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Just finished reading Eric Anderson’s book The Monogamy Gap, in which he opines that monogamy is a “prison” and against human nature, derived from religious strictures.
I know it will sound strange coming from the poly guy, but I disagree. Religious or not, monogamy seems to be the default with poly being the exception in the same way that heterosexuality is the default with homosexuality and bisexuality being the exceptions. I have no doubts that the monogamy in religions stem more from religious leaders not liking that such exceptions occurred.

So - I am wondering if people agree with him, that marriage should not require monogamy, that freedom to satisfy one’s sexual desires should be a given, without societal recriminations, etc?
On a social scale yes. Never on an individual scale. That is to say that just because I am polyamorous, I shouldn't expect that someone who prefers monogamy to want to stay with me and just deal with it. Mind you there is poly/mono relationships that work, but it all still comes down to being those involved agree to operate as such.

Would women and men be as equally satisfied and likely to utilize the sexual freedom?
Only insofar as if it was part of their nature. As noted most people are monogamous. Most marriages don't end due to "cheating". If there is "cheating" prior to the divorce, many times the marriage has already ended, and they haven't bothered to acknowledge it.

As an extension of this, do you believe love and sex are two different things (as in “being in love with” not love for parents, pets)? Should physical intimacy and emotional intimacy be considered equally important and two separate things?
Yes. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction, while usually found together, are two separate things and can exist independently of each other. While most are aware of sexual attraction without romantic attraction, very few actually comprehend romantic attraction without sexual attraction. Heck, we see it often enough on this forum, with people who are still greatly in love with their spouses, even while having no sex drive or desire. We can also see it with asexuals, especially those with no sex drive. They still want love and companionship, just not sex.

(And do you really think a man would be okay with his wife seeking sexual intimacy outside the marriage as he does?)
Some will and some won't. Both genders will have those who are open to the idea and others that will be hypocritical about it.
 

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Every person has a limited amount of time and attention that they can spend on relationships. You have to work, sleep, etc so you can't always be tending to your relationship or partner. The only way that this seems to work at all is if there is a large disparity in libido and minimal effort in acquiring a partner. If someone has to spend time and energy seeking, talking to, dating and determining compatibility, and performing the act itself, that would take a large proportion of time and energy that could and likely should be going into the "primary" relationship. I think I might have just determined why the author referenced in the OP ends up with boring sex after a year or two cough.

Monogamy, or at the very least serial monogamy, seems to be the only logical relationship type for the majority of people. Followed by solitude and random encounters. The monogamy with cheating / extra-relationship encounters adds lots of complication and effort while not adding much in terms of quality of life compared to the other options.
 

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If that means they agree to monogamy, then that's great. If they agree to something else, then they need to establish just what that is, how it will work, and appropriate rules and boundaries that they may agree to change with time and experience.
This really applies to monogamy as well. How many times have we seen the person who comes here all confused because their spouse is calling something cheating that they don't think of as cheating. I know of at least two who have had their spouses call masturbating (not to porn, just general doing it) as outright cheating.
 

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One thing is for certain - it will never be for everyone.
I think part of the problem is that those who oppose such things, have some strange idea that those of us who want to or do practice such, want it to be done by everyone, instead of just be allowable for us to do so.
 

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How in our modern society can a man use a woman for his gratification, outside of some fringe religious groups?

If a woman agrees to sex with a man to whom she is not married, she has agreed to playing an active role in his gratification, and presumably to hers as well. What am I misunderstanding?
By the man leading them on that there will be more to the relationship than sex.
 

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The monogamy with cheating / extra-relationship encounters adds lots of complication and effort while not adding much in terms of quality of life compared to the other options.
I'm sure that is often true. And I agree that we have a limited amount of time and energy to devote to relationships, given everything else we need to deal with in life. However, my experience is that additional consensual relationships (ranging from FWB to full polyamorous relationships - I exclude cheating as that is anathema to me) can add a tremendous amount of quality of life. I can also say from experience that monogamous relationships may provide everything one would want or need, even over decades. But not for everyone. Still, my additional long-term relationship made for one of the most enjoyable periods in my life. Others' experiences will surely vary - some better, some worse.
 

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I’m a man that loved to date around.

I am also extremely monogamous and disinterested in dating around now that I’m married or in an LTR. Just the way I am.

I suspect I’m not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
If there aren't many women who have a need for frequent new sexual partners, WHERE are all these married men going to find hot, sexy women who want emotionless "wild, animal sex" with them...??

I always find it a little humorous that some men think that there are just oodles of interested, available women waiting to have flings with them. I mean, I know there are SOME women like that, sure, but the fantasy that "opening" their marriages will mean that they (men) will get to bang every sexy, exciting woman they see is quite FALSE.

