If monogamy is unnatural...

  • JimJim

    Posts: 58

    Jul 21, 2010 11:22 PM GMT
    So there's been a trend in viewpoint amongst sexologists and other "experts" that humans are not naturally monogamous and that monogamy is a social construct. I can accept this as truth, however, it leaves the question then as to why then are humans so possessive of their partners? I mean, being cheated on can be one of the most emotionally painful things one can experience and I believe it's much more than simply the other partner broke a promise/commitment. People break promises all the time but none of them hurt quite as much as cheating does. Is this just one of the quirks of mankind, to want to be sexually free but to simultaneously feel crushed if a loved partner were to stray? Or is the pain one feels when cheated on simply a social construct as well? Are we conditioned by society to feel pain because of certain events or are there just some things that are innately painful for humans to experience?
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    Jul 21, 2010 11:38 PM GMT
    We're conditioned by society to feel pain over certain events.

    Monogamy can be a wonderful thing for some people.
    For others, it's something they would never even consider getting involved in.

    Neither viewpoint is incorrect.

    The pain felt from being cheated on is taught, and in my personal opinion, stems from possessiveness...not love. I have, however, met couples who've been monogamous for several years and felt pain when the other cheated; but they had enough love for each other to forgive and continue the relationship without holding a grudge. That is very uncommon.
  • Iluros

    Posts: 559

    Jul 22, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
    JimJim saidSo there's been a trend in viewpoint amongst sexologists and other "experts" that humans are not naturally monogamous and that monogamy is a social construct. I can accept this as truth, however, it leaves the question then as to why then are humans so possessive of their partners? I mean, being cheated on can be one of the most emotionally painful things one can experience and I believe it's much more than simply the other partner broke a promise/commitment. People break promises all the time but none of them hurt quite as much as cheating does. Is this just one of the quirks of mankind, to want to be sexually free but to simultaneously feel crushed if a loved partner were to stray? Or is the pain one feels when cheated on simply a social construct as well? Are we conditioned by society to feel pain because of certain events or are there just some things that are innately painful for humans to experience?


    Answered your own question.

    Different people react differently to the same situations. People can differ in feeling fear, shame, anger, happiness, pleasure, and yes, pain (among other things). There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the big ones has to do with the environment you were raised in, the values instilled in you by that environment, and how you assess your experiences based on those values.

    My guess is that we do have a tendency in general towards possessiveness when we bond closely with another individual. That's probably a part of why such social constructs came into being. The other parts having to do with the history of society and the contracts of marriage (which were initially a sort of property ownership), and so on. But I would not say this is in-and-of itself an intrinsic property to all people, nor indicative of a natural tendency to monogamy. It just means some people are possessive, a personality trait like many others, which a person can choose to deal with in different ways (which may or may not be the formation of monogamous relationships).

    In any case, whether or not something is natural or unnatural has little bearing on its moral value. We derive most of who we are from our culture as humans. The values we hold are important to us because it's part of who we are. While I think our culture is too prescriptive of the monogamous lifestyle on a population that is not entirely suited to it, those who do prefer monogamy make as legitimate a choice as any other.

    /2ยข
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    Jul 22, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    Cheating is being liar over a fundamental promise two people made to each other. It happens in open relationshjps as well, hurts just as bad, and couples break up over it .
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    Jul 22, 2010 2:47 AM GMT
    According to Sandra Bullock movies, people fall in love and it lasts forever. In real life your true love is a closeted Nazi. Oopsie.

    I've had a problem with the over romanticized depiction of love. Don't get me started on Disney !:roll
  • echovalley

