Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Are we meant to be monogamous?

Samantha: [to the girls] I think I have monogamy. I caught it from you people.
Carrie: Now it’s airborne.
- Sex and the City

Before I write anything, and before Harlot stones me to death because of what I’m about to detail, please keep in mind that my question is: were we created to be monogamous?—not, should we be monogamous?

As you know, I’m living in a dorm—god save me!—with the rest of my twenty-nine Latin classmates. There are sixteen girls and fourteen boys. Some of the guys are married (three have children) and left their families behind; more than half of the rest has (or had) a relationship back home. Now, what I want you guys to ask me is how many of them have been faithful to their significant others. Go on, ask me...

Well, I’ll tell you, seeing as I’m writing this and you aren’t here to ask LOL—almost none!!! In equal parts men and women here are shacking up with other people. I live in a fucking episode of Melrose Place. I can hardly keep up with who is shagging who, who snogged who in a bar last night, who slept with X but really likes Y and so on; exhausting to be honest.

Funny thing is, it seems almost normal and natural to everyone. I’ve talked to some of them about this and the comments are nearly always the same: “I love my wife/GF/BF but...”

For some, adultery is irresistible. The 1999 Durex Global Sex Survey that questioned 4200 people across 14 countries found young Thais were the most likely to have been unfaithful to a sexual partner (52%)—the figure possibly reflects the country’s large commercial sex industry.

The U.S., where they like to do everything bigger and better, came next (43%), followed by Greece and Czech Republic (both 38%), Singapore (37%), Germany (36%), France (34%), Italy (33%), Canada (32%) and the UK (31%). And who were the most faithful? The Mexicans—with a global low of 23% admitting to infidelity. The previous year, the survey found the global average for infidelity across all ages was 37%.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and the truth is, I dare anyone that’s been in a relationship to tell me they haven’t liked/lusted after someone else during that period.

Hence my dilemma. Are we predisposed physically to be polygamous? Do we come into the world psychologically built to be with more than one partner and society curves this desire for us by showing us the “proper” way?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 110% in favor of society’s monogamists ways. I was just wondering what God meant when he created lust and sin. Shouldn’t we be satisfied with the one we love? If so, why does our body/mind crave others while we’re already happily in love?

According to Professor Colin Groves, a professor of biological anthropology at ANU, the tendency to wander arises from a deep-seated search “to get better genes” and men and women are equally adulterous.

Groves illustrates the point with the example of birds. “In theory the female, like the male, would seek out the best partner with the best genes and it might not be the same individual as the partner with the best parenting skills. So that’s the idea: to get the best genes and come back and deposit the result of these excellent genes into the nest of the male that’s going to make the best parent. The same is true for primates.”



42 comment(s):

Anonymous Di said...

We might not be meant to be monogamous as you say, but can you imagine what the world would be like if we went around sleeping with anyone we pleased? I shudder to think of it.

Good post.

2/21/2007 09:04:00 AM  

Blogger Menchie said...

Hi Trollop,
Maybe I'm too much of a romantic but I like to think that people cheat because they aren't with THE ONE. Naive of me, I guess.

Also, it's one thing to like or lust after someone while you're with someone else, but another thing to act on it.

2/21/2007 09:12:00 AM  

Blogger Ricercar said...

according to evolutionary science, and psychology and sociology ... no, we are not :)

2/21/2007 10:19:00 AM  

Blogger Sparkling Cipher said...

I agree with Menchie. Cheating happens when the love and respect isn't strong enough. If you really, truly love your partner, the reluctance to betray that person would be stronger than the desire to fuck another.

2/21/2007 10:36:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I'm not the person to be asked about cheating, Trollop knows i loathe this subject. It's just, there is NO EXCUSE for cheating. If you want to be with another, break up with your partner and have wild monkey sex with the new dude. Don't tell me that's not an option because you luuuurve your partner. *snort* If you love him in the first place, why want to be with another?

There were points in my life when i was in love and did i lusted/liked another? All the time! LOL But at the end of the day, all i wanted was to cuddle with my man.

So, are we meant to be monogamous? I want to think yes. I need to, i mean, faithfulness is something i WANT in my relationship. Don't you? If no, well then, go in the dessert and start a harem for fuck's sake.

I think there are many reasons why we should be monogamous. First, there's a reason why we're given self-control and dogs, cows, and the other species didn't. Also, unlike animals, we have feelings, we have careers, etc, which will be affected if you're not monogamous.

What about diseases? Yes, yes, contraceptives blah blah but think about it, if you're sexually active with different partners, you have higher chances of getting diseases and that's a fact. Besides, protection doesn't always work and you can spread herpes by kissing. Uh-hmm.

