Is monogamy a realistic lifestyle choice? Are humans destined to have multiple sexual partners? Is it possible for us to be with one person for the rest of our lives?
You ask someone in the midst of a marital rut and they will probably scoff, scowl, and roll their eyes in complete disgust and tell you the only thing they can 100% guarantee monogamy to at this point in time is their trusty vibrator. But you ask someone in the throes of love and passion in a new relationship and they’d probably tell you they would commit to this one person for the rest of their lives right now.
Monogamy is a choice. It’s a choice that some people choose to make, while others don’t. I also think monogamy is something that is easier for some people than it is for others.
I think our ability to uphold monogamy realistically is going to depend on factors such as:
• How much you love the person you are with
• How strong and stable the union is at that particular juncture in time
• The level of your sex drive and how sexual of a person you are
• Your need for validation in the eyes of the opposite sex and your potential addiction to this validation
I think, being a man, monogamy goes against our natural, carnal instinct to seek variety. I think, generally speaking, monogamy is easier for women to uphold than it is for men. That’s because it’s typically easier for men to have emotionless sex than it is for women. Men are better able to compartmentalize love and sex, which means that it’s more likely for a man to physically cheat, while it’s more likely for a woman to emotionally cheat.
For men, it’s more likely they could cheat without necessarily being dissatisfied in their relationship; however, for women, sexual connection is most often fostered through the strength of an emotional bond. So, when a woman doesn’t feel bonded emotionally in her relationship, it’ll be more difficult for her to be sexually satisfied in the relationship. This may cause the wheels in her heart to begin turning to new avenues to seek that “emotional rush” in other places when she begins to emotionally check out of her relationship.
Monogamy Is Relationship Protection
I’m not proud of it, but I’ve cheated before. I was in a relationship that I no longer wanted to be in but I didn’t have the balls to end it. So, as a coward’s cry for help: I cheated. While I was still with this person a while longer, that infidelity was the straw that broke the camel’s back and things went into a freefall from that point forward. That’s because whatever little bit of innocence or purity our relationship had, I had ruined with that infidelity. I failed to protect that relationship.
Truth be told, when you reach a point in your relationship where it’s too difficult for you to actually protect your relationship by being monogamous, then that’s probably a sign that you either need to have a relationship-changing conversation about improving your relationship, or you need to end that relationship altogether.
As a hopeless romantic, I see monogamy as that cherished, intimate space between a couple. Once the innocence of that connection is tarnished (cheating, deception, relationship-shattering lies) the union is forever compromised. The union is now suddenly exposed to the elements, weak, jeopardized, vulnerable…defunct. To the point where the only salvation of that relationship is to shed the old skin like a transitioning reptile.
A breach in monogamy and a failed protection of that union brings a couple to a crossroads: do they shed the old skin of that relationship and try to begin again by growing new skin as a couple? Or do they break apart and go their separate ways?
That’s because more often than not, a breach in monogamy is a clear sign that the current relationship isn’t working.
Unfortunately, often it becomes the clear affirmation a couple needs to fully realize the dire straights of their relationship. In other words, things need to become completely broken before they can be fixed. Sometimes a couple needs to hit rock bottom before they realize they want to rebuild what they have, rather than start again with someone new.
So for all the hopeless romantics out there, look at monogamy as relationship protection. It’s the fortress that mounts your two hearts together, in the most intimate of ways. When one of you lets down the drawbridge and lets someone else enter into the castle you’ve created together, you’ve allowed a Trojan Horse to attack your relational walls and boundaries, and ultimately destroy what you’ve slaved to create.
Monogamy Is Romantic and Sexy Because It’s so Intimate
Call me old-fashioned but I see monogamy as the most intimate bonding tie between couples. I believe it to be this special, intimate space in the world that a couple carves out together and protects in order to maintain the innocence and purity of their union.
I think part of its allure, the part about monogamy that is so romantic and intimate is also the part that makes it so sacred—it means you’re theirs, and they’re yours.
It’s unlikely you’re the first person they’ve ever slept with or fallen in love with, and vice versa for them to you, so the monogamy and commitment you share between the two of you, becomes the space to foster devotion and allow you both to feel like you’re loving and being loved for the very first time.
It becomes the imaginary tie that binds your love together. It becomes the force that keeps your hearts connected.
It’s a testament of your commitment to love one another. And when that commitment to love one another is successfully enforced (staying monogamous) the love bond you share continues to strengthen and prosper.
Some people will say that monogamy is restrictive and feels like you’re in genital jail. But it’s only restrictive when you let its space feel restrictive—when you let its space contain and control your freedom to explore with one another.
Rather than have mediocre sex with lots of people, I say, go find just one person, and go on a sexual adventure with that person.
Monogamy can be that adventure if you allow it to be. If you and your partner do not suffocate the space between you by condemning one another’s curiosity to explore, to try new things, to adventure, but rather embrace one another’s desires and create a safe space where you both can feel seen, desired, and sexually liberated.
