A-to-Z Challenge – HEA Endings & the Lie of Monogamy

HI’m reblogging this from Strange Flesh Press. It’s a particular irritation to me because I don’t write — or often read — HEA endings,


If you’re a genre author writing in romance or erotic fiction, you know. Oh, you know. Romance publishers demand you write HEA (happily-ever-after) endings to your stories because they say readers expect them.

I’m a reader as well as a writer. I prefer stories that give me the money shot (female orgasm). Also, the female protagonist must live even if everyone else dies. But that’s all I require. Sure, I’m easy. I don’t even need an HFN (happy-for-now) ending.

But see, this HEA stuff is all about monogamy. And monogamy is not really about love anyway.

I had an interesting conversation just last night with some friends about polyamory and the “monogamy in polyamory.” We discussed how, by virtue of the culture we’re born into, most of us have accepted monogamy as a virtue. Even many polyamorists unconsciously find themselves driven to find the One, the love of their lives, and then they’ll somehow be “done.”

Monogamy and Your Lack of Love

My polyamorist friends, reflective types who’ve been in the life awhile, say there is no One. I get their meaning, but I see it a little differently. I would say there are many Ones. Each intimate connection is like a puzzle piece filling in a part of me. No other piece can take its place, and without that piece, I’m not whole.

We don’t love everyone we meet. Some of us love many. Some of us love very few. Very few of us love only one. And then there is the parsing of love. We can love our children “with all our heart” and love them all equally, but we don’t allow the same expansiveness for romantic love. Romantic love shared with more than one is seen by our culture as a lie, as something that by its very definition is unsharable. I wonder about someone who can love only one person. I wonder why their love is so limited.

This brings me to a recent post shared by a friend.

I like Anthony d’Ambrosio’s effort, but I think he’s got a limited view of love and marriage. I mean, what he says is true enough: we’re in an age of opportunity and stimulation. To me, that means simply that our definitions of love and marriage will evolve.

And I don’t find that sad at all.

5 Reasons We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore (Anthony d’Ambrosio)

1) Sex becomes almost non-existent. “I don’t know about you, but I am an extremely sexual person. Not only do I believe it’s an important aspect of a relationship, I believe it’s the most important.” But we don’t have sex because we’re distracted by the perfection we see online.

[SFP — If millennials are choosing their hand and a model over warm flesh, then sex per se isn’t really the problem.]

2) Finances cripple us. “Part of life is being able to live. Not having the finances to do so takes away yet another important aspect of our relationships. It keeps us inside, forced to see the life everyone else is living.”

[SFP — Our economy isn’t tougher than it’s ever been. Don’t be ignorant, millennials. You just start with less, like the rest of us did when we were 20. Do you not know the difference between wants and needs?]

3) We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time. “We’ve developed relationships with things, not each other. Ninety-five percent of the personal conversations you have on a daily basis occur through some type of technology…. [Your grandparents] were too preoccupied loving and respecting one another. They were talking to each other at dinner, walking with each other holding hands instead of their phones. They weren’t distracted by everything around them. They had dreams and chased them together.”

[SFP — Technology is a medium. Technology has always been a medium. Television and video games were distracting in the 1970s. They were also bonding. Once again, millennials, you miss the point. You know how many make-out sessions started on a couch watching television to get us near each other? Today, we can connect to our loved ones as well as prospects at any moment and at great distances. More opportunity, not less. More reason and ways to connect, not less. Example: “Hey Susie, I’m texting you the link to this cool video I found on iFunny. When I see you tonight, I have three others we can watch together.”]

4) Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved. “If you want to love someone, stop seeking attention from everyone because you’ll never be satisfied with the attention from one person.”

[SFP — Our desire for attention IS our desire to be loved. We want the attention most of the ones we love. If we don’t love anyone, we’re throwing out our attention-net trying to catch love. If we do love someone, we want their attention most, but that doesn’t make other people suddenly unnecessary to our lives. If that attention makes our loved ones jealous, that has nothing to do with love.]

5) Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you. “We’ve invited strangers into our homes and brought them on dates with us. We’ve shown them our wardrobe, drove with them in our cars, and we even showed them our bathing suits.”

[SFP — See 3 and 4 above.]

**All of April: We’ll be giving away a digital Book Bundle or the print release of Darklaw each week to a random commenter on this blog. You’ll be entered once for each comment. So tell us what you think of monogamy and polyamory.**

Why I Hate Easter

Easter will likely be problematic for me for the rest of my life. It’s never been my favorite holiday, but it became one of great sorrow in 2008.

That Easter, Steven Sueppel murdered his wife, four young children, and committed suicide. He had been charged with embezzlement from a bank in Iowa City and was to face trial.

The murders were particularly horrifying because he killed each family member one at a time using baseball bats after failing with other methods. Then he killed himself by driving into a concrete pylon.

The way the local parish and Diocese of Davenport handled the situation began my break with the Catholic Church. You see, despite traditions about sin and crime, Steven Sueppel was buried in holy ground next to the family he murdered. Though no clinical diagnosis had been made, the Diocese told the press Steven was depressed and medicated, that this somehow explained his planned and meticulous evil.

Steven Sueppel was an example of a Family Annihilator, a well documented class of criminal expressing male privilege and anger. He shouldn’t be pitied. His was a crime of arrogance and vengeance for losing at his game. I have no pity for him and no support that traditions of the Church, based in cannon and theology, should be set aside for his burial. He died in mortal sin without reconciling, but the Diocese ignored its own laws for this privileged man and buried him in holy ground.

I wrote to the diocesan newspaper about the situation and was viciously and personally attacked, so much so I received an apology letter later. But the damage was done. The Diocese of Davenport was already one of the worst offenders in the priest sex abuse racket (they protected and moved priests around almost as much as Boston). See, the Diocese of Davenport has a problem treating the Children of God equally.

So, throughout the year, and especially at Easter, I have flashes of what it might be like for a child to watch his father swing a bat at his head, and then I also see that father lying next to that child for all eternity.

God may have mercy on his soul, but I will not. And fuck the Church.

A-to-Z Challenge – Crashpad Series

I’ll be posting on Strange Flesh Press all month. I’ll xpost a few selected articles here, as well. Today, I thought I’d share a terrific LGBTQ porn site you may be not be familiar with.

Also all month at the SFP blog you’ll have the opportunity to win free books when you visit.

Because porn isn’t just for heteronormative, misogynistic humans with hair-free genitals and exaggerated gender identifiers.

If you like porn and are tired of the “lesbians”  they show you on xhamster, try Crashpad. Real women. Real lesbians. Real bodies. Real fun. (More at Strange Flesh Press)

Valentine and Ember


I eat sacred cows