Ask A Non-Monogamist

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ask a non-monogamist
Got non-monogamy questions? He's got answers.

Aside from the 14 months I spent working as a music editor for an alt-weekly in Pittsburgh, I've been making my living as a freelance journalist for the past five years. I also work out of a home office – my morning commute never takes more than five or ten seconds – so it was pretty much business as usual when a few weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk and tapping away at my laptop late at night, slowly working through the paces of putting together yet another magazine article.

Before long, I decided to pack it in for the day, but not before checking my email one last time. I wasn't expecting anything in particular, and yet when I entered my email address, and then my password, and then clicked the 'Enter' key, I found an unopened note from one of my YourTango editors waiting for me. This seemed a bit unusual – we didn't often send messages back and forth unless a story of mine was in the works. Which it wasn't. But of course, I clicked on the subject line anyway, and began to read.

The note was brief, and to the point: My editor explained that along with a few other staffers in the office, she had been discussing the " Marriage Without Monogamy " column I'd been writing for YourTango over the past few months. Apparently, all of them had specific questions that I somehow hadn't gotten around to fully explaining in any one of my essays.

Here's an excerpt from the editor's email:

Some of us in the office were discussing your posts, and we're all curious to know more about Carrie and how you feel about her being with other men and women. Also, have you and Carrie discussed what would happen if you were to fall in love with another woman? Is she open to a polyamorous relationship, or would that be a line in the sand for you two?

For those of you who've never encountered a "Marriage Without Monogamy" installment before, I'll explain the concept briefly by saying that the column is essentially a series of first-person essays about the open relationship I share with my fiancée, the aforementioned Carrie. Naturally, I've been fielding my fair share of questions about alternative relationships since the column first appeared online. And yet because I've never been shy when it comes to the subject of my sex life, I'm almost always happy to answer those questions. I'm even more willing to do so when those questions come from readers who seem genuinely intrigued by the idea that maybe their sex lives could be modified or adjusted or improved upon, too – and maybe in ways they'd never before considered.

But a personal question from an editor? Someone I was used to dealing with strictly on a professional level? That was new. And I'll admit: It also caused me to wonder if maybe I hadn't failed somewhat as an essayist. After all, this was the same person who had gone over my last 10,000 written words with an editor's eye, and a red pencil. If she didn't understand the intricacies of my relationship with Carrie, how could I expect my readers to understand it either? Keep Reading...

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