“Monogamy,” by Matt Kolbet

Jul 7th, 2010 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Pornography is an easy moral target, but too often the only response critics have is to discuss how it demeans women, corrupts viewers and participants, and marginalizes the family unit. Thankfully, Family Limited® has come up with a viable alternative to such degrading material—Monogamy, a new reality show.

No longer will voyeurs witness couples (or larger groups) move from meeting on a front porch—after one of the women bends over to retrieve something she dropped (besides her dignity)—into the bedroom for hardcore action. Instead of fast-paced sex romps and fake tits, viewers will be entertained by awkward arrivals at a first date where the man is uncertain if protocol calls for a handshake, a hug or a kiss. The stilted dialogue during an episode of Monogamy will vary little from the banal observations during a pornographic film, except the actors will discuss economic growth instead, and how excited it makes them.

Family Limited® operates on three proselytizing networks and hopes to capture an audience for extended viewing. Charles Biggs, one of the show’s producers notes, “If people can stand to watch Kate Plus 8, they’ll watch this too.”

Men won’t merely tune in for five minutes to see a quickie. The show’s programmers hope to capture couples and older children with stunning displays of everyday life. One week they’ll watch the monogamous couple argue over who should do what to clean up after dinner. The tension will be broken by clumsy smiling as they brush their teeth later. Another week they’ll hear the couple discussing work woes, tempered by sharing plans for vacation and lost childhood dreams.

“What we’ve learned from watching pornography,” adds Biggs, “is that people like to see shots of faces at the end of the scene, and I can’t think of anything that would capture more attention than the look of disappointment on a woman’s face as she considers what she might have done differently with her life.”

In the season finale, the couple will fulfill their marriage vows and their procreative duty to God. Most of the episode will center on the decision-making process of the couple, their fears about their fitness to be parents, and a few niggling remarks about couples they know with children, inviting chuckles. “If they can do it…” says the husband, leaving the answer to his wife, who leans in to kiss him. This will be followed by inadequate, fumbling foreplay.

“What people really want to see is old-fashioned missionary sex, and we won’t hold back,” promises Fred Wallis, the show’s creator. The final shots (which hint at the possibility of female orgasm) will be shown through opaque curtains billowing back and forth.

If the show’s revenues match expectations, season two will explore the changes both partners experience during pregnancy, and the temporary shifting of roles, though the husband will make clear that when the child is born he wants dinner on the table at six o’clock.

Fred Wallis sees it as an opportunity not only to return morality to America, but also to explore the broader world. “We may show child brides in remote corners of the world, just to see how other countries make it work.” Wallis also hinted at his desire to understand adoptive families, to see if love can transcend biology.

Of course there will be no depiction of gay marriage. As Wallis notes, “There’s not really a stable market for that.”


Matt Kolbet teaches and writes near Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Defenestration twice before, as well as The American Drivel Review, Clockwise Cat, and Sideshow Mirrors. He is in a monogamous relationship that defies filming.

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