My Long Slow Road to Monogamy
copyright 2003 by Kipseeks

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While I had a lot of excitement and fun in Kerista, and spent a good chunk of my adult life fervently believing I was non-monogamous: I am NOW a happily married monogamous man.

Like all men, I often wish a gorgeous lady or three would come along and offer themselves to me, for one-hour or a lifetime (or sometimes about 8 seconds). But the one-hour offer never came ONCE in my adult life and the lifetime offer only happened to me twice in my adult life: once inside of Kerista, and once with my wife. My fantasy life does have me involved with many beautiful intelligent woman who hang on my every word and anticipate ALL my sexual needs, but I am actually a 43-year-old bald guy with a adult-sized belly who really needs to clean my room, untangle my checking account, mow my estate, talk to my wife, learn to partner dance, run every day, lose some weight, wash the car, get a good night's sleep every night, keep my job, have some fun with friends regularly, get into the ocean as much as possible, and keep myself sane. I don't really have the time or energy for more lovers in my life.

I also think non-monogamy is a wonderful idea and I sort of wish it had worked out in my life, but it didn't. During and after Kerista, when I was non-monogamous: I ended up depressed, out-of-shape, exhausted, and emotionally and spiritually drained. It took me years to get myself to where I felt good again. I don't blame the women for this, they were doing the best they could to love me. I blame the structure for not giving me what I needed in the long run.

The downside of non-monogamy I learned pretty well after 11 years:
  • It is hard to please more than one woman at a time. A corollary of this is: It is hard to please ONE woman. (It makes me so tired sometimes I have to go take a snooze.)
  • It takes a lot of time, and a lot of repetition, to talk to a group of people every day.
  • I am happier knowing which room I am sleeping in - and who I am sleeping with - without calling someone or consulting a schedule, or entering into intense negotiations.
  • I get more sleep now without a group of people living in my house.
  • I was a lot hornier in my twenties, and having sex with a lot of women was a mysterious and challenging idea.
  • There is no more mystery about having sex with a lot of women. All I can imagine now is having to TALK with all of them and figure out how to PLEASE them all. It just sounds like too much work.
  • My parents & friends can NOW remember my lover's name from one phone conversation to the next, and have a relationship with her from one visit to the next.
  • I don't have to get nervous, think hard, and lie when people ask me simple questions about my home life.
  • I have more intimacy in my life.
My favorite cartoon of all time is:
Frame 1
What Men Think Women Talk About

First woman
"My boyfriend is the best lover in the whole world"
Second woman
"No, MY boyfriend is the best lover in the whole world."
Frame 2
What Women Are Really Talking About

First woman
"Do you think sex is better than cake?"
Second woman
"What kind of cake?"

My male friend, Ram, once described his fantasy about community, paraphrased, "I imagined a group of men all sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, talking, and a woman going from man to man giving them blowjobs."

I have noticed big differences between men and women in my life. Many of the following are generalizations, but they come from my experiences.

I think men often come to non-monogamous families thinking about wild sex with a lot of women. Their imaginations don't get any farther than that. I have had two friends in the last couple of years, 1 married and one single, who have gotten all starry-eyed when they imagined having a group of women around them. They thought, like the cartoon above, the women would be talking to each other about how great he was in bed. I HAVE been with a group of women - who shared lovers - talking, and my experince is one woman is probably saying, "You know that funny face that Tom makes when he's fucking, it kinda grosses me out" and the other woman are agreeing and adding more details about noises I make that squirm them out or something else intimate and derogatory that makes me want to run out of the room screaming. So when the men say, "Oh I want to be with a group of women talking about how great a lover I am", I think these guys don't really know what they are talking about, and all I can say is: "Hey, I've been there, expecting that warm reassurance, and you know, YOU DON'T EVEN WANT TO BE THERE when a group of women is talking about what kind of lover you are." I have noticed women agree with me when I tell them this story.

I think women come to non-monogamy with more emotional needs and more realism about the place of sex in a relationship than men do. I think they do crave the attention of many men, and I think they lust for different men, but are less driven by constant animal desire and they are more competitive with other women about their relationships, as well as being more concerned about intimacy and less about orgasms. Women are really paying attention to what other women are doing, (especially with *their boyfriends*.) I remember I had a female client once who told me that she listens to everything her girlfriends tell her about what they do with thier boyfriends sexually, and she makes sure that she gives her boyfriend just a little bit more than these girls are giving their boyfriends. Not a lot more, but a little bit more. Just enough so he won't move on to the next girl. That is quite a thought through strategy. I don;t think men do that much strategizing about keeping their women. My experiences after Kerista was that the women ended up not liking the other women getting too intimate with 'their primary' and they really ended up wanting the boyfriend's undivided attention. Even when we were in the midst of a 3 couple divorce, the men were still pretty uninvolved with the emotional needs of all the the women, and kinda pig-happy with the multiple sex partners. While the women were sorting out their primaries and marking their male territories against the other women, the men were still walking around wondering when & with whom they were going to get laid next. A friend said once, when hearing that his other married male friend was in a bad mood, "Tell his wife to fuck him. As long as my wife fucks me every coupla of days, I'm fine, I got no problems." Spoken like a true sensitive male.

One thing I have learned since becoming monogamous is that I didn't realize how little intimacy I really had in my life when I was non-monogamous. I was getting a good amount of sex, but it was hard to develop intimacy since we were sleeping around so much. Comparing the intimacy I have now with my wife with the intimacy I had before with 3-9 other women, it is completely different. It takes a long time to trust someone enough to really talk to them. It takes a lot of privacy and relaxed conversations and feelings of security to open up and get someone else to open up. When I was non-monogamous I had more sex but less intimacy, now I have less sex but more intimacy. And I have come to appreciate the intimacy more than I used to appreciate the sex. Age and experience truly does funny things to you.

One Ex-Keristan male commmented that he was most surprised, after leaving the commune, by how little intimacy he actually had with the other men who used to be in his family. I was most surprised, after leaving the commune, with how little intimacy I had with anyone, men or women. I was fucking the women but not getting that close to them, and not fucking the men and not getting that close to them.

None of these things are reasons to become monogamous by themselves, and your mileage may vary, but looking in hindsight, from being in a sex cult and now being married, there are marked differences in my life. I took the slow road to monogamy with my heels dug in every step of the way, and now I am happy with my one woman sleeping schedule. My past wasn't a mistake, but my needs and priorities have changed. I enjoy being 'on' with the same girl every night. We have gotten to know each other in ways that make me feel very comfortable with myself and my life and my love.