No system is perfect. We lust for others. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins. Do you need other partner/s when you already have someone who fulfill you?

2/21/2007 11:36:00 AM  

Anonymous Lola Lovegood said...

yes, I think we're not conditioned as humans to be monogamous (sexually).

Physically we're animals our bodies lust for others even while we're in love with someone else. But reason stops us which is how it should be (that's why we have functional brains).

I think its good that we admit this weakness and not pretend it isn't so. I think if we embrace the truth we can fight harder against it. Like an alcoholic I suppose...

2/21/2007 11:47:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Are we meant to be monogamous? God, I hope so. I think to say that we are not meant to be monogamous is nothing more than to justify all sorts of cheating behavior. Besides, that contradicts the idea that love exists in relationships. Folks evolve and their feelings to their partner change all the time but we are not born to be one all or the other.

2/21/2007 11:56:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Oh yes, agree with all the "that's why we're given a brain" reason. :P

2/21/2007 11:58:00 AM  

Blogger Polly King said...

If people think that polygamy is better than monogamy, I don't see how is that possible. Opening up your relationship is not only damaging to the core, but it breeds mistrust, insecurity, manipulation and weaknesses.

I agree with Harlot, everyone is tempted once in a while and what what separates us from animals are our self control and our ability to think.

Some things are more important than our urges, more than just gratifying our every need. Love for one. Think about your partner, not just yourself (back to the "we're not animals" bit) and consider what's the best interest for you as a whole, not just scratching an itch because it feels good. If you're bored sexually with your partner, there are many ways to explore in order to keep the excitement alive. I think the BBs have a lot of articles about that. ;)

2/21/2007 01:00:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I agree with Polly. Some people open their relationship and that's fine if they're into that thing. It works for a while but having too many bodies in a relationship, having sex outside of it, that's far too complicated (like Polly said, it breeds mistrust, insecurity, manipulation, etc) and usually it's the downfall of many couples, and it's too late when they finally realize it. And as we all know, trust when broken, it's hard to mend/get back.

2/21/2007 01:12:00 PM  

Blogger Polly King said...

Exactly. I have some friends who tried that lifestyle but sadly they all failed.

2/21/2007 01:20:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Re: Some people open their relationship...

I'm sorry, but to me that's just weird :S I don't think I would ever put up with that.

Cheat all you want just keep it to yourself LOL Don't you think you're bringing a dirty hussy into our bed and expect me to rejoyce/participate!!!

2/21/2007 01:21:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I KNOW!!! I really CANNOT stand cheating, oh god.. so for me to actually CONSENT on something like that??? Fuck off, NO FUCKING WAY. I'm a very very selfish girl.. :S There's no way i can share my man. That'll break my heart and as dirty as it is, it's the only one i fucking have, ya know?!

2/21/2007 01:34:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bf and I have an incredible relationship. Does that mean we should seclude ourselves, draw some imaginary line between us and the rest of the world when it comes to interacting sexually? If you have a completely open relationship and you share everything with your partner, that's great. Harlot, you say sex outside is complicated, that it inevitably leads to problems, what problems? Mistrust? Jealousy? If those are the issues, they're going to be an issue whether you're in a monogamous relationship or not.


2/21/2007 01:56:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Blondie, i don't think anyone (whether she's in a relationship or not) should restrict herself from interacting with others. I flirt all the time, after all i'm not dead. Besides flirting is only bad when i don't have the right shoes on. ;P

I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your bf but if that works for you, that's fantastic. But for me, when my relationship with my man is working, i never feel mistrust or those huge jealousy that eats you up. I don't wonder at night thinking if i'm secure in my man's life because i already know i am. Instead i feel confident, hope and there are no doubts that i'll be happy with him. :)

2/21/2007 02:25:00 PM  

Anonymous Lola Lovegood said...

I respect you girls too much to say what I really believe about swinging here.

If you want to sleep around that's your business, but doesn't it make more sense to stay single while you enjoy that lifestyle? IMO that would be preferable to cheating and much much much less sick than swinging.

Just my two cents.

2/21/2007 02:46:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

Nowadays few couples stay together for more than a couple of months or some years. Does that mean man isn't meant to be monogamous?

I think it all depends on the person. Cheating is natural for those who can't be stable. I think if a person is interested in having extramarital affair that's probably because of a lot of discontent with his relationship.

2/21/2007 03:13:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you might be in a relationship, but still you would want to try everything else out there.

2/21/2007 03:44:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

I agree with Anonymous. I would want to try everything else too, LOL.

