This is a question that I have been pondering on today after discussion on facebook. We’ve all heard that argument on non-heterosexuality about it not being a choice and it being something we can’t help. Sometimes people do the same for non-monogamy and talk about it being a choice. There does seem to be this tendency to compare polyamory to sexuality, after all you could technically label it under the parachute term “sexuality” if you really wanted to… but I don’t think it’s quite as simple to compare being poly to being gay. At first glance you can see the similarities – gay people are in the minority against straight people, poly people are similarly outnumbered by the norm. However, if you boil it down to simple desires things seem a little different.
You don’t have to look far to see how the majority of monogamous people struggle to be monogamous. Yet they are still regarded as monogamous because they choose to be… you probably wouldn’t say the same of a straight person struggling to be straight. So for the sake of argument lets just say for a second that anyone who struggles to be monogamous isn’t “innately monogamous” – it doesn’t come naturally to them, they have to force it. Just like a non-straight person who wants to be straight would have to force that.
Now we’ve established that the majority of people struggle with monogamy in some way… I would say all (because I’ve never encountered this mythical natural monogamist), but there may well be exceptions. I’d go more into why I see it this way, but I feel like I’ve already discussed that before. If you really want some proof that we’re not naturally monogamous though go and read Sex At Dawn… anyway… So if we’re using the comparison to homosexuality then it’s like almost everyone is gay but they’re living a lie. So it does seem a bit silly to compare the two.
So if most of us are innately that way then what are we really “choosing” or not? Perhaps it is just the choice of being yourself and being honest about it or not. Deciding not to deny your own desires.
Personally I saw it more as choosing polyamory because I believe it’s healthier and more honest… but that really is just a logic thing. It’s a choice I’m very glad of – I wouldn’t want anyone to believe I am just doing what comes naturally without thinking about it. It’s an informed choice, and like they often say of monogamy, one I make every day.