Why We Kinky People Should Accept Monogamy and Polyamory


by Lisa Martin

As far as most people are concerned, kink and monogamy go together like toothpaste and orange juice. And, you know, I get it. Kink still isn’t considered morally correct and “normal” by the mainstream, while monogamy is. Kinky people have already stepped out of the mainstream box sexually, so we’re more likely to be willing to consider other alternative sexual lifestyles such as polyamory. And monogamists aren’t always the most accepting to kinksters. But as a kinky polyamorist who’s an ally of monogamists, kinky and otherwise, you know what I realized lately? What many monogamous people get out of monogamy is the same as what I get out of kink. It’s security – just like closing your eyes at Daddy’s feet, being tied up, getting your orders from your Domme. It’s negotiation and limits – just like writing up a slave contract, or sharing what you won’t do even with a safe word. It’s erotic denial – just like handing over the keys to your chastity belt. So although I’m not personally interested in monogamy, I can definitely see the attraction for others. I can even see how a kinky monogamous person might consider monogamy to be part of their kink. As for the argument that all the mainstream people are into monogamy so it can’t be kinky- well, first of all, you’d be surprised about what some mainstream people get up to. Second of all, a lot of kink is in the heart and brain, as much or more as in what actually happens in the bedroom/dungeon/kitchen/etc. Just putting on leather boots can be profoundly kinky – or it can express nothing more than a desire to not hurt your feet on gravel. And a lot of the bad arguments used against monogamy are the same as those used against kink. It’s too restrictive, it’s too cruel, it’s unnatural. Don’t get me wrong – if monogamy feels wrong to you, by all means don’t participate in it. I don’t. But if you can understand why someone would be thrilled to be restricted by Japanese hemp bondage or chosen for the job of consensual houseboi slave, you should be able to support someone willingly restricting themselves by agreeing to monogamy, however cruel the idea of that may seem to you. And being monogamous, whatever the bonobos may do, isn’t any less natural than spending hours negotiating, polishing your leathers, and cleaning your best bullwhips for a hot Saturday night. So that’s why the kink community should accept monogamy. Now, what about polyamory? Well, that’s an easy one, right? The only reasons people are against polyamory (not just for themselves but in general) are either that it’s too weird or that they think it’s against their religion, neither of which apply to kinky people since both of them would also rule out kink. But in practice, you do find some kinky people against polyamory without having any particular reason for it, which is usually because they’ve been pressured into it. In this case, we have to remember to condemn being pressured into relationship structures without condemning those relationship structures themselves. Most of all, we have to remember the immortal and true saying – your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay – and remember that monogamy and polyamory can both be seen as kinks.

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