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What’s So Revolutionary About Monogamy?

I’m non-monogamous. My socialist thot is exclusive. That’s fucked.

Few things turn me on quite like a leftist hottie. It’s not a requirement, but it definitely amps up my attraction. Yes, I suck dick for socialism.

Ever since I was taken in by straight, radically liberal babes in college, I’ve wanted to fuck my comrades — privately hoping their revolutionary theory might ripen into some sexually fluid praxis. So when I recently started getting flirty messages from a gorgeous boy who railed against capitalism all across his Instagram, my heart fluttered.

Our romance was pretty mild, though, contained to mutual flirting over DM once every week or so. We’d admire each other’s socialist ravings and then drool over each other’s sexy selfies. We’d each offer to get together, but never follow through. And so, I’d move on until the next time the algorithm brought him back to mind. I wasn’t losing sleep over him, but I definitely had a little cyber-crush. This digital back-and-forth went on for a few months, coolly and casually. Then, in a final effort to move things along, I finally sent him my number. But there was no response, which I took for a no until further notice

Oh, well. 

Two weeks later, though, apropos of absolutely nothing, I got a text from him. He informed me, somewhat apologetically, that he went and got himself not just a boyfriend, but an exclusive one. Still, he told me that he’d love to hang out at some point, presumably as friends who don’t hook up. A heart emoji was included to cushion the fall. I could not, for the life of me, think of an appropriate reply.

I understand that “I have a boyfriend” functions as a coded form of rejection, even though I also have a boyfriend. We’ve never been monogamous or felt the need to be. Still, I can respect other people’s choices about their own relationships, and I can respect that “I have a boyfriend” is another way of saying “nah.” For all I know, too, it could be a lie, and he just had a change of heart. That would still be fine.

It’s not like he did anything wrong. He followed up on the small but sincere intimacy we were cultivating, and he did so politely. It’s not like he could know that I’d rather be ghosted than receive a milquetoast rejection weeks later. Reaching out and explaining his unavailability was kind of him and showed his commitment to being accountable to our queer community something something.

But I’m not going to lie. I was disappointed. All of our cool, casual flirting suggested to me that we shared a certain brand of sexual alignment, in addition to our politics. I like to believe that our sex lives and civic lives extend from one another. I don’t see politics as extricable from the ethical convictions by which I live — and that includes how I fuck. 

This is the whole basis of consent culture. Rather than treat sex as an exceptional, uncontrollable instinct, we must subject our desire to a baseline ethical standard of respect for bodily autonomy (e.g., not raping people). This is political, too, especially when blatant sexual assailants hold public office. I think my would-be Socialist Bae probably sees things the same way, and it would be hot to hear him talk about it. It just turned out that a few of his crucial convictions are different than mine, particularly the question of monogamy.

If you’re in a monogamous relationship — the socially sanctioned norm borne historically of wealth and ownership of women — are you really about that anti-establishment life? (There I go again with “purity tests.” I might be on the more militant end of things.) 

Monogamy, to me, requires compromising my sexual agency in order to make a partner feel secure, or worse, powerful. I find the whole premise kind of violating. Ditching monogamy doesn’t banish insecurity or power from a relationship, but it creates more possibility to move toward love premised on independence. That’s deeply important to me. It’s romantic, too.

At the same time, I know I shouldn’t expect other people to see sex the same way I do, given the stark material differences between my sex life and that of other people. Sometimes I underestimate how much sex work has informed how I see the world. I’ve made a living off of non-monogamy since I was 19, and it’s so infused into my identity that I don’t see how I could disown it to acquiesce to somebody who claims to like me. Some performers distinguish work sex from leisure sex and come up with different rules for relationships. But I don’t find it tenable (for me) to compartmentalize pleasure and deny intimacy in such a manner. 

Essentially, then, this is the question I always find myself wrapped up in: Is my sex life tenable with who I am and what I believe in? 

Now, I don’t expect my sex life to match my politics in any pure or straightforward way. I think they both come from the same fundamental point-of-view, but both are also prone to dissonance and deviation. Desire is unruly that way. After all, I still thirst over Nick Jonas against my better judgment. But some deviations put too great a strain on my integrity, like only ever fucking white guys or letting down a friend in need just to go get laid. As such, I ask what has to change so I can sit with myself. I find that question more useful than asking if my sex life is “just” or “good.” And hey, it’s gotten me this far.

Then again, I could analyze my civic duty as well. For example, I could do more phone banking. Maybe that’s where I’ll find the slutty socialist of my dreams.