In most cultures monogamous marriages or partnerships are idealised, or at least that's the official line. However, monogamy is in crisis with higher numbers of us than ever getting divorced or breaking up. So, could there be another way that provides the excitement and satiation we crave while also making your relationship stronger?
Monogamish or Consensual Non-Monogamy recognises a primary relationship but doesn't adhere to the all or nothing societal boundaries of a traditional monogamous relationship. As such it can offer the best of both worlds, a strong and secure relationship combined with some freedoms that other arrangements offer within agreed boundaries.
Where did the term Monogamish come from?
The term Monogomish was coined in the recent past by relationship and sex columnist Dan Savage when describing the relationship he had with his long-term partner.
There have long been those that don't subscribe to monogamy. Swingers, those in polygamous marriages or open relationships being the most well known. While these work well for some couples, they don't always offer the security and certainty most of us still want. Monogamy itself has also changed. It used to mean one person for life, now it means one person at a time!
There are no set rules for monogamish. This is negotiated by each couple and will differ from one relationship to the next and often changes over time. Monogamish is not about cheating. Deceit can be the ruin of any relationship. This is about respect, consent and mutually agreed boundaries.
So what does Monogomish look like? Jessica O'Reilly at TEDxVancouver described some examples
Thought - Not Action
Even admitting to non-monogamous thoughts for some is taboo, but in a monogamish relationship exploring these thoughts verbally without actually doing anything or involving anyone can be an exciting yet safe first step. This could be talking about who each of you find attractive and what you would like to do with them. Perhaps ask your partner to imagine someone else touching them. Telling your partner I think he/she was checking you out. All these think can add a little excitement.
Talk - Not Touch
Taking it up a notch, you might engage we other people when out. Chatting and flirting at a bar perhaps. A risque conversation yet not acting on anything.
Those thoughts and conversations might lead to something more. Involving someone else can mean there is another agenda in the room. To avoid this a first step many take is visiting a professional, and a sensual masseur can be a good way to do this. Doing so means it's all about you as a couple, not the other person and you can set clear boundaries. Ideally, you'll be able to read reviews and be sure of discretion.
After that the options are endless, but the important thing to remember is that monogamish is a mindset, not a manor.