A few weeks ago I had lunch with a Friend who I hadn’t seen for over a year. As we came out of the restaurant I hailed a cab and was just about to get in when he said, ‘what do you think about monogamy?’
I turned and faced him. ‘Monogamy sucks’, I said. Then I climbed inside and we went our separate ways.
In the cab I laughed quietly to myself. His question was so intensely male, as was my response. However, the more I thought about it, the more my humour evaporated. I reasoned thus:
Firstly, here is a light hearted question which concerns itself with something pretty heavy – having sex. That we are driven to perform this exhilarating experience is all due to Mother Nature. So, what would be Mother’s view on monogamy?
That we know all too well. As far as she is concerned our primary task is to keep it hard as often as we can, then
it’s a case of ‘shag away lads, shag away’ Mother cries.
As far as she is concerned the entire purpose of our Being revolves around finding a bottomless number of good-breeding females on whom we must board, then penetrate as deeply as possible, endowing them all with lashings of our sticky liquid, all with the purpose of preserving our species.
So much for Mother Nature.
The other thoughts I had centred on how relatively modern the question was. It wasn’t one that was likely to have arisen between the guys still in the trees (say, 2 million years ago).
Assuming they were indulging in their competitive game of ‘Mine is Bigger than Yours’ (according to the WMD Guide, the all-time favourite of most guys), they’re more likely
to have been privately trying to work out which of ‘em had the Balls big enough to drop down to that flat bit way below and give it a go – for survival, that is.
Nor did I think it was a question likely to arise between cavemen (say, 100,000 B.C) as they collected together for a pint with their mates and shared a pipe
of hippo shit.
And nor did I think it was likely to have distracted any of the lads fighting the Trojan War (800 B.C).
Not even the brickies either, as they built Hadrian his wall (122 A.D).
Ok, I’m not blaming Hollywood; I’m only suggesting that this silly question is comparatively recent.
One more thing which became obvious was that, if we are to consider the question seriously it is foolish to think of it in direct, sexual terms. Its only serious relevance (to sex) is indirect, inasmuch as it relates to whatever commitments have been agreed between two people in a relationship.
In this regard monogamy strikes me as heavy shit. I’m a male. Sometimes I’m desperate to shoot my load so ok, I have a wank. Then another wank …. and so forth. The point is that (thanks to Mother) this is a powerful urge.
My commitment to monogamy is therefore like a sacrifice…a sacrifice in the sense of ‘giving up’ a part of the right to be myself. I’m denying myself my natural inclinations.
But ok, if I’ve made a promise, then fine. That was part of the deal.
What monogamy calls for is an agreement to constrain personal sexual contact exclusively to one other person. It’s a reflection of the depth of a commitment, a shared promise.
So, having given the subject a serious airing would I still have replied ‘Monogamy sucks’?
Other than as part of a promise, I think the very notion of it is an ‘open sesame’ to living half a life.