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I've read it. I think that the concept has real validity in cases where, for whatever reason, be it illness, etc, sex within a marriage or long term relationship is taken off the table.

I do believe that a sexless life is pretty soul killing, and I understand that there are probably couples out there who still want to stay together in such a situation. And so having your needs met elsewhere can be a good thing.

In general, though I'd never presume to definitively state what is the "right" way to have a relationship. We are all different.

But I also, feel, for reasons I am not sure I can fully articulate, the stance as presented here is a little too male focused. Maybe it's because I live in Seattle and read Dan Savage all the time (and see him all the time), and I get overall impression that according to him monogamy is a control mechanism straight women utilize over their men.
 

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I have yet to meet a happy person in a sexless marriage. But, my man and I work hard to keep the fires lit in the bedroom even after 23 years of wedded life.

And yeh, I thought the tone was blaming towards women.
 

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I read the article. I do agree that it is a little down of females in general. I have to agree that infidelity doesn't HAVE to mean the end of a relationship. And I definitely agree that a partner shouldn't have to do something they don't want/like just because their spouse wants it. I think it would take a VERY STRONG marriage, and 2 people who were totally and unconditionally devoted to each other to make infidelity work within a relationship. It is easy for one person to talk the talk, but once lines have been crossed, forgivness can be hard to come by.
 

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I think finding casual sex that doesn't involve falling in love with the other person is much easier for men than women. Therefore, I find this concept to be biased.
 

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Actually, Savage's proposal sounds a lot like my proposal to my dh when we got married. He wanted a more traditional monogamous relationship, though, and that's what we have had for a lot of years. I deferred to him on this because his family background was full of stable and happy monogamous marriages, and mine was full of divorce, drama and damaged families. I wanted a successful and happy marriage above all and I was more than willing to do monogamy to get it. From my perspective, nearly 2 decades later, I am not sure our relationship and family would have survived a non-monogamous union. I would still value honesty and forgiveness over fidelity in a marriage, I think, but that's never been tested for me, so what do I know, really?

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Originally Posted by A&A View Post

I think finding casual sex that doesn't involve falling in love with the other person is much easier for men than women. Therefore, I find this concept to be biased.
Oh, well said! You've put your finger on the problem here for me.

I suspect that if I ever went the route of infidelity, I would be driven by emotional needs, not physical ones.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoshaMosha View Post

The premise is that stability and not monogamy should be the goal of marriage and that being "monogamish" could be the saving grace of lots of marriages that are threatened by boredom and sexual dissatisfaction.

Good idea or bad idea?
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Originally Posted by Dia View Post
But I also, feel, for reasons I am not sure I can fully articulate, the stance as presented here is a little too male focused. Maybe it's because I live in Seattle and read Dan Savage all the time (and see him all the time), and I get overall impression that according to him monogamy is a control mechanism straight women utilize over their men.
I also think that he formulated his philosophy from the opposite end of the fidelity spectrum, where gay men had been rejoicing in their growing public acceptance in the 70s, which included a lot of very, very casual sex. He was observing the pain caused by some of this casual sex, contrasted with stable hetero relationships he was familiar with. And so he started advocating monogamy-ishness :-D in the gay community. For a while he was considered kind of a radical conservative, at least relatively speaking.

Anyway, I think it's important to know this about him, that he came at this philosophy from the opposite direction: recommending more monogamy for a population that was actively non-monogamous.
 

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Just wanted to thank the OP for sharing this article. I shared it with my dh and we've been having a great marriage-strengthening conversation about it today.
 

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Interesting, but I find myself unclear as to Adam Savage's stance. Or maybe it's just his word choice? On the one hand, he is encouraging couples to find the balance of monogomy/non-momogomy that works for both partners. Honesty and openness are prized. And on the other hand, he is saying well, people cheat and the spouse should be ready to forgive which implies that there was not openness prior to the affair. Yet the other partner should accept it anyway and still feel safe in the relationship. I can get behind the former; the latter, not so much.

I do think he was spot on with his assessment of why it is so hard for many people to consider not being everything their spouse needs, though. That definitely struck a cord with me. At any rate, this is an article I'll be sharing with my husband...it should certainly spark some interesting conversations, as his father had multiple affairs while he was growing up. His opinion is that his father's actions were "wrong but understandable." He is also one who swears up and down that he would never in a million years consider or be tempted into an affair himself.
 

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I think Dan Savage, as a sex advice columnist, has keen insight into the crazy and un-tamable world of human sexuality. And so if spouses know it's "wrong" and "against the rules" to cheat, why do they still feel so compelled to do it? I think he is merely suggesting that a tweaking of the rules could benefit marriages. After all, how many marriages have been destroyed due to such issues? If "indiscretions" were more tolerated in marriages, more children would have the financial, emotional and logistical benefits of staying in two-parent homes. I guess the question really is how emotionally stable are "open marriages." I suppose the answer is whichever choice doesn't ultimately lead to divorce--which is different for everybody.
 

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I think the biggest thing is to be aware your partner has different needs from yourself and they need those needs met. You can't expect someone to go without their most important need being met indefinitely, whether it is affection, sex or conversation, a partner with unmet needs is vulnerable to temptation to find someone else to meet those needs.

I think just having open and honest conversations with your partner, where they feel safe to express their real feelings without being shamed for them, and working to meet each others most important needs (marriage builders style) is a better long term solution than telling them they can find them elsewhere.

