I was honored to be interviewed for the Vibe and Vegas Podcast talking about being a Black Blogger in 2011 and winning the Best Black Culture Blog at the Black Weblog Awards. Then I was a guest on the Up4 Discussion Podcast where we got down and dirty as we discussed the topic of “If She Was Freakier, She’d be a Keeper”. Then tonight make sure you tune in as I will be a guest on “Kontrolled Kaos” which is a live web show that you can catch at iwatchradio.com. Also make sure you check out my brand new Media Appearances Tab where you can see all the shows and interviews I have been apart of.
One of the hottest button topics in our society over the last 15 years has been the complex nature of relationships. Much of the complexity comes from the evolving nature of gender roles and self-actualization. I have written before about marriage in the controversial post “When Are We Going to Realize That Marriage is NOT For Everyone?” but I have never spoken on this blog about the concept of monogamy itself. This weeks guest blog is from Mark Harris (@darcwonn) of Polo Penmanship and he has some very interesting ideas when it comes to the concept of monogamy.
Bi-polarity: it is the simple word that explains the human condition (in my opinion). People will say one thing and do another as easy as they tie their shoes. You have politicians that preach peace, yet will fund wars. You have parents that preach reverence, but will do something awful to their children. There are even reverends that will do things they have no business. In a sense, being two-faced is as American as arrogance,plutocracy, and apple pie.
As American people, we believe in monogamy as the prescribed way to have relationships. This makes sense due to unsafe habits (diseases and multiple children), feelings of infidelity, and religious beliefs. Yet, the National Opinion Research Center has noted that 22% of polled men and 15% of polled women have cheated in their marriages . Not only that, the National Opinion Research Center even noted that 4 out of 10 men would try to cheat if they had a clear chance of getting away with it . Therefore, monogamy isn’t always the choice for people whether they are married or not.
It is time to expose a mentality that people will verbally castrate me for: monogamous is the way we were made to be.
Please pay attention to what will be presented. We have to understand that many of us share more traits with Harvey Dent than expected.
Science and the Animal Condition
To be frank, monogamy isn’t something that is natural for humans. In all actuality, it is something that has to be constantly worked at with due diligence. The reason for this is due to the nature of the beast.
People have to realize that they have been misled about monogamy from the beginning. Genetic testing has recently shown that even among many bird species, which were long touted as the epitome of monogamous fidelity, it is not uncommon for 6% to 60% of the young to be fathered by someone other than the mother’s social partner . Adding that 90% of the bird species is only monogamous socially, this can be disturbing for a couple of reasons . First of all, it shows that monogamy isn’t as natural as we thought. The second reason is that people may have to rethink their approach to monogamy. In the end, feather flocks can now flock to even more fowl since many are of one uniting feather: that which lacks monogamy.
Our genetic descendants, the primates, don’t help the human situation very much either. Ovulating female chimps have intercourse dozens of times per day, with most or all the willing males, and bonobos famously enjoy frequent group sex that leaves everyone relaxed and conflict-free . This is interesting to consider when we, as human, look down on others for their sexual habits. Men’s testicles are much larger than those of any monogamous or polygamous primate and women’s pendulous breasts, unmanageable-to-ignore cries of erotic delight, and aptitude for multiple orgasms validate the existence of sexual promiscuity . As we may try, our sexual desires say something different about monogamy.
The Different Forms of Monogamy
References to monogamy are mainly referring to sexual relationships. However, there is more to monogamy than pure sexuality.
Monogamy is a multilayered relationship paradigm that has to be fully understood in order to make use of its dynamic. There are three types of monogamy scientists now refer to based on their animal studies:
- Sexual monogamy: the practice of having sex with only one mate at a time.
- Social monogamy: when animals form pairs to mate and raise their offspring but still have flings on the side (“extra-pair copulation” in science talk).
- Genetic Monogamy: when DNA testing confirms that a female’s offspring all come from one father.
So, there are three situations to think about: having only one sex-buddy, having only one girlfriend/boyfriend, and women having only one man being the father of their children. Social monogamy is popularized in our culture; sexual monogamy, for aforementioned reasons and occurrences, is not . Therefore, monogamy and Optimus Prime share a similar trait: there is more than meets the eye.
Cultural Monogamy…Or Not
What may be even more shocking is that certain aspects of monogamy are not promoted by certain cultures.
Before we discover how monogamy doesn’t fit all cultures, there needs to be an understanding of how we, as humans, may have gotten this far. Situations changed when communities went from hunter-gatherer groups to agricultural groups . Before, there was a time when people shared everything. However, with the advent of the agricultural society, borders had to be drawn. Conclusively, the shift from a hunter-gathering society to one of growing one’s own had people looking out for theirs.
Think about it: the 10th Commandment says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that [is] thy neighbor’s” . That means that women suffered a downgrade from a partner to property. Shout out to the 19th Amendment.
Yet, there are certain religions and societies that do not follow monogamous ideals. Although highly unjustified in most Christian influenced societies, countries ruled by Islamic laws allow for men to have up to four wives . In our present society, this type of act would be frowned upon outside of Utah. Even more interesting is the inclusion of polyandry in Tibetan society in years past . Even still, the idea of monogamy is looking more and more cultural by the second.
With all that is given, monogamous relationships are a cultural function. This does not mean that monogamy does not have its merits. Nor is this piece put together to say “have relentless sex, you filthy apes!”. This literary composition was put together to help people understand that monogamy is difficult for many of us for natural reasons. Monogamy, like being a vegan, is a situation that has to be worked on quotidian. And by quotidian, I mean “on a daily basis”. Keep it real: even some vegans may crave a burger now and then. So it would make sense for someone to crave some polygamous play.
Just keep working at it, people.
‘Nuff said and ‘Nuff respect!
So what do you think? I know there will be a lot of opinions on this subject so show some love and comment below and let’s keep the dialogue going!
- The myths of monogamy (oup.com)
- Maybe Change Is Gonna Come? (kdaddy23.wordpress.com)
- is monogamy best? is polyamory wrong? (jrfibonacci.wordpress.com)
- Any Dude That Didn’t Get A STEAK Or A BLOW JOB Last Night, It’s YOUR Fault (thisisyourconscience.com)
- 3 Reasons Good Dick and Relationships Don’t Mix (candydiaries.com)
- Who They Are vs. Who They Could Be (singleblackmale.org)