View Full Version : Monogamy
27th October 2007, 11:09 pm
From what i ve seen so far monogamy doesnt seem to be very popular. I know couples (gay and straight) that choose to be together but have sex with other people as well. Or couples that sex has died between them and they make an agreement to stay in together for whatever reason but have sex outside their relationship.
I dont know how much you agree with that but would be interesting to know what is you view on this. For what reasons you think people might choose non-monogamy in a relationship; are humans naturally monogamous or this is something that we have adopted as acceptable by religion and society? Can the non-monogamous life style between couples be the new version of relationships and acceptable one; under what conditions if any. And finally what would you choose monogamy or non-monogamy in your relationship?
28th October 2007, 01:30 am
monogomy isn't dead, but people are lazy. Relationships aren't easy and require work, and w/ our schedules getting busier and busier, we get lazier and lazier. For me there is never an excuse for cheating or having an open relationship.
I think since man has stepped outside the evolutionary circle, we are no longer capable to claim it is natural to have multiple partners. We have the capabilities for chosing to be faithful or not. It comes down to self control, and sadly w/ each passing generation, there is less and less of self control and self respect.
To me, multiple sexual partners will never be fully accepted due to increased risk of disease. As more people get sick, more people will become advocates for monogomy. Will this end multiple sexual partners? No, but that is there choice. Just because they chose it doesn't mean I have to. To me when a monogomous relationship becomes open, it's just a reason to cheat. I view sleeping w/ other people other than your partner as cheating when you have comitted yourself to that person, regardless of it being open or not. Someone will get left out. Someone will normally become jealous.
Like I told my partner... if you aren't happy with me, break up with me. I don't deserve to be cheated on. If you do cheat on me, you better hide. Because I promise you this, I won't need a jury. (mind you I was raised hunting, camping, and tracking and have an arsenal of weapons at home as well as being a black belt in americanized tae kwon do and specialized in the staff.....)
28th October 2007, 02:42 am
Personally, I don't think human beings are hardwired for monogamy, I think its a social convention that we have created for ourselves.
28th October 2007, 01:55 pm
Well I'm 100% sure that Michael will have something to say about this :smile:, but my personal view is that the decision on monogamy is one of a number of considerations that should be sorted out by the parties to the relationship very openly, and very early on so as to avoid later mishaps.
It is the nature of relationships that things develop over time - you don't fall in love with somebody the first time you see their smile, no matter how romantic that might seem - love develops FROM such things, but you can't really love somebody until you know them ...
For me and my partner, monogamy is the only option. We both agree that as long as we are together we will be monogamous, and were we to disrespect that, our relationship would be over - we're both totally happy with that.
I do know, however, of many many people that are in open relationships, or relationships where third parties are brought into the relationship and used (essentially) as a way of keeping the sex of the relationship varied - I'm not saying that I don't see the appeal of having massive amounts of sex - I'm just saying that for me it's less of an issue than having my man be 100% true to me.
Therefore I don't look down my nose at open relationships, nor do I endorse them - I just accept that they are a different style of addressing the same basic issue - stability in the relationship (believe it or not).
There are people, for example, who have very high sex drives, but who are in love with people that have very low sex drives. When you get that type of situation it's not uncommon for the partner with the lower sex drive to be quite happy for the other party to get their jollies elsewhere, as it relieves them of the burden of having to perform as regularly as they might otherwise be called upon to ...
I'm very open-minded and liberal regarding these types of issues ... the only one I cannot, however, abide is that where people purport to be in monogamous relationships, yet sleep around behind their partners' backs - that, to my mind, is quite patently unacceptable - whether you're straight, gay or bisexual, it's disrespecting your partner, not to mention putting them at increased risk of all sorts of repercussions that they have no real awareness of, and deserves a reprimand.
!?!?! Shadow !?!?!
28th October 2007, 09:29 pm
Hee hee.....thou dost know me well!
For those who don't, a little background. I've been with my husband 20 years. We met, he broke up thst same fday with his boyfriend of five years, moved in with me for the rest of his vacation, went back to Germany and 6 weeks later I moved there. Our love for each other grows more each day we are together...we spend ALL of our time woith each other to the exclusion of almost everyone else. 24/7. I would kill or die for him in an instant....(maybe not kill because he wouldn't want me to do such a thing...). It would not be too far fetched to say we are obsessed with each other...but in a good way.
Our sex life has gone through many changes over the years. From complete monogamy, to inviting someone(s) to play with us and on the very rare occasion if one or the other IS away, the odd extra caricular activity can occure, but it's not the norm.
I personaly don't think the human race is a monogamous one. Most mammals are not. Statistically 75+% of men cheat and new polls show woman at a whopping 60+% So the question for the vast majority is not "what if?" but "when?"