While I don't have a problem at all with people choosing a non monogamous lifestyle (and have talked it over with my husband and length and would prefer it as a solution than either of us lying or cheating) I don't see it as a desirable solution.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

I think finding casual sex that doesn't involve falling in love with the other person is much easier for men than women. Therefore, I find this concept to be biased.
As someone who has been part of the casual sex community for a very long time it depends on what you mean. As a woman I can walk into a sex party and (if I am in the right kind of mind set) and find play 75% + of the time. For my husband... enh... more like 40%? If a woman is interested in sex that does not involve love it is much much easier for a woman to get it. However, women who want that kind of sex are less common so men have to deal with the fact that most women believe in the Embargo.

Ok, in short the Embargo is the reference we use for the control women have over sex. It's real. It's a big thing. For simple examples of it, look at things like The Rules. Think of rules like, "You can never be interested in a guy after a friend has dated him." That's cutting him off from sex in a group of people (even if another woman is interested in him) as punishment. That's the Embargo. It is alive and well in most marriages I know of. To be fair, there are men in on the Embargo. My
Cuss.gif
ex-boyfriend absolutely used sex as a weapon. I only got any when I made him happy enough. That was hard to do.

Err, yeah... I'm all for Dan Savage's point of view. That would be why my husband slept with one of our friends last weekend. His bitchy nastiness was getting out of control (lack of sex sucks) and I'm just not up for sex right now. So I patted him on the head and he went and found a way to improve his mood. It's a win all around.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

As someone who has been part of the casual sex community for a very long time it depends on what you mean. As a woman I can walk into a sex party and (if I am in the right kind of mind set) and find play 75% + of the time. For my husband... enh... more like 40%?
See, I wouldn't even know where to find one of those, even if I were interested.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

See, I wouldn't even know where to find one of those, even if I were interested.
If you ever decide you want to find out, you give me a call. I have contacts all over the country.
joy.gif
 

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The control women have over sex: yes, here in the western world women have the right and the power to say 'no'. So in any relationship, whether it's all of 3 hours old or 30 year old, the woman always, always decides whether they will have sex.

And the logical consequence is that in a monogamous relationship the gal decides whether her dude will have sex at all, for the length of their relationship -whether it's only for 3 hours or for 30 years.

I know I certainly did not comprehend that perspective when dh and I first got married.

Edited to say, I'm realizing that my statement here assumes that the man is always interested in and willing to have sex. Sorry, that wasn't an accurate generalization at all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

And the logical consequence is that in a monogamous relationship the gal decides whether her dude will have sex at all, for the length of their relationship -whether it's only for 3 hours or for 30 years.
To show the flip side here because not all of us are the same. The big downside of monogamy is that if you are high needs female married to low needs male.. you have to do without a lot.
 

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Originally Posted by philomom View Post

To show the flip side here because not all of us are the same. The big downside of monogamy is that if you are high needs female married to low needs male.. you have to do without a lot.
Yes, I'm sorry!
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See my edit, above.
 

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This is an excellent point, I hadn't thought of this.

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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

I also think that he formulated his philosophy from the opposite end of the fidelity spectrum, where gay men had been rejoicing in their growing public acceptance in the 70s, which included a lot of very, very casual sex. He was observing the pain caused by some of this casual sex, contrasted with stable hetero relationships he was familiar with. And so he started advocating monogamy-ishness :-D in the gay community. For a while he was considered kind of a radical conservative, at least relatively speaking.

Anyway, I think it's important to know this about him, that he came at this philosophy from the opposite direction: recommending more monogamy for a population that was actively non-monogamous.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

The control women have over sex: yes, here in the western world women have the right and the power to say 'no'. So in any relationship, whether it's all of 3 hours old or 30 year old, the woman always, always decides whether they will have sex.

And the logical consequence is that in a monogamous relationship the gal decides whether her dude will have sex at all, for the length of their relationship -whether it's only for 3 hours or for 30 years.

I know I certainly did not comprehend that perspective when dh and I first got married.

Edited to say, I'm realizing that my statement here assumes that the man is always interested in and willing to have sex. Sorry, that wasn't an accurate generalization at all.
Part of my problem with the Embargo isn't that women turn down sex when they are uninterested (I say I don't want to have sex on days when it wouldn't be good for me) but rather that women think that because they don't want to have sex then the man should have to do without as well. That's the part that bothers me, as someone who has usually been the higher drive partner. So whereas I am usually in the polar opposite situation, I have a lot of sympathy for men in this scenario. When I am the low drive partner I pat my husband on the head and say make sure you take a shower before coming to bed.

I always find it hilarious that people act like monogamy is the default and nonmonogamy is an aberration. Err, through most of history men with any noticeable power and prestige always had mistresses and lower class men just visited prostitutes. This is not new. Talking about it openly and giving women equal access *is* new. It's not that women used to be chaste, obviously not. But if you look at DNA you notice that on aggregate people have twice as many female ancestors as males. That means some creepy incest, but hey. 50% of men (historically) will not reproduce. The percentage of women who bear no children is much lower, though I don't remember it specifically.

It's worth pointing out that my big issue with the Embargo is that it tells *women* that they *should* say no to sex as a way of controlling their husband. "Oh he isn't doing x,y,z? Withhold sex. That will force him to shape up!" Ugh. Just... ugh. Sex should be something that is mutually awesome and fabulous. Not something that is used to control either person.
 
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