One of the favourite topics of queer magazines and newspapers is non-monogamy. We're obsessed with it for some reason, perhaps for good reason. But what I want to know is: who has time for non-monogamy?

Yes, we all get 24 hours each day to live out however we choose to. Some people can pack a lot into one day. As far as I know, no one's day is 36 hours long, although for some people, it might feel that way. Philosophical and political issues aside, I really don't understand the time-management aspect of non-monogamy. There isn't a single book on the subject of this sort of multi-tasking and I wish someone would write one.

I for one enjoy sleeping. I can't imagine how I would have time for my much-coveted hours of unconsciousness if I were to have more than one lover at a time. The laundry alone would take hours. I'd also like to spare my cats more confusion than they may already feel about who the bed really belongs to.

Oh, I know, non-monogamy does not necessarily mean that one's partners spend the night or for that matter, even enter the household. Wrapping my head around the negotiations and rules of seeing more than one person makes me want to... sleep.

In my (perhaps closed) mind, being involved with one person is demanding enough. I don't know what I would do if more than one woman per month asked, "Do these jeans make my ass look big?"

I have no moral problem with non-monogamy as a practice, I just wonder how healthy it would be to expose myself to the mood-swings of more than one woman. The best thing you could hope for would be that each woman you saw had her period at the exact same time. "Okay everybody, let's all get real mean and then bleed! Ready? 1-2-3!" Of course, the day before this menses-fest would be... tiring.

Keeping track of the food sensitivities of more than one woman would be hard work. Imagine setting out a romantic feast of wine and cheese and oysters only to see a look of deep annoyance on the present companion's face.

"I told you five times already, I am allergic to cheese." Why feel more sheepish than you have to in this life? One could hardly reply with a shrug: "Oh, is that you? I thought you were no wheat. Sorry." Or at least, I couldn't. Grocery shopping for two or three different women would be hell! In my opinion, it is not a sexual relationship until I have cooked for a woman.

By the time I work for the rent money and work for creative pleasure and see my friends and pretend to do my housework and stare at the wall for the requisite number of hours befitting an artistic type and pet the cats and wash my hands after petting the cats because their hair is poison to my flesh, I have very little time (or energy) for dating/romance/sex/marriage/commitment ceremonies/meaningless or meaningful fucks, etc.

This is where I begin to sing the lyrics "One girl, one special girl" and picture someone who is also extremely busy who might have time for the occasional feverish date.

I'm bad with names. This would present a problem in non-monogamous relations. There are times when I even, and to my horror, forget the name of the woman I have been seeing for months. Not because I don't adore her, but because I suffer from premature senility and have since the age of 4. "And you are?" would be the first thing out of my mouth if I were to see more than one woman.

I don't want to have to consult an appointment book when it comes to my social life. I am not running a talent agency, or booking hair-cuts. If I have to consult a book to remind myself which babe I am dining with on a given night, I'm going to start feeling like Hugh Heffner and that, quite frankly, is not something I want to have happen.

I realize that there is such a thing as having a main squeeze, accompanied by less emotionally intense relations with others. I know that boycotting Christmas would also ease the strain of having three or four girlfriends at once.

I suppose that long-term relationships can sometimes lose their sexual spark and yet still be extremely fulfilling, augmented by sexual freedom for both parties. But my question remains: who the hell has the time?

Marnie Woodrow's column, Moral Repugnance, appears in every other issue of Xtra.
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