Once upon a time I only had very monogamous relationships.
Then I got my first openly bisexual girlfriend, which led to me question if it was really fair that I restricted half her sexuality by demanding she be monogamous. My gut answer was a clear no. It is not fair to expect someone to repress such a large part of their sexuality in order for me to have sexual exclusivity.
Then I thought it over for another minute.
Am I really so much of a man that all other sexual contact with men would be superfluous? Again the answer was no, since people in general are so very different. There are experiences I could never give a woman, simply because I’m too tall, short, strong, weak, or have the wrong skin color, just to mention a few things that I can’t easily change.
It dawned on me that the thought of sexual exclusivity which society programs us with is deeply inhibiting. It is really no wonder that many of us feel compelled to change partners frequently or to be unfaithful. Not everyone is stuck in the norm, but many are, and those who aren’t still need to relate to it in one way or another. Deviations are often met with punishments such as imposing guilt or shame or being ridiculed.
Of course there are many who challenge the norm of monogamy, for example by trying to have open relationships (often only sexually open) or even polyamorous relationships (having multiple intimate love relationships). But even if such an attitude is theoretically much healthier, it seems that many of the people I have met who try to live in that manner are obviously confused and divided. Most of the time I don’t feel that it is their fault, but rather that it is a result of the programming that they have been exposed to, which has in turn thoroughly messed up their minds.
As far as I can see the main difference between harmonious and disharmonious multiple relationships lies in if you approach it with the heart or the head. There are many people like me who have thought it over and come to realize that monogamy is not a healthy norm, but in order to live that insight in a harmonious way it isn’t enough that the head understands. The heart must also understand. In order for the heart to understand the person needs to work with his/her personal development to get past the thought patterns that we have been impregnated with.
To put it all in chakra terms, the person needs to rise to the level of the heart chakra where love is unconditional. The vast majority is however on the second or third chakra where the ego is ever present, manipulations are common and love comes with conditions. Many have occasional experiences at the heart level, such as when they fall in love or have children, but very few are stable at that level, which explains why many people who are experimenting with such things as polyamory or open relationships are clearly unbalanced in it. Even those who seem to be balanced are often not, since they swallow their imbalance, which of course hurts the person in much the same way as if they would swallow sadness or anger.
Photo: Threesome by Anthony Easton on Flickrby