I was sent a very click bait titled article yesterday from a friend of mine, called “Asking if Women are Ill Suited to Monogamy”. I was intrigued none the less, and thankful that he vetted the article before sending it and had warned me that the title was deceptive and the contents were well worth the read. If you’re listening to the audio, I highly recommend pausing and clicking on the article that I’ve linked here. Ok, has everyone read it? Perfect.
So here is a common narrative that many would agree is promoted in our society; that women are considered the driving force behind monogamy, and wants to settle down for a variety of reasons including the “parental investment theory”. And this goes hand in hand with the “good girl” vernacular that has been re-enforced throughout the generations. I was definitely raised and fully conditioned to believe this, hook, line and sinker. In fact, I not only believed it, but I even tried to take monogamy to the extreme, by choosing a man who was my first, and only sexual partner to marry. And thus I was so taken in by the one and only for life reasoning that not even my imagination was safe to wander. For a seemingly extreme example when I was monogamous, I felt overwhelming guilt anytime someone other than my boyfriend would pop into my head during a sex dream. It was so ingrained in me that I would try and force myself to think of him as I fell asleep to try and prevent anyone else from sneaking in there during my deepest dreams. And I think that may be why I started to dream I was a man, who slept with a bunch of women. My dream state wanted to explore and was going to find every single loophole it could to accomplish that. But we will save Freud and dream analysis for another time.
And that’s just one example of what indoctrination can do to a person, even something a seemingly innocuous as monogamy. And just one of the many instances that I look back upon my time in monogamy and realize it just wasn’t for me. But getting back to the article, the suggestion is that non-monogamy may be the cure for low libido with a focus on women. That there is evidence to suggest when women fantasize about other men, their sex drive increases. Thus, making the current female monogamy narrative seem more like a myth. Are our libidos and this relationship norm actually at odds? It’s certainly an interesting subject. And one that I am excited to explore further.
So, for my perspective in all of this, I have to be completely honest that while my mental well being is much better off being non-monogamous and my fantasies and dream state far more satisfying, my sex drive has not actually changed. I have always had a higher than average sex drive. So, I cannot entirely relate to the notion of sex dropping off by nearly 40 percent when in a long term monogamous relationship. Having said that, there is ample evidence that this is the standard norm and I do hear it often enough from friends and clients. So, as I’m starting to get a little more used to, I may again be the outlier so we have to discount my personal experience for the time being.
Because women are taught that sex always dies in the end, and thus marrying your best friend is the most important criteria for a long lasting marriage, there has been more comradery in sexual bedroom death rather than addressing it as an issue. And this has also legitimized the false notion that men are more sexual than women. It is such an important realization to acknowledge that there may be a problem with reduced sex drive in women and then be forced to look beyond a magic blue pill to fix that. And further to start exploring social factors including more variety of partners just like we have been lead to believe men require for so long. The fact that we are bridging the gender gap in sexuality is incredible, by exploring a female’s sexual experience and not just the males? I am so pleased with the questions beyond the quick fixes.
So, while I love the thought provoking points I really want to caution my readers in regards to the last paragraph in the referenced article. The author is surmising that women are going to become more masculine in their sexuality, and by that she says we will see “more women getting laid and leaving, having sex without wanting to bond, more girls up in their rooms clicking on their computer and masturbating before they get started on their homework.” I personally think it’s a huge mistake to call these behaviours masculine or feminine. If your sexuality allows for less of an emotional bond with sex, we should not conclude you are more masculine. Nor should we surmise that masturbating to release an itch before work, or a project is gender specific. It’s a harmful narrative to promote. We cannot educate in a sex positive way by relegating sexuality to gender or boxes like that. Instead we need to promote more fluidity. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I tried to force my brain to dream in a way that was socially acceptable to monogamy, and my brain broke free… continually. So with that in mind, we don’t want to make the mistake of shifting our thought process from one gender to the next. Instead we must explore sexuality as a whole, or whenever possible, on an individual basis.
So to all my readers, give yourselves permission to explore your sexuality in a way that excites you and makes you feel like a complete being, to whatever end brings you joy. If living a narrative of monogamy makes you feel complete and satisfied by all means keep doing what you’re doing. And if you have an itch that may need scratching, talk to your partner, and see if there is a way that you can incorporate fantasy or reality into your life. You no longer have to accept that long term commitments will inevitably leave you without a satisfying sex life. We are living in exciting times, where articles like this are being written and researched, allowing us to break free of ingrained social narratives and become just a little more aware that being the “good girl” isn’t always the answer and does not always mean you are going to live happily, sexually satisfied, ever after.
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