11 reasons why I believe in monogamy

by Alisa Bowman on July 2, 2009

Occasionally, I write a post that brings the open marriage proponents to my site. They start commenting about how all of our jealousy issues would be solved if we’d all just agree to hump whomever we want whenever we want. I’m not necessarily against open marriage for other people. I’m open minded about it. Honestly, I don’t care what other people do in their bedrooms and hotel rooms and who they do those things with. They can have sex with gorillas for all I care.

Me? I only want to have sex with one person for the rest of my life.

Here are 11 reasons why I never want to have sex with anyone else ever again.

1.   I hate condoms. They nearly ruin the sexual experience for me. It’s like having sex with sandpaper. My husband has been snipped (vasectomy) so, as long as we are monogamous, we will never ever have to use another condom again.

2.    I’m a mom. I barely have enough time and energy to schedule sex with my husband. I have no idea how I’d find the time to schedule it with someone else, too. Just the idea of juggling more than one sexual partner is enough to make me want to hide in my closet.

3.    My husband is a dad. That’s time consuming. He’s also a cyclist, which is a very time-consuming hobby. There are only 168 hours in a week. That never changes. The grass still grows and still needs to get cut. We still run out of food, which means someone needs to go to the grocery store. Our kid still needs someone to read her bedtime stories. This is a partnership, one that we share equally. If my husband wants to find the time to bed down with someone else? He’s going to have to give up the cycling. Just saying. I’m not doing more of the parenting and more of the household labor so he can get his jollies off with another woman. This has nothing to do with jealousy and everything to do with what I signed up for. I’m sure he’d say the same about me.

4.    I’m so glad my husband and I are past the “Oh God I really hope I don’t fart during sex” stage. I have no inclination to revisit this stage with anyone else. Seriously. Just don’t.

5.    Ditto on the “I hope he doesn’t think my boobs are too small” stage and the “is he going to notice the little hair that grows between my navel and snatch?” stage and the “yikes what will he think of my cellulite?” stage.

6.    Eventually I am not going to be young. Eventually other men will not want to have sex with me. My husband? He’ll still be here when that happens, and I don’t mind if, in his mind, he pretends I’m still young. I don’t care if it takes a little pharmacological help. I don’t care what we have to do to keep it going on well into our senior years. I just know that when I’m 70 or 80, my husband is going to be there for me, assuming he’s still alive.

7.     My husband knows how to please me in bed. I don’t feel like teaching another man how to do this.

8.  I know how to please my husband in bed. I don’t want to go through that stage again where I am plagued with the thought, “Does he think I’m good in bed?”

9.    My husband knows that I don’t like to cuddle after sex. After sex? I like to put my clothes back on and get on with my day. I seriously don’t want to have to deal with the “you’re so not a normal chick” comment from another guy.

10.   I like a good challenge. Yes, sex with the same person over and over and over again for years and years and years can get a bit stale, but that’s only if you allow it to get stale. I’m a writer. I love being creative. Coming up with ways to keep our sex life new and interesting? It’s a creative challenge that brings me great joy.

11.   Being monogamous forces me to practice the art of self-control. Having a lot of self-control comes in handy when I want to curse someone out (because he or she really deserves it), but I know I really shouldn’t.

Why do you stay monogamous? Or do you believe in an open marriage? List your reasons in the comments area.

A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Liz July 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm

#4, #5 and particularly #10 are my very favorites!

I too truly ENJOY thinking of ways to keep it fresh and new and when that’s accomplished–oh SUCH a better accomplishment/satisfaction than a ‘hello, we just met’ great session of sex!

I also love the fact that my sense of humor is appreciated across the board!

The #1 reason for me being monogamous though, I know I simply could NOT handle sharing my man, nor my body, with so many others.

There’s nothing wrong with variety, and I would never judge, everyone has different tastes, but overall I’m a very sensitive and emotional person and I know I just couldn’t handle the emotional ups and downs of sleeping with a plethora of different people. I don’t like sharing my popcorn, let alone my husband!

I totally believe in and agree with monogamy; that being said, I do not believe it’s completely natural and just given. I DO believe it has to be worked at, thought about and heavily maintained!

Great post, Alisa, I so appreciate your honesty! Have a great 4th of July weekend and take care!

Many Blessings,
-Sarah Liz :)

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Jon Winthorp July 3, 2009 at 12:44 am

All very good tips. I’m for the argument for monogamy. Aside from the reasons you mentioned here 1 It would just be too much of a pain in the buttocks to try to keep up with more than one sexual partner/relationship whatever you want to call it. and 2 if you are with the right person I think there isn’t going to be a desire to do it with anyone else.

