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There Can Be Only One!: Toxic Masculinity & the One Penis Policy

·589 words·3 mins
Guest Blog Post

Today’s post is a guest post from John.

This is John’s third guest post for Poly Land. Here are the other articles he’s written for us:

Here’s John’s regular haunt, the blog where he most often explores his brain meats. And check out what he wrote for Poly Land today.

There Can Be Only One!: Toxic Masculinity & the One Penis Policy

I grew up in the Midwest, so toxic masculinity culture was everywhere around me teaching me to believe some things that can lead to One Penis Policy. For those who haven’t heard of it before, One Penis Policy is an agreement in a relationship where a couple is open, but the woman is only allowed to have other partners that are women. No men allowed.

It took me a while to figure out why this is such a common practice and such a pervasive idea. But then I realized that it’s because I had already internalized a lot of ideas that lead to One Penis Policy when I was younger and then discarded them. Here are a few of them.

Men Are Taught That PIV Is the Only Real Sex

The biggest factor is that men are taught that penis-in-vagina intercourse (a.k.a. PIV) is the only sex that is real. Therefore, there’s no threat from your partner sleeping with another woman because if there’s no penis involved, they can’t actually have sex, and so long as your partner only has access to your penis, no one else can fulfill them sexually. This also means that there’s no sexual threat.

So women are fine, but other men need to be kept far away. They might have a larger penis, be better in bed, be better looking, have more money, or any of the other things society tells us we should have to be “manly men.”

Scoring Points Whenever You Score

Something else working here is the idea of keeping score. Men are taught to believe you need to be able to tell your buddies you’ve slept with more women than they have.

Even better!: When your girlfriend dates other girls, she might bring them home for the bonus points awarded threesome. So, let’s gently (not gently) pressure her to do that.

Eye roll. It’s an awful attitude, but it’s all over the place.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of super bros I’ve had to spend time with at work that have most of their self-worth tied up in how many women they’ve slept with, who brag about how they date bi girls for the opportunity to lure in unicorns, but who feel absolute disgust if you imply that another penis may come near any of those women at any time that they are together.

These are just a few of the things I’ve run into from prevailing Toxic Masculinity culture that go on to influence relationships instituting a One Penis Policy.

I’ll be writing about some others in future articles.


Thanks, John! We appreciate today’s essay and look forward to the next installment.

Poly Land is always on the lookout for different perspectives on polyamory and relationships in general.

If you have an idea for a guest blog post that you’d like to run by us, here’s a link to a post with examples of work that we’ve published in the past as well as our Submission Guidelines.



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