Just Because You’re Chained to the Fence, It Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Bark at the Cars
One of the mistakes people make about monogamy is that they think choosing to be monogamous must suddenly kill attraction and desire for other people outside of the relationship all of a sudden.
It’s not the attraction that’s the problem, but rather how we choose to either accept or deny the attraction that is.
In fact, a couple’s ability to embrace the fact one another will continue to be attracted to other people outside of the relationship is a fact that what will help to liberate, rather than stifle the container of monogamy between them.
Coming to peace with this and accepting it actually inherently creates necessary space between the couple for desire to continue to exist. That’s because when we know our partners are still desired by others and they still desire others, then we’re acknowledging their sexual nature and value. That doesn’t suffocate the monogamous space between us, but actually gives the monogamous space more freedom as it squashes some of the comfort the doldrums of monogamy can present.
Just because you’re chained to the fence (of monogamy), it doesn’t mean you can’t bark at the cars. Just as long as you don’t get as far as breaking from your leash and legit jump into one of the cars. And if your compulsion to jump in one particular car becomes so strong you can’t control yourself, then just go jerk off to that particular car in private. Or just watch porn with your partner that best resembles that particular car, because the safest and least damaging way to have a threesome, is to just watch porn together.
The Variety Trap
Truth is, some men and women get stuck in the variety trap: the allure of sex with someone new is so strong that they can’t exist within the confines of monogamy.
Whether this is because they’re just not built for monogamy (at least not right now), or it’s because the validation their ego gets from successfully conquering new things is too alluring and exciting for them to refrain from.
From the male point of view: nothing ruins a relationship faster than the lure and infatuation of sex with someone new.
But just remember, that person you’re tired or bored of having sex with now was once someone new. So you may think you want someone new, but that someone new will once again become someone old. The pursuit of someone new is a pursuit to infinity. It never ends. So, instead of going out and looking for someone new, spend your time and effort working on making your current relationship feel new again.
The need for constant sexual variety is like riding a ferris wheel on crack. It doesn’t stop moving in circles until you get so sick and disgusted with yourself that you vomit all over the place.
What happens is rather than working on discovering new parts of their sex life with the same person or re-invigorating passion into existing parts, they choose to take the easy way out: go start again with something new.
This is what you call sexual laziness.
It’s easier to be attracted and seduced by something you’ve never had before.
So, for those who couples who continue to be able to seduce and attract one another after years and years together, it means they’ve worked hard to make that monogamous space between them satisfying, and thus, they get to reap the benefits of their hard work: quality sex with someone they actually care about.
The Variety Addiction
That’s the thing…you can search for sexual variety, but it’s an expensive tradeoff when you have to give up true intimacy and genuine happiness with someone you care about in order to keep that freedom for variety.
Is a moment of pleasure worth sacrificing a lifetime of happiness?
For some people, this addiction is a coping mechanism of self-preservation.
For some men who are addicted to the novelty of someone new, they hide inside of women to hide from what’s inside of themselves.
Just as a woman might distract herself with relationship-after-relationship to avoid dealing with what’s inside of herself, a man may drown himself in a sea of pointless sex to avoid having to meet parts of himself that he’s afraid to meet.
He may sleep with several women who don’t challenge him, rather than choosing to be with one woman who does. That’s because he can get his ego validated without having it challenged.
For some men and women, their inability to uphold monogamy is because they’re egomaniacs who are addicted to the validation they get from having multiple partners.
Deep in their core, they may have past pain of love they never received, so they use this addiction to sexual variety as a way to fuel up on admiration their ego desperately desires and their inner-self needs in order to protect itself from pain and rejection.
For other men and women, they shoot up on sexual variety like a drug that they need to penetrate their veins in order to distract them from the silence they will be forced to meet when they have to sit with themselves. Who knows what the silence will reveal, what truths they will be forced to meet, what wounds might be uncovered beneath.
And then for other men and women, they just simply are not built for monogamy. It’s not because of some deep pain they’re hiding from or trauma they haven’t dealt with, but it’s simply for the fact they’re sexual people who do not believe that humans are meant to be with one sexual partner for the rest of their lives. So they choose to not participate in monogamous relationships—they have open relationships, lead swinger lifestyles, stay a bachelor/bachelorette their entire life—which is cool, everyone is entitled to conduct their life and relationships however makes them happy.
The idea is that you find someone who views monogamy the same way you do: if you’re a hopeless romantic who believes you marry someone and commit yourself to that person for the rest of your life, then you better find someone who wants to make and uphold that commitment as well.
But whatever your personal standpoint on monogamy might be, I believe that it’s a choice, a choice that we choose to make or choose not to make—a choice that is easier for some than it is for others.
But regardless, if you’re going to make the choice, you better commit to it.
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