SEX DRIVE: Monogamy for Sale

Recently, on a late night/early morning in New York’s East Village, I was having a conversation about relationships and marriage with a guy friend of mine. When the subject of monogamy came up, my boy said that he doesn’t believe that someone can be faithful to the same person for the majority of his or her adult life. While I am sort of a cynic myself when it comes to monogamy—most of the prominent male figures in my life have been unfaithful to their women on multiple occasions—there’s still something within me that is so excited to find the one person that I get to have sex with for the rest of my life. I would love to check that off my life’s to do list, and somehow know that I don’t ever have to want again. Or at least if I want, I know who to get it from.
But my friend got me thinking, is monogamy for real? I mean the longest I’ve ever been with someone is two years. While I enjoyed what I shared with my bf, I can’t say that my eyes never wandered, especially when things got really bad and insecurity reigned in our relationship. Maybe it is a made-up, idealistic concept that makes us feel guilty for engaging in a natural activity. Well, Ashley Madison, a social networking site that connects married people who are seeking extramarital affairs, is banking on most of us agreeing with my friend. The Village Voice features an interview with AM’s CEO Noel Biderman, following the removal of a saucy Ashley Madison Billboard from NYC’s Times Square. The sign showed an open hotel room door with two adults canoodling inside and a sign on the door handle that read “Life is short, have an affair.”

Biderman would have us believe that the idea of monogamy is unnatural and is indeed dying out. He says, “Monogamy isn’t in people’s DNA.” That may (or may not) be, but if you sit and think about Ashley Madison for more than five minutes, you realize that the Website actually thrives on our belief in monogamy and that’s the sleazy part. It seems to me, that AM would like us to think that, in practice, monogamy is unattainable so in the words of Jay Z, “have an affair, act like an adult for once.” However, for it to be successful, AM also needs us to hold on tight to the ideal of monogamy. If you and your partner weren’t big on the whole monogamy thing, you wouldn’t need a Website that’s “big on privacy” to go fool around. All this does, is perpetuate feelings of guilt, self loathing and whatever else that comes along with cheating. It’s not pushing us toward a new sexual awakening. It’s exploiting the relationship between our desires and our existing ideal.

I just have one question for you ladies (and gentlemen)… Am I the only person who thinks that’s f**ked up?

image #1: Che Magazine
image #2: Village Voice

Last 5 posts by Bobbi

  • GakcityGuy

    Interesting topic.

    Let me preface this ramble by saying, I believe men and women can be in strong monogamous marriages without cheating, as I plan to be in [inset # of years here].

    In a perfect world, when we jump that broom and say “until death do us part” we would actually uphold the pledge before we made to each other. However it doesn’t always work out that way. Eyes first wander, and then the body usually soon follows.

    I think the variable that is rarely factored into the “can we be monogamous forever?” question is happiness. Can you be in a monogamous marriage……..and happy? I’d like to think that monogamy and happiness aren’t mutually exclusive, but for many people they are. For those whose happiness rests on more than their marriage, but their ability to live the life they want to live and be as free as a flower child, monogamy can be an issue. Thats not the case for everyone, but ask a group of guys why they aren’t ready to get married, and having sex with one person forever will not be the only reason you get. Reasons like “I don’t like to have to live by someone elses schedule” or “I still want to go out and have a good time without having to check in”. Point being, the sexual aspect is only portion of what the reasoning is behind why men might step out. Their happpines might be more tied to freedom than anything else.

    Is there a compromise? Of course. The best one I’ve seen was Cheryl from Curb Your Enthusiasm told her husband larry that on their 10 anniversary he could have sex with someone else 1 time. He didn’t actually go through with it, but he excited and appreciated the offer. He was happy that he had the option to wild out, even though he never acted on it, thus finding a way to keep his monogamous relationship happy and functional.

    Ok back to happiness. Happiness shouldn’t be assumed within a monogamous marriage. This AM site is preying on the fact that we would like to think we can be faithful and it sucks. The site is like the forbidden fruit in the garden of eden, there just to tempt yo weak ass. I think those that actually go to this site are already long passed working out their marriages and just openly cheating. This is low hanging fruit for people who were probably cheating anyway.

    I said all of that foolishness to say, lets all find ways to be happy within our monogamous relationships, and want to only have sex with that person. The minute we aren’t happy with our spouses is when the eyes start wandering, and from there its a slippery slope to creating a profile on that god-awful site.

  • I actually came across this site on a conservative political site. I didn’t think some one would really make a go of tempting married people into unfaithfulness. I guess you can.

    I have something to say that I hope will make people think about being faithful partners. #1 it is one of the best ways to protect your marriage. To be able to say to your husband (in my case) I have never been unfaithful…and to know that he hasn’t either. It is wonderful. This May we will celebrate our 29th anniversary. I have never kissed another man since my marriage. I have never gone to bed with another man except my husband. He cannot say the same, but he wishes he could, now. Our wedding night was our introduction to each other. Good sex isn’t about experience, it is about trust, commitment, and pleasing your spouse…

    I am not the odd one out, of our friends (and we have a lot) I would say that 99% have never been unfaithful and most have been married over 20 years.

    You see many times we come to marriage with wrong expections. When our expections aren’t met, we think moving on to a romance or just sex will satisfy. If it did, Hollywood would boast of some of the happiest folks around.

    My husband trusts me. That is like gold. It is precious and valuable. And I know that how we live out our marriage will have a great impact on our newly married daughter. Faithfulness or not is a legacy we leave our children. I hope that if any who read this are considering being unfaithful, don’t do it. It really isn’t worth it. Sincerely, Linda