Defining Monogamy

Cheating and Infidelity in Animals and Humans

In my last post, I asked “why are humans so strict about monogamy, and yet so flexible when it comes to animals” which if you haven’t read, please take a moment to do so here.  Perfect, now let’s get right into the heart of the matter, defining monogamy: cheating, and infidelity in animals and humans.  Cheating and infidelity are the primary culprits or indicators for the failing of monogamy, and could lead us into learning more about our human definition of the word, why it came to be, and where this will take our species moving forward.

We have all asked our selves, why do we cheat at some point or another in our lives.  In fact, I asked pointedly, Why Do Men Cheat? Our Evolution Ignored, back in 2013.  And it comes up time and time again.  We as a species, cheat.  And when we cheat, we question our monogamy.  But what if, we questioned our monogamy prior to cheating?  What if we understood our species, and need for procreation and survivability of our genetic core or at a level beyond how we were raised?  Could that information lead us to loosen our definition of monogamy to something more in line with the one we use in the animal kingdom?

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Writing this, I still feel that gut reaction, that I was raised with monogamy and cheating is basically evil.  We loath the cheaters, and strive for the monogamous ideal.  But in nature, that is not the best practice for species survival.  In fact, if monogamy was as strict as it is in humans, the genetic variability would be reduced and many species would have perished.  Think of this in a pack of lions for example.  If the alpha was the only one to successfully mate with the lioness’s then only his genes would be passed down to the next pack.  Within one generation there would be 50% less genetic variability available to pass on.  That’s huge.  So, instead, the alpha tries diligently to impregnate all the females, but thankfully he’s got to sleep sometime.  And the polygamously dominated society gets an influx of genetic material from outlying lions and the few betas in the pride, pouncing quite literally on an unsuspecting lioness.  Therefore, providing one example where monogamy would just not work from a survival standpoint no matter how attractive having a harem may be.

Now perhaps you’re thinking that this example is not fair because no one believes lions are monogamous.  So let’s look at a monogamous animal grouping, the black vultures.  Here, the species practices social monogamy for the entire mating and raising of young, and actually attack any bird involved in infidelity.  But again, the key here is social monogamy, whereby the animals are only pair bonded for the duration of rearing offspring which is about 8 months.  Compare that to 18 years in humans and we have a huge problem, which almost everyone has faced in their lifetime.  How is one expected to be with only one human being for an entire 18 years, if we agreed to hold ourselves to a universal definition of monogamy?

I for one, was raised to believe this was possible.  But once I got into the real world, the likelihood of that actually happening quickly deteriorated.  Even with my first long term partner, with whom I lost my virginity, and spent nearly 9 years with, I still strayed.  I fully embraced monogamy, yet, I could not live up to the ideal standard.  And to come full circle, at that point in time, I never questioned if I was a monogamous human or not.  I wanted to be, I was raised to be, and I tried really, really hard, so I must have been monogamous right?  The evidence of course was contrary, just as it is with our animal counterparts. 

As I mentioned, straying from time to time, is part of animal behaviour and still allows the pair to be labeled socially monogamous.  Humans who stray from time to time are labelled cheaters, philanderers, and if then embrace this as part of who they are, a whole new spectrum arises called non-monogamy. So again, what if we questioned our monogamy prior to infidelity?  What would the look like?  And has there been a point in our human evolution where monogamy was not the standard definition of human bonding?  Further, how important is monogamy to the survival of the human race?

These are the questions I will continue to ask over the coming weeks.  So please stay tuned, like, share, and as always, feel free to ask your own questions via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comment section of this blog.

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Defining Monogamy:

Humans versus Animals

My take on Elmer Fudd: Defining Monogamy

One of my favorite blog posts is Something About Ducks, and the first time I thought about defining monogamy.  It was short and sweet, but meaningful because I was able to have a frank discussion about monogamy with a family member, and then get to geek out a little with some science.  So, may I present to you a comparative post discussing the definition of monogamy in humans and the animal kingdom, and how that interpretation impacts us.  Don’t worry, I won’t geek out too hard, and if you stick around until the end, you will find the link for the sexy, behind the scenes pictures I keep reserved for fans only. 

