A new study out of Oregon State University shows that 40% of straight couples in so called monogamous relationships have differing views on exactly what that entails – only one partner agreed to be sexually exclusive. Among heterosexual couples who did in fact agree to be in a sexually exclusive relationship, 30% admit that one or both partners had cheated.
Couples with children are more often unfaithful, and marriage serves as no protection at all against infidelity – married couples cheat just as often as couples who are dating.
“This lack of communication between heterosexual couples is leading to unintended risks of sexually transmitted diseases”, says Jocelyn Warren, one of the head researchers.
The insistence of monogamy, even in the face of it not at all working, reminds us of Dan Savage’s “Monogamy is ridiculous” video for Big Think. He may be on to something.
We should now be able to recognize the consequences of that, which are a lot of short-term relationships, a lot of divorce. Because monogamy is ridiculous and people aren’t any good at it. We’re not wired for it. We didn’t evolve to be. It’s unnatural and it places a tremendous strain on our marriages and our long-term commitments to expect them to be effortlessly monogamous. Because what we said is “If you’re in love you shouldn’t… you won’t want to have sex with anybody else and what we need to tell people is that if you’re in love you can make a monogamous commitment and you will refrain from having sex with other people, but you will still desperately want to fuck the shit out of other people.”
But people understand love means I don’t want to fuck other people because of these misconceptions pumped into people’s heads about romance, love and what it means. And so they meet somebody else that they’re attracted to and they’re attracted to this other person. They go “Well, I must not be in love with my partner anymore otherwise I wouldn’t be attracted to this person.” Or they feel threatened when their partners are attracted to other people because it makes them feel insecure and we just need to get passed that and we talk about monogamy the way we talk about virginity, that you’re monogamous until you fuck somebody else and they’re you’re not. You’ve ruined it. You popped your monogamy hymen and destroyed your monogamous relationship.
How many of you think monogamy isn’t a realistic goal in a relationship?