Perhaps not in the beginning, or well along, but even the most in love couple find changes in their sexual drives/passion/interests over time. What we think we want in the first five years may change after ten or fifteen..... Everything else in our lives changes, interests, jobs, hobbies, even our relationships with our loved one....to think our sexual interests won't is to just be naive.
So Shadow has it right. Be honest and open and decide together when and how and if things can be made to fit your personal situation. 6+ billion people on the planet and we try to do a one size fits all on the most varied part of our lives, our sexuality.
So whatever works for the indevidual couple is how they should be graded. To call them lazy, or disrespectful or anything for not conforming to our own way of living or thinking is narrow minded. Nor in my opinion is it cheating if we both know about it. I'd rather work out this one particular and keep my best friend, lover and love of my life...for life...than switch every two years because we cannot conform to some social code that only the rarest of saints can manage.
Throwing away a perfectly good relationship over something as inconsequential and meaningless as casual sex would be to me the greatest crime. Now not being honest about it? that's a whole other thread ;-)
28th October 2007, 09:39 pm
I wanted to add. This is no new thing. What's new about it is the way people have decided to cope with the issue. In the past people cheated behind each others back. There are reports that close to 1 in 4 children do not belong to the father that is raising them! cheating has been going on since time began and will continue to do so.
What's going on today, especially in gay relationships, is that we are being honest about the situation and comming to terms with it so we can keep our relationships in tact. Chances are this is going to happen in every one of our relationships, so you deal with it once or switch partners every three years. What is hurtful is being lied to and cheated ON. Take out the lies, make some rules, find what fits and you can stay together.
And for those of you who think it could never happen to you....more often than not it's the most adamant "I could never" half of the couple that does it first...... I don't know why, but it almost always happens that way.
Never say never is a bit like abstinance only sex education. Since the chances are very high it will happen, to all of us and by all of us, figure out what you will do before it does so you don't have to pack each others bags.
28th October 2007, 09:44 pm
I missed you :redface: - you always know just how to put things - you put me to shame !!
... what he said ... :biggrin:.
!?!?! Shadow !?!?!
28th October 2007, 09:55 pm
Don't sell yourself short babe!
(pretty off topic)
We went to a gay strip club/dance club last night where halft of the strippers are straight. You can tell which are which because the straight strippers never talk to us and go right to the older sugar daddies while the gay ones do. I was explaining that jokingly to one that I was talking to who said...."wait, I'M straight". Sorry charlie. He had a nice one though ;-)
28th October 2007, 10:54 pm
Personally, I don't think human beings are hardwired for monogamy, I think its a social convention that we have created for ourselves.
I'm gonna agree with this one and confess I believed in the same things - that we're supposed to be monogamous, though with years you realize not only do people cheat, but perhaps you have yourself. The difference is are you cheating as in having another relationship with someone else .. or is it just sex.
Jury is out on this one .. I think in my head if it's just sex, the partner should get over it. If it's another relationship the breakup should happen immediately.
But then as we all know, the heart does not always react rationally!
28th October 2007, 11:51 pm
Thats very interesting Michael , thanks for saying these you talk a lot of sense! I didnt know what make of the open relationship thing now i have a better understanding on the matter.
It's sometimes hard to understand a few things . why someone be in a relationship when sex is dead or one part is unhappy if not both parts. I thought it was the mortgage, financial reasons, the kids or because people are getting used to be with each other and afraid of the change or end up single and perhaps lonely too. So they choose to look elsewhere to fill emotional gaps or physical needs and keep their relationship. I wouldnt stay in a relationship for any of these reasons.
What you say about your relationship though sounds very healthy to me! You found the way to make things work and bless you for that.:remybussi:
Anyway, personally I have been in monogamous relationships apart when i am single and dating- makes sense i think. To start a relationship i am looking for someone monogamous as i dont like sharing my love with a 3rd. If a partner says he wants an open relationship when we are together a couple months or a year and a bit more i wouldnt like it; i would break up and move on.
If i found the love of my life like you did and after years we come to a point where we decide to have the occasional fun with other people i would have probably agreed , go with a flow and see how it makes both of us feel.
Something else that can put me in thoughts is the fact that now i am single most people approaching me and vice versa have a bf already. Sometimes when its done nicely i will take it as a compliment but sometimes i believe that they think of me as a toy to enhance their sex life. I dont quite know how to react to this. i.e I ve met a guy saying is cool we can be friends then go for a drink and his hands are allover me. Annoying!!:redface:
29th October 2007, 02:19 am
my rebutle to the comment about how our species is not hardwired to be monogomous as well as 75% of the other mamals is that we (supposedly) have a higher cognitive function.
we no longer have to mate w/ as many individuals to ensure the survival of our race. We as a species have developed technology to handle medical problems. The weak no longer die off. genetic disorders are spreading due to irresponsible reproduction (from a genetic stance). The weaker individuals w/ chronic genetic diseases live longer now and capable of reproducing and producing offspring that may have the disease or be carriers of it.
