Are you monogamous, polyamorous, nonmonogamous, polyfidelitous, or something else or in between?
My first experience with polyamory was on AVEN almost ten years ago. I was dating an allosexual person and I remember a fellow ace on the forums told me that meant I had to be polyamorous or I was being unfair to my partner. The “had to be” really bothered me. If that conversation happened today I would recognize that this complete stranger was making a ton of normative assumptions about my partner and I’s boundaries, needs, and communication. How could I simply become polyamorous? Maybe they meant nonmonogamous, but still. Why did this stranger assume my partner wanted to be polyamorous or nonmonogamous? I’d never actively thought about monogamy or polyamory before, but suddenly I constructed a defensive identity around being monogamous. It was a sad small hurt identity that was content to huddle in my own corner and just be left alone by a bigger world I didn’t learn about. I didn’t even consciously think about this identity; it just was.
When I started informing myself about BDSM I was re-introduced to polyamory. There are many monogamous kinksters, but there are also many openly polyamorous, nonmonogamous, and polyfidelitous ones. I didn’t see any “had tos” and over time my defences slowly lowered. I learned about the very large world of dating and/or being with more than one person in consensual and respectful ways. I wish I had found that world sooner and not been defensive for so long.