Intimacy, Monogamy & Polyamory. ~ Keith Molyneaux

Polyamory is a hot topic on the internet.

Open relationships are being explored to solve a wide variety of peceived problems in relationships. Sex, infidelity, or lack of sex are often blamed for relationships ending and straying eyes and bodies. Patriarchal power structures are also targeted as a problem in personal marriages and divorce.

Being a monogamous male who has been involved in a few very long term relationships, and having gone through my own questions and introspection of monogamy and polyamory, my personal answers may shed some insight for individuals who are at the border of choice.

Relationships fail and succeed because of intimacy, not sexuality.

One of my favorite examples from yoga are Shiva and Shakti, the god and goddess of yoga and tantric practices. They lived on a mountain top together—in a monogamous relationship—for 10,000 years. If us poor mortals are unable to sustain a relationship for more than a few years, the questions begs to be asked, why?

Passion fails, love endures.

The chemical high of first love is literally an addictive drug that has measurable withdrawal symptoms. As with any drug, perspectives are skewed and emotions run high. The truth of who we end up with changes through time, and as the high diminishes, we must face who we have ended up with, and why?

Isn’t it ironic that the person we end up wanting to leave so desperately, or who no longer fulfills us, was once the bees knees and irreplaceable in every way? Exactly what is it that changes, and why?

Science demonstrates that the passion cycle lasts approximately two years, and if within that time span people are not able to procreate, the body responds with chemicals that can begin to cause issues that lead to separation.

Essentially, the animal nature seeks fulfillment with excitement and titillation.

This is fine for some people, and kudos for them. However, that is not love, could never be love, and the person who believes it is love, is delusional. It is actually pleasure seeking, and a person has more honor and respect for themself and the people they are involved with if they are open in communicating that they want a good screw, rather than love or lasting relationships.

 Intimacy takes time, patience, understanding, forgiveness and love.

If a person wants to experience passionate love all the time, then they will jump from relationship to relationship, be it unconscious or deliberately chosen. If they want constant sex, then they aren’t interested in love, but sex and pleasure.

The real gifts of relationship require sensitivity like yielding pride, certain beliefs, and dropping the actions that cause harm to people we love.

The person who values true love will explore intimacy and sensitivity. Rather than jumping from person to person, they will jump from issue to issue and have the courage to face the simple truth.

The people we are intimate with are mirrors and windows to our own soul.

There is nobody to ever be bored with.

Nobody else really can cause us harm.

There is nobody who can unlove us, except in all cases that we do not love or appreciate our own self.

When we fall short in relationship, there is the opportunity to wake up to deeper truths of existence and why we are born and manifest, walking this planet and having the opportunity to love in the first place.

Integrity is the foundation for every relationship and begins with brutal self-truth.

Our society isn’t much for intimacy and true connection.

A recent study I read said that people are more social, yet feel more lonely. It also stated that adults are fortunate if they have one friend that they can count on. One friend. How sad is that?

When it comes to relationships, they are exceptionally confusing. As people draw closer and the love-high diminishes and truth is unveiled, intimacy is all that remains. Creativity in how to remain sensitive and intimate is necessary. Unfortunately, most people are programmed to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and discount the opportunities and gifts of knowing a person to their very soul.

Once I had the misfortune of unknowingly attending and being stuck at an orgy.

During this experience, the hosts, and many others, were very public in their sexual exploits while holding very mundane conversations with everybody around them about politics or sports.This was a very eye opening and heart opening experience for me, where something that can be sacred and enlightening such as sex, became a social and mundane experience similar to playing tennis or cards.

There was no intimacy, and the kind of sexuality being expressed was about as animalistic as humans can be displayed. I felt deep compassion for the people participating in all the sexual non-glory, because I could see how much more sensuality, sex and relationship could be.

It was in that moment I knew I was a monogamist, and set aside forever all questions about open relationships and polyamory.

 Humans are more than animals, we are timeless and eternal souls.

The question is not to be monogamous or polyamorous. The real question is who am I?

If I am blessed and fortunate to know a person who loves me, who is loyal and has integrity, who causes me to see my shadows and glory, then I know that person is a gift to be cherished for all the days of my life.

The person who reveals and nurtures the truth of who I am has a gift for relationship deeper than any that can be imagined—except in the greatest love stories of all times.

When seeking an open-relationship or being sexually unfaithful, the self is betrayed.

What is communicated to the person we love when saying we want an open relationship is that we don’t really love them. The sad truth is that we are not loving ourself. We have reached that end-of-the-rope moment where it is easier to trash and disrespect the person who has stood by us, to throw them away like common garbage, than to be creative, open-hearted, sensitive, and delve into the realms of true intimacy.

In these moments, the choice can be made to know who we are and be honest. Then we can discover new depths of our own soul and express the beauty that we—and the other—truly are.

While a person may have more pleasure with open relationships and sexual fool-playery, the intimacy and sensuality available in monogamous relationships will be forever unavailable, and the deeper truths of who and what the soul and self are, come at the cost of hurting others and oneself.

Relephant Reads:

Variety: Best Served with Monogamy.

> It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy. 

Caught Between Monogamy & Polyamory: A Case of One-itis.  


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Editor: Jane Henderling

Photo: elephant journal archives



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Amber Feb 15, 2016 8:07am

I am disappointed at elephant journal for letting this kind of “only one way of thinking” article on their site. As a polyamourous person in two long term relationships, this really hurts. I love all of my lovers, and so does my husband, it is most definitely not just about sex. Every poly relationship is different. I am really sorry to hear that this person had such a terrible time, but why condemn others for their lifestyle just because it doesn’t fit your ideal?

kayseymanuel Nov 13, 2015 9:38pm

I really really need to add: Relationships break up. Poly, monogamous.. It doesnt matter the peoples relationship orientation break ups happen every where. Im just not completely sure why you seem to have a vendetta against only those in polyamorous (or other poly) relationships?

TLC Aug 4, 2015 11:18am

First off, polyamory is not the same as an open relationship. Open relationships are when a couple are devoted to each other, but permit one or both partners to seek sexual relationships outside of their own. Polyamory (many loves) involves multiple loving and INTIMATE relationships that are sustained over time. I'm a monogamous partner involved in a poly relationship (he's poly, I'm not, it works) and we have an incredible degree of intimacy.

It's funny how other monogamous people think it's all about sex all the time. Most of the women I know my age involved in monogamous relationships are entirely focused on their libido, unsatisfied with how much sex they're getting, and their feelings of self worth are completely wrapped around feeling attractive to their partner (or to other people, when their partner doesn't respond). I don't speak for all women in poly relationships, but I don't have that problem (mostly because I don't have that insecurity).

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Keith Artisan

Keith Artisan believes each human is innately good and imbued with talent. Believing that life is a mystery, he feels it is his life purpose to inspire people to believe in themselves and live their truth. Living what he believes, Keith actively serves his community as an entrepreneur, artist, yoga instructor, musician, writer, and mentor. He is online at Facebook and his website, Living Artisan .