3 years


Monogamy by Design

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…is not as easy as it is touted to be

If I had to define the past two weeks in one word, it would be frustrating—both sexually and mentally. The Dude has been travelling for the past fortnight and I’ve missed him so much that I couldn’t find it in me to take a single date to the next level. Without knowing it, for the past few weeks, I have been one hundred per cent monogamous. So now I know what most of my friends keep talking about. And I also think I might finally be beginning to understand why most of us seem to have a seriously screwed up relationship with sex.

In the years that I’ve been sexually active, I’ve come to understand one thing about myself: I’m the kind that thrives on variety. In my career, in my sex life, in my choice of fashion, the way I wear my hair… I’m easily bored with routines. I can’t have sex at the same time, same spot, in the same positions and, until very recently, with the same guy week in, week out. The easiest way to break up with me is to make sex predictable. That’s my unhealthy sex pattern: I’m constantly craving something new. And since the most easily changeable variable in my sex equation is the person, up until now, I haven’t thought twice about ending things and moving on. It’s been a practical solution to keep boredom at bay. And so far, it’s worked for me.

But then came that beast called love. Like all couples, we have our days. For the most part, we enjoy banging-on-the-headboards-disturbing-the-neighbours kind of sex, but there are also days when the entire act lasts about as long as an ad break. Not prime time, even. And yet, somehow, even on those days, I’d rather be with him than anyone else. Since this is something new I’m trying, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to approach it. When I asked a friend, she just laughed it off. Because apparently monogamy and faithfulness don’t require practice. They’re supposed to just happen. Which in my opinion is absolute bullshit. Resisting temptation—whether it’s in the form of that gorgeously iced cupcake, the cancer stick or a six pack—is one of the hardest things to do. But while we’re okay with seeking a little bit of extra help to kick the smoking habit, why is accepting help while attempting to change our sexual lifestyles such a problem? I think the problem lies in our attitude to sex, and I’m not even talking about the morally ambiguous casual sex, I’m talking about the socially approved relationship sex.

Family, career, friends, the gym and our social life all have their place in our list of priorities. But universal, old, accommodating sex is squeezed somewhere in between. No wonder our sex lives are limited to the confines of the bedroom. And no wonder it gets boring after a while.

Last year, a friend visited the house of a (then) recently single actor. The first thing he apparently did after his girlfriend moved out was to convert his bachelor pad into an ode to sex. According to my friend, every available surface lent itself to sexual explorations and fantasies.

Today, as I contemplate monogamy, I’ll take all the help I can get—even an interior decorator. When I look around my house, I see it’s been equipped with everything I need to satisfy all my human needs—eating, relaxing, pampering, entertainment, reading and what have you. All my needs, except sex. When I ask myself why, I don’t have any answers. It’s just one of those things that no one ever told me was okay to think about.

My train of thought also reminded me of two gentlemen who are ardent haters of my column. J is of the belief that just because I write about sex, I shouldn’t expect to be read. I agree. In the same vein, the other gentleman (I can’t remember the nom de plume under which he trashes BTS) believes that writing about sex is pointless because it is the most universally boring thing on the planet. I agree with the universal part (the global market for condoms is expected to reach 27 billion units in three years), but I hope he’s incorrect about the boring bit.

And yet, despite believing it to be a crazed woman’s rants, both these gentlemen continue to make time to read and badmouth BTS, week after week. To me, these two seem to sum up our collective relationship with sex. We’re all voyeurs. Not because sex is wildly different from what it used to be thousands of years ago, but because our attitude to sex hasn’t changed all that much. And while my two most dedicated readers might like to believe they’re beyond such frivolous things as 800 words on sex every week, they will read. Until sex truly becomes ‘just another topic’ or ‘boringly universal’, they will read.