Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't Assume Monogamy

ScienceDaily.com reports on a study out of Oregon State University that, in a significant number of couples, there is either a false belief by one partner that there was a monogamy agreement, or amnesia on the part of the other parther regarding that agreement.

A new study of 434 young heterosexual couples ages 18-25 found that, in 40 percent of couples, only one partner says the couple agreed to be sexually exclusive. The other partner said there was no agreement.
And in those 40 percent, was the partner who believed there was a monogamy agreement always the female? We're not told.

Okay, first of all, 434 couples is a small sample.

Second, consider the ages.

I've said many times before that I believe sex is for the marriage, so strictly speaking, the unmarried couples should be "non-ogamous" in terms of having sex. But I also deal in reality. And the reality is, nobody should ever assume they are in a monogamous relationship unless it has been clearly discussed and there is a mutual agreement that it will be monogamous. Even then, people lie. But don't assume monogamy just because you're having sex, or going steady, or using the "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" label, or you're expecting, or shacking up.

Sexually active or not, most people should not be in exclusive relationships at that age. They should be focusing on education and career and they should be dating many people to learn more about themselves and others.

The results are in a forthcoming article published online in the Journal of Sex Research.
That's gotta be good reading.

Even among those who agreed they had an explicit agreement to be monogamous, almost 30 percent had broken the agreement, with at least one partner having had sex outside the relationship.
And here's something to keep in mind- you're not really monogamous if you do threesomes, swinging, or swapping. Or if you have sex with someone else who is a stripper. Or someone else while on vacation, or drunk.

The couples surveyed included both married and non-married couples. Interestingly, couples with children were less likely to have a monogamy agreement in place.
That's because one person is more likely to just assume it goes without saying.

Married couples were no more likely to have an explicit monogamy agreement in place than other couples.
Uhm, what about "forsaking all others"? Married people should demand monogamy. They should also provide monogamy- not "non-ogamy".

Men and women literally hear and think differently, so it is not surprising that one partner in a relationship might have assumptions that the other does not. Some women also have this script for their lives, and as long as the person one of these women has cast as her man doesn't say or do something in front of her that explicitly contradicts that script, she just assumes everything is like she hoped it would be. Monogamy may be part of that script. But guys should not be fooled into believing that just about all women demand monogamy in order to keep providing sex. For many women, the opposite is true. If she suspects a guy is having sex with other women, she tries to win him over by being "better" – being more sexually available and adventurous. She wants a man that she believes other women want. Some of these women are the ones who lose interest once a guy really does commit to them. This is one reason why unmarried guys who are sexually active, when asked by a woman "What are you doing this weekend?", should answer "having sex". This will drive away a woman who is looking for marriage and family, and it will prompt other women to be the person with whom he is having the sex.

1 comment:

  1. While this is very simplistic, I think it's very true. When couples get married for the right reasons: to fulfill a God-designed and God ordained life long partnership and commitment, marriage works. Sex works, parenthood works, and fidelity works.

    He somehow blesses through that commitment understanding and submission, whether you are 18 when you marry, or 40. He supplies all. It's nothing of us. Just submission. We are made to be sexual creatures-it just depends on what our beliefs are..is our belief actually to be open completely to one person for the rest of our lives? If it is, marriage works.

    It's not to say that marriage is always then perfect or easy..it's a journey. However, when it's based on God and His teaching of the purpose of sex and marriage, any difficulty is met with understanding and is only a short season..because God and the marital foundation and bed is bigger than any problems that arise, the husband and wife can always come back together, usually strengthened from the storm..usually more committed and more sexually fulfilled than ever.

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