Let us start at the beginning, with the definition of monogamy thanks to our lovely friends at Wikipedia: Monogamy is a form of relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime, or only one partner at a time (serial monogamy).  And for a little fun, let’s compare to the definition of monogamy in the animal kingdom: Monogamous pairing refers to the natural history of mating systems in which species pair bond to raise offspring. 

Did you catch that?  It turns out that the very definition of monogamy is different depending on your species.  We humans, adhere to a very strict definition of monogamy, while our counterparts in the animal kingdom are a little more fluid about it.  In fact, many species are by definition monogamously pair bonded even if during the mating season one of them strays, so long as they return to continue raising their offspring.

So why are humans so strict about monogamy, and yet so flexible when it comes to animals.  Why are we OK with accepting animals doing what they do, behaving in a way that has obviously allowed them to survive, and even flourish, and yet, so critical of humans exhibiting the same behaviours?  Why are we so adamant to separate ourselves from animalistic instinct to sleep with more than one person?  Obviously we could blame many things here, religion, politicians, the battle of the sexes, and let’s not forget sexually transmitted diseases and genetic protection.  But talking about genes, can I share one more thing that I learned in my rabbit hole quest for knowledge?  That scientists are currently working to discover the neuro-molecular genes that may lead to monogamy in animals. 

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Can you imagine if they find an actual mechanism that predicts or determines if a person will be able to maintain monogamy or not?  This may not just be something that people do because they were raised that way, or want to for their children, or even just by sheer force of will alone.  It might actually be deeper rooted than that, it may turn out that we have genetic indicators to determine if we are supposed to be non-monogamous or a monogamous species.  Watching researchers trace monogamy in invertebrates and seeing where we branch off, or takes turns, and then following those shifts absolutely fascinates me.  It’s one thing to trace our human origins of non-monogamy in such amazing book as Sex at Dawn, but to delve even further, into our animal counterparts and discover genetic material and our actual make-up? 

Honestly, the impacts of this make me super excited.  Mixing science, and knowledge, and a subject matter that has been my identity for what feels like a decade is just beyond… well… I think I am going to go formulate a few more posts to follow this up.  The first thing that comes to mind is the comparison between the young raising cycles of humans and animals.  And of course how this duel definition could impact our views of cheating, or infidelity.  The possibilities are endless with science at our side.  So please, if you have any suggestions you would like me to research or discuss feel free to share via Twitter or in the comments section of this blog as I would love to hear from you!

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The No Kissing Rule

The Lengths People go to Avoid Catching the Feels

No Kissing Rule

The No Kissing Rule, and other ways non-monogamous people try to keep from catching the feels.

No matter who you are or what you try to do non-monogamy at some point, will push your comfort zone limits.  It is a guarantee.  Actually, the only certainty there really is.  it’s And even though it is 100% going to happen, people create rules, especially swingers, to prevent any sort of feeling from arising with those outside of their spouse in order to protect their own comfort.  While the rational human knows this is doomed to fail, it doesn’t stop people from trying.  My favorite one of these such rules is the no kissing one, it is extremely common, and in my opinion an effort in futility.

Let’s take a step back here though and start from the beginning.  Non-monogamy is a way for people to share intimacies with people other than their partners, or if solo, with more than one person.  There are a plethora of ways to show intimacy, from flirting, to kissing, to sex, and pretty much everything in between.  And people choose to break free from monogamy for a variety of reasons, including sexless relationships, dead bedroom situations, variety, adding spice, or just a basic urge to enjoy the bodies or explore relationships with more than one person “till death do you part”. And at this point I feel it’s important to state that this blog is a judgement free zone for the most part.  Every flavor and style are welcome here.  I love variety and certainly hold the stance that love should be free, and should be something that works for you, whatever label suits you, or in my case, breaking free of labels and just living authentically for my own happiness.

