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Sexual morality is inherently pluralistic and runs the full spectrum from gender segregation and prohibition on premarital sex (e.g. as in Islam) on one end of the spectrum - to polyamory and free love on the other (as in certain parts of the world and certain times in history).

An individual's code of sexual morality is predominantly dictated by key influencers during his or her upbringing, including parents, religion, teachers and the environment. This refines and evolves to varying degrees with introspection and thinking over a course of a lifetime - but does not vary much from the foundation laid down during early youth.

Problems occur when, in a relationship, the two partners do not adhere to the same point in the sexual morality spectrum. For example, she thinks nothing of flirting with other men in social settings while it drives him nuts. Or he relishes visiting strip clubs with his friends while she hisses and squirms at home.

If one of the partners adheres to a stricter code of sexual morality than the other, than his/her moral sensibilities will be offended by the beliefs and actions of his/her partner.

It is generally very difficult for the person with the more relaxed sexual morality to move towards the stricter side of the spectrum where their partner stands- because they simply feel comfortable in their own skin and genuinely do not consider their sexual conduct to be immoral or 'wrong'. While on the other hand, the partner who adheres to a stricter code of morality feels offended and wronged by their partner.

For partners who adhere to such conflicting codes of sexual morality- the only plausible solution seems to be to reach a point of consensus. However, that is not easy to do and if the conflict is severe, the relationship would suffer.

This post has been inspired by the recent divorce of my best friend of 25 years; he and his wife couldn't resolve their differences pertaining to their codes of sexual morality (she adhered to more liberal views while he was more conservative). Their disagreements reached a point where it amplified other problems in their marriage leading to an eventual parting of ways.

Your thoughts?
 

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Hm - mostly agree except another big influence is peers. This is why, in spite of a more conservative earlier generation, complete with more regular church goers, we have a more relaxed view (speaking in broad generalities about the US) on sexuality as well as much lower religious service attendance rates.
 

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It is generally very difficult for the person with the more relaxed sexual morality to move towards the stricter side of the spectrum where their partner stands- because they simply feel comfortable in their own skin and genuinely do not consider their sexual conduct to be immoral or 'wrong'. While on the other hand, the partner who adheres to a stricter code of morality feels offended and wronged by their partner.
I agree for the most part with the OP, except for the part I quoted. As a sexually liberal person who has interacted with many men, I've found that either party may adapt to a significant degree - as long as the relationship is important to them. If the relationship suffers in other ways, then the relationship itself suffers and these adaptations are less likely to take place.
 

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Really like your post, Spock.

I tend to agree with what you stated. I wonder if it would help for the more liberal spouse to allow the conservative spouse to catch up, so to speak, while in the relationship. This would even the playing field and allow there to be enough background between them to disregard each other's pasts. I know this sounds crazy, but eventually, they will realize they are not happy anyway and split up the marriage. It doesn't occur every time, but happens significantly enough to be a game changer.

Seems to me, the happiest couples are the best matched to life experience. When one has significantly more than the other, there are huge issues. I think this is normal. There has to be a catch up game played. Usually, this is in the form of counseling. However, counseling or someone convincing you of what is right or wrong never really compares to life experience.

I don't think these kinds of situations can work very well. It is very difficult to overcome these differences and the ensuing relationships are better cut off before the marriage vows.

So, in my opinion, the question becomes, "Am I truly compatible with my potential mate?" This requires knowledge, courage and determination. If we are on this site, didn't we all have similar problems at some point?
 

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This is interesting but i would like to see people take sides! Looks like all the posts are more about explaining and nobody will take sides!

I guess i find myself at the end of those people who are more conservative. I had a girl who would flirt and who had had one night stands and since her i strongly believe that there are some boundaries like one night stands or casual sex that once crossed theres no going back and they are going to affect the way your partner is going to look at you for the rest of your life!
 
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