I don't like the idea of cheating but I don't think people are meant to mate for life. There are too many temptations around us. Still, if you love someone, you wouldn't want to hurt him or her and you'll try everything to make sure you'll be able to keep him/her in your life.

2/21/2007 05:05:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Some animals mate for life but none of them live 80 plus years like we do. So are we really meant to be monogamous for life? I think in reality the answer would be no. Still, there are marriages that last a lifetime and they can't be build in lies, discontent or cheating.

2/21/2007 05:18:00 PM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

Try to live in my dorm Trollop. If you're 'lucky', you'll end up in an orgy. akkkk

2/21/2007 05:33:00 PM  

Anonymous George said...

If our society is a little more open to alternatives, instances of cheating would drop dramatically. People would be able to explore their sexuality without having to hide themselves.

2/21/2007 06:32:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...


Re: Orgy

God knows if those go on here too! I double bolt my door at night just in case LOL

Re: Swinging

I swear, when I wrote this post the idea of "swinging" never crossed my mind.

I fail to see how wife/husband swapping helps any relationship. I don't think I would ever participate in anything like that, but that's just me.

Whatever rocks your boat I always say. *g*

2/21/2007 07:20:00 PM  

Blogger kinky courtesan said...

As a former biology major I know this subject like the back of my hand. Males are genetically predisposed to cheat. Sorry guys. All species of males want their genes passed on. The best way to do this is by screwing as many females as possible. The best possible scenario, all babies are yours and your genes get passed on. Women on the other hand will have their genes passed on unless they have no children. They want the "fittest" mate possible. This doesn't just mean physically. Any genes that will help the male survive are desirable. (beak size in Galapagos finches). I think now adays its just acceptable for cheating to occur. Maybe in their search for equality, women got the bad shit too. That is my answer for this.... sorry about the dorms.... I don't even live in a dorm anymore hahahah.... I got my first apartment 2 months after I turned 18.... never left... haha

2/21/2007 07:46:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, random guy who happened upon your site and is slightly hooked - bit of a guilty pleasure. Must admit.

Great post! It's a question that kills me as a white guy in Japan who is about to get married to the love of his life.

It's easy as hell to justify. Especially with stats, right? If everyone else is doing it... but then look at the obesity stats in the US? Just cause everyone's getting fat ... (and they aren't - cause there's certainly very little of the fat disease in the land of the rising sun, though PLENTY of fucking on the side).


2/21/2007 07:53:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to argue that's it's natural isn't totally logical since many would say it's in our nature to kill, to rape, to steal. If nothing else the one thing that seperates us from the monkeys is that we can hold back (less hair, too). Why you'd want to not hold back is a question you have to ask yourself?

BUT, my point is not all men cheat.


2/21/2007 07:58:00 PM  

Anonymous Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I think it's about will power.

If you truly loved the person you are with, you would not cheat. However, I'm not saying you won't feel lust or a childish crush for someone; emotions are unpredictable and uncontrollable but as human, we have control over our actions.

To me it's like ice cream. I love ice cream but I also love being alive so, therefore, I don't eat 50 gallons of ice cream everyday and I don't die of diabetes/heart problems/being a fat ass. Self control.

Is it worth small amounts of pleasure to live on ice cream or stay healthy and find many other pleasures with the longer healthier life?

Same thing with your partner. Sure, you could have a few hours doing the nasty with someone else a get a quick cheap thrill but, wouldn't you gain more happiness of years with your partner?

Man, doesn't ice cream sound good right now?

2/21/2007 10:32:00 PM  

Blogger ALE said...

I haven't read all the other posts yet but I think when you're in a committed relationship and you then are attracted to or have feelings for another person it can be a case of the

"You always want what you can't have".

2/21/2007 11:31:00 PM  

Blogger Shoshana said...

I believe that for most people, they do not set out to cheat. They cheat because they could and because it's exciting. Come what may! Nothing past the moment.

My personal opinion is, I am boring. Of course I can feel my heart racing when I see a hot guy looking at me. However, my legs stays close and my panties on [as Izzie of Grey's Anatomy said], because I do not think I deserve that much punishment.

If I have the need to shag another man, I'll try a new BOB first, if that doesn't work, I'll just have to tell hubby so he can fix it.

In general, I think we're made to be what our "will" strenth is. Some people are just so damn stubborn to cheat. So, it's all about choice and will.

When some fuck tells you they do not have a choice, then ask them if there wasn't a choice involve every step of the way...from the moment they exchange words, to the moment they start taking their's all about choice.