However, this whole, no kissing rule pushes my understanding of freedom of expression.  Why in the world would you allow your partner to express themselves with their genitals, but restrict the touching of their lips?  What makes lips so sacred?  My hunch, is that there is a huge amount of intimacy surrounding the kiss, and couples restrict that contact to limit catching the feels.  They are OK with objectifying the act of sex, and less OK with the existence of intimacy.  Orgasms and adrenaline, hell ya!  Feels and intimacy, fuck no!  

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And the hard truth of the matter, from my perspective, is that they reduce sex to a physical act, and turn an orgasm into a regular bodily function, which is absolutely not my thing.  I don’t ever want sex to be just another motion.  I want it to be whatever it can, with flexibility and surprise and intrigue.  Not to be relegated to restrictions on what body parts can touch.  For example, have you ever heard of an mfm where the rule is the guys can never touch?  Haha!  Yeah, good luck with that.  It is damn near impossible not to at the very least have accidental grazing.  And when that happens, it does not mean you have to turn in your straight card.  Just as with kissing, it does not mean that you are instantly going to fall in love with another person… but it might…

The point is, I try to live my life restriction free.  And while I am not always very good at it, I am trying.  Point of fact, every single time I have placed a restriction on my partner it has blown up in my face and vice-versa. So knowing my own shortcomings with restrictions, I find it very difficult to understand couples who allow sex to occur with others, but draw a hard line at kissing. The whole “I trust you with my body, but not my lips”? Or more often than not, one partner can adjust or accept someone having sex with their partner, but seeing or thinking about the intimacy of a kiss would send them into a spiral of jealousy. And I cannot help but boil that down to desensitizing sex to the level of porn. Something viewed, and not experienced for it’s entirety.

So now that I have probably pissed off a whole bunch of kissing free swingers, I should probably just stop here. I question things I don’t understand, and if you would like to share with me how this works for you, or where I have missed the point, please know I am absolutely willing to listen.

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Oops! I Read the Comments Section When a Dating Blogger Mentioned an Open Relationship

Am I fooling myself thinking society accepts non-monogamy?

So of course, just when I think people are starting to come around to the acceptance of non-monogamy, I go ahead and read a few words of “wisdom” from the real world.  Ugh!

Let me preface this by saying proudly that I am exuberant over the love, support and acceptance I have found in my real life, and my social media world, look at this amazing sex positive community for example.  I have worked hard to surround myself with educated and loving people, with whom I respect even at moments of disagreement and with whom I have convinced myself that they show the same respect for mine.  But in the last few weeks, I have seen something that takes me back to a time before I found this incredible community and it’s heartbreaking.

There is a dating blogger who is sharing her story about being in her first open relationship (the specifics about committing to this or trying to run away screaming are not really relevant here).  So, I will simply summarize by saying she is sleeping with a man who is polyamorous and engaged to another women, and whatever her actual motivations are, she is sharing this experience on her blog.  And as such, I have been reading and following along, with a bit of nostalgia, going back to when I first met E, and all the ups and downs that I experienced learning about non-monogamy for the first time.  And that was all well and good, up until I saw her comment section explode and I made the horrific mistake of reading a few opinions on the matter.

The majority of the male comments reflect the notion that this guy is a creep and manipulating the dating blogger for sex.  This sentiment is echoed by the female majority saying things like, “run now”, or “I’ve been down this road and it only leads to heartache”, and “why are you wasting your time on someone who could never love you?”.  All in all, it is doom, gloom, judgement and criticism from a monogamous side of the world that I don’t often see. 

How is this possible, you may be asking yourself, given the content of your blog?  Honestly?  I’m not 100 percent sure, so if you want to weigh in on this, please be my guest (in the comment section would be lovely!).  What I do know is that my blog didn’t evolve to non-monogamy, and thus I have never captured this broader monogamous audience.  I have been very open and honest right from the get go about what content lies within.  And whenever I write something controversial, I try to do my research ahead of time, and aim to present a balance of ideas whenever possible.  Again, this really is a point that you, dear readers are welcome to share your rational for coming back week after week.

