Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

July 30, 2010

"Cowboys and Injuries: When Monogamists Pursue the Polyamorous"

The Stranger (Seattle)

Mistress Matisse, columnist for Dan Savage's alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle, addresses a common poly lament.

Cowboys and Injuries: When Monogamists Pursue the Polyamorous

There's a slang term used by polyamorous people: cowboy. Or cowgirl, as the case may be. It refers to a monogamous person who meets someone who openly identifies as polyamorous, becomes romantically involved with them, and attempts to "cut them out of the herd," meaning: persuade them to sever existing relationships and embrace monogamy. This term is not a compliment.

...Viewed through a monogamist's gaze, dropping your lasso on a wandering heart is the stuff of songs, literature, and drama. But it begs the question: Why the hell would a poly person get romantically involved with someone who is clearly monogamous in the first place?

...I can promise you, if you're poly and you're involved with someone who's not, once the hot sex cools off and reality sets in, every single problem that occurs in the relationship will somehow devolve to: You're fucking other people.

...Some monogamous people sincerely, but mistakenly, thought they'd be fine with me. But I have met a lot of cowboys and cowgirls. I vividly remember an outraged lover yelling, "I know you said that, but I thought I could turn you!" Another man said, "I viewed you as a challenge."...

Read the whole article (July 27, 2010) and the interesting comments.




Blogger Desmond Ravenstone said...

Sounds similar to heteros who expect their bisexual mates to stop being attracted to others of the same gender. Or vanilla folks who believe their kinky partners will no longer desire or miss doing kink.

Three words: Not gonna happen.

But, of course, the real issue is how one's identity becomes a sore spot. They forget that trust is a two-way street -- not only trusting your partner not to stray, but your partner being able to trust you when you say that you can handle their being poly, bi, kinky and/or whatever other differences may exist.

July 31, 2010 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To add to the fun, so many people identify with being moronogamous that the 'cowgirl' seems good and the polyamorist seems evil.

July 31, 2010 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Gabe said...

Honestly, this article infuriated me. Yes, the cowboy behavior is reprehensible, but through the whole article she paints every mono-poly pairing as a cowboy/cow relationship, even promising that every problem that a mono-poly couple would have comes down to the poly person fucking other people because the mono person doesn't want them too. That's just not the way it works for a lot of us.

I wrote at length about it here, if anyone's interested.

July 31, 2010 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Polycuriosity said...

You can look at it like that if you really want to be offended, but she clearly isn't talking about every mono/poly relationship. She's talking about "Dismissing people's stated definitions of their sexuality as something you can make them change..." Mono or Poly. Accepting that they will not change is not part of the definition of Cowboy, *which is what the article was about.*

Sure, things could have been worded a little more clearly in the middle paragraph, but I'm sure the people who like to be offended would have found something else to complain about.

A monogamous person who accepts that polyamory is a valid choice, and is in a relationship with a poly person is really poly by philosophy, anyway.

July 31, 2010 5:28 PM  
Blogger Natja's Natterings said...

Hummm, I thought people were pretty needlessly offended by the article and the comments....it really was a little bit of fluff I thought, just an opinion.

August 01, 2010 6:47 AM  
Blogger phrannie said...

i agree with some of the comments here. not all polyamorous people who are involved with monogamous partners deserve this label of dating a "cowperson" or whatever. there are monogamous partners out there who respect the needs of their poly people, and they aren't trying to change them back into something they are not. the generalizations here are too sweeping and vague, there is much room for creating offense instead of healthy discussion, in my opinion.

August 02, 2010 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Cherry said...

This article kind of pissed me off. Yes, I'm monogamous. Yes, I am in a relationship with someone who is poly. The thing is, when I met him, I was honest with him and told him I couldn't be with someone who wasn't monogamous. He still wanted to be with me anyway. He chose to live as a monogamous person. Yet I am the one who is vilified. Someone should write a rebuttal to this article and call it "When Poly People Attack".

September 06, 2010 6:00 PM  

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