“You’re so beautiful,” the guy said, sitting down next to me in Dolores Park. “I just had to come over and tell you.” He extended his hand.
When I shook his hand in return, he hung onto it.
At that point, a girl walked up the hill. She glanced at me, kissed the guy with sunglasses on the forehead, and just as quickly, walked off.
“Come over whenever you’re done,” she informed him. The guy turned to me.
“That’s my wife,” he said. “Do you think she’s cute?”
Ahhh, monogamy: the act of sleeping with just one partner at a time. Monogamy, are you still alive and kicking in the 21st century?
What does monogamy mean to us in San Francisco? After all…. San Francisco is not so concerned with amassing a large population of men through “giving” each one their own woman in order to go to battle. San Francisco claimed the sexual revolution as its own. San Francisco does not have a Puritan population.
So. I’ve noticed, San Francisco: Along with Anchor Steam beer, vintage jackets, and really high rent prices, it seems you’ve also developed a penchant for long-term open relationships that some of you would like to call “monogamy.”
The more I talk about this new monogamy, the more stories I hear. There’s the friend who made out with someone at a club and later discovered that the girlfriend was just across the bar. (It was “monogamy,” because the girlfriend was in the same room as they were.) There’s the chocolate orgy house party I hear someone else’s partner is going to attend (as a chocolate lover, I try not to think about the possible corruption of the chocolate experience by a stranger’s unwashed body part). This was “monogamy,” because the orgy-attendee wasn’t going to actually have sex with anyone else; just make out with them.
And finally, is it “monogamy” if you and your partner make out with the same person at the same time? My buddy insisted that he was “monogamous,” despite his recent menage a trois, once this topic arose.
One of my friends is in a new relationship, and openly admits to feeling possessive over his girlfriend’s sexual adventures. He says, “But maybe that’s why I should let her do whatever she wants. She is not mine to own. She is free to be her own person. I need to deal with my jealousy.”
He follows this up with, “It’s complicated to be in a relationship. It is just way more complicated when there is more than one person involved.”
Is it OK to be married and flirt?
Hey. Being in a relationship ain’t easy, whether you are sleeping with one person or sleeping with many of them.
But if you are willing to take on the openness, honesty, and communication of being romantically involved with more than one person — you can call it “monogamy” or whatever you want.
I’ll call it “hard work.” More power to you, SF.
PS: Photo credit – Wikimedia commons.