    Posts: 2

    Jul 22, 2010 2:54 AM GMT
    It seems to me, that there are many animals, who fight for dominance, in order to build their Harem, not only for their gratification, but also to procreate, their particular genetic traits. Yet, there are other species, like Cardinals who mate for life. With out getting Darwin about this, if we are, some how evolving as Mammals, GAY People are truly living in a Brave New World of Sexuality. I'm sure it's only natural to want multiple partners, if our ancestors are any indication, that's our history. Yet mans existence has been here for only a blink, in the Eyes of the Eons of Time. Just like our Religions and Moralities, which are relatively, a recent Life Stile choice. So when you study the Natural World, you actually will see both Monogamy, and Promiscuous, actions displayed, depending on the Species. I'm sure Children and Disease, undoubtedly, had a huge, influence on conforming to Marriage, as we developed through out History. So now, we still have disease, and more and more of us are Adopting Kids. So in the Twenty First Century, we are free, to choose what ever Life Stile, suits us best. This is the first time in History, that we know of, as Gay Men, we are able to chose, whether or not to have a family. More, and more, our Equal Rights, are going to be given to us, because we won't stop fighting till we get them. With our rights, will come the burden of choice, between what we collectively will display as our Morality, or not. I suspect like in the Heterosexual World, in our Community, there will always be people acting out, in both sexual directions. Like in the rest of society, there will all ways be debate, over which is the right choice, to make. No one ever wants to really embrace, that the one person they are most attracted to, would much rather Fuck some one else. Until it happens to you, it may seem unimportant, but just wait. If you are experiencing that level of hurt, you may lean strongly toward monogamy. Yet, when the next guy, with the handsome good looks, that makes your knees week, cruises you, then make your choice, and see which side of the coin you're on. It's a tough issue, to mature over, but at some point, you do have to make the choice. Is your Ego more important to you, than the Man your in Love with ? I've always put my Lover first, because I've always wanted some one to treat me that way. How ever, I've yet to find some one with the same out look as mine, who is Single. But lots of folks, like me who are in couples, so I know I'm not wrong. But then, no one is really right, or wrong, about this. Both choices are natural, depending who you are, and what you want out of life.
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    Jul 22, 2010 2:56 AM GMT
    meninlove said Cheating is being liar over a fundamental promise two people made to each other. It happens in open relationshjps as well, hurts just as bad, and couples break up over it .
    I think you put it best. It's the the cheating part that's bad. It's the lying.
  • echovalley

    Posts: 2

    Jul 22, 2010 2:58 AM GMT
    It seems to me, that there are many animals, who fight for dominance, in order to build their Harem, not only for their gratification, but also to procreate, their particular genetic traits. Yet, there are other species, like Cardinals who mate for life. With out getting Darwin about this, if we are, some how evolving as Mammals, GAY People are truly living in a Brave New World of Sexuality. I'm sure it's only natural to want multiple partners, if our ancestors are any indication, that's our history. Yet mans existence has been here for only a blink, in the Eyes of the Eons of Time. Just like our Religions and Moralities, which are relatively, a recent Life Stile choice. So when you study the Natural World, you actually will see both Monogamy, and Promiscuous, actions displayed, depending on the Species. I'm sure Children and Disease, undoubtedly, had a huge, influence on conforming to Marriage, as we developed through out History. So now, we still have disease, and more and more of us are Adopting Kids. So in the Twenty First Century, we are free, to choose what ever Life Stile, suits us best. This is the first time in History, that we know of, as Gay Men, we are able to chose, whether or not to have a family. More, and more, our Equal Rights, are going to be given to us, because we won't stop fighting till we get them. With our rights, will come the burden of choice, between what we collectively will display as our Morality, or not. I suspect like in the Heterosexual World, in our Community, there will always be people acting out, in both sexual directions. Like in the rest of society, there will always be debate, over which is the right choice, to make. No one ever wants to really embrace, that the one person they are most attracted to, would much rather Fuck some one else. Until it happens to you, it may seem unimportant, but just wait. If you are experiencing that level of hurt, you may lean strongly toward monogamy. Yet, when the next guy, with the handsome good looks, that makes your knees week, cruises you, then make your choice, and see which side of the coin you're on. It's a tough issue, to mature over, but at some point, you do have to make the choice. Is your Ego more important to you, than the Man your in Love with ? I've always put my Lover first, because I've always wanted some one to treat me that way. How ever, I've yet to find some one with the same out look as mine, who is Single. But lots of folks, like me who are in couples, so I know I'm not wrong. But then, no one is really right, or wrong, about this. Both choices are natural, depending who you are, and what you want out of life.
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:01 AM GMT
    Hey Paul! Ugh, no kidding. I had a few open relationships where this occurred.

