“All of me
Why not take all of me?”
-lyrics, “All of Me,” Jazz standard
There’s a common saying: “Everyone’s someone’s fetish.”
The idea behind this is that tastes vary. That there are many different ways of being attractive. And that any given person will be drawn to different things.
But the trouble with this saying is that it’s a superficial kind of reassurance. Being fetishized for one thing often isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Not everyone wants to be fetishized. But most people — on some level — want to be accepted.
And when deep acceptance is what you want, you can get awfully tired of people fetishizing you.
Acceptance Is a Big Ask
Acceptance is a big ask, especially the kind that’s outlined in those jazz standard lyrics — although to be fair, the lyrics are only asking that you take all of me. And I suppose that’s going to happen anyway. But taking someone and accepting them are different. Because it’s a lot to ask of one person to appreciate everything about us.
For me, it would involve asking a person to go farther than I go with myself. I don’t know about you, but I’m not wild about everything that I do. (And I become deeply suspicious of anyone who is wild about everything they do.)
So if it’s possible to irritate ourselves, then why wouldn’t it follow that some aspects of us, some behaviors, wouldn’t be any one person’s cup of tea?
So what happens then to those other aspects of ourselves? The ones that our partner doesn’t enjoy.
Don’t they deserve a playground of their own?
You Don’t Necessarily Need to Be Non-Monogamous for This… But It’s One Option
A lot of polyamorous individuals report that consensual non-monogamy helps them fully be themselves — to have a place where every part of them is deeply accepted somewhere, even if it’s not all with one person.
Now, do you necessarily need to be non-monogamous for this? Truthfully, no. I have friends who love aspects of me that my husband is really not a fan of. And that is really fulfilling.
But polyamory can be another way of arriving at this.
Anyway, sometimes I’ll hear people talk about how being polyamorous helps them to fulfill multiple needs. But maybe on some level, it isn’t about multiple needs at all.
Maybe — at least for some people — it’s really about one need, at the end of the day.
Maybe it’s about being accepted totally, even if not all in one place.