Yesterday a new friend asked me, quite boldly I thought, whether I am satisfied with monogamy. Not those words, but essentially, that.
I've recognized for a long time that there is something about me that invites this level of immediate over-intimacy, so I tend to forgive impertinence and try to answer the questions I'm posed fairly. I dutifully tried to explain, in the fumbling way I have when I haven't thought about something in a long time, the idea that exclusivity is an essential ingredient that permits the level of trust required to deepen one's knowledge of another, and allow that other to deepen their knowledge of you. That this lifetime process requires a commitment to partner up on life, no matter what comes. But I didn't say, out loud, the rest of the story. Isn't it strange? What I didn't say, as if it didn't have legitimacy, was this: I am in love with my husband.
I never was one to believe in "in love," which is the primary source of my reticence to bring it up as a topic of conversation with someone I hardly know. My first husband was my best friend and I thought that was ideal - I loved him very much, though in the end we weren't good for each other. But I would never have described myself as "in love." I was often attracted to other people.
After that relationship ended and I was ready to pay attention again, I turned around and found myself slave to a man I didn't even know well enough to trust. There was something about how he looked at me that felt like soul's nectar, even before we were dating. My stomach lurched when he smiled at me like I was already his. His hand on my skin felt warmer than anyone's hand should feel, an accidental touch electrifying and drawing my attention to him as a male creature. The first time he kissed me felt like the first time I'd ever been kissed, (and it was far from that). The first time we had sex felt like the sex I'd been trying to have all along. The last time we had sex was the best sex I've ever had. It is, every time. Really. I mean, why have sex if it's not great? What I'm saying is that I feel about him like nothing I've ever experienced before. I don't really notice anyone else anymore, from a sexual standpoint. I don't say that to people because they never believe me, but I can only share my experience. It's like I've locked onto this man, and he is sex for me.
He still just has to look at me to melt me. Maybe more, now, because our intimacy is becoming so much safer and more confident over time. I feel a surge of affection whenever I look at him, even when I'm really mad at him. He inspires me to be better, so he'll feel the same way (I believe he does). He grounds me. Who could have thought I would find this? Not me. I had no idea
Why would I fuck around with that, for something as banal as sex without trust? I wouldn't, in a million years, for a billion dollars.
So yes, I am satisfied with monogamy. In fact, I'd say it far exceeds my expectations.
(musical accompaniment from Sarah McLaughlin)
(I echo @artemisretreats sentiment earlier today: I wish I could be as eloquent in person as I am in writing. I'm also #grateful for the chance to think this through again.)