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Do we overzealously push monoamorousness?

  1. Feb 7, 2004 #1
    In this society, monoamorous relationships are what pretty much everybody expects/demands. When someone's partner has sexual relations with someone else, it is considered "cheating", and it is taboo. If you ask your partner if you can have a polyamorous relationship, you are liable to be slapped or dismissed. Monoamorous relationships are the social norm, and deviation from that is usually thought to be bad and immoral.

    However, humans have a strong sexual desire and desire variety. Perhaps it is just looking for trouble when people try to force each other into monoamorous relationships. Perhaps we should re-evaluate whether monoamorous relationships have to be the norm and whether we should make people feel that it is necessary that a relationship be such. Perhaps society should not create this overwhelming pressure to be monoamorous and let people decide how their relationships are formed (monoamorously or polyamorously) without this prime directive of monoamoursness.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2004 #2
    I agree Dan, given all the interesting people in this world why should I limit myself to one person for the rest of my life and possibly eternity? Because so many others do and it seems to work well for them? That's why I say(at least that's what I say), I'll not get married, but then it works really well for others I'm for free sex with whoever as long as it's safe sex, the reasoning for the social norm is likely that rampant sex kills which it does, that's what I told a girlfriend once, if she wants to have sex with other people then go ahead but so I get to as long as it's safe and we are honest about it, the hardest part seems to be doing it with safety first. What is that old saying that everyone knows everyone by 3 people, what if everyone had unprotected sex with 3 random people over the course of a week? That might pretty much do in humanity so it's a good thing we don't all do that.
     
  4. Feb 9, 2004 #3
    please, please, please

    will someone post a very good, logical and convincing argument for this.

    i have been trying to talk my wife into this for 24 years and have yet to come up with a rock solid argument.

    peace,
     
  5. Feb 9, 2004 #4

    hypnagogue

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    You seem to assume that 'monoamorous' relationships are entirely enforced by cultural pressure. Could it not be that there are reasons for desiring such a relationship as natural and emotional as the reasons for desiring multiple partners? If so, who is to say which natural emotional response is to be priveleged?

    A standard ethical approach would be to weigh the consequences of accepting one over the other. Imagine we have a man and a woman in a relationship, and the man wants multiple partners while the woman wants an exclusive relationship. Who is more emotionally scarred by accepting the other's desires, the man or the woman? I think it is obviously the woman. If the woman's pain is a natural response that would have existed regardless of cultural context, and thus cannot be easily 'conditioned away,' then I think it is clear that the 'monoamorous' relationship is the superior ethical choice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2004
  6. Feb 9, 2004 #5
    My method of convincing my wife would be to find a male stripper you can't trust and introduce your wife to him, if you can accept that then she will reciprocate and eventually barriers will fall down, but then the problem is can such acceptance and understanding be reached by 2 people who have been together a long time so suddenly? Almost certainly not, and would likely end the marriage so one should work up to such new things slowly and carefully. The reasons this work are irrelevant compared to trying it, but basically if she's one who can't handly you even looking at porn then it's going to take some time to work up to it. One of the basic principles in life is if you want this from someone you often have to give it first, but knowing it and doing it are very different things.
     
  7. Feb 11, 2004 #6
    I'm not by any means saying that being monoamorous is the wrong way to go. I'm just think that it often tends to be such a presumption that it can hinder the quality of people's lives. I am asking everyone's thoughts on whether we push monoamorousness to heavily.

    I am not saying that culture is the entire reason behind any particular monoamorous relationship, although I think that it is usually at least a very large factor. If a monoamorous relationship is what someone really wants, then that's fine for that person. I'm just hinting that society should probably leave that up to individuals without the stigmas attached to polyamorousness.
     
  8. Feb 11, 2004 #7
    This can be described with no other word than: SICK.

    I would not accept this because I would be jealous as hell over knowing that my husband got hot and heavy with another woman or women, feeling lust and being horny on another woman. How humiliating isn't that? Ever thought of that you suckers?!

    If my husband, I have none, tried to convince me of this polyamorousness I would tell him to go to hell and throw him out or move far away from him. What a disgrace!, and what a disrespectful, weak, easy whore he would have been!

    This "theory" or whatever you call it, is a downright sign of the demoralising state of Man.

    Go hang yourselves, bloody perverts!
     
  9. Feb 11, 2004 #8

    chroot

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    Another victim of her own culture...

