I never thought Id settle down. Now Im engaged. Great woman. Soulmate, really. But anybody who knows me knows that standing up in front of a crowd promising that Ill never break my vows is a bit of a stretch for me. Though I havent cheated yet (its been two years of monogamy a record), Im not sure I can do it. Forsake all others? Who came up with this shit? I dont really know what to do here. On the one hand, I love this woman more than anything; on the other hand, every time I think shell be the last woman I ever sleep with, it makes me wanna build bombs. Of course, I cant talk to her about it. Shed freak. And all my buddies are like, Get over it thats what marriage is about. Just cheat and shut up about it. Got any advice?
Screwed in Alpharetta
Men experience monogamy a little like the Medicare Doughnut Hole. Were covered for the first 2,000 days, then coverage drops off completely and immediately kicks back in when we reach the catastrophic threshold (old age).
Its this Monogamy Doughnut Hole that gets men in so much trouble. Rarely do we cheat when were covered, but once we enter the hole and we all do good luck.
Most of us men and women get railroaded into monogamy. Either by a partner who holds a bat over our heads when they ask us how we really feel about monogamy, or by swallowing societys poison pill: that monogamy is the only path to transcendent love. Well, you know what? Society has been wrong on almost everything when it comes to sex and love. What society has said is fake, dangerous and sick (homosexuality and interracial love come to mind), people experience as genuine, safe and healthy.
But I digress. Youve made your bed, lets see how you can lay in it without exploding into a ball of fire. How do you stay monogamous? The same way you do anything that requires sacrifice. If you want a 32-inch waist, you have to exercise muscles and stay away from certain foods. If you want a monogamous relationship, you have to exercise restraint and stay away from certain women. You know, the ones with breasts.
Then you learn the principles of hot monogamy, Obama-style. And continue removing yourself from temptations (avoid bars), removing temptations from you (hire ugly secretaries) and keep focusing on the reason youre putting yourself through this hell in the first place (your love for an amazing woman).
Of course, thats all easy when youve got Monogamy Coverage. But once you enter the doughnut hole and the coverage goes away, none of that shits going to work. Ask Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer and Tiger Woods. Hell, ask your dad.
So what now? Thats when you have the conversation you should have had way before the week of your wedding, ya putz. A conversation that says the despair of fidelity is reaching the level of your love for her and that you want to make a modest proposal: You dont want to blow the fidelity door off its hinges; you just want to crack it open a little. Just like opening a window or door at the back of the house protects your house from caving in during a hurricane, doing the same to your sexual relationship prevents your marriage from collapsing to its foundation.
How you do that is the subject of another column, but for now, keep hope alive. There are men whove negotiated lease extensions with their wives (and vice versa). It just requires a paradigm shift: Fidelity will not save your marriage; manageable wandering will. As long as we use virginity as the model for monogamy one prick and its all gone well stay stuck where we are. But if we use sobriety as the model fall off the wagon and nobody judges you as long as you climb back on then well get rid of nervous grooms forever.
Got a burning or why-is-it burning question for The Sexorcist? E-mail him at Sexorcist@creativeloafing.com.
Midtown resident Mike Alvear hosts HBOs The Sex Inspectors, blogs at mikealvear.com and teaches monthly blogging workshops with Hollis Gillespie.
Because they are super-duper horny, of course.
Hoping he cleaned his pooh hammer before hand