Is monogamy outdated?

Here’s a story: At a sex therapy conference a decade ago, male physicians and sex therapists debated the etiology and treatment of women’s sexual desire “problems”. The doctors attributed low desire in women to hormonal and medical factors while the sex therapists suggested, somewhat in jest, that the treatment for low sex drive in women is for them to “get a lover” or “change partners.”  

To this the women participants responded “Are you kidding? An affair? What married woman with a job and kids has time for an affair?  Fast forward ten years. Daniel Bergner, author of “What Do Women Want?” isn’t joking around. Bergner says that  women’s desire is an “underestimated and constrained force.” He cites research demonstrating that women are innately sexually aggressive and desire multiple partners. 

Research also points to biological factors involved in acting out sexually outside of marriage. So, it would appear the question for women “not feeling it” in their marriages should not be  “why don’t you desire” but rather “what do you desire? and “with whom? Do you believe that women are not really wired for monogamy? Or, is a new social construct being created giving women yet another reason to feel inadequate for not craving polyamory? And for those who value monogamy, is being “monogamish” the solution?  

How about this…monogamy may be challenging, but being committed to it doesn’t contradict sexual satisfaction. That takes communication and investment. And of course asking your female partner not “why don’t you ever want?” but rather,  the question: “What do YOU want?”

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