    Cheating is lying, no matter what the relationship. One guy I was with wanted an open relationship. No problem there (though I remained monogamous). We had rules about what could and could not be done (STD prevention). He reneged, then the night I had symptoms (gonorrhea) he fessed up to no condom anal sex with a stranger.

    ...that ended that. 1977.

    -Doug

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    Jul 22, 2010 3:05 AM GMT
    meninlove said Hey Paul! Ugh, no kidding. I had a few open relationships where this occurred.

    Cheating is lying, no matter what the relationship. One guy I was with wanted an open relationship. No problem there (though I remained monogamous). We had rules about what could and could not be done (STD prevention). He reneged, then the night I had symptoms (gonorrhea) he fessed up to no condom anal sex with a stranger.

    ...that ended that. 1977.

    -Doug

    Well I'm glad you finally found someone you can trust and love. Even in my open relationships (2) I woulda kicked the fuckers assed if they'd brought home an STD. icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:08 AM GMT


    Committed relationships are wrk on the most determined and diligent of terms. Nothing ever remains the same and when couples grow as individuals it will be the commitment/love that keeps them together. The devastation of cheating comes frm ppl that make a choice to be selfish. Either they don't have the courage to get out of the relationship or they just don't care enough about their mate to give them an option for something more. Either way a coward.
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:08 AM GMT
    I'm confused... isn't society natural? Ants, bees, apes, and even elephants have societies, does that mean everything they do as a product of their social constructs isn't natural? I'd have to disagree that most experts think humans aren't supposed to be monogamous. There's a whole argument about sexual dimorphism that applies, and it mostly leads to humans showing monogamous traits.
  • Iluros

    Posts: 559

    Jul 22, 2010 3:12 AM GMT
    hazardous saidI'm confused... isn't society natural? Ants, bees, apes, and even elephants have societies, does that mean everything they do as a product of their social constructs isn't natural? I'd have to disagree that most experts think humans aren't supposed to be monogamous. There's a whole argument about sexual dimorphism that applies, and it mostly leads to humans showing monogamous traits.


    The nature/nurture dichotomy makes a distinction about this.

    Take language. We have the natural propensity to acquire language at young ages: we listen to the phonemes we hear and they become the sounds we use. But the language itself is learned. That's why people speak the languages of the cultures in which they're raised; the languages are not naturally inborn.

    In the same way, we are naturally social creatures. The result of this is society and culture. But the specific elements of that society and culture are taught and learned, thus not "natural."
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Jul 22, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    JimJim saidSo there's been a trend in viewpoint amongst sexologists and other "experts" that humans are not naturally monogamous and that monogamy is a social construct. I can accept this as truth, however, it leaves the question then as to why then are humans so possessive of their partners? I mean, being cheated on can be one of the most emotionally painful things one can experience and I believe it's much more than simply the other partner broke a promise/commitment. People break promises all the time but none of them hurt quite as much as cheating does. Is this just one of the quirks of mankind, to want to be sexually free but to simultaneously feel crushed if a loved partner were to stray? Or is the pain one feels when cheated on simply a social construct as well? Are we conditioned by society to feel pain because of certain events or are there just some things that are innately painful for humans to experience?


    This is really observant. I have given this some serious thought myself before, however I seemingly associated the monogamy with 'higher cognitive functions,' and the desire to fuck everything out there with the animalistic instincts. Yes, being cheated on can just crush you. I think there comes a time - if you are inclined to do so - where you have to choose whether you want him or him (just like her or her). One of those 'hims' will be that long time boyfriend/husband, and the other is just the guy that makes you feel horny.

    You make a good point. Earlier today, I was thinking, "Gosh, I wish that was MY guy." So I suppose I was wanting to be possessive of him for his physical attributes, but I knew nothing about his personality, hobbies, goals, desires, fears... nothing. Sometimes, that individualistic element to people can be a thousand times more sexy than someone's physical attributes alone... just my thoughts.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Jul 22, 2010 3:18 AM GMT
    Iluros said
    JimJim saidSo there's been a trend in viewpoint amongst sexologists and other "experts" that humans are not naturally monogamous and that monogamy is a social construct. I can accept this as truth, however, it leaves the question then as to why then are humans so possessive of their partners? I mean, being cheated on can be one of the most emotionally painful things one can experience and I believe it's much more than simply the other partner broke a promise/commitment. People break promises all the time but none of them hurt quite as much as cheating does. Is this just one of the quirks of mankind, to want to be sexually free but to simultaneously feel crushed if a loved partner were to stray? Or is the pain one feels when cheated on simply a social construct as well? Are we conditioned by society to feel pain because of certain events or are there just some things that are innately painful for humans to experience?


