It was with great trepidation that I sat down with the Collector to have The Monogamy Talk.
You see, I know myself, and I’m not naturally monogamous. Frankly, I used to be the biggest player I knew. When I was with the Surgeon, for example, he was my main squeeze, and then I had two or three other guys in rotation all at the same time. I dated as much as I could while still keeping my grades and work up. I didn’t lie to any of them–I’m not a sleazy cheater–but that’s the way that it was. The Surgeon didn’t like it, but since he was (and, presumably, still is) a notorious womanizer, we had an uneasy compromise: I never, ever talked about any other men, and he pretended he was the only one I was seeing, even though he knew better.
The Collector, on the other hand, seems to be a serial monogamist. This came as a hell of a shock to me, because in my experience men are only as faithful as their options. Since he is handsome, wealthy, and a fascinating conversationalist, I expected him to have girlfriends all over the world.
To my eternal surprise, the Collector is only interested in seeing one woman at a time, and his relationships typically last for years at a time. When he’s with vanilla women he hires professional submissive fetish workers from time to time–which is, incidentally, how we met–but he doesn’t have sex with the pros.
Given this difference in our sexual preferences, I was not looking forward to having The Monogamy Talk, but I felt that it had to be done for the sake of honesty. My solace was that I knew he is not a sexually jealous man–he has never held my work against me or felt any retroactive jealousy about men I’ve been with in the past. If anything, the only emotion he’s displayed about my previous relationships is curiosity.
But there’s a big difference between not being upset over my clients, whom I do not technically have sex with, and not being upset over the fact that I will want to fuck other men, and I am telling him that to his face.
Typically, the only men who don’t care if a girl they’re seeing wants to sleep around are men who have zero emotional investment in the girl. Otherwise, unless it’s their fetish–like they’re into cuckolding or they’re poly–most men I know are not able to handle something like that. In fact, it would make most men flip their shit.
Well, I felt that, for the sake of honesty, The Monogamy Talk had to be done. I’m not going to lie to myself and I’m not going to lie to him, either.
Oh, The Awkward. Oh, The Trepidation. Oh, the field of land mines I was about to tap dance across.
Here’s how it went down:
“Collector, there’s something important I need to talk with you about,” I said, sitting down across from him on the sofa.
With a completely understandable look of wariness on his face, he put his book down and gave me his full attention.
I just spit it out, unrehearsed.
“Look, I feel like an asshole springing this on you out of nowhere, but I don’t know how else to do it. I want you to keep in mind that the absolutely last thing I want to do is hurt or offend you. But I have given this serious thought, and I think we need to have this conversation. I know myself very well, and I know that eventually I am going to have to have sex with other men. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you or that you’re not enough for me, and it doesn’t mean that I am not committed to you or that I’m interested in pursuing other relationships. Nor does it mean that I want any other men right now or that I’m looking at anyone. I’m just saying that eventually it will happen, and I’m asking your permission about whether or not I can do it. If you say no, I won’t do it. You don’t have to worry about me running around on you. I’m not a sleazy cheater. If I say I won’t do it, I won’t. But if it’s okay with you, then we can work something out, and I will always be honest with you about it. I know how to manage this emotionally and nobody else would ever come between us.”
Then I just sat there like an idiot, wondering if he was going to tell me to get packed and get the hell out of his house. Maybe he would ask me if I was some sort of pathological slut or an ungrateful little monster.
He sat there for what felt like a hundred years, considering. There was zero expression on his face. I had nothing to go on.
At last, the verdict:
“Very well. From time to time, infrequently, and only at my discretion and under my direction.”
That was it. No argument, no debate, no rage or hurt feelings or confusion. No misunderstanding.
I felt sort of pole-axed that it was so easy and final. I sat in my chair blinking at him like a mole thrust suddenly into sunlight.
“Thanks,” I said weakly.
He went back to his book.
Things went on like nothing had happened for over a month, and then one day when he was at work and I was at the movies (IT, highly recommended, FYI), I got a text:
Margo, I have a special gift for you. I am coming home early to cook. We are having a guest for dinner.
TO BE CONTINUED