3 Reasons Why I Prefer to Call It Consensual Non-Monogamy

an assortment of 4 various-sized Lego hearts. Their colors: white, red, yellow, blue.
Image by Bill Ward / CC BY

Hi Page,

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about ethical non-monogamy as a way of describing polyamory and other forms of open relationships. I’ve noticed you don’t do that. Instead, you say “consensual non-monogamy.” Why? 

1. Ethics are subjective.

ethical (adjective) – relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Is It More Ethical to Hide a Metamour’s Insecurity From Your Partner? Or More Ethical to Tell Them?

a statue of Janus, a bearded man with two faces, one facing forward and one looking back
Image by DaveBleasdale / CC BY

Fall 2010

One night, my boyfriend Rob called me on the phone after his wife Michelle left for the library. It was a low-key conversation. Just chitchat, really. We weren’t even having phone sex or anything. At least not yet, although in recent weeks, we’d fallen into a habit of sliding into phone sex after initial introductions.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 9.7 — Am I being asked to participate in, or be complicit in, something I consider dishonest or unethical?

a drawing of black ink on brown paper. It is of a cat person with a cowboy hat and jeans on, holding a rifle, looking very much like a gunslinger. The faint outline of mountains is seen behind him
Image by Mike Skrzynski / CC BY

PQ 9.7 — Am I being asked to  participate in, or be complicit in, something I consider dishonest or unethical?


“I don’t like being negative,” I say. I’ve just finished complaining about something another person did that really bothered me.

“It’s hard having morals,” he says.

I laugh.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Real Cheating Is Not Honoring Social Reciprocity: Hypocrisy and Lopsided Consideration

A board game (named Caylus). A single finger is hovering over a game piece as though they're in the act of cheating at it.
Image by Joanna Pędzich-Opioła / CC BY

What man loses by the social contract is his natural liberty and an unlimited right to everything he tries to get and succeeds in getting; what he gains is civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses.

It is in order not to become victim of an assassin that we consent to die if we become assassins.  » Read more

Continue Reading

PQ 3.1 — Have I disclosed all relevant information to everyone affected by my decision?

a red telephone, one with a dial
Image by DaveBleasdale / CC BY

PQ 3.1 — Have I disclosed all relevant information to everyone affected by my decision? (Chapter 3 questions are all asked in the context of ones to ask to evaluate whether your choices are ethical.)


“You can’t just add on another relationship without consulting anybody. That’s not how poly fucking works!”  » Read more

Continue Reading

Consensus as Illusory Evidence

Lately, I’ve been rolling around the concepts of dishonesty vs.  an incomplete (or even merely representational) model – or similarly, inaccuracy as distinguished from explicit deception.

These are the stones that my brain tumbles in a constant attempt to smooth them.

I addressed this earlier within the framework of the popular logical problem in my essay,  » Read more

Continue Reading