I also think your last question should be, "do you really think most WOMEN would be understanding of their man's 'need' to put in the effort to have wild, animal sex with some other woman, instead of with them"...because I don't think there will be many men getting married without monogamy (or at least the illusion of it) -- and nevermind MARRIAGE - I don't want to have ANY sexual relationship without monogamy!!
For me, monogamy is essential. Cheating would have me and the kids out the door fast. And my lawyer on the phone. You want someone else in your bed, good luck.
I agree that men have the fantasy that gorgeous women will flock to them. Statistics from many sources claim up to 80% of committed relationships/marriages will experience cheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
IMO, marriage should be what the participants agree to. If that means they agree to monogamy, then that's great. If they agree to something else, then they need to establish just what that is, how it will work, and appropriate rules and boundaries that they may agree to change with time and experience. The problem with all such agreements is that people and circumstances change, and the agreements are relatively inflexible. Some people cheat, some live with unhappiness, some divorce. Human nature isn't going to change, but the nature of relationships (esp. marriage) can - and has constantly changed over time and across (and within) cultures.
From only observation of friends of both sexes who chose open relationships or polyamory, there is a very real chance that rules forbidding developing ‘feelings’ for ‘casual’ sex will be broken and emotional attachment occurs. The belief that regular physical intimacy turning into emotional intimacy can be controlled by force of will is laughable. If someone proposes marriage without monogamy they are actually saying “We’ll share a house, you’ll have and raise our children, cook my meals (if I’m not dining with a different partner), do my laundry, handle all the bullshit like paying bills, having car fixed, etc and I’ll come home at night. We can have sex if I haven’t gotten it already.” Why marry? I find it hard to believe that someone can maintain separation of physical & emotional intimacy. As someone said to me, “You have my heart & soul, she only has my body”. Said after he admitted cheating on every business trip - which were sometimes weekly and days long. Haven’t spoken to him in 45 yrs.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
So, MEN should be able to go bang whoever they want because the "need" to act on their desires, and the little wifey will be there waiting for him to come home and be with her to do all the cookin' and cleanin' and taking care of the kids:



Why the hell can't you have wild animal sex WITH YOUR WIFE??? What is wrong with THAT idea?

What about the fact that about the same amount of WOMEN now cheat in their marriages. That being the case, but women "their don’t have the overwhelming biological ‘need’ for frequent new sexual partners. "
SO, why do they cheat?

Seems like a REALLY poor try to defend (or self-delude about) cheating. People go to amazing extremes to defend or come up with reasons WHY they should do something, but it's really just twisting or spin doctoring to try to make it seem SO reasonable.

Look at the thread about Christian Swingers.
The author uses the ‘evolutionary’ excuse. From prehistoric time males have instinctually attempted to have sex (and impregnate as many females as possible) to propagate the species. Females want to ‘nest’, have babies in exchange for a males protection, food etc. Males are Therefore not sure if a child is his, so he doesn’t feel deep connection to them. Or the baby mamas one would assume.
This biological drive remains today, only controlled by force of will.
Author states that men get bored with sex in monogamous relationships but still feels emotional attachment to the original partner. I know there is excitement and anticipation with new partners, but I agree that should still (attempt) to be found with current partner. If sexual excitement was never in a marriage, you aren’t truly compatible.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
What about the fact that about the same amount of WOMEN now cheat in their marriages. That being the case, but women "their don’t have the overwhelming biological ‘need’ for frequent new sexual partners. "
SO, why do they cheat?
I’ve read a lot of papers and books on marriage, infidelity, biological differences of the sexes.
Most agree in some form -
“Men give love for sex, women give sex for love”
“Men just need a place, women need a reason”
Men are quicker to get unfulfilled wants/needs met outside marriage with no intention of ending it. Women hold longer, despite unfulfilled needs/wants in marriage longer, But when the finally set outside the relationship they have give it great thought and are prepared (maybe only subconsciously) for it to end.
I would think that when children are involved the decision can be torturous. Women frequently say “I Love him too much to give up”. I often read male explanations love for their children and home. I notice however they either fail to mention the wife or do not include “I love her too much to leave”.
This is not universal among cheaters tho. Among those who haven’t been unfaithful, love and respect are most common reasons for fidelity.
Is “love” perceived differently by the sexes?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Winston Churchill said, ''Democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all others.''

Similarly, in my opinion, monogamous marriage is the worst form of long term coupling, except for all others.
If the “evolution & genetics’ theories are true, that women seek physical and emotional intimacy, and need to feel safe, secure, love for herself and offspring, why would any woman accept open marriage, where she shares intimacy and there is a constant threat to those needs from external sources that share those intimacies, time and attention?
I’m sure there are women who prefer limits on commitment and desire variety in sexual partners.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
If there aren't many women who have a need for frequent new sexual partners, WHERE are all these married men going to find hot, sexy women who want emotionless "wild, animal sex" with them...??

I always find it a little humorous that some men think that there are just oodles of interested, available women waiting to have flings with them. I mean, I know there are SOME women like that, sure, but the fantasy that "opening" their marriages will mean that they (men) will get to bang every sexy, exciting woman they see is quite FALSE.

