A Look at Monogamish
A few years back, I encountered Dan Savage’s “Savage Love.” I never became an avid listener or reader, but one thing that truly resonated with me was the monogamish idea.
So we’ve got monogamy, more of a one-on-one equation, and monogamish, one-on-one with a twist.
My understanding of monogamish is simple: mutual embracing of all of your partner’s needs. So yes, if you all of a sudden want to go out and have a gangbang where firefighters jizz on your face, that’s awesome! BUT you do have to acknowledge that that may not suit your partner’s needs. In that vein, monogamish is a dialogue between two people dedicated to each other, about what they need from each other.
Dan (Mr. Savage if you’re nasty) advises people to be “GGG—good (in bed), giving (of equal pleasure), and game (for anything--within reason).” What I take this to mean is open-mindedness on both sides of the equation. The ish in monogamish seems to inherently denote multiple parties. However, I feel like for Savage it can also mean a movement away from the stiff traditional monogamous mindset i.e. you’re with me, don’t look, touch, or fantasize about anyone other than me.
Let’s look at this from a novice BDSM perspective:
Game for anything
Game for anything means that your partner will at least listen to any idea you have about sex. This doesn’t necessarily mean going along with it, but at least listening and brainstorming a way to satisfy that need or idea. Sometimes just being allowed to bounce something off your partner and break it down is refreshing. When there isn’t a way to do this, you get into the realm of shame, and that shit’s for the birds. Unintentional shame has no place in BDSM. This open dialogue exists to eliminate shame and create safe spaces where we can be as freaky as we want to be, so you and your partner can explore all ranges of kinky stuff.
Giving of equal pleasure
When you’re game for anything you can then start pleasing and satisfying your partner’s deepest darkest fantasies. This pleasure is not just physical. Pleasure is also visual and mental. Often, you don’t have to receive physical touch to feel pleasure. I find that, when I top, 85% of my pleasure is visual and mental. Power dynamics fascinate me, with all the different ways we submit or dominate in the spheres of our daily lives. While power is not always equal in relationships or sex, pleasure should be. Subs should feel like they’re getting what they need. Doms should feel like they’re getting what they need. Switches should feel like they’re getting what they need. This includes the after care ointments, chocolate, and conversation. Everyone should come away feeling pleased and comfortable thanks to the monogamish foundation of openness.
Good in Bed:
Game for anything + Mutual pleasure = good in bed.
My main sexual desire is to constantly push my boundaries. The idea of constant casual vanilla sex bores the living daylights outta me, while the idea of casual BDSM sex evokes a certain Jian Ghomeshi non-consensual psycho bullshit type of terror.
The complaint I have the most about sex is that my partner for that moment, whether long term or short term, wasn’t listening or paying attention to the situation or my verbal/non-verbal instructions. For relationships, this inattentiveness was mostly due to not being game for anything and becoming uncomfortable during the dialogue about sexual needs. Monogamy should offer a safe space for you to push the envelope as much as you want with someone you trust, ideally. Nothing should be taboo. The ish factor should offer that leeway for multiple partner play and general experimentation. That gangbang fantasy? Yea let’s try it? Golden showers? I don’t see why not! While you’re safe and trusting you can do whatever you like and be a sex rock star to your partner.
I’ve been wondering how to apply monogamish to my relationships. It just feels like it’s easier in theory than practice. Feelings are real, as is jealousy. Navigating real emotion while keeping a constant open mind while exploring multiple partners and pushing sexual boundaries, you will certainly encounter difficulties and challenges. I think that the dialogue and trust help me get through the hard stuff, but I’ve found that letting shit go is the most important thing. Letting go of the fear, letting go of the insecurity, and letting go of the hurt when you misperceive your partner’s motivation. In a way I feel like monogamish is only for the dedicated couple. It is far too much work for a couple who isn’t serious about each other. Or, maybe by starting off monogamish, relationships have a better success rate. But this is a conversation for another day.
A Foray Into Bondage
Long time no write I know. Sometimes when life hits, it smacks ya in the face with a double sided dildo. I only phrase it this way because when I was 17, standing inside a disappointingly tame Shanghai sex shop, I really did smack a guy in the face with a double-sided dildo. He was not pleased.
Speaking of dildos and smacking people with them, my ultimate life goal is to make sex toys. It wasn't always my dream. I used to want to be a lawyer. This is perhaps a stark deviation from that career path. But yes. This is my goal.
Last May I headed back Stateside for a vacation from near death bike-pedestrian collisions and super vocal spitting. While sauntering through New York's LES, I started thinking about the kind of toys I want to make. A week later, sitting in my friend's Harlem apartment, the ideas came in waves. I'm going to make spanking toys.
Paddles, canes, and belts. Maybe even special ropes and other interesting restraints.
You see, I'm slowly exploring my interest in S&M.
I didn't read 50 Shades.
One friend described it in her bubbly northern French accent as, "Like Twilight, but with bondage." I fucking hate Twilight.
Another friend said that at the end of the series the author still shone S&M in a negative light... as if being into it meant you were corrupted during your childhood in some sexual really fucked up way. Now, I don't doubt that this could be the case for some, but it isn't the case for all. Hell-er! (That's hello in my Madea voice)
For me my interests are a constant battle which I'm dealing with internally...and now I have decided to explore a little more proactively. I was recently told to seek community. So guys. I'm gonna seek community.
I'm gonna attempt to chronicle my adventures in bondage. Well, wish me luck!
My main fears:
-How people will perceive me
-How I will perceive myself
-What will happen once I release my inner sadist
-How I will hide my bruises from bottoming
-Will I enjoy it as much in reality as I do in my head or should I stick to the light versions I already participate in
I think the perception bit is most important. That is the "how I will perceive myself" bit. I ponder the possibilities of my being into scenarios such as rape role play in which I'm the aggressor in this artificial scene. I fear what it would say about me to enjoy such dynamics. For me, knowing this about myself would be scarier than knowing about someone else.
An 18 year old student confided his desires to participate in the same scenario. I told him to calm down. I told him to assess whether it was attraction to a consensual version or did he really fear actual aggression. Either way I told him he should talk to the psychiatrist he was already seeing and that I wasn't equipped to advise him on this further. I told him he could always talk to me if he needed me.
As the kid walked away, I reflected on similar more passive urges. Then I remembered how the idea of true violence made me angry and nauseated. The actual idea of real violation disgusts me. When we have these urges, I believe it is more about the power dynamic than the scenario. It isn't that you want to be raped, but that you want to simulate the helplessness of being taken, of being dominated by someone you've given permission to do so. However, a lot of people are unable to distinguish between the two and end up hating themselves or others.
Blah. I can imagine it's rough fearing or hating yourself. Fearing or hating what you could be capable of. At any rate, I will talk more about power later.
For now, let's see how this goes.
Sigh-ned a flip flopping dom-sub.
Quest is a switch in training