Monogamy has always been an interesting topic. Many feel that all men cheat and that they have an inability to be monogamous. You have some that depending on the dynamics of their relationship will tolerate infidelity. They will lay their monogamy expectations to the side. Then there is the mentality that a widespread of males have, which is that the more women they conquer then the more validation of a man they receive. I personally and one of those males that strongly believe in monogamy in a serious relationships.
A recent article in Psychology Today profiles a therapist/author who suggests that married men with low libido can overcome this difficult situation if they just do it. According to this article, “their low sex drive often has little to do with hormones or biology and a lot to do with the women in their lives. Men today, often enough, are angry at their wives.” Readers are told that, “In the presence of a mismatch of desire, all intimacy drops out on all levels in addition to the sexual. Couples stop having meaningful conversations.” Which to me is not necessarily because to me, most men in long-term sexually monogamous relationships, a steady decrease in libido has everything to do with biology and hormones and would be the same regardless of the particular woman in their lives. That’s right. The sexually-monogamous husband of the hottest woman on earth will start to lose interest at a certain point.
Men, especially, are designed by evolution to be attracted to sexual novelty and to gradually lose sexual attraction to the same partner in the absence of such novelty. The so-called Coolidge Effect is well demonstrated in social mammals of all sorts, and is old news to anyone knowledgeable about reproductive biology. Boys will be boys, and men will be the way they are, despite the many ways our society tries to make them change.
Many assume that a relationship can only exist if it is monogamous: in the sense that you can only have sexual relations with one person, with whom you probably share a deeply personal relationship. But these assumptions should be questioned. Trust is essential to relationships. Many will say that by being with other people, you are breaking that trust. Betrayal and dishonesty is precisely what a mutual, consensual non-monogamous relationship can look like and is based on; such relationships precisely attempt to avoid and undermine betrayal and dishonesty. The inability to communicate or be more honest with your partner is a good indication of whether that relationship will be successful.
Many people give sex a lot more power or meaning than perhaps it should have, which leads often to irrationality. This is clear from the way people react to homosexuality, sex work, antinatalism (not having children), paedophilia, pornography, incest, and so on. All these topics are often discussed with knee-jerk reactions from all quarters not just conservative religious people. But: Why should consensual adult sex have any more meaning than what you and your sexual partner(s) want?
In society we also create rules, mostly implicit unless they are religious (they're fairly explicit). People who go against the norm are excluded. Those people are a threat to our beliefs and a veiled insult to the way that we live our lives. When it comes to us as individuals. Many prefer to live in a comfort zone, unwilling or unable to take on certain challenges of life. They are happy or think they are happy with the effect that a system derived from control and property management produces. It gives them a false sense of security and in many respects stops that pain that is growing.
Daniel Bergner writes in the New York Times, women are far more likely to lose interest in sex with their partners. This doesn’t necessarily translate into infidelity—a choice many reject because it’s so hurtful—but, Bergner also reports, spouse-weary women often just avoid sex altogether. He implies that “women’s declining interest in monogamous sex is socially, not biologically, inflected. Since women receive messages that sexual desire and expression are not necessarily positive; they tend to require additional stimuli such as novelty to get them in the mood. The implication? If we can normalize female desire in society at large, we can presumably encourage women to continue lusting after their partners”.
If I’d want to step outside of a relationships it would be because there are problems and all positive resolutions have been utilized. I wouldn’t step out just because I’m reckless, need to scratch an itch, nor because I feel that it’s ok. However, although I do not agree with cheating; I heavily believe that there are times when it is justifiable. Many times in relationships we push our significant other into the arms of someone else, because of nagging, trust issues, communication issues, not being who they said they were, not bringing anything to the table, unwillingness to compromise, and disrespect.
What are your thoughts about monogamy?
Have you ever stepped outside of your relationship, if so what was the reason?