(Closed) Monogamous vs. Monogamish

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Monogamous vs. Monogamish
    I 100% believe in monogamy; we were designed that way. : (111 votes)
    19 %
    I believe that monogamy goes against our scientific/natural design. : (40 votes)
    7 %
    I'm not sure what I believe... : (46 votes)
    8 %
    I have never had trouble remaining faithful when in a committed relationship. : (158 votes)
    26 %
    I have always had trouble remaining faithful when in a committed relationship. : (6 votes)
    1 %
    I have at times had trouble remaining faithful while in a committed relationship. : (66 votes)
    11 %
    I am easily tempted but I never stray. : (43 votes)
    7 %
    I am not easily tempted, no one compares to my SO/FI/DH. : (118 votes)
    20 %
    Other, explain below. : (10 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    3947 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    This is really odd, but I actually listened to a podcast (This American Life) on Monogamy today and learned a lot. 

    This is a clip from the transcript of the podcast.  A man talks about a conversation he had with his wife about monogamy.  While the entire pasted portion is worth a read, the bolded part is what really got me thinking:

    “We were having one of our conversational minuets in the dark, one of our gentle but ever so delicate chats about faithfulness, when my wife said that the only thing she missed as a monogamous woman– at least I assume she was speaking as a monogamous woman– was newness, new bodies, new hands, new sex. I said I knew what she meant. And I said, “But isn’t that kind of sad? I mean, if you go through your whole life, 20, 30, 40, 60 years of marriage without ever straying, you do that, you never get to know what it’s like to be unfaithful. You never get to know what it feels like to be emotionally illegal. And that’s an important feeling, one of the great human themes, after all, a whole constellation of humanity you’ll never know.”

    My wife was quiet for a long time. And I could hear the fridge downstairs. And in the street light coming through the curtains, I could just see her outline. And I thought to myself, I’ve spent a long time in this bed. “Yes,” my wife said then, “That’s true. But if you do sleep around, you’ll never know what it’s like to be faithful to one person your whole life, which might also be an ‘important constellation of humanity.'” There was just a touch of sarcasm in her voice.

    And then it was my turn to lie in the dark for a long time. I’d never considered monogamy as an adventure. I thought it was, well, domestic travel, where no international borders are crossed. But monogamy is an adventure, and in some ways, a more mysterious one than open marriage. Because trying to be faithful to one person is a trip that takes time. And you never really know if you’re getting close or if you’ve reached the destination. You never really know when you’ve arrived.”


    I don’t necessariy believe that we were designed to be monogamous.  But I wouldn’t choose any other relationship for myself. To each their own.



    Post # 4
    778 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think that almost any arrangement two healthy, consenting adults arrive at is probably going to be fine by me, as long as they are both 100% on board. I also think that human beings are largely self-fashioning–we do all kinds of things that aren’t “natural” to our species in the name of culture/religion/ethics/politics/etc. Historically speaking, I suspect human beings have tended to be monogamish rather than monogamous. But I don’t think that has much bearing on how I should live my life or what I’m capable of. I do think that some people are more inclined (via temperament, sex drive, culture, etc.) to monogamy than others.

    Post # 5
    778 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @KateByDesign:  Thank you so much for pasting that! I love This American Life–will definitely have to listen to the whole thing!

    Post # 7
    1444 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I don’t know if we were “designed” to be monogamous, but I have always remained faithful in my relationships.  It’s a personal choice and for some monogamy works, and for others, it doesn’t.  Whatever floats your boat.  Tongue Out 

    Post # 8
    1735 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @mrssrm:  +1 to this. I really think that culture and social norms are much more important than “design” or evolution in this question. How important is it to you and to your partner/s that you resist acting on your impulsive attractions to other people?

    I think what’s important is for everyone involved to be on the up-and-up with each other. After all, Dan Savage, who I think of as being the inventor of the term “monogamish,” ALSO coined the acronym CPOS: cheating piece of shit.

    Post # 9
    6361 posts
    Bee Keeper

    we obviously tend to pair-bond, but nature didn’t assume we’d live this long, so we have a tendency to serial pair-bonding. However, we aren’t ruled by our instinct like other animals, we can keep our existing pair-bond flourishing with a little extra effort when it needs it. It really isn’t as hard as sone make it out to be, but yeah, it takes willpower and lack of selfishness from both members.

    Post # 10
    3918 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @mrssrm:  that! I totally agree 🙂

    Post # 12
    357 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2005

    I highly recommend the book Sex at Dawn to anyone interested in this topic.  I do not believe that monogamy is natural, but that it is a cultural manifestation of an agrarian lifestyle and a focus on personal property vs. a more ancestral communal lifestyle.

    I couldn’t answer the second half of the poll accurately, because none of my committed relationships have been monogamous.  Since I have never been monogamous, being with more than one person has never constituted a lack of “faithfulness.”  I would not accept a monogamous relationship though, so from a monogamous perspective I guess you could say that I have trouble being “faithful.”  To me, faithfulness is more about honesty and honor in dealing with all of your relationships. 

    The manflesh and I actually haven’t had any other partners in the last couple of years, just due to homebodiness and fuddy duddiness, but our relationship is still officially open and will continue to be.

    Post # 13
    4049 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    @joya_aspera:  Couldn’t have said it better. This is very much what I believe – we obviously as a species like having one mate at a time usually, but for 50+ years that is a challenge to keep up, which is where the serial monogamy comes in.

    Post # 14
    2084 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    @Happy Hopeful Bee:  I believe there is temptation for some people, however, I don’t believe it’s something they can not control. I think saying humans aren’t designed to be monogamous is basically saying we can’t be held accountable for our actions. Even if people aren’t “designed” to be monogamous, doesn’t mean they can’t control themselves. I think temptation and addictions are more challenging for some people than others. I think if someone enters into marriage and contract to be faithful to one person, then they should be faithful to that person. If they can’t be faithful to that person, they either need to avoid entering into marriage or get a divorce.

    Post # 15
    3057 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    @joya_aspera:  ITA other than I think it takes A LOT of work over a lifetime rather than a little extra effort! lol


    Post # 16
    2651 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Biologically and psychologically speaking, we are made to be monogamish. A very long time ago, probably before homo sapiens, our ancestors learned that there were big benefit to being paired off like sure access to mating for the men and extra food/resources/protection for the women and children. There were also definite reproductive benefits to cheating for both genders. Men could spread their genes more broadly, and women could realize a situation where they have the best provider as a partner but have their children sired by a more physically attractive/healthy father.

    That is our background and the legacy of our past as a species. Does that mean I think that should absolutely dictate how we act now? No. I think a couple should decide between themselves what works and act accordingly.  

    The topic ‘Monogamous vs. Monogamish’ is closed to new replies.

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