Cruise Control

Friday, October 03, 2008

Question

How long do you think it is reasonable to expect a relationship to be monogamous? My boyfriend asked me to be monogamous with him when we got serious about each other, and I agreed. We live together so there's not a lot of privacy. But I know he gets on the computer to look at porn, and so do I. The other day I ran across a profile on-line that I think might be his. So I'd like to put up a profile of my own. We've been together for four years, and I could really use a little variety. We live in a large city so we could certainly have separate "boy's nights out" and never run into each other. Tell me I've paid enough tribute to monogamy.

Answer

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, dude, but most of the time, a request for monogamy has an unspoken clause reading "for the rest of our lives." You shouldn't be snooping on your partner's computer use, and the evidence that he's put a cruisy profile up is slim to none. You're just trying to justify your own desire to step out on him.

Having said that, there is still no reason why you shouldn't sit your sweetie down and ask him the same questions you've asked me. (However, I might soft pedal the desperation in that statement, "I could really use a little variety." He might interpret it to mean you are bored with his sexual skills—or lack of them.) If you don't get his permission or agreement and create some rules or policies together, you'll wind up in the Kingdom of Adultery, a perilous neighborhood where family ties are usually severed. And then hemorrhage.

It sounds like what you want is one night a month (or week) where you can cat around and do whatever you want to do, then come home to be lovey-dovey again. I'm assuming you intend to take all possible precautions so you don't bring cooties home to the love muffin.

What if he counters with the suggestion that the two of you open your relationship up to a third party that the two of you do together? What if he suggests you can have casual sex but only when you are out of town? He might want to have veto power over who you can and can't sleep with, or demand that you keep it a complete secret. This is tricky even in the largest city.

Read a copy of Dossie Easton's Ethical Slut together. See how much wiggle room you both have to negotiate here. I hope you can come up with a scenario that will give you some novelty and preserve your primary relationship. But please do remember that nonmonogamy works best if your lover or spouse is happy with the amount and quality of sex you are having with them. Fuck him until he can't walk before you stroll out to fuck somebody else.