Monogamish

Monogamish, Part 1

The following is the beginning of Mahina’s story about her marriage, being monogamish, and her experiences with secondary relationships as a married woman. We’re anticipating at least two more parts to this series, if not more. This post is a combination of Mahina’s written reflections and conversations between her and myself. Names have been changed to protect privacy but everything else is a true account. Thank you so much to Mahina for being willing to share an intimate look at her experience and for being the first story shared on this blog.

– Sunshine ❤

Monogamish & Me

I am a woman in her late 20’s in a monogamish relationship with my husband, Hoshi*. We’re primarily monogamous and neither one of us identifies as polyamorous. Monogamish is more of a relationship dynamic for us than an orientation, as monogamy/polyamory is for some people.

Monogamish, to me, means that there is a primary relationship that is the foundation of our lives. Secondary romantic or sexual relationships may happen outside of the marriage but the primary relationship is still the core focus and priority.

For Hoshi and I, a secondary relationship can be anywhere along the relationship spectrum: friends with benefits to full on romantic relationships. The important thing for us is an open line of communication before any secondary relationships take place.

The Beginning

Hoshi and I met in 2005. I was 18 and had moved across the country for college. He was 23 and going to the same college for his second bachelor’s degree. We both got invited to a movie watching party in the dorm I lived in and became part of the same friends group. We spent a lot of time together but there wasn’t any romantic interest (that I was aware of anyway).

He asked me out for the first time on Halloween. I turned him down and told him that I wasn’t really interested in anything at the moment. I’d spent the first two months of college getting my bearings and was finally feeling like I had found solid ground. I didn’t want to do anything that would shake that loose.

I wasn’t able to go home for Thanksgiving that year, so Hoshi invited me to his parents’. After a weekend of flirting, we ended up making out in the living room and about a week later, after another impromptu makeout session in his dorm room, we were dating.

During this same time, I was hashing out some feelings I had for a guy I’d dated the summer in between high school and college. We kept in contact after I left and he’d made comments about wanting to hook up when I went home for Christmas break. I was a virgin at this point and decided that I wanted him to be my first time.

Monogamish 2I talked about all of this with Hoshi – how much I missed homeguy; all the thoughts I was having about sleeping with someone for the first time; everything. Hoshi never berated me for being interested in someone else while we were in the very beginning stages of our relationship and never shamed me for my feelings. He was only supportive and offered advice. He was just very open and easy to communicate with and I was able to talk to him about these feelings I was having, even though they were about a guy that wasn’t him.

Before Christmas, we made out a bunch but I wasn’t feeling comfortable doing more than that. Hoshi never pressured me into doing anything I didn’t want to do. I remember giving him a hand job for the first time and being completely grossed out at the end result. When he looked over and saw my face, he wasn’t offended – he just laughed.

The night before I flew home for Christmas, he gave me my first orgasm (ever) and told me he loved me. It took me until I hugged him goodbye at the airport, but I told him I loved him too. When I got back home, I fully realized that I didn’t want to sleep with homeguy – what I wanted was Hoshi.

After Christmas break, Hoshi and I started getting serious. He had surprised me with a vibrator for Christmas and we spent mostly every night together and (eventually) we had sex for the first time. I was nervous as hell but I was so comfortable with him and knew that it was something I wanted.I don’t have a horror story about my first time – it was good. I got off and had fun, despite my nervousness.

I knew at about 8 months – I was still 19 at this point – into our relationship that I wanted to marry him. There wasn’t one moment where I went “Hey, I want to marry this guy,” instead it was an overall feeling that this is who I wanted to be with long-term and who I wanted to spend my life with. Another year and a half went by and he hadn’t asked me, so I asked him. Four years after we first said, “I love you,” we were married.

Open and Honest Communication

Monogamish 1Beyond the previously mentioned conflicting emotions I had at the beginning of our relationship, Hoshi and I stayed monogamous for a very long time (about 8 years). We always had open and honest communication though, and the topic of sleeping with other people had come up a lot. We always talked about it as a fantasy – threesomes, group sex, if either of us would enjoy cuckolding, what it would be like to share a submissive. I remember asking, almost as a joke, shortly after we got engaged “What happens if we get married and I find someone else I want to sleep with?” and the response was always “We’d have to talk about it.” I think that established open and honest communication made the initial conversation easier. We both knew we could talk about anything with the other person, even if it was a hard conversation to have.

Becoming Monogamish in Practice

I had a male friend, Caz*, who I’d known for years but had fallen out of contact with. Three years into Hoshi and I’s marriage – 7 years since we’d been together – this friend and I reconnected and started spending more time in the same social circles. I realized that I had a real attraction to him. I’ve always been more of a flirty and friendly person, but this was more than that. I was thinking about when he wasn’t around – there was this connection and interest. I didn’t know what to do with these feelings since I hadn’t felt that way about anyone but Hoshi. I brought it up to my husband and told him that I was having these feelings and I’m wasn’t sure what to do about them.

Even in that initial conversation, I knew these new feelings towards Caz hadn’t diminished my feelings for Hoshi. He was the one who actually brought up the potential of having a friends-with-benefits type of relationship with Caz. I said “That might be something that I’d be interested in, but I don’t think he’d be interested.” Caz had a long term girlfriend and they were pretty committed. I didn’t want to cause any strife between them. Caz and I were also pretty good friends and I didn’t want to do anything that would mess up our friendship either.

It was nice to have the conversation and the approval from Hoshi to do something about it if I decided that’s what I wanted to do, but I was still thinking about it as a hypothetical.

Monogamish 3After some time to think things through, I brought it up to Caz and eventually, his girlfriend. A couple of months later she left town and ended up giving us the go ahead for Caz and I to explore things for the month she was gone.

So everyone was on board and then it came down to me actually exploring things and being intimate with another person for the first time. Becoming actively non-monogamous was fun and exciting and terrifying all at once.

*Names have been changed


This story continues in Monogamish, Part 2.

General

The First Post

Make the leap

For me, new beginnings are always a rush of excitement and anxiety. Starting this blog is no different.

The idea for this blog sprung from a conversation between Mahina and myself. She was frustrated by the writing of someone else that she felt was a misrepresentation of healthy non-monogamy.

“You should start a blog!”

“How about this…YOU start a blog and I can guest on it.”

“Challenge accepted.”

That’s summarizing our conversation – but it’s pretty close! I liked the idea of a blog that more than just my writing. Something that shared the stories and experiences of other people: Mahina’s journey with non-monogamy being one example.

We met up on a Friday evening and started brainstorming ideas for a blog name, post ideas, and people who would be interesting to talk to. After much searching of Pinterest for inspiration and throwing names back and forth we decided on Wholehearted Living. The name is inspired by Brené Brown’s work on the relationship between vulnerability and courage, and living a wholehearted life.

My hope for this blog is that it’s a space for sharing people’s experiences and stories in a way that is authentic and resonates with others.

The first story we’ll be sharing is Mahina’s experience with non-monogamy. ❤