unlike men, women need prolonged stimulation and are able to have multiple orgasms during sex. This suggests that women evolved to have sex with many different partners, seeking out the next partner to finish what the last one wasn't able to.
On a serious note, isn't that what Shlomo & I have been saying all along...
Monogomy will never go out of style, neither will multiple partners, swapping, polyamory, homosexuality, bisexuality, etc etc. Seems that these lifestyle choices have always been there but due to various social mores it is more or less acceptable to openly acknowledge and discuss them. And since when is Elle magazine the dictator of what is or isn't in style - anymore than Penthouse of Cosmo or FM magazine
We are pretty sure that Elle magazine published this article to get their sensational index up. Fine - they have magazines to sell! However, as brief as it is, the article is a reasonably accurate summary of the "Sex at Dawn" book by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha (erroneously referred to as "Sex at Breaking Dawn" in the article). We have read the book and it makes a compelling argument that monogamy is not the "natural" state of human relationships. It discusses evolutionary, social and cultural shift through time which have affected the way humans form bonds and seems to have a really firm grasp on the subject.
Then they have combined that summary with a slightly off-the-wall and somewhat skewed commentary by Dan Savage who claims that monogamy has only been around for 60 years. Er, um, in which culture, what continent and which planet? I personally can recall about 4 generations back of at least sincere attempts at monogamous relationships in my own family tree so Mr. Savage lost credibility for us right there and then.
However, the article does point towards a shift away from monogamy in modern Western societies which is quite palpable. Even if we ignore the rise in the officially non-monogamous relationships of today, the divorce rate alone points to the fact that North Americans are, in the least, involved in "serial non-monogamy" rather than forming life-long pair bonds. "Sex at Dawn" does address that topic, among many, many others, rather succinctly.
So, no, Elle is far from making the impression on us as an authority on the subject but I would say they at least trying to get somewhere near the pulse of a major, albeit slow, shift in our (Western) culture.
monogamy made sense for the first 99.9% of our evolutionary history.
There was a daily struggle to keep warm, find food, avoid being killed or eaten and if you made it to the next morning alive you had had a good day. Most of us would be dead by 30. So with those kind of stats staying with one partner might have made sense. We likely wouldnt have had the energy or the resources to look for another partner we would have been happy just to have someone beside us to help us keep warm. I think as time goes on and we have leisure time and the wherewithal to choose happiness as a worthwhile goal more of us will come to realize that staying with the same person for 50, 60 or more years will become the exception rather than the rule. Some of us alive today face the very real chance of living to 150 happy and healthy. If as Ray Kurzweil posits we are approaching the singularity when death may become an option rather than a certainty serial monogamy will likely become the norm. We all change as time goes by and those changes are not always in the same direction. I am all for choosing happiness in whatever form is meaningful for the individual.
monogamy made sense for the first 99.9% of our evolutionary history.
Well if we are going to go all the way back to "the caveman" and "Cro-Magnon", let's remember that we belong to a "tribal" society.
In that context, man could have many "wives", however, woman's faithfulness was necessary to maintain the integrity of the tribe (because the mum is always sure. lol!)
Man needed to "sow as many seeds as possible" to ensure the continuation of the tribe (therefore the many wives)
We'll skip the "sexual depravations" of the roman empire and fast forward to "victorian age" where women were required to be prudish, but it was acceptable for the gentleman to have "fun on the side" or in France kings entertained "courtisanes".
Because, marriage was a business/political transaction, sex was an altogether different affair.
Personally, I believe that monogamy and fidelity was inspired by romantic Hollywood movies of the 50's & 60's.
Partner that up with women's lib and the fact that a wide majority are independent and financially self sufficient, they can therefore claim equal fidelity rights or extra-marital affair rights.
Do I think we can live a long lasting marriage, trust, friendship etc...I certainly hope so...I'll let you know when I get there.
Do I think we are "genetically engineered" to have sex with the same person for ever...till death do us part? No
Actually, I'll have to disagree to some extent with both of these points of view.
The standard narrative of prehistory is that life for homo sapiens in the olden days was short, brutish, filled with hardships and dangers. There is now more and more evidence to the contrary - our ancestors as far back as over 100,000 years ago had abundant food, no pollution, low stress levels and lived in supportive, egalitarian, communally-organized groups of hunter-gatherers numbering up to 100 to 150 in size. Sure, the occasional out break of an infectious disease would wipe out whole clans and the entire species dwindled down to about 100,000 total on earth during the last Ice Age but, even with little medical attention, our ancestors are now speculated to have had approximately the same life expectancy as modern man. In other words, we need all our medicine today to just keep in check the mounting stress and pollution that wreck us.
"Sex at Dawn" makes a very strong argument in favour of the "so-called socio-sexual" exchanges in early human hunter-gatherer tribes where the bonds of the group were maintained with frequent mating between females and males without any regard to pair-bonding. It was a social activity! Both men and women had many partners which contributed to group cohesion. Paternity was not certain at all and the clan would raise the child as a group rather than it being tethered to a singular mother/father pair. In fact, our evolutionary design points towards that:
Humans have, proportionally, the largest penises among the primates
The pronounced buttocks of the female
The pronounced breasts of the female where size has little to nothing to do with breastfeeding
The concealed ovulation of the female suggesting that, by evolutionary design, paternity was supposed to be hidden
And last but not least, the fact that humans are the only ape species that copulate outside of the ovulation cycle!
Monogamy is a by-product of the rise of agriculture (dating back to probably only about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago) and private property which gave rise to patriarchal societies (and war as we know it) and created the concern about heredity and, specifically, the certainty about paternity. Even so, monogamy was not in any way a standard in many Western societies for many thousands of years yet. Queen Victoria, the Romantics and, more recently, swooning romantic Hollywood movies have tried very hard to sell it, armed with religion or politically-motivated brown-nosing science, but the reality is that monogamy is, to most people, either a stretch, a compromise or a surrender. Our wiring simply does not work that way.
As to a future where death is an option rather than a certainty, notwithstanding science fiction, I'll take the certainty - there's only so many of us that can feed reasonably well on this planet!
I'll just have to make every moment until then really count
I know that I can love someone forever... I also know that I want to have sex with sexy beautiful women.... hmmm not very complicated to me... If my girl says go ahead with no alterior motive then I am going to explore. If she's the one for me and says " IF you EVER " then the answer is not right now thanks 8)
Men for the most part have mental sex with tens of thousands of women in their life ... so we for the most part are designed to want multiple partners... The reality is only the lucky ones who come to the club and have great communication and open relationships are able to sucessfully manage a relationship AND our natural biological urge to mate with multiple women.
Just my simple explination ... I let my libido do the takling ... lol