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Is Monogamy Natural or an Economical Construct?

Have you watched the drama series SEX/LIFE on Netflix?! 

Living the suburban life with the perfect husband and two adoring children in a beautiful dream home, a woman runs into the bad-boy ex she can’t stop fantasizing about in this steamy drama.

The premise of the show questions everything we think we know about what marriage and monogamy should look like, but could there be some insight here into our own theories about the subject?

The main character is a psych professor at NYU and believes that the Disney fairytale version of Happily Ever After does exist and that monogamy should be pursued in marriage. But her mentor argues that monogamy is not natural and all humans struggle with the commitment of having sex with only one person forever.

We’ve got a lot to unpack Luvs!

Let’s dive in…

What if I told you that both things are true?!

Anthropologists say that our species is innately socially monogamous forming a primary partnership with another, one at a time, but from a pure evolutionary perspective it doesn’t make sense. The primary relationship suggests marriage, a societal construct bonding finances and producing offspring for satisfaction of sexual gratification, status and companionship. The anatomy, however, suggests a multitude of sperm meant to be spread among multiple partners producing a wide range of genetic varieties.

Throughout history it wasn’t uncommon that men would take a wife but with the expectation that they also have a mistress or concubine (polygamy). In early European cultures it was even aspirational to be the Royal Mistress. The Catholic church didn’t like the idea and criminalized extramarital sex through the Justinian Code.

How did we get to the Disney Version of LOVE, if marriage does NOT equate to monogamy?!

Theories suggest that the influence of money and titles passed

down through lines of legacy ensuring a “pure bloodline” to stabilize a society, or the idea of co-parenting being another factor, or even the simple question of “are there enough mates to go around”.

Or could it be that monogamy is romantically appealing and makes us feel good about having someone to share our lives with?

I prefer the Disney idea of spending a lifetime with a man that sweeps me off my feet but can’t help but to wonder if monogamy will sustain us through eternity, or at least until death parts us.

In the drama series SEX/LIFE, the main character wonders the same as she tries to fight her conflicting desires to stay faithful to her husband or indulge in a sexual relationship with her ex-boyfriend.

We see this conflict all the time, don’t we?

The show Sister Wives, or couples who become a Thruple, or the illicit one-night Threesome, or even the swinger parties that you hear about where couples switch partners with other couples (granted all parties agree).

Throughout the show her husband tries to be adventurous sexually to quench his wife’s thirst for exciting and rough sex. But his efforts aren’t successful. He even enlists the advice of a close friend and takes her to a swinger house party, but again he fails.

They leave the party deciding that what’s important is being together and living in the beautiful life that they had built.

In the end of season one, they both still find themselves knocking at the door of another.

I was married to a man with an insatiable sexual appetite. When we had sex, it was as erotic as a Fifty Shades of Grey book (minus the whole submissive part). He knew just how to please me and taught me exactly how to please him. But I was never enough. He needed more.

At first, I didn’t catch the wandering eyes and subtle flirtations with other women.

The way he would touch the dancer at the strip club, gliding his fingers over her nipples as if an accident to adjust himself or something. Taking me home to fuck me like he really wanted it to be her. Then it was the threesome with the girl he had magically found out of nowhere. When we would attend swingers’ clubs, I couldn’t bring myself to switch with another couple. The dissatisfaction in his eyes would always make me feel so unaccepted because it was never about our needs.

Eventually, he started having affairs when he was out of town on business trips.

What’s so weird to me though, I was never as upset about the sex with the other women as much as it pissed me off that he did it behind my back. The lying is what broke my trust.

It’s in this revelation that I can see how monogamy doesn’t equate to marriage. In my marriage I wanted to know that we were solid. That no matter how the landscape of the view changed, we would explore it together.

I have found that there is much more sexually that I’m open to at least a conversation about and try with a partner that I trust completely. Trusting that my partner’s interest is to satisfy both mine & his pleasure by adding another partner because we both agree, would be quite the discussion, I must admit. But communicating our needs instead of cheating is what partnership should be, right?

In life, things are rarely what they appear to be. To box yourself and your partner into rules that are meant to control instead of giving options, seems so Last Century… But is it?

What if the rules for Marriage & Monogamy were optional? Would you still choose to remain in the same construct of societal boundaries, or would you choose to set the boundaries?

 

Check out my official blog at www.baeinreallife.com.

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