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Monogamy is a choice, not a duty

OPINION

  • Kerry Washington (right) and Tony Goldwyn on "Scandal"
Kerry Washington (right) and Tony Goldwyn on "Scandal"
December 11, 2013|By Nikki Lynette, @nikkilynette | For RedEye

If you live on planet Earth, you've probably heard a lot about two shows that are huge right now, "Scandal" and "Love & Hip Hop." "Scandal" is a political thriller starring Kerry Washington, while "Love & Hip Hop" is a reality show that focuses on major players in the hip-hop game, with this season featuring folks like Joe Budden and Peter Gunz—and the women who love them.

The two shows couldn't be more different, but they have one thing in common: They both showcase some pretty hardcore cheating. Kerry Washington's character, Olivia Pope, is creeping with her white POTUS boss, while "Love & Hip Hop" has shown more than one person stepping out on his or her partner.

The cheating that happens in these two shows hasn't hurt their ratings at all. It actually helped! Monogamy just ain't hot in the streets. It's officially Sidepiece Season. We might say that we all want a soulmate, but why try to be exclusive when everything in the world works against it? Why do we feel obligated to be monogamous?

I had a guy who once made a point of telling me before we ever fooled around that monogamy was important to him. I hate rushing into being exclusive but I really liked him, so once we became involved I agreed to drop my extracurricular boos. After a couple months of things being less than perfect but worth hanging in there, I went to New York to work on music for a month.

When I returned to Chicago he invited me over, but I fell asleep before we could do anything sexy. He worked super early, so he was gone when I woke up. While sleepily putting my leftover food in a random CVS bag from his pantry, I found a receipt. I was about to toss it when the word "condom" caught my eye. He'd bought condoms a week after I left for New York. Two boxes. Ambitious, right?

When he returned from work and found the condom receipt on his couch, he hit my cell. He said he'd bought them for us. Nevermind that one box was a brand we don't use. He even sent a picture to show he still had all of them. But he couldn't really explain why he'd bought them knowing I'd be gone for a month. Or why he'd made a special trip just for condoms. No snacks or magazines. Just jimmy hats. Honestly, my response to Condomgate was not me asking, "Why did you do it?" It was, "Why didn't you throw away the receipt?"

When people creep, it's not just the fact that they have a sidepiece that pisses their partners off. It's the fact that they broke the trust. If we'd never agreed to being exclusive, I'd be happily cuddling with that dude right now. And I also could have gotten friendly with the hotties I met in New York.

Clearly monogamy isn't for everyone, and pretending it's right for you can leave room for hurt. Just ask the baby-momma of Peter Gunz who learned her man was cheating—and had secretly married his sidepiece—on national TV.

Lying about being faithful causes enough drama to spice up "Love & Hip Hop," but that type of drama hurts people in real life. Perhaps the reason why many folks love "Scandal" is not because they're rooting for or against Kerry Washington's character. Maybe they're just looking for validation that not being monogamous isn't the worst thing in the world.

RedEye special contributor Nikki Lynette, a Chicago native, is an indie recording artist whose music appears on MTV, VH1, Showtime and more.

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