June 30, 2011

“The mistake that straight people made was imposing the monogamous expectation on men."

Says Dan Savage (in a big NYT Magazine story about him):
“Men were never expected to be monogamous. Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitar­ian and fairsey.”
Fairsey? I suppose that's fairs-y — signifying a childish approach to fairness. Am I right? Just trying to understand. Appeals to fairness may sometimes be oversimplified and not really — at some deeper level — fair. He seems to be saying that the female-driven concept of fairness in marriage is a caricature of fairness that favors women, because man's needs are different/greater — as the history of marriage shows. (And yes, I know there are heterosexual couples where the woman has the greater demand for frequency and variety and that Dan Savage is well aware of that.)
In the feminist revolution, rather than extending to women “the same latitude and license and pressure-release valve that men had always enjoyed,” we extended to men the confines women had always endured. “And it’s been a disaster for marriage.”

In their own marriage, Savage and [his husband Terry] Miller practice being what he calls “monogamish,” allowing occasional infidelities, which they are honest about. Miller was initially opposed to the idea. “You assume as a younger person that all relationships are monogamous and between two people, that love means nothing can come between you,” said Miller, who met Savage at a club in 1995, when he was 23 and Savage was 30. “Dan has taught me to be more realistic about that kind of stuff.

“It was four or five years before it came up,” Miller said. “It’s not about having three-ways with somebody or having an open relationship. It is just sort of like, Dan has always said if you have different tastes, you have to be good, giving and game, and if you are not G.G.G. for those tastes, then you have to give your partner the out. It took me a while to get down with that.”
Interesting for the NYT to publish this the week that New York legalized same-sex marriage.

171 comments:

Rialby said...

Hmmm... so maybe those crazy activists who suggest the the Left was never interested in traditional marriage for non-traditional couples are correct? Maybe it's about breaking down the idea of marriage all together? What's next polyamory? Oh, wait. That's what they've described.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So feminism was all about stopping married men from fooling around? Jessica Valenti and all the other good feminists in the big Clinton photo shoot must be some kind of surprised.

Shouting Thomas said...

Before I respond to this, Althouse, a question:

What's the point of these posts by dipshit idiot writers?

We're supposed to take loons like Savage and Sullivan seriously?

I'm sort of out of the loop on the academic way of looking at things. Reading and commenting on the ravings of lunatics is supposed to be enlightening in some way?

It's a Weird Sisters sort of thing? The deranged as lightening rods for some spooky supernatural truth?

Freeman Hunt said...

Way to make the gay marriage opposition say, "See! See! We told you so," Dan.

His poor husband. He sounds just like one of those wives whose husband has manipulated her into thinking that his crummy treatment of her and disregard for her feelings is normal.

Suburbanbanshee said...

"Dan has taught me to be more realistic about that kind of stuff."

Translation: "Dan, the older and more dominant member of our relationship, told me that his part of the relationship was sleeping with anybody he felt like, and my part was to stick around all the time as his easy-access guy. He also taught me to believe that this was a totally fair balance of power, because otherwise he'd make my life miserable and break up with me. Being treated like crud is the summa bonum of modern love."

Freeman Hunt said...

From the article:

That, anyway, is what Dan Savage, America’s leading sex-advice columnist, would say. Although best known for his It Gets Better project, an archive of hopeful videos aimed at troubled gay youth

America's leading sex-advice columnist?
Best known for his It Gets Better project?

I think the author of this piece likes to play pretty loose with reality.

Fred4Pres said...

Your progressive Ann aren't you? If Meade floated an idea like this you would be good with it? Or vice versa?

I did not think so.

I suspect an "open' relationship is almost doomed to failure in the long term. I do not care what Dan Savage and his partner agrees to. That is their business. But Savqage's partner seems to have misgivings too. If you can limit yourself to your spouse (and granted that requires a degree of discipline) it does tend to focus you on that relationship and making it work. Of course, you have to be with a compatable person to begin with.

Speaking of generalities, it is true that men probably want to stray more from a pure sexual drive more than women. When women stray it tends to be more about seeking intimacy than sex (although sex is definitely part of it).

