Story: First, this is not an endorsement of promiscuity, or even polyamory. It’s just a statement of fact. The more we understand what truly motivates and emotionally validates ourselves and each other, the better our relationships can be.
Men did not develop to be monogamous. It doesn’t matter how you feel about that, it’s a fact. That’s not to say that we can’t be monogamous, or that we can’t be happy being monogamous, but only that it goes against our every natural instinct.
We developed to be whores. But whores with a higher cause: for the sake of the species While women developed to ensure that offspring thrived, men developed to ensure that offspring were created at all, and that we created as many as possible. We have not evolved beyond this. These are facts of evolution, regardless of exceptions and regardless of how we all may or may not have been culturized by either tradition or modern mores. Every man wants lots of mates.
At every man’s core is the drive for variety. You can’t refute it. It’s a fact of Natural Selection. Sexual variety ensures a vast and diverse (and therefore healthy) gene pool. It’s why we walk around at any given time with millions of sperm, and can “reload” in as soon as a few minutes.
Note that how we ultimately behave in modern relationships is irrelevant. That we’ve learned to deny our instincts via experience and culture is irrelevant. The woman who, intellectually, has decided that having kids is not for her probably still hears the tick of her biological clock. And the man who gives up sexual variety for a “modern relationship” with the love of his life still feels its loss.
And so the point: while we are capable of committing to one woman, it’s not in our nature. Without variety, we inevitably get sexually bored. Witness almost any modern relationship that’s more than a year old. No matter how much a man loves a woman, he will suffer from sexual boredom eventually. Those one or two exceptions you can dig up don’t disprove the rule. Evolutionary biology is a fact. Men get bored, and this tends to be why men have affairs. The more women we have sex with the more validated we feel as men. When we participate in monogamy, we lose that validation (though we might find it worth it).
Disclaimer: I only covered male sexuality because being a man it’s all I can directly speak to. I’m aware that women have their own needs, their own issues, and suffer their own relationship sacrifices. If you feel so inclined to write a companion note from the female perspective, please enlighten us all.
Alrighty. This topic tends to be polarizing around here. I’m not sure if I agree anymore that men or women are “hard wired” to be one way or the other. That seems a little too simplistic and feels like a got to excuse to justify bad behavior.
What I really wonder is if this idea that men struggle with monogamy and have such a hard time with it is something that men say to other men in the hopes of preventing them from committing or settling down.I happen to think that monogamy is difficult for us as a species. Both men and women struggle with it. I don’t doubt that men struggle with it to a larger degree, but I do wonder how much of that is because off all the stories they hear from other men.
As I was saying to a friend today, there seems to be something about the topic of sex, commitment, and marriage that evokes a visceral and competitive reaction amongst men and women. Based on comments here, it feels like women either strive to prove that their man/past boyfriends were somehow different than all the others (thereby making the woman more special or assigning her a higher value than other women) or they just try and shame women into believing that they are nothing but receptacles that men discard if the sex happens “too soon.” There doesn’t seem to be any happy medium.
If a man commits, he’s “giving in.” A traitor of sorts. Other men will joke around with them. Take, for example, Chris Rock’s response to Howard Stern when Stern admitted he was marrying for the second time.
“You’re going back to Shawshank?” Rock asks incredulously.
Meanwhile, Rock is frequently praising his wife and their relationship.
Take, for example, when a man tells his friends that he and his girlfriend got engaged or have decided to move in together. It couldn’t possibly be that the man actually wanted to get married. It couldn’t be that he genuinely loves this woman. He must have been doing it because his girlfriend was pressuring him or nagging him in some way. There’s just no way he had his own biological clock ticking. But that’s probably one of the reasons he’ll offer – as a joke! – when being jabbed by his male friends. He’ll put it on the woman because that appears to be a justifiable reason.
If a woman has sex with a guy during the dreaded “too soon” time frame, he had to have been “pressuring her.” Or he’s labeled “not relationship material” or something else negative and that’s why she slept with him. The opposite sex frequently seems to be the fall guy for our decisions.That’s what we tell our friends. That and that we waited 4 dates to have sex a guy we really only waited 2. Those are the same women who like to imply that the guy somehow coerced them in to having sex or that it was his idea. Total bullshit. I have no doubt that in at least half of those scenarios, the woman initiated it. But she’s afraid to tell her friends that because she fears she’ll lose some imaginary power that only exists in her head.
It feels, to me, that some men and women feel a need to shame their peers in to behaving in a certain way so that they can continue to believe whatever it is they need to believe that makes them different aka “better.”
What is that about? What’s with all the shame?