    Answered your own question.


    Yes, this makes sense too... this respective pain is a social construct, at least to me.
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:22 AM GMT
    well, i think in humans, serial monogamy is natural, lifetime monogamy isnt, but it does happen, sometimes people do stay together forever, but its the less common, and sexual monogamy is most likely not natural... even animals lke birds that pair-bond forever may be sexually "unfaithful" on occasion, while its been observed that these birds died of grief after losing their partners
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:25 AM GMT
    Just each distinct animal has mating rituals and other things specific to their kind. I believe same goes for humans, we are animals but not like every animal, so maybe monogamy is something natural simlar to traits like owning territory.
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    billyboystl saidAccording to Sandra Bullock movies, people fall in love and it lasts forever. In real life your true love is a closeted Nazi. Oopsie.

    I've had a problem with the over romanticized depiction of love. Don't get me started on Disney !:roll


    are you saying the 50 floor tower that im building wont attract a price to come save me !?!?
  • frankyzhang

    Posts: 40

    Jul 22, 2010 3:30 AM GMT
    hey, guys. this is the thing, i think they are just two ways for people to live their lives. neither of them are right or wrong. i think it depends on both side of this relationship. if you would like to have more than one sexual partner and your partners dont mind, i think that's ok. personally, i dont mind if my boyfriend have affairs, as long as he still loves me and is honest to me, that's ok. to having an affair is not a cheating, but, remember, if your partners dont accept it, and you dont tell them you have affairs, that's apparently cheating and lying, that's wrong.
    but if your partner does mind if you have affairs, i think here is a decision you need to make. for me, if i love him enough to give up all my affairs, i will be monomygous for him, actually, during all my relationships, as long as i had a boyfriend, i never had any affairs, cause all my love and energy goes to him. and if you cant give up your affairs, tell him what's in your mind, be honest all the time, if you can figure a way to deal with it, that's good, if there is no way, you both need to move on.
    so here is nothing wrong to be monomygous or not, but it's wrong to lie to your partner.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 22, 2010 3:32 AM GMT
    Because when your partner cheats on you, they not only betray your trust but they also put you at risk for unknowingly contracting a sexually transmitted disease. This is especially the case when a couple is financially dependent on each other and/or share a living space.

    Because "society told me to" is a cheap cop out. icon_confused.gif
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jul 22, 2010 4:49 AM GMT
    Monogamy isn't natural for MEN, because we are programmed to "spread our seed" in order to preserve the species (so that humans don't become extinct).

    Besides, men are visual. We get tired of looking at the same old thing. We want some variety. And, since we're men who are looking for other men, it's not a big deal (for most of us) to have sex with multiple partners, because that's what men are naturally programmed to do.

    Pussy whipped straight married men know that they'll have to put up with the bitch from hell if they have sex with another woman. So, they usually don't.

    Since we have grown up witnessing only those heterosexual relationship "values," some of us tend to pattern our own gay relationships after them. Usually, those values don't fit a gay relationship.

    But, some men truly feel that sexual monogamy is more important than the entire laundry list of wonderful qualities that he could never find in another man.

  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    Jul 22, 2010 5:13 AM GMT
    Yawn, there are those that say homosexuality isn't natural for MEN either, yet.... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 22, 2010 6:17 AM GMT
    Science isn't really saying that monogamy is unnatural. Rather, it is saying that as a species we do not tend towards monogamy and that individual behavior exists within a spectrum. So, there are individuals who are flatly incapable of monogamy and there are those who do quite well with it.

    As for why our society is constructed to expect monogamy. Well, it doesn't. If we look at the bible, female adulterers are beaten and murdered. Male adulterers get a finger shaken at them. Men own property. Women are property. And that oddity has been the foundation of the religious/social institution of marriage.