    I think the reason why this is a subject for debate in the first place is the fact that people have two disparate instincts:

    1) On the one hand, we seem biologically driven to form pair bonds for at least the time it takes to make a baby and take care of it until it can walk around and find its own food.

    2) On the other hand, we seem biologically driven to seek out additional sexual partners after a relationship has matured.

    If you look at the way pheremones and hormones operate in the body (and in many other mammals like voles, in which direct chemical studies have been performed), there is a period of "puppy love" in which hormones essentially force us together. That grade-school feeling of not being able to live without someone else's touch is an example of one hormone, vasopressin, at work. It provides an emotional reward for being around that person, and particularly for having sexual relations with him/her.

    There are many studies on the effects of this hormone on social/sexual activity. Here's one to start with:

    http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_REPORT/erarchive/1999/September/erseptember.7/9_7_99voles.html

    After a period of time, the pheremones that provoke the pair-bonding instinct lose their effectiveness, and we naturally get "bored" of our lovers, no matter how pefect for us they may be. Sure, as intelligent, rational animals, we are able to overcome that boredom and replace it with comfort, trust, companionship, and stability -- the hallmarks of a good marriage -- but the initial lustful spark always disappears.

    So, it's well established that pair-bonding is hormone-driven, and both the desire to stay with one mate and the desire to find another mate are biological (not cultural) in nature.

    As far as sharing one's partner -- well, some people are simply more jealous than others. Some people are jealous when a friend buys a nice new sweater on sale. Some people are jealous when someone picks up a quarter off the ground. These sort of people would probably never be able to enjoy the so-called "swing" lifestyle.

    Some people, however, see the gift of a new experience as the greatest gift you can give someone you love. Some people feel that relationships should open doors to new experiences, not close them. Some people find sharing new sexual encounters with their spouses to be deeply satisfying. These people should are not "bloody perverts" who should be hanged -- they're simply people who understand that there are many different kinds of sexual experiences, and a sexual experience in itself is not a dirty or illicit act. I don't like being cheated on, but if my partner were to be honest about her intentions, I probably would not be averse to helping her experience new things. Sex does not kill relationships -- lies do.

    I also subscribe to the philosophy that absolute trust demands absolute freedom. There's no way you can trust your partner completely (nay, you can't even know your partner completely) if you're making rules for him/her. To make a rough analogy, consider the relationship that develops between an inmate and a prison warden. The two can establish what could honestly be called a friendship -- the warden may develop a significant amount of trust for the inmate. The inmate, however, is not really free, and thus the warden's trust is not really legitimate. The second the inmate has the chance to escape, he will betray all of the trust he has developed with the warden, and will try to escape.

    The same scenario happens in relationships all the time.

    Some people choose to attack the biological/hornomal dilemma by seeking out new sexual experiences as a couple. From what I have seen, the couples who choose to do this are deeply in love, very strongly bonded, and very happy. They share everything -- even those deep, dark secrets that everyone has, but wishes they didn't. They probably know each other better than any "normal" couple could. If these people are happy, so be it. Put down your noose and let the bloody perverts be happy.

    - Warren
     
  10. Feb 11, 2004 #9

    selfAdjoint

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    Hogamus higamis, men are polygymous
    Higamus hogamus, women monogamous.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2004 #10

    chroot

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    That was the most forced rhyme I've ever encountered. :smile:

    - Warren
     
  12. Feb 11, 2004 #11

    Tsu

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    The HECK you say!! Don't you ever watch TV - especially those true-to-life SOAP OPERAS? Or movies?

    Actually, I've known several polygamous women. They just couldn't decide which one they loved more... :wink:

    That's not for me, though. I'm a ONE-man woman.
     
  13. Feb 12, 2004 #12
    No society on earth other than the ancient world has condoned adultery. The reasons for this are obvious as if god intended us to have many partners he would have made men and women in unequal proportions. The contradiction of this is of coruse that men and women are tempted by adultery, the explanation for this being that they are sins created to test our soul self.

    Though we are naturally monogamous, it seems that the idea of a marriage for sex, a marriage for children and a marriage for retirement is becomming less and less taboo. Frankly I hope that people who wish to sleep with many partners eventually make a decision to settle down and raise a stable family. As it would be unreasonable to not experience raising a family.
     
  14. Feb 12, 2004 #13

    selfAdjoint

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    It's not mine, it came from one of the old time New Yorker smart alecks. Dorothy Parker?
     
  15. Feb 12, 2004 #14

    selfAdjoint

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    No society on earth other than the ancient world has condoned adultery.

