Is free love really free?

May 31, 2008

The question I pose today is this: Is monogamy unnatural?

I know what some of you are thinking – “Cheap cop-out!” – but I think this question begs some serious discourse here.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, religion has tried quite fervently throughout recorded human history to stifle and otherwise control the sexual instinct in human mammals. (Quite unsuccessfully, I might add.) And, despite all evidence to the contrary, there are still pockets of the population who believe that some higher power – which also created everything from solar systems to microbes and everything in between – actually has an unshakable moral and ethical opinion about the sexual goings-on between consenting adults. (Of course, even the term “adult” is arbitrary – does one’s 18th birthday celebration somehow cast, spell-like, an ability over said celebrant to “act like a grown-up”? But that’s another matter for another time.)

What I want to address here is the very natural and, dare I say, uncontrollable sexual attraction that humans are wont to feel for those fellow humans who “turn their crank”, so to speak. Not one person can convince me that they have never wanted to wander from their current partner – no matter how much they might love that partner. Why does sex have to be about love? Religion has insidiously attached shame to the feeling of arousal for arousal’s sake, making all things sexual seem dangerous, sinful and to be avoided at all costs except for those times when breeding another human into the world seems like the appropriate thing to do (or you or your spouse were too lazy to make a stop at the pharmacy).

The statistics that suggest that over half of married men cheat on their wives should come as no surprise to anyone. The bible-thumpers would have us believe that this is a sign of a declining civilization and that the end times are near. Ahem, excuse me – Jesus isn’t coming back to tell you not to ball the babysitter, so don’t worry about it. I think the institutions of marriage and committed relationships as we currently understand them carry with them an expectation of sexual fidelity that I think is unreasonable and, in many cases, unattainable.

Sexual monogamy is the unspoken agreement that, when broken, completely breaks the deal for a lot of couples. I say, why not wake up and face the facts? We might be intelligent, reasoning people – but we are still animals. Animals with instincts. Should we let something as frivolous as a roll in the hay destroy a marriage? What is marriage, anyway? Why did you marry your spouse – so that you could control their every move and impulse? Alfred Kinsey was on to something – bring all things sexual into the light, and express them – or hell, let’s just look at ’em, for Chrissake, and not let some external sense of morality guide our actions. Rather, let’s use our ability for critical thought and civil discourse to work out, for ourselves and with our loved ones, what works for us and what doesn’t.

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One Response to “Is free love really free?”

  1. Mardé Says:

    OHMAGOD, Minds, there you go again, challenging your readers to think out of the box, so to speak. 😉

    Again, I say, especially in America is the taboo against out of wedlock sex the greatest, that is, compared to other westernized countries. In Europe men often have mistresses and it’s pretty much accepted there. But you’re even going beyond this. And I’m sure you’re right. I don’t know how women feel, but I’m pretty sure most married men can feel lust in their hearts for a delicious looking “other”. What did Jimmy Carter say? “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times?” My feeling is that most married women — well, especially or predominantly here in America — would seriously frown on their hubby committing that adultery, to put in mildly. Perhaps the core reason is one of insecurity, particularly if they are the stay-at-home mom who depends on hubby for her existence. But yes, your final statement is the correct one: let’s work out with our loved ones what works and what doesn’t. This is what should be done but usually isn’t.

    OK, can’t someone out there disagree with Minds for a change? I can never seem to give him a hard time.


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