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Michael July 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Despite what the occasional TV episode interviewing polyamorous types shows, most people who practice such ideas don’t have multiple significant others. Most of the couples I’ve met are more or less normal (if there is such a thing): committed pair of people raising children, trying to pay the bills, etc. Most of your reasons apply to them just the same :P Ironically, most people who have open marriages or swing are middle aged and up. Young people like myself (I’m in my late 20s) are pretty rare from my experiences.

I can’t speak for everyone, but with my SO we just don’t register the difference between “I’m going out to the movies with so and so.” with “I’m going over to so and so’s house to have sex.” The things we do with other people is just for fun. We never have problems with each other or anyone else as we’re very blunt people and let it be known how we operate. This doesn’t stem from us being less than perfectly happy with each other, it’s BECAUSE of our lack of monogamy that we get along so well. We would both have and will continue to behave this way with or without each other.

A common little trap people have tried to play on me in the past is to go “what if you meet the girl of your dreams but she believes in monogamy?” I always squash this with “If they do believe in monogamy, then that wouldn’t be the girl of my dreams now would it?”

The sex we have with each other is the best, but as she always puts it: “Even if you can have felit mignon everyday, sometimes you just want a #%*$ing hamburger.” :)

How we live our life isn’t for everyone. It requires the mental separation of love vs lust, absolute trust, acknowledgment of jealousy (we’re not immune to it, just much less prone), and probably a somewhat deviant view on sex :P We understand a lot people can’t handle one aspect or another, though that honestly bums us out.

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KSM 23 October 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I don’t think you are old enough to truly understand what monogamy really is. You sound like you are still at a young age of experimentation ((which is fine) but don’t think that you have made your choice just yet (whether to be monogamous or not).

Sex and love go hand in hand. Sex and emotion go hand in hand. Emotion and love go hand in hand. Love and lust go hand in hand once you are old enough to value the sacredness of monogamy.

Another thing, the reason why you don’t experience jealousy is because couples who swing aren’t (in my opinion) truly in love. You are a united front to the world but your souls aren’t intertwined. If they were I believe that you would not need to gratify yourself sexually through the use of another persons body.

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Ginny July 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

“They start commenting about how all of our jealousy issues would be solved if we’d all just agree to hump whomever we want whenever we want.”

You’re kidding, right? Jealousy happens everywhere, it’s just that poly people try to put themselves in situations where they will have to deal with it. I’m kind of surprised at your statements here, because I thought you WERE open-minded. But, um, they can have sex with gorillas, for all you care? I make fun of poly people all the time, but seriously.

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Alisa July 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Ginny: Oh, maybe my gorilla comment was too off the cuff? A poor attempt at humor? I’ll take that. I’m sure it missed its mark. My only point was that normal is relative. Many people consider anything that is out of their experience abnormal. That’s what I meant about being open minded. I’m a one man woman, but I don’t look down on women who are not (or any combination that someone can come up with). Most of us would think animal sex is abnormal, but I’m sure the people who are doing it on sites with names like donkey sex etc think it’s all normal, right? I really did mean that it’s none of my business what other people do in their bedrooms. I only care what happens in mine.

Michael: Thank you so much for offering the alternative perspective here. That’s exactly the type of discussion I was hoping to foster.

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Tony Lawrence July 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

For many years, my wife and I were “clothing optional” people (we only stopped because we moved and the places we used to go to are too far to travel now).

One thing that amazed me was how un-accepting most of the other people were toward the occasional swingers we’d get. Considering that being naked in public is seen as outrageous by most people, you’d think there would be more understanding of people with another lifestyle. But no..

I have a mildly amusing story about that at the link under my name.

It’s not sexually explicit, but not meant for children either. No pictures :-)

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Aly July 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I wouldn’t want to handle to lying and hiding, like the trust and don’t want to take my clothes off in front of anyone else. Ha Ha!

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Kanoelani July 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I totally agree wit everything stated here. The reason why people have sex wit other people is because there bored apparently they dont know how to satisfy eachother so they go out looking for “something better”. If you truly loved someone u would make the sexual expierence worth your while. Me and my hubby been married for almost 4 yrs and have been together for 8 yrs and believe me there were times were the sex sucked for me as well as him and we’d be tempted to want to try other people but ended up not wanting too. We realize when all is good with us, the mood, attitude, the money situation etc. our sex life is fantastic! Its hard to explain, read the bible and u’ll probably get my point.

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Tony Lawrence July 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

There’s no need to invoke biblical injunctions. The common aversion to promiscuity is easily explained by biology (men don’t want to invest resources in another man’s children) and by possessive jealousy (some people feel that they “own” their sexual partners) and by fear of disease.

When those concerns are absent, people can be promiscuous. It’s really interesting how society has changed: promiscuity before marriage (or between marriages) is quite acceptable to most people today, but is otherwise still mostly taboo.

