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

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