In my opinion we are no longer controlled by nature and capable of deciding what we think is right and wrong. For me and my partner, there is nothing but monogomy. For others it's fine with them, but to me the excuse that it's not natural is weak sauce. Own up to your own ethical or moral opinions and don't try and blame it on something you don't "control"
PS this is not targeted to any individual here, it's just the "it's not natural" excuse gets thrown around a lot and I actually had this discussion w/ another individual in person and his only reasoning was that it's not natural.... nothing of substance behind that comment, it seemed more like an excuse to sleep around. If you as an individual are fine w/ it and own up to it as being your opinon, good for you. I ahve respect for those, but I'll never understand or participate in those practices
2nd November 2007, 06:48 pm
Never is a long time. But that's a road everyone has to walk themselves, or not.
The problem with your position is that you've decided that the "moral" option is the correct one. You are of c ourse correct. We are higher on the food chain and can make cognizant decisions. It's the suposition that monogamy, even though we are not hard wired for it, is the correct decision.
I would counter and say if it's monogamy you want, contrary to our natural inclinations, fine. Just because we can choose a thing doesn't make it right. I would ask, why the fight? You eat when you are hungry, sleep when sleepy, listen to music when you seek that particular pleasure.....why then should we fight our natural instincts for sexual pleasure? Because certain people have decided that is the moral way for themselves and therefore we must fight it.
Just because we can doesn't mean we must. Just that it is one possibility among many. That is what destinguishes us. The ability...not the choice. So it has nothing to do with owning up...by why you (just as an example) seem to demand a reason for something that is (seems to be) natural to the species.
One could ask why you take such a natural human function and turn it into something almost....impossible to manage and in almost every case doomed to failure? Everyone is free to choose their own way, but it amazes me, with years of hindsight, maturity and experience, that we have turned this whole thing on it's head (sex) with so many rules and near impossible restrictions that it has become almost impossible to keep a long term relationship.
Oddly enough, I was watching a program yesterday on paternity cases. The new statistics, made possible because of DNA testing, is that GET READY FOR IT......1 in 3 children do not belong to the father the mother claims them to be. 1 out of every 3!!!!
Now I will agree that this is the worst, most hurtful thing that could probably happen to someone. But it just goes to show what our natural inclinations can have us do, even to the best of us.
2nd November 2007, 07:00 pm
Just wanted to ad (I do this a lot..)
That it is strange that the one thing we find the most difficult to do, is the one thing we have decided is the test for what a relationship is or means. Kill someone? I'll stand by your side and be there every day in court. Beat me till I'm half dead? NO problem. Steal my money, bankrupt my mother...but you don't know him like I do......
But have meaningless sex with someone you'll never see again and it's good bye baby. Especially when over the years, like it or not, our sexual desire for our partners decline even while our intimacy increses. Perhaps it's the repetition or knowing each others bodies so well, or just loss of that "spark" that creates desire when our lives become so well known. But I find that unless I'm (personaly) really horny, what I find far more intimate, years down the round, is laying there watching tv and just being close to each other. An intimacy that comes from within, without sexual stimulation. This is an intimacy and love that grows even as the physical desire slows.
As someone mentioned before, this whole idea for excludes the conept of someone having an actual affair. Once, maybe twice I'll tolerate. Any more means there is more to the relationship and that incringes on the totality of what is "us" and would never be tolerated.
2nd November 2007, 08:56 pm
I guess the issue for me would not be that he'd slept with somebody else, it would be WHY.
If he went with somebody else my initial thoughts would be that it was because there was something lacking in OUR relationship - something which meant it either wasn't special enough to him to warrant his respecting it and respecting ME by being faithful TO me, or that he was looking for an out (which, even if he wasn't looking for an out to the RELATIONSHIP, he was insofar as the physical side was concerned).
Depending on how we'd approached it from the start, if he was drunk and horny then I could overlook it (with a chiding), but if it became a trend then that would be it - definitely no way of going back since, as you've said yourself, it would definitely suggest that there was more to it than a one-off thing.
I am, however, a pragmatist at heart, and I acknowledge that the desire for sexual encounters on a number of levels is strong in us as a species, perhaps moreso in males than females. Whilst I am a firm believer in monogamy, I myself have observed and respect the natural desire of us as human beings to find things attractive ... I cannot weld my eyes shut simply because I'm with somebody - all I can do is what I have said I would, which is to observe that there IS a line, and that if I want my existing relationship to continue as is, then I need to respect it ... which, for me, has never been a problem.