Dad29 said...

Typical. Begin with a false premise (that is, ignoring the CLEAR story of Genesis, later re-stated even more stringently by Christ) and anything you want becomes justified.

Argumentum ab fallaciae, so to speak.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, how long until gay activists start bitching for something else?

How long until the sexual identity obsessed left starts bitching that it wants something else?

Is this the opening salvo in the next "civil rights" struggle of the hip vs. the bigots?

Fred4Pres said...

The two most sexually charged groups I have ever seen are old Saudi men and male gays. They seem obsessed on the subject.

tom said...

The Times did a full 'gay marriage isn't monogamous' article a few months ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html

Moose said...

sorry kids - this has always been a major fallacy of SSM. that gay men would be monogamous in the same way as straights.

further trivializing the concept of marriage.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. One can't help but chuckle at the idea of married men and women being expected to have occasional affairs. Yes, what a wonderful world that would be, a world full of people running around consumed by murderous jealousy.

Scott M said...

Once you realize that a gay man is discussing how monogamy sucks for men , you are not ill-served by tuning out.

Speaking as a reformed horndog (promiscuous with a capital P), being faithful to one woman has increased my quality of life tenfold if not more.

Infidelity is about animal urges, nothing more. Beware those that would tout marital infidelity as a means to maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse. They are usually full of grade A horseshit.

EDH said...

I like how the explicit lyrics are so incongruous with the wholesome image of this music video.

Not Fair

Oh, he treats me with respect,
He says he loves me all the time,
He calls me 15 times a day,
He likes to make sure that im fine,
You know I've never met a man,
Whose made me feel quite so secure,
He's not like all them other boys,
They're all so dumb and immature.

There's just one thing,
That's getting in the way,
When we go up to bed your just no good,
its such a shame!
I look into your eyes,
I want to get to know you,
And then you make this noise,
and it's apparent, it's all over

Its not fair,
And i think your really mean,
I think your really mean,
I think your really mean.

Oh your supposed to care,
But you never make me scream,
You never make me scream,

Oh it's not fair,
And it's really not ok,
It's really not ok,
It's really not ok,

Oh, you're supposed to care,
But all you do is take,
Yeah, all you do is take.

Oh, I lie here in the wet patch
in the middle of the bed.
I'm feeling pretty damn hard done by
I've spent ages giving head
Then I remember all the nice things,
that you never said to me.
Maybe I'm just overreacting,
maybe you're the one for me.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Freeman and SuburbanBans nailed that part. That kind of bullying in the guise of enlightenment is gross when it's a man and woman, and gross when it's a male homosexual couple. I wonder who controls the other aspects of their relationship (hobbies, living circumstances, finances).

***********************************

I'm generally supportive of gay marriage. Hearing that male same-sex partners generally don't want to be monogamous reminds me of my reservations.

I don't find the "don't call it marriage" arguments persuasive against same-sex marriage. While I wouldn't begrudge people who want open relationships, I'm pretty turned off by the idea of calling something like that a marriage. (With straight couples, it's rare enough that I don't care as much. I guess it remains to be seen how that applies to gay couples.)

- Lyssa

Freeman Hunt said...

Do people considered legally married straight couples in open marriages to actually be married? I know I don't. It's one thing for a couple to have an expectation of fidelity where one falls short, but it's another entirely for there to be no attempt at all.

Rialby said...

Btw, correct me if I'm wrong, but Dan Savage is the guy who got sick, licked his hand and tried to get a bunch of people sick on the campaign trail when W was running, no?

t-man said...

Dan ("sending pics of your dick to young girls is the 'new normal'
")Savage tells women to just lay back and accept the redefinition of marriage.

The problem is that stability is far more important to male-female marriages than same-sex marriages. And infidelity breeds instability. No one is supposed to bring that up though.

Dan in Philly said...

Well, how bout we call it "marriagsey"

Trapper Townshend said...

Between this article and the Katherine Franke "our alternative arrangements are better than boring conventional marriage" piece from last week, I'd say the NY Times is making a stronger argument against gