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Monogamy, Poly and The Ish: Relationship type, sexual fantasy and communication.

Why is monogamy so hard? We all seek the ideal in a relationship. We want our knight in shining armor or safe space, but why do we truly want these things? The need for this yearning for long-term desire is sometimes overshadowed or at odds with two opposing forces. The need for security versus the need for surprise.

The need for security is the driving force behind a wanting for monogamy but that is not how monogamy was born. History teaches us repeatedly that monogamy or single-partner marriage was based on economic gains. In recent history, monogamy and monogamist marriage have been redefined. The 1900s brought about this concept that we marry for love and that true love equals to have. Often desire and wanting fade when we look at this concept of monogamy.

Monogamy becomes extremely difficult when we take factors such as culture and religion into the trend that we marry our partner for life and love. We are taught from a very young age that sex equals love and that you should only have sex with your married partner. Too many people now believe that sex equals love when in reality sex equals fun, pleasure, and procreation.

We need to re-teach ourselves to look at relationships differently and bring communication to the forefront of what we base any partnership on. When you are most drawn to your partner there are some things that are always there in your mind. They can include imagination when they're not in your presence. You love watching them in their element and when everything is novel and new. So how do we keep our partner and our relationship thriving? Keep reinventing the new.

Before you can decide what is new and novel and what you need to personally do to keep your relationship in that zone you should be honest with yourself and answer these questions:

1. What turns you off? This could be a personal factor it could be something as simple as body hair or somebody that doesn't close the kitchen cupboard door. What is it that turns you off?

2. What turns on your desire for that person? This could include a passion, a hobby, the way they crinkle their nose when they smile or maybe it's the way you could get lost in their eyes. You need to pinpoint what works for you.

3. Do I understand that your erotic mind is not a politically correct one? In looking at this question we must dive into the fact that some of the things we fantasize about and things that sexually turn us on may be a little more taboo than society likes us to believe. However, society's construct is to avoid what is not politically correct and what is taboo. It is what crates odds for us admitting that we are wonderfully guilty in our creative erotic minds.

4. At all times we were thinking about the possibilities of being with our person we must remember to stay in our own head. The what ifs and but… is what causes a lot of the symptoms that will break down a relationship. So, it is important to create your safe space in a diary or journal and write down your what-ifs and buts there so you can contain them and put them out of your mind.

If we take the time to disconnect sex from love, we will find a different and more sustainable type of relationship. Does this mean that you fall into the category of swinger or polyamorous? In all reality, it could mean you fit into an alternative sexual value for a relationship. Let's define three types of alternative relationships.

1. Swinger. In this type of relationship, you have a primary partner that is your go-to and always goes home with the person. You can engage in sexual activities that include multiple persons typically together as a couple but can range the gambit between that and sexual encounters on their own. What makes this relationship type unique is that there is no go-to sexual partner you can go to a club or a bar and find a person to include that is willing with direct communication. Often one or both partners are on the hunt for that elusive unicorn for the evening of fun and frivolity.

2. Polyamorous. In this type of relationship, you have a primary partner, and each partner can then have multiple other partners. It is how those other partners interact with each other and with your primary, that can vary. Some polyamorous people will have a triad where primary partners will play with the third. Some will have individual partners that they play with on their own. How you choose to include extra partners in polyamory is up to you and your primary partner. What makes this relationship different is that you have a vested emotional interest in all parties. You need to have excellent communication skills and excellent control over jealousy in order for this type of relationship to persevere.

3. Monog-a-mish. This type of relationship is often overlooked as it is not a hot topic of discussion. As the name alludes to you, are in a monogamous partnership with your primary however, it involves different types of sexual interlude. It can include threesomes, orgies, cuckolding, and other multi-person sexual fantasies. What makes this type of alternative sexual relationship a good alternative is that you are responsible enough to understand that love, partnership, and connection with your primary equals love. The sex portion of this type of relationship then equals fun and fantasy. In this type of relationship, the disconnect between love and sex is prevalent and the drive to keep primary partners happy, content, and at peace is the first nature of this relationship. Sex and sexual activities become the enhancement in this relationship. There is also no emotional connection between the primary couple and their sexual partners. The emotional connection is reserved solely for the primary couple. Differing from swinger types in the fact that there is not a hunt for the sex, but active involvement in the scenario and fantasy. Pushing the fantasy into reality and enhancing the primary relationship.

In looking at alternative sexual lifestyles we have also to include sexual lifestyles that contain kink, power dynamics, and a multitude of other objectification. If we look at kink, we need to understand that no matter the type of relationship you choose to enter there will be a defined parameter for your dynamic. This can include female lead, cuckoldom, master and slave, or any variation that suits the primary couple. When we think of these type of relationships, we're thinking of power dynamics as it relates to sexual activity. This means that there is a hint of sexual intensity in all activities no matter how you choose to include them. So kink should always be part of enhancing your relationship style rather than focusing on your relationship style.

There is a pesky little trait we all need to work on and that is called communication. When we communicate openly and honestly and freely, we open the door to healthier relationships. Communication is a very hard skill to learn and maintain as we must admit it is always evolving and changing as it is a fluid construct in any relationship. Communication can be emotionally driven but when doing it effectively emotion does not rule the communication. So how do you communicate with your partner especially if you didn't build the relationship on communication?

1. Get comfy, give your partner full attention [turn off cell phones, TV, or music] make eye contact, and check emotions and feelings at the door.

2. Always, when talking about a topic approach it from a personal standpoint and always communicate from the I am perspective.

3. When talking always use more words over fewer words. That means yes and no answers are not adequate for true communication.

4. Reflect on the information provided meaning you might answer something “if I understand you; you feel…”

5. Talk collaboratively. Effective communication is not a solo activity you are not at odds with your partner you are there to work with your partner so finding solutions that work for both parties becomes the strategy you want to maintain.

6. Multiple options for problem-solving. If one solution doesn't work have a backup, have a 3rd, have a 4th. Remember it can take multiple attempts to solve a problem you're not always going to get it right on the first try.

7. Remember you are a team and teams have to function together. The struggle to be defensive when communicating comes from not learning the most effective ways to listen as children. We are taught from a very young age to listen to the words in front of us and to react and that becomes a poor strategy when it comes to adult communication for longevity. We need to listen, understand and process and then respond. It is OK to ask for a moment to process the information that was just given to you.

8. Never belittle, name call, or make fun of your partner for reaching out with reasons that are very valid to them even if it seems trivial to you. We need to hold our partners' trust in us in high regard to be able to help them through little and big problems.

Relationships of all shapes and sizes are ever evolving in fluidic. Maintaining such relationships can be as challenging as climbing a mountain yet rewarding is the view you receive at the summit. How you choose to maintain your relationships and the types of relationships you enter into defines you as a person. Actively and effectively working on communication to strengthen and build relationships will always see a win-win no matter what type of relationship you choose or the dynamic within it. Always remember to separate out love from sex. Love is the building block and the cornerstone of your universe. Sex is always the enhancement of a great relationship.

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