I also think your last question should be, "do you really think most WOMEN would be understanding of their man's 'need' to put in the effort to have wild, animal sex with some other woman, instead of with them"...because I don't think there will be many men getting married without monogamy (or at least the illusion of it) -- and nevermind MARRIAGE - I don't want to have ANY sexual relationship without monogamy!!
When I was young (teens to early 20s) I enjoyed a little variety in experiences. It was limited to people I got to know as friends, not ‘hit and run’ and I discovered what I wanted/needed sexually in my marriage. And it was fun. While those relationships sometimes only lasted a few months we remain friends 45 yrs later.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I know it will sound strange coming from the poly guy, but I disagree. Religious or not, monogamy seems to be the default with poly being the exception in the same way that heterosexuality is the default with homosexuality and bisexuality being the exceptions. I have no doubts that the monogamy in religions stem more from religious leaders not liking that such exceptions occurred.



On a social scale yes. Never on an individual scale. That is to say that just because I am polyamorous, I shouldn't expect that someone who prefers monogamy to want to stay with me and just deal with it. Mind you there is poly/mono relationships that work, but it all still comes down to being those involved agree to operate as such.



Only insofar as if it was part of their nature. As noted most people are monogamous. Most marriages don't end due to "cheating". If there is "cheating" prior to the divorce, many times the marriage has already ended, and they haven't bothered to acknowledge it.



Yes. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction, while usually found together, are two separate things and can exist independently of each other. While most are aware of sexual attraction without romantic attraction, very few actually comprehend romantic attraction without sexual attraction. Heck, we see it often enough on this forum, with people who are still greatly in love with their spouses, even while having no sex drive or desire. We can also see it with asexuals, especially those with no sex drive. They still want love and companionship, just not sex.



Some will and some won't. Both genders will have those who are open to the idea and others that will be hypocritical about it.
Quite a few studies have discovered that women are more upset by emotional affairs (“Do you love her? one of the first questins) while men have a harder time accepting physical affairs of their partners, possibly because of males’ innate desire to be/appear strong, have power and respect. Having others ‘taking’ something he possesses/loves subconsciously is a blow to the core needs of masculinity (as defined by the cultural stereotypes of the time).

As polyamory, are you married? And do you live with the other partners?
Do all the relationships share physical and emotional intimacy or do some lean more toward one or other?
Are you and partners the equivalent of monogamous within the relationship or is it open?
Curious because close friend - male- was polyamorous back in college days. He and his wife lived with 2 female and 1 male partner. Relationship was also open to one-night stands - not long enough to develop feelings. Things were good for about a year. Then wife got pregnant, he divorced her...It always struck me as a juggling act trying to share time and affection. He’s still in poly relationship. To me, it seemed to be a lot of work - scheduling his time, trying to fulfill wants and needs of partners. Sometimes it’s hard finding time For and meeting needs of a single partner.
(I’m not judging, mostly curious, somewhat confused)
 

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I’ve read a lot of papers and books on marriage, infidelity, biological differences of the sexes.
Most agree in some form -
“Men give love for sex, women give sex for love”
“Men just need a place, women need a reason”
Men are quicker to get unfulfilled wants/needs met outside marriage with no intention of ending it. Women hold longer, despite unfulfilled needs/wants in marriage longer, But when the finally set outside the relationship they have give it great thought and are prepared (maybe only subconsciously) for it to end.
I would think that when children are involved the decision can be torturous. Women frequently say “I Love him too much to give up”. I often read male explanations love for their children and home. I notice however they either fail to mention the wife or do not include “I love her too much to leave”.
This is not universal among cheaters tho. Among those who haven’t been unfaithful, love and respect are most common reasons for fidelity.
Is “love” perceived differently by the sexes?
Every single man I've talked to about why they cheated eventually admitted part of the attraction was emotional ego validation.

Every single woman I've talked to about why they cheated eventually admitted part of the attraction was just wanting to **** the dude.

People are people. Genders may explain things differently, or have more shame around admitting why they did what they did, but I've found the drivers are almost identical between the genders. The rationalizations come out differently, but they're just rationalizations.
 

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The author uses the ‘evolutionary’ excuse. From prehistoric time males have instinctually attempted to have sex (and impregnate as many females as possible) to propagate the species. Females want to ‘nest’, have babies in exchange for a males protection, food etc. Males are Therefore not sure if a child is his, so he doesn’t feel deep connection to them. Or the baby mamas one would assume.
This biological drive remains today, only controlled by force of will.
Author states that men get bored with sex in monogamous relationships but still feels emotional attachment to the original partner. I know there is excitement and anticipation with new partners, but I agree that should still (attempt) to be found with current partner. If sexual excitement was never in a marriage, you aren’t truly compatible.
I get what he was driving at, but the issue I've always had with this "evolution" theory is that it assume we are all just animals that react based on instincts. Humans are SUPPOSED to be self-aware -- and we THINK, not just act according to instinct. While there may be biological drives we have, WE SHOULD THINK about what we are doing.
We take actions, but we also need to be RESPONSIBLE for those actions.
If we were all just acting on instinct, all we would see is people humping each other in the street.
 
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