A reciprical relationship in which a person is paired with single other person. There are two possibilities: The trick, of course, is to tell one from the other, decide whether either is for you and then find an unsuspecting victim.

Unlike the polyamory/polygamy dichotomy (which arose for essentially legal reasons), the term monogamy covers both the legal state of being married to a single person and being in love with a single person. (Just a moment, … married to a single person … ? reparse that sentence the other way)

It is important not to confuse monogamy with monogramy, which is art, industry and fetish orientation of applying monograms. Monogamy is forever and monograms are damned hard to unpick, so this is not a mistake you want to make.

The United Colors of Monogamy

You choose a sexual/marital partner for life, but think the statement "until death do us part" lacks conviction. If your partner dies before you do, you figure you're not supposed to have sex ever again in this lifetime. (a.k.a. "Swan").
Fidelitous with one partner for life, but if your partner dies, you might consider dating, marriage, and sex with someone else... eventually (a.k.a. "Strict" or "Practical").
Gender Restricted
Close friends of the same sex as your partner are avoided, discouraged, or prohibited (a.k.a. "No Window Shopping").
Gender Unrestricted
Close friends of the same sex as your partner are permitted or even encouraged (a.k.a. "Modern").
Having no sex with your partner whatsoever (a.k.a. "Gold Watch" or "Twenty-Year Man and Wife").
Having sex with your partner only, but also masturbating (a.k.a. "Pr0n").
Fidelitous with one partner "for as long you both shall ... feel like being together". Partners may be switched out as often or as rarely as the mood takes you (a.k.a "American").
Enhanced Serial
Same as the preceeding however fantasies, crushes, and other forms of flirting with people aside from your partner are just innocent fun, and so are also okay (a.k.a. "No-Touch-y").
Switching between two (or more) partners over any period of time, but "faithful" to each one while with them (a.k.a. "Polyamorous").
Discreet infidelitous
Having affair(s) which you successfully hide from your partner (a.k.a. "Business Class").
Indiscreet infidelitous
Having affair(s) which you fail to hide - or make no attempt to hide - from your partner (a.k.a. "Classy with a Capital-K").
Being in a relationship with someone who has affairs (discreet or indiscreet) while you yourself remain faithful (a.k.a. "Martyr").
Scene Specific
Participating in kinky scenes with people other than your partner, which, whether they involve you having sex or not, are separate from real-life, so technically it doesn't count (a.k.a. "Play-Doh").
Romantic Hopeless
Loving people other than your partner without doing anything physical with them, so TIDC (a.k.a. "Asexually Polyamorous").
Opposing Gender Specific
Having flirtations, sex, or even relationships while still in a relationship with your partner, but only with people of not of the same sex as your partner, so TIDC (a.k.a. "Bisexual").
Having sex with people other than your partner but not actually loving them, so TIDC (a.k.a. "Swinging").
Giving Only
Performing manual or oral sex on someone aside from your partner, but since you're not the one receiving the pleasure TIDC (a.k.a. "Do Unto Others as Long as They Don't Do Unto You").
Recieving Only
Receiving manual or oral sex from someone aside from your partner, but since you're not the one doing the "doing" TIDC (a.k.a. "Clintonese").
Old World Traditional Male
Having discreet affairs, because everyone knows one woman can't possibly satisfy the sexual appetites of a real man (a.k.a. "Soprano").
Liberated Female
Having discreet affairs, because everyone knows one man can't possibly satisfy the sexual appetites of a woman in her prime (a.k.a. "What He Doesn't Know...").
Autoerotic, Clintonese Discreetly Infidelitous, Monoamorous Opposing Gender Specific, Enhanced Serial ... Monogamy
Monogamous, except for masturbating, or receiving manual or oral sex from someone of the same sex as your partner while successfully hiding it from your partner, or having sex with someone of the opposite sex from your partner but not loving them, and taking a new partner as the mood suits you, and fantasies, crushes, and other forms of flirting with people aside from your partner are just innocent fun, and so are also okay (a.k.a. "Delusional").

Inspired by "The seven definitions of monogamy" by Eric Francis (www.ericfrancis.com).

This isn't what you think it is.

I see this shock, this outrage, that someone could coerce another into an exclusive relationship.

I couldn't agree more.

But that isn't monogamy.

I see how much deception goes along with some monogamous relationships, and how much pain that it causes.

That's not monogamy either. That's human weakness and deception.

Clinically, monogamy is the state of having only one sexual partner for life.

Humans are far from clinical.

We're talking about love here, man! We're talking about a force that defies any and all logical conventions!

And I'm supposed to explain this?

Well, I'll be damned if I'm not going to try.

What monogamy is about is trust. About freedom.

It's like a bird that you set free, a bird you wanted to keep so badly, but the one you set free anyway, knowing that the least you can give in your respect and love for this living creature is to let it be free to live it's life, in the way it sees fit. Then you wake up the next morning, to find that same little bird that you loved so much tapping on your window. It's the happiness you feel that, for at least one creature in the whole wide world, freedom is being with you.

Monogamy is the beautiful, happy secret that's so radiant, so joyful, that you can only share it with your best-best-best friend. And knowing that they'll never, ever even think of sharing it beyond that.

It's getting to sleep with your best friend, all the time, and not only is it mind-blowing, but it's never strange, and it never fucks up your friendship.

It is knowing that this person belongs at your side, that they are as much a part of you as you are.

Monogamy is finding a depth in sex, an emotional release, that could never be found in one night's, one month's, or even one year's worth of exploration. It's when exploring this beauty, when deepening this bond, becomes so much more important than merely tasting other possibilities. It's when the deep connection that can be found between the sharing of our bodies is so, so much more deep, more fulfilling, more beautiful, simply because it is with YOU.

Monogamy is when "I", "Me", "You", and "Us" begin to blur together. It is when YOU begin to blur, dropping walls built over the years like so many old bricks in order to open up your most secret depths to this new being in your existence. Because in sharing, we explore. In exploring, we learn. In learning, we love.

Because, all in all, that's all monogamy really is. It's love. It's just a little different, that's all.

It's about love.

Let me repeat that, once again. It's important. Ready?

It's about LOVE!

The kind of love that you just can't share with anyone else. The kind of love that, like a secret, would somehow diminish if it were no longer a secret. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's just the way it works, sometimes.

And I, for one, think it's beautiful.

8/27/08: Dear God, this writeup is sappy as hell. Ugh. It's a little embarrassing. I'm only keeping it here because it's the only remotely positive writeup in this node. Seriously, people - it's not a bad thing. Stop hating on other people's lifestyles. And I'm also keeping it because I have a total crush on hamster bong and wouldn't want to nuke one of her C!'s. Shhhhh.

Mo*nog"a*my (?), n. [L. monogamia, Gr. : cf. F. monogamie.]


Single marriage; marriage with but one person, husband or wife, at the same time; -- opposed to polygamy. Also, one marriage only during life; -- opposed to deuterogamy.

2. Zool.

State of being paired with a single mate.


© Webster 1913.

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