So, do you choose to be monogamous in a sexual relationship, or do you choose NOT to be.

It's all up to the person. With the exception of rape, to CHEAT or NOT to Cheat is all about choice.

2/22/2007 03:11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not cheating if everyone agrees.

Why not just do that?

Realize that one person cannot fulfill you. Put away the shame. Pursue relationships.


2/22/2007 02:04:00 PM  

Anonymous Dreamer said...

I've never actually been in a serious relationship, so I guess I don't really know what I'm talking about here, but in my opinion, cheating is wrong. It might be in human nature to cheat: after all, stealing and killing are also part of our nature, but I believe we are able to be monogamous, just as we are able to decide not to steal and not to kill. No, scratch that, I have proof that it is possible: both my sets of grandparents were together for more than fifty years, and my parents have been married for 26 years. They're still crazy about each other. I also have uncles and aunts who are still together after years and years with each other. And most of all, I know that I would never cheat on a boyfriend or have him believe for a second that it would be okay to cheat. It's called commitment. Yes, it's human to feel lust, even for people other than your partner but as humans, we also have the choice not to act on it.

I believe part of the problem is today's society. Cheating has become almost acceptable. Fifty years ago, it happened, but few people condoned it. It's ironic really: the civilization and society that make it truly possible for us to be monogomous (we don't have to think about who's going to be the best mate in terms of taking care of us, having the healthiest babies and so on), is also one of the reasons why cheating has become so common.

2/22/2007 06:10:00 PM  

Blogger said...

Fifty years ago, it happened, but few people condoned it.

Did they really? For men at least? I think mistresses have been rather acceptable for some time... though I don't think there's a female equivalent.

I'm not for cheating or open relationships, but I think it has been around for centuries, even if it went by a different name.

Otoh, my fictional harem is quite extensive, and growing. :p

2/22/2007 07:02:00 PM  

Blogger kinky courtesan said...

don't get me wrong, i'm not for cheating in anyway.... But the biological truth is that it is our nature. Stealing isn't our nature unless it is to survive. Stealing when you have nothing and can't get anything is nature. Everything else is crap. Murders on the other hand are in no way nature.... look at animals, they fight only when they are threatened.... our nature is the exact same thing... we have evolved, yes, but deep down it is still there. There is also the nuture part. If you are raised to think that cheating, stealing, and murder is fine, then doing it won't be a big deal to you. I think people need to remember their psycology classes and the nature vs. nurture lecture.

2/22/2007 09:12:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

Has cheating ever been acceptable?

"Otoh, my fictional harem is quite extensive, and growing. :p" Otoh? LOL

I agree with Kinky, cheating is human nature. Man is self-satisfying but if we give in to all our urges and needs, we'll be setting ourselves to self-destruction.

2/22/2007 10:50:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Cheating has never been acceptable. It's true about mistresses but they were not flaunted. They were always hidden, talked about in whispers.

I think this is the reason why we now have things like "swinging", some people are trying to make cheating acceptable, even in disgusting ways. (Yes I do find swinging disgusting.) But then again, if your partner gives you consent, is that still considered cheating?

2/22/2007 11:38:00 PM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

Jolie, swinging is disgusting! To each their own but I'd never do that.

2/23/2007 01:42:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Swinging? "Oh my dear hubby, fuck me oh fuck me and then share me with all your friends. Or you can just watch if you like. :D"

Er.. :/

2/23/2007 02:34:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Have you guys heard of the word polyamorous?

2/23/2007 12:00:00 PM  

Blogger said...

Yep. Dean. Sam. Mal. Simon. Wes. :p

What's swinging? Or do I not want to know?

(OTOH = on the other hand, in case that was a question from upthread)

2/23/2007 02:13:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Yep. Dean. Sam. Mal. Simon. Wes. :p

Dance, are those all your boyfriends? lol

Swinging is a sick lifestyle of exchanging partners for sex, wife swapping. It is disgusting.

2/24/2007 01:14:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that over-indulgence in this area leads to STDs of a horrendous nature (including Aids) is proof enough that it is not an acceptable or natural lifestyle. It really is just self-indulgence and means you don't have to try to make your existing relationship work. Sheer bloody laziness in most cases. If you can't be bothered to make an effort to work at your relationship, why should your partner? You get back what you put into it and if that is nil, then expect that back in return.

2/24/2007 06:39:00 PM  

Anonymous Luci said...

I hate cheating just for the sake of cheating. Cheating and saying you still love your wife/girlfriend is bullshit.

If you cheat you are not in love with your partner.

That is my very humble opinion.

2/27/2007 03:09:00 PM