But back to the comment section of this particular blogger.  You see, she is doing something incredibly tricky, which is to explain a situation to an unwilling audience, and that is what directly challenges their core beliefs about the evils of non-monogamy.  It is so easy to use words like cheater, manipulator and user.  So much so, that I believe if this guy ever found out about her blog, he would end things immediately.  Some perceptions you just cannot come back from regardless of your intentions.  So I sit here, reading comments and feeling heartbreak and shame that this is the world that open, polyamorous and swingers really fear.  This judgemental, and hate filled place, shouting uneducated opinions and all manor of unsympathetic close-minded views really exists.  For you see, this is a place were logic fails, and fear takes over.  This is the black hole of the social media internet that all writers and bloggers fear.  This is the place where your level-headed sanity begins to question things and your resolve wanes in the face of public opinion.

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I want to tell myself that I should never read the comments.  But the reality is that I needed that reminder that the world is not as advanced as I have been leading myself to believe.  My readers are amazing.  My supporters are wonderful.  But there is an entire world out there that is going to judge first and ask questions never.  When I finish writing my first book, this is the world I will be facing.  This is the place I need to be aware exists and this is the land I need to learn to rise above. 

In the meantime, thank you for reading, supporting and doing what you can to build the sex positive community.  I need people like you and I hope on some level you need me too!

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Dick Pics and Liars

No matter how loud we shout, the dick pictures still get sent.

I don’t think there is a female blogger (or writer in general with social media) out there regardless of her subject matter, who has not written something about hating dick pictures.  We, collectively, have tried raging, raving, shaming, blocking, reporting, and basically pleading to anyone who will give us an ear to please, end the appearance of dicks in our inboxes, e-mails, DM’s, PM’s etc.  The bottom line is we are sick and tired of them.  I wrote a post called Dear Random Penis in my first few years of blogging and it remained my highest views post for years.  I personally had tried all of the about to make the pictures stop, but sadly there was just nothing I could do.  And for a while I was left with this feeling that I must be bringing it upon myself because of the subject matter of my blog and the pictures I shared. And let me just say, that I am disgusted and horrified, that I have ever felt that way. 

I was so angry in fact, and so sick and tired of the constant barrage of non-consent based nudity that I actually change my own tactics.  I stopped posting naked or riske pictures of myself on my blog, choosing instead to move them over to a subscription based site here.  And I cannot even tell you how much it pained me to do that.  I love freedom of expression, but I was just sick and tired of constantly being angry, outraged, horrified, or just disgusted by the sight of a strangers penis.

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And what’s worse, I started to hate seeing dicks of my own choosing, and even switched up my porn viewing a little bit.  I was over saturated and resentful.  Since shifting the photo’s on my blog, I have actually noticed a huge reduction of dick pictures.  Which makes me worry that I may have been right.  Were men really thinking that the whole you showed me yours, so I’m going to show you mine mentality was acceptable? 

And what’s equally troubling, is that every time I see a person complain about a random nude picture in their DM’s, the comment sections ramp up with men acting horrified, and publicly shaming these poor individuals.  In fact it is so rampant, that I have even seen a guy who sent me a dick pic (with whom I shamed mercilessly over private message) join the bandwagon, shouting shame and slander, even going so far as to say “men who do that are scum and should be reported, shame on him.  That’s gross, and I am here if you ever need to talk”.  Yes, that is in quotes for a reason and I had more than one of those to choose from. 

I don’t know what it is going to take to men stop doing this abhorrent behaviour.  I know what steps I have taken to minimize it, and help me go back to loving the naked male form again.  But while I found a bandaid fix, this is obviously not a solution. 

So guys, tell me, what will it take to make you stop?  What can women do to prove that we don’t want to see your naked member unless we ask?  Why do you think that a 1 in 9999999999 chance of it working is a statistical probability that you are willing to side with?  When will it end?  Because honestly, you are ruining freedom of expression, sex and the body positivity that the non-consenting recipient is trying to strive for.  

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