If Monogamy was a Stripper

I want to preface this article by letting all of my polyamorous friends know they are the cat’s pajamas. They are Grade A mofos. Really and truly. My kin who love this way have given me, a happy monogamist, so much to check myself on when it comes to ownership, jealousy, and trust. It’s just not for me, and that’s okay. I don’t have the energy to do the mental gymnastics and navigation around it all. I also rarely have the time to deal with more than a few friends let alone more than one lover. Logistically it’s kind of a nightmare for me, and I promise you all, I tried my darndest. But as my one poly friend told me over the phone, “Just because all the cool queers are poly doesn’t mean you have to do it.”

Next, I want to say that this article is not about polyamory, but about the glorification of cheating, which is the opposite of the communication and trust that polyamory requires.

I just wish that the media would portray monogamy as something a bit sexier. There are countless movies, books, television shows etc. that portray monogamy as a ball and chain. A box. A cage. In the media, there’s something hot about opening your heart and body to more than one heart and body – on the sly. In fact, being a heteronormative and ownership-centred place of expression, cheating, or the idea of acquiring more than one hole/phallus/heart/mouth through dishonesty is the perfect basis for any blockbuster film.

You see, according to mainstream media, cheating is like the most seductive stripper, with a bedazzled pussy.

On the other hand, if the media were to personify monogamy as a stripper, they would enter the stage to the tune of Anne Murray’s Could I Have This Dance.

The stripper’s name would be Hilda.

Hilda would be wearing a burlap sack and white sports socks from Costco.

By the end of the first chorus, Hilda would begin the traditional peel and bend-over, revealing control-top undies bought on sale at Winners.

“Yeah!” Hilda would say in a seductive whisper. “You like that? These are the undies you just folded after we did the laundry. Oh, yeah.”

The final peel of the burlap sack would have Hilda taking the garment off neatly and hanging it in the walk-in closet.

Hilda would play with her breasts saying “See these? These are the same breasts you saw this morning when I did my morning pee. These are the same breasts you’re going see for the rest. Of. Your. Life.”

And Hilda’s bored-as-fuck life partner would place Canadian Tire money in her undies as payment in prep for the microwave they would buy later on that day.

This is how lackluster media believes monogamy to be. But from my perspective, monogamy is pretty darn exciting too, especially when you stop treating your partner as your personal clown who is expected to entertain your sexual fantasies and instead as your accomplice in making those sexual fantasies come alive together.

It’s exciting for me to live out my sex life without having to explain to yet another lover the fact that my chronic fatigue means we, unfortunately, can’t do that one power position they had hoped for but can do a million others.

It’s exciting for me to fully and honestly explore the universe of one person; watching this one person’s body bloom and grow old, and knowing that sex, that cuddling, that kissing will change over time in beautiful and wondrous ways.

And…well…I am kind of excited by the idea of being paid Canadian Tire money for stripping. So bring it on.

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is the award-winning author of Scarborough, the novel (Arsenal Pulp Press 2017) and M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book (Flamingo Rampant Press). Her plays include Singkil, Eating with Lola, and The Femme Playlist.

Read all posts by Catherine Hernandez

2 Responses to If Monogamy was a Stripper

  1. Lyn says:

    That article was beautiful. As someone who has had her love cheat on her because he lusted and lusted and as someone whose sexual desires were never met or discussed you hit the button on the nose. I will be frank. I am straight. But your article works in the straight and queer world. I just found the love of my life on a dating site *enter gasp and we are already exploring what the other would like sexually and I know we will come through for each other. We discussed having been tested liked grown ups and we already talk about domestic things. I haven’t even met him in person but I know i love him. and i want to grow old with him and watch his body change and adore every inch of it. Thank you Catherine for a gorgeous article.

  2. Jo Mosser says:

    OH, this is sooooo good. Thank yooooou.

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