A Pro-Athlete’s Struggle With Monogamy

This personal essay is part of an ongoing series, “My Sexual Truth,” representing the many diverse perspectives that exist on sex and relationships. The names of the author and people mentioned in this piece have been changed for anonymity.

I want you to close your eyes and think about your favorite dessert: for me it’s molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. Now think about the sensation of the first bite.

Sure, the entire dessert is amazing, but there is nothing like that first bite. The way it melts in your mouth; the way it sends shivers down your spine. It might even cause you to moan a little bit. Now think, what if you had unlimited access to that sensation? Would you be able to control the urge to feel it again?

That’s how I feel with every new sex partner. And as a tall, handsome (or so I’ve been told) professional athlete, it’s practically handed to me on a platter when I walk into most social gatherings.

I love having this power. It gives me confidence. It feeds my ego to feel like I can get any girl that I want. I also love the attention that comes with being a little famous; even when people don’t know who you are, if they see a bunch of other people coming up to you and asking for pictures, they become interested in you as well.

Of course, I’m not naive enough to think I can literally have any girl, but it really feels like it sometimes. I get hit on every single day by women both in public and on social media (It DEFINITELY goes down in the DM). I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had sex with someone within hours of meeting them or going straight to sex after some messages on Instagram.

I know there are people out there who judge me for loving this power trip, or who think it’s vain, or greedy, to take every opportunity to have sex with a new woman just because I can. But in all honesty, I don’t care what they think.

That’s why I compared the feeling to dessert. Society teaches us that, as we get older, we should strive to leave dessert alone, find one entree that we like (marriage), and stick with that entree for the rest of our lives. The older I get, the crazier this idea seems to me.

Don’t get me wrong: I think marriage is a beautiful thing. But I don’t think it’s natural for everyone. I do want a wife and a family one day; but you’re telling me that if I want that, I can never have sex with anyone besides my wife for the rest of my life? What!? Why!?

I’m in a rare position to have an almost unlimited supply of new sex partners at my fingertips, and I want to enjoy it. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so. I think many other people feel the same way, and they’re just too afraid or too brainwashed by our society to admit it. Fifty-percent of marriages end in divorce anyway, which tells me that we as a society are doing something wrong.

(Editor’s note: There is some dispute over the current likelihood of divorce; some say it’s declining. A full analysis and explanation by Psychology Today can be found here.)

I can see myself in a polyamorous relationship. Most would object to this, even if they themselves want multiple partners, because sure—it would be great to have sex with whomever you want, but would you be able to also give that freedom to your partner? For the majority of my life I would have said no. The idea of my partner sleeping with someone else was too devastating to accept. I believed that even though I loved my “dessert” I would find someone to make me give it up for good.

But then, I found Elizabeth, the person who I thought could be “the one.” She’s my girlfriend now.

When I’m with Elizabeth, I don’t feel the need to chase after other women. I love spending time with her and living with her is easy. However, there are times when we are not together. Sometimes I travel, sometimes she travels, and we’re separated for months at a time.

I went through a long period of being away from Elizabeth and I tried to be faithful. It was difficult but I fought through the urges even when it made me unhappy. I was irritable in my day-to-day life and I started to resent her because I blamed her for my unhappiness. It got to the point where, one night, I got so horny—so eager to feel the touch of a woman—that I couldn’t sleep.

I had sex the next day. Surprisingly, instead of feeling guilty, I felt great! I was happy again and all that built up animosity toward Elizabeth vanished. It was then that I came to the realization that I would rather give her the freedom to do the same than to feel that unhappy feeling again.

I think it’s important that both people in a relationship have the same freedom. Whether they choose to act upon that freedom is their choice. Otherwise, it becomes an unequal relationship that is doomed to eventually fail. When I had this conversation with my Elizabeth, she told me she wasn’t interested in sleeping with anyone else. She may change her mind, but either way, I’ve decided my freedom is more important to me than whether or not she sleeps with other people.

All this has made me realize that I do want a wife; a woman I can always come home to; a woman I can raise my kids with; a woman I can share my dreams and fears with. But occasionally, I also want to sleep with other women. Yes, that means I want to be able to have my cake (or other dessert) and eat it too. And I don’t think anything is wrong with that.

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