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Bisexual Feminist Describes Her Journey Back To Monogamy

October 24, 2006 – Self-described feminist bisexual L.M. Hake, writing in Off Our Backs (11/1/05) describes her journey from bisexuality through polyamory and back to monogamy in the essay, “The journey back … to monogamy.”

Hake describes how she first began attending a bisexual support group in the late 1980s and says she “… knew that I was home. It was like my shoes had been on the wrong feet, and they were now switched right. I did not have to be one, I did not have to be the other. I was what I was. …. I concluded that if I could desire both, then I must have both.”

Hake says this new awareness made her believe that “limits seemed arbitrary, and, well limiting. Rules were made by people who agreed on them, nothing more.” In her “newfound queer, alternative community, the core values were honesty, open communication, and respect. Monogamy seemed quaint and foreign.”

As a bisexual, Hake dated both men and women at the same time. She noticed, however, that even while dating in honest relationships, “I was jealous. I was resentful. I was hurt. … I spent a lot of time quietly upset.”

She also saw “evidence of and heard frank tales about relationships shattered by third or fourth partners. I saw triads dissolve faster than couples. I watched committed polyamorists abandon ‘the life’ for the one partner they ultimately wanted to commit themselves to. And, I watched people continue to explore and celebrate various designs. I watch polyamory work.”

Hake says two incidents “nudged” her back to monogamy. One was a comment made by a friend who told her that she could never get all of her needs met by multiple partners. The other was finding a man who demanded monogamy from her. “He was worth it, and although I wasn’t quite ready to shun polyamory, I was bruised and tired enough to shun the fight for it.”

According to Hake, “I began to realize that my life could not be designed by a good theory or even by what I witnessed in the world around me. Trite as it sounds, I had to follow my heart.”

She concludes: “I’m not a poster child for monogamy. In spite of my varied relationship history – and my best efforts to the contrary – I am if anything a serial monogamist. And I have probably spent more time single than partnered in any form. But I know what I want, and what I have wanted for many years: to cherish, and be cherished by, one other person.”

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