A single, 40-year-old man argues that, despite its challenges, monogamy is worth fighting for. He explains, "many of the reasons are obvious—the comfort, having a good-guy reputation, the regular and maybe even condom-free sex—but there are some that might surprise you." He explains, "infidelity is a symptom, not a solution. Ultimately the impulse to cheat might help you get out of a bad relationship, but first you need to see if the relationship is worth trying to hold on to. Striving for monogamy helps you get the most out of a partnership by facing the challenges head-on (the only way that works)."
That cheating husband of yours actually may not be heeding the call of his "little brain" and instead heeding the call of his "big" one: Swedish scientists found that heterosexual men with two copies of a gene variant (called an allele) were twice as likely to report marital problems. Women married to men with one or two copies of the allele also reported being less satisfied in their marriages, especially in regards to the couple's intimacy and ability to connect. The Washington Post calls the study "the first time that science has shown a direct link between a man's genes and his aptitude for monogamy. "
Open relationships: sounds cool, right? You get the benefits of monogamy (security, stability, love) without the challenges (sexual fidelity). But openness (also known as polyamory or open marriage) isn't all it's cracked up to be, and being monogamous doesn't mean you're old fashioned. One writer tried both, and came to believe that, "openness is an orientation just like homosexuality -- and like our sexual orientations, some of us are wired to prefer monogamy, and there's nothing to be ashamed about."
Do you know what polyamory is? It's the idea of loving more than 1 person at a time. We meet a couple of polyamorists and learn about their relationship and the nature of open relationship. YourTango goes to the street and finds out what the deal is with polyamory.
"The jury is still out as to whether or not kids are good for marriages, period," says Kimberly Ford, mother of three, who writes about erotic dancing, Brazilian waxing, vibrators, communication, Private Time and how these all contribute to having a healthy sex life after having kids, in her book Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids. "At the end of a long day of chatting with moms at the park or going to a play group or going to Gymboree, or whatever my day had been full of—and lots and lots of conversation, very important conversation about how to get the baby to sleep through the night, or how to get your body back—I just feel like I need to be an adult," says Ford. "Frankly, sex is a very efficient way to feel like that."
If Bill was suggesting a sexual relationship with me, he was coy about it. The man I had interned for in college met me for coffee, ostensibly to talk advise a young sprout on her career. He's brilliant, attractive and a leader in his field. But when Bill began talking about how he sleeps with women other than his wife, I panicked at any hint of a subtext. What threw me off was when he told me that the wife knew about it. That was the first time someone I knew confessed to an "open marriage," and it challenged my notions -- illusions, perhaps -- about intimacy and fidelity. I'm as jealous as they come and I asked Bill if it bothered him that his wife slept with other men. But he said certainly not -- sleeping with numerous people actually made him a more confident person. And did their children know?
Jenny Block answers your questions about open marriage. I'm in an open marriage and my new book, Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage is hitting the shelves as we "speak." That's the short of it. You can read the full story right here on the Tango website. First, there's the piece called "Portrait of an Open Marriage" that was actually the inspiration for the book. And then there's the follow-up piece that I wrote two years later called "Portrait of an Open Marriage.
Is traditional marriage really on its last legs these days? Hell, I don't know. But I do know this: Ideas and suggestions for couples interested in an alternative to life-long monogamy seem to be all around us in the 21st century. I think that's a good thing, and I think it's an honest way to begin a life-long partnership.
As a modern working girl, I feared dependency on a man. I assumed my romantic affairs would verge on pathetic before the perfect match showed up to accept my neurotic tendencies. I'd also learned from my screen heroes, who all dated for sport, that I'd be searching until at least the next decade to find Mr. Big. Even after I'd met Zach I refused to turn into Charlotte. Her goody two-shoes ways and lack of career ambition aggravated me, but I was no longer Samantha with a different guy every night. And that was OK. Just like the women in the upcoming Sex and the City movie, who developed throughout the six seasons we watched them, I had to balance my love of independence with my need for monogamy.
woman looking in the mirrorBeauty is a curious thing. More accurately, the perception of beauty. While reading Violet Blue's most recent piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, I sympathized with her as she endured countless negative comments from readers—specifically those of a personal nature, such as her physical characteristics, rather than her writing or opinions. Our own contributors, like "Marriage Without Monogamy" writer Dan Eldridge, have experienced this mean-spirited jabbing, which seems so much easier when hidden behind a keyboard. Long story short, her column brought up a good point (from a burlesque dancer, no less) when it comes to beauty and judging such fragility...
Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, discusses the best ways to keep your monogamous relationship as spicy as you want it. Lust and commitment can go hand in hand. Here are some tips on how to make it happen. And Tango's favorite celebrity interviewer, Jesse Kornbluth, asks the questions.
We have been taught that the definition of cheating starts with a kiss, and that a physical tryst is the ultimate betrayal. But other non-physical behavior can be equally as harmful as a sexual affair. Monogamy is not just a having sex with only one person. Relationship rules help define what's OK and what's out of bounds. We can look to the French President Jacques Chirac for a few what to dos and what not to dos.