It’s simply a matter of limits and we all draw them differently. For example, most people think nothing of “swapping partners” at a dance. Personally, I don’t like that – it makes me uncomfortable to dance with someone I am not emotionally close to. That’s probably because I don’t dance well, so I’m a little embarrassed. If I know and like the other person, I don’t mind (though I’d rather be dancing with my wife!)

For most people, there is very little emotional involvement in dancing. For most people, there is a high emotional content to sex (but again, that isn’t necessarily true while not single or seriously partnered). It should be obvious that not everyone has the same attitudes and baggage. Michael above says sex is “just fun”. Kanoelani might think dancing with someone else is “just fun”.

We’re all different. Your way isn’t my way, and shouldn’t be. I don’t think ill of Michael or Kanoelani. Live and let live.

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christina July 24, 2009 at 11:38 pm

I always find people’s comments about monogamy vs. polyamory interesting. I’ve been in both styles of relationship and I have to say that it is all about what the couple wants and is happy with. Sometimes the same relationship can be open at points and closed at points. Or they can engage in selective swinging. Or whatever, really. It’s your relationship, and you and your SO make the rules. It does make me kind of sad to hear lists like this, because it means you feel or are being made to feel a need to justify your style of relationship to others. Same with the people who try to push their style of relationship on you; they may feel the only way they can be justified in their lifestyle is by trying to get everyone else to agree with them. That should never be the case. It really only needs to be about personal happiness.

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Maria July 29, 2009 at 10:07 am

I have a truly good marriage and have for over 10 years sure we have had our ups and downs but there is something that is consuming my husbands soul we have great sex approx 2-3 time week still and i am satisfied completely but he is not he says he loves me and my sex but….he still has a uncontrollable desire to swing or threesomes the thought of it makes me ill i have been dealing with this for months and am starting to get resentful i have discovered that he has been visiting swinger, sex sites, i dont think he has registered or anything but has certainly made me feel a bit in the dark as well as unfulfilling im wondering what can i do to try and keep this marriage alive and not have him cheat on me? any insight would be helpful?

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Drummer Guy May 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Here is another one from me. I really don’t want to put anybody through the PAIN of seeing me naked…ha! :-)

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Reshadi Blue August 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Frankly, my partner and I aren’t prudes and we’re certainly not animals; we have sexual urges but we’re not base creatures who lack self-control. We care too much about our health–mental and physical–to be promiscuous. We respect ourselves (individually and collectively). “Variety is the spice of life”, for us, means that we should try new and various things with each other to add some spice to our life. There are so many sexual positions to explore, so many places to have sex, so many roles to play. “Variety is the spice of life” doesn’t mean you have to have sex with Tom, Dick or Harry, and Tracy, Debra and Helen. Oh well. Monogamy is, clearly, not for everyone.

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John February 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Stumbled on this blog.

What I don’t understand, probably because I’m hard-wired that way, is how people can refer to each sex partner as food.

Michael girlfriend says,”Even if you can have felit mignon everyday, sometimes you just want a #%*$ing hamburger.”

I agree with her – that I actually like felit mignon, and that I like a hamburger once in a while, but I could never see my sexual partner as food. But I guess it’s just sex: sex is sex, like food is just food.

I don’t buy this “it’s greener on the other side,” thing. I think it’s very important to find a sexual partner who shares the same views on sex and sexual habits.

Eh. What do I know. I’m just 23 so I guess you can say I don’t know what I want out of life.

@ Reshadi Blue: I agree.

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M June 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I’m a supporter of monogamy, but honestly, you are doing people in favor of monogamy by posting this website. “Happily Ever After”? Honestly, your website title, corny prince charming crown, and it’s silly lists “Don’t want to go through awkward body consciousness stages, like a challenge, etc.” make monogamy look unnapealing and shallow. Polyamorists will look at this website and laugh because your reasons for being monogamous come across as limiting and insecure. This sort rigid, knight in shining armor mentality turns people off from monogamy. How about cutting the fairy tale, getting common sense and finding someone who loves you for who you are and staying with them

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KSM 23 October 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

The main reason why I choose to be monogamous is because I feel that my man is deserving of my body and that no other man is. Giving your body and mind to someone is special, it is sacred.

I do not believe in sharing our bodies with people who want to treat it like an object, and this is what swingers do. They use people for the sake of a quick sexy session. And I am not going to say like most people that I don’t judge people who swing because I do. I don’t like how when I am out at a bar and a guy hits on me then I discover he has an SO and then SHE hits on me. It’s disgusting. Like two sexual predators looking for their next victim. I don’t like the mentality of swingers and I do judge them. Just being honest due to past experiences (as mentioned) about being hit on… ewwww and given the “sex” eyes from a sleazy perve… no thanks!

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