    Depends on what you mean by condoned. See tsunami's post. And in real life, nods and winks. There is no law against it in most places, and the old custom in the south, that a cuckold has the right to slay his cuckolder, is currently out of favor.
     
  16. Feb 12, 2004 #15
    Read my post!

    Would you not be jealous if your woman slept with another man, one whom she fancied, felt sexually attracted to, made passionate love to and so on?

    You would want to live with that? And get on untouched? Well, then there is something wrong! But of course that is impossible for anyone here to believe now that we live in a liberal world where everything is acceptable. "Hey it's 2004!" "Excuse me! this is the 21 century!" and so on...

    The next step would be to legalise rape of babies.. I'm waiting for it..
     
  17. Feb 12, 2004 #16

    hypnagogue

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    There's nothing wrong with polyamorousness in a relationship if both parties accept it. However, this indicates a difference in the type of bond that exists between such people and the type of bond that exists between a couple in a monoamorous relationship. Whether this difference is best characterized by a negative trait such as jealousy or whether it is best characterized as a positive indication of a stronger/deeper/"better" pair bond is an open question, and probably varies depending on the personalities involved.

    For my own part, I think writing it off entirely to jealousy is a poor generalization. I believe that if both parties wish for a monoamorous relationship, it is in fact often (though not always) primarily indicative of a stronger emotional connection between the two than would exist if they wished to be polyamorous. Can that emotional bond possibly be as strong if both parties want a polyamorous relationship? I'm not saying it can't, but I doubt it.
     
  18. Feb 12, 2004 #17

    chroot

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    I read it.
    I actually think it'd be fun to watch. Keep in mind she wouldn't be doing such things as an individual, they'd be experiences we'd share.
    Certainly if she had sex with another man and then stopped touching me I'd have a problem, yes.
    Live your life the way you want to, but don't attempt to force your views on other people. It'll just make you unhappy.
    I have no idea why you think a couple exporing their sexuality in an open, honest manner has anything to do with raping babies. If those are the kind of leaps of logic you commonly make, I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with you in real life. You're irrational.

    - Warren
     
  19. Feb 12, 2004 #18
    Thallium, please calm down. There's no need for screaming. We're just trying to have a discussion here. I know that the second you hear of such things of polyamorousness, you have a "gut instinct" revulsion. But, if you want to be honest with yourself, you will slow down and actually consider the arguments and then decide yay or nay (or not decide) in a calm manner.

    Please, there's no reason for insults. It seems that such a relationship is obviously not for you, but I don't see why you have to consider it immoral and wrong from everybody. Some people don't feel that jealousy, or at least not in your intensity. Also, jealousy alone isn't a very good argument, because if jealousy is acceptable for one to consider something immoral, then it must be immoral for someone to have anything that someone else doesn't have. Obviously, this is absurd.

    What exactly is the problem with it. You say that it's so bad, but neglect to say why.
    ----------------------------------
    Well, firstly, this argument holds no ground with a non-theistic person. Secondly, that argument assumes that it would only be one sex that gets to be polyamorous. If both sexes are to be equal, then there wouldn't be a disproportionate number, because a) if the disproportion helped one sex, it would hinder the other, and b) by allowing both sexes to be polyamorousness, the problem (that you appear to be talking about) of some people being without partners would not occur.

    Also, the ratio or women to men in the world is greater than 1.

    The contradiction of this is of coruse that men and women are tempted by adultery, the explanation for this being that they are sins created to test our soul self.

    Why is that? Is there some mandate that everyone must live one's life by some formula?
     
  20. Feb 12, 2004 #19

    Hurkyl

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    It would be nice if either side could make an argument that doesn't essentially start with the assumtion that their side is right.
     
  21. Feb 12, 2004 #20

    Evo

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    What do you consider adultery? Is polygamy adultery to you? Polygamy currently does exist.

    I saw a documentary on National Geographic that was really interesting. There is a tribe in the Amazon where the women have multiple husbands. I thought that was a neat idea. :wink: There is another tribe that has an annual celebration where woman (married or single) are encouraged to have as many sexual partners as they want for that one (day or days, can't remember).

    Are you implying that there are an equal number of men and women?

    I don't think humans are "naturally" monagomous, rather the opposite is probably true, however we are raised to believe (in most current societies) that monogomy is the "proper" thing.

    I think the decision to be monogamous or not should be left to the parties involved.

    Personally, if I am "in love" with someone, I am completely monagomous, I can't imagine being with anyone else, but that's just me.
     
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