Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sexual Pleasures of Monogamy

I have always maintained, and do still, that in our westernized cultures we are for the most part rather prudish about sex. We giggle like school boys at the most banal dirty jokes and we are still socked by swear words. For the most part, our pornography is repetitive and dull and fulfils only a teenage male’s sexual fantasy.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in our attitudes to monogamy.

Monogamy is seen to be this giant rapidly rising chastity belt that means your wife owns you and you will never have sex again as long as you live.

This theory conveniently forgets of course that men were the ones to come up with monogamy, and are still the ones who need it the most – that is in order to be sure of their offspring’s DNA. 

Which brings me to another aspect of this prudishness – the desire for sex to be only about procreation. This is an across the board prudishness. Both the religious and the biological determinist (usually arch enemies) are deeply contented bed fellows on this topic. (I make no apology for the pun) They roll around all over each other with such abandon that you can’t tell where one starts and the other finishes. Both stand somewhere on the time line that has sex only ever for procreation on one end and sex is ok, as long as it is primarily used for procreation on the other. 

Even so, both these “disciplines” expect that even if you have sex, that you acknowledge that it really is meant to be for making a baby. Another aspect of this belief that these two schools of thought share is that sex does not need intimacy and that monogamy is some sort of punishment that will ensure you never have to enjoy sex again.

All of this, thank fully is complete nonsense. Couples have been enjoying their sex lives for many thousands of years. I know, in my immediate acquaintance now, of two couples who have been married for over twenty years where the wife still confesses to me that she worries that the physical is the primary drive in their relationship and suspects this may not be healthy.

My answer to each of my friends is always the same.  How wonderful.

There is always talk that states we all need to be “aware” that most couples will have to deal with infidelity at some point, either together or alone, but this is based on statistics where people volunteer information about their sexual habits. Any psychiatrist will tell you that people lie more about sex and money and that it adds to the self esteem (lord knows why) of the individual if they can establish themselves as having cheated on their spouse at some point.  I’m fairly convinced people cheat out of boredom – not with the marriage, but with their day job, their life, and their age – that sort of thing. I think it has more to do with immaturity and a lack of emotional development than any kind of biological or “natural” need.

The reasons I think this, is because sex with someone who knows you really well is just so infinitely superior to sex with people who don’t know you. If you are addicted to porn, or need the school boy thrill of seeing your first pair of naked breasts then yes, you will need the stimulation of something new to distract you. But if you are at all familiar with the deep pleasures of your erogenous zones, you will know that your lovers tongue on your ear lobe, delicately pushing around inside your ear and then whispering what they wish they could do to you, will send you wilder than any across the room flirt with a woman who you think is hot purely because you know nothing about how much she hates her mother or how old her children are.  

Over time and experimentation and the changes in the body, your long time lover can provide you with pleasures no instant gratification type can offer.

So I say the sooner we get honest about monogamy the better. Basically there is a reason everyone in the world wants it so much.

Because it’s wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. I see merit in what your saying but I don't draw the same conclusions. Btw there is some endearing quality I've found in your writing, I've been commenting on your articles for a couple of hours LOL these topics are interesting. But anyways whatev's, you raise a great point that monogamy benefits males with certainty of paternity. Females also benefit with certainty that they will have a partner to raise their mutual offspring. Males bring to the table of mutual parenthood their resources, male paternal guidance for their children, and physical protection among other things. Women bring to the paternal partnership maternal support for their children, a unique motherly influence, and a lot more.

    Here's the thing though, non monogamy bring a lot to BOTH sides too. Males can create more offspring and females and ensure genetic diversity for their offspring. Even so, I'm a devout christian and have an ideological belief in marriage to raise children, which equates to monogamy in general. I agree with your conclusion that monogamy is the way to go, but intamacy isn't nearly as erotic to males as it may seem. Moreso it equates to an archtype or even a fetish not unlike "the childhood friend" or "the loving wife" just a flavor of the psyche, where the emphasis is always the sexuality of the woman the guy is engaging sexually - not their "relationship" to one another. When I was an adolescent pondering the ethical ramifications of this sort of superficial sexuality (which is also true for me, even though I am aware of this) I was mortified by my instincts and nature. But after a couple years of contemplation, I came to the realization that the differences in the male and female psyches are largely a function of brainchemistry and are actually desirable, compatable differences that are conducive to creating two different parents who together can give their children a more unique childhood with their specialized parenting. But that's neither here nor there, all I have to say is we were born this way and after thinking it all over, I am grateful God made us with such nifty and useful difference in the grand scheme of things. Thanks for writing such a thought provoking article peace.