So for my part I'm not at all confused on the issue - I'm just on the fence somewhat, which is why I'm happy sticking with my original prognosis on the matter, which is that it's for the parties to decide how they want the mechanics of their relationship to work, with this being one of the considerations ...
I still think you should have your own day-time talkshow babe :wink:.
!?!?! Shadow !?!?!
2nd November 2007, 09:36 pm
I agree, with your view, perhaps NOT the talk show. I believe however two people create a contract between them, the rules should be their own, not down to the dictates of "should be" based on some communal concept of how we should all behave. (Especially when we say one thing and most go off and do another...)
As you and I have gone through this discussion before, it's a bit like telling people "at your age...." because it sounds so condescending, even though it is also usually true. But, having been where a lot of you are now, and having lots of friends who have also been where you are and have "lived to tell the tale" together, I also know that what we ALL believed and wished and made rules about then, have changed bit by bit over the years along with the relationship itself.
It's all so hypothetical. Like if I was ever under torture or what I would do if a loved one was threatened or whatever...... I would never had thought 20 years ago I could ever think as I do now. I would have told you it could never, ever happen. Do you remember on the boards a few years ago I had this fight with a member who swore up and down it could never, ever happen, fought for weeks about it.....blah blah...two months later he cheated on his boy friend. Never thought he could, couldn't believed he had.....
Never is a long time. What we believe today may be, like everything else in life, different tomorrow. I just hate to see people lay so much on this one single issue when everything else fits. No relationship should fold on any one single issue unless they turn out to be an ax murderer or something.
I personally believe the whole thing is about keeping people together. Until we know each other and trust each other unreservedly, passion is very often the mold that holds us togehter. As the years go by, they strength of these two things switch places. I don't need to "own" or have it proved to me because I know....in a deeper, more emotional way than sex can ever create.
Doesn't mean that hot, horny, mindless sex isn't still fun though! ;-) But even steak and lobster, caviar or truffels eaten daily over the years loses some of its flavor. And you've seen the meal I have to eat!!!
2nd November 2007, 11:07 pm
I will still say sex is just sex .. if it was deeper then there is a problem .. and will agree it is not easy .. but if we all spend our time dumping people that make a mistake or act on an impulse and don't realize what we really have then I suppose we are all doomed to be alone forever .. not that there is a really a problem with that either ....
and yes .. I've been on both sides of the argument
3rd November 2007, 02:06 pm
Exactly....and it seems so black and white until you have been on both sides. And that happens all too easily.
Shadow..the problem is, sometimes there is no why. See, this is the mistake so many people make. That someone having sex someplace else has anything to do with us. Now, for sure, sometimes it can. If the whole relationship is on the wrong track...people get their wandering feet on. But very often nooky on the side has absolutely nothing to do with your partner. NOTHING.
Doesn't mean he "anythings" you one iota less. Any more than the book he read that afternoon has anything to do with you or the movie he saw. Now if this is a chronic, serial condition it might mean that your sex life is not the best or not very satisfying for him (still doesn't mean everything else isn't great) or it could mean he has a sex addiction (still nothing to do with you) or many other things.
But for the most part, it just means we are all weak and fallable and human, that in the right conditions we can all fall....and yes, horny.
3rd November 2007, 08:40 pm
So I was right in that there is still a why ... just that you might be better off not taking the why quite so personally, as it might not be anything you've done wrong ...
!?!?! Shadow !?!?!
4th November 2007, 03:31 pm
That still depends on how you look at it...unless by reason you're including just horny. But you're right. Things happen. The mistake is thinking that they somehow always have to do with us. "What did I do wrong", "Doesn't he love me?" "How could he do this to me?"
When it usually has absolutely nothing to do with the partner at that momment. This is of course if we are only talking about sex on the side in a functioning relationship, and only you know whether that is the case or not. If it's all crap, then it's just one part of an overall bad picture. If things are ok, then it's just...... sex. Only peripheraly to do with you.
4th November 2007, 03:41 pm
Well said :bow:.
!?!?! Shadow !?!?!
2nd December 2010, 01:58 am
As someone in a relationship that was monogamous for several months and is now branching out into the open/polyamorous spectrum, I do think that there are healthy ways to pursue non-monogamy, even ways in which it could be acceptable and beneficial in society if everyone were open to it. Open relationships can still have standards, and it is possible for some people to have loving and meaningful relationships with multiple people. If you want to know more, look for books like The Ethical Slut or Google "polyamory".
There is something to what people have said about laziness and self-control, though. Most of the non-monogamous relationships one sees are not the result of a couple's mutual agreement or careful decision. For someone to have multiple partners in a positive way it probably requires more effort than for a single partner, not less. For that reason I still see monogamy as being the most practical way to build healthy sexual relationships for most people, even if I think there are other possibilities.