Sam is a sex educator and artist who explores queerness, polyamory, and sexuality through their work. She’s passionate about exploring ways to broaden relationship structures to foster more connections between people. They use art and illustration as part of their education process.
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Author: Shrimp Teeth
How to unlearn compulsory monogamy
The desire to unlearn compulsory/toxic monogamy should be as strong for newly open/ polyamorous couples as the desire to sleep with other people.
Folks who’ve only been in (especially straight) monogamous relationships their entire lives struggle to grasp why it’s important to deconstruct traditional relationship scripts. It’s only through experiencing repeat intense jealousy they realize they need unlearning.
While there are many folks who have healthy monogamous relationships, a lot of folks have never taken the time to examine the dynamic they have with their partner.
Polyamory has a tendency to bring the problem spots to light. Unexamined ownership, scarcity, and co-dependent tendencies exist in a lot of monogamous couples.
It’s really hard to feel happy being polyamorous if you haven’t challenged those dynamics before.
Non-monogamy offers an opportunity for couples to challenge themselves. Being the secondary dating pals in an established couple can feel bad if they aren’t willing to challenge their previous beliefs.
Of course, most couples aren’t trying to be malicious to secondaries, but it can hurt nonetheless when there’s a clear couple’s privilege.
Everyone benefits from examining their re-established beliefs about relationships and tossing out the ideas that don’t serve them in polyamory.
Deconstructing toxic monogamy, like any personal growth work, takes time and perseverance.
There’s always more to unlearn/learn!
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