the peculiarities of same-sex monogamy, I suppose I can manage not to be annoyed that they all go to great pains to emphasize their hot hot HOT sex (the first letter least). The unfortunate side effect is that it makes the letters read as if it would be highly unlikely that any of these couples would get through some of the dry patches that have plagued such posters as Mr J and Mr Horton. I'd have liked to have been able to try to get away with sneaking in the generalization that we are capable of exceptional fortitude, but, given these examples, I shan't try. (That last sentence was one of my half-serious specials.)

I ding the second letter severely for accepting (and, if not promulgating, at least not challenging) the Red Fallacy that Family Requires Children. One of these millenia, we really ought to have a thread devoted to a discussion of same-sexers who buy into FRC versus the Chosen Family concept.

I hope Mr Fortunate repeats his post here; as I recall, it's vastly superiour.

One thing these letters have done is to convince me that I'm the real freak of gay nature for having had before my retirement a sex life to which it would never have occurred to anyone involved, delighted with it as we were, to apply that dreaded H word.

Dormez bien!
Posted by vennominon on April 5, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
8
I've been in a monogamous relationship for 18 years, and even I found these last few days boring.

I think @7 is right, Savage Love letters are mostly interesting because people have interesting problems. These success stories are just too happy to be entertaining.
Posted by SLCamper on April 5, 2012 at 8:18 PM · Report this
7
@2 & 4 They are boring not because these couples are monogamous, they are boring because they don't have any problems at all. I found the non-monogamous success letters equally boring.
Posted by puddles on April 5, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
6
These stories are charming, but the whole exercise feels like humoring your boyfriend's 18 year old cousin who just discovered the college Republicans and points out that 'there's no WHITE history month!' during Thanksgiving dinner.
Posted by Torchy Blane on April 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Claypatch 5
I just wanted to point out that this last sentence, in BASSOON's letter is just lovely and sheer poetry:

"Because fidelity (not chastity within monotony but fidelity) is a continuing action of creativity and devotion that requires imagination and persistence to maintain."
Posted by Claypatch on April 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM · Report this
GoodOmens 4
Yes, Balderdash, we've heard you. Every day. You think monogamy is boring. That's fine. No one in the letters this week are telling you that YOU need to be monogamous, just that this is what works for them and that they are happy.
So chill out, ok? The monogamish got their week to tell us all how happy they are, let the monogamous have theirs. We don't call the monogamish "sluts", so let us not insult the monogamous either.
Posted by GoodOmens on April 5, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
GoodOmens 3
These were great letters! Thanks Dan!
Posted by GoodOmens on April 5, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
balderdash 2
Once again, I'm very happy for all these folks that they have the communication skills and positive outlook to make their relationships work. Once again, I find their stories terribly boring.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on April 5, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 1
When you're sexually desirable, an "open relationship" can be fine and dandy. But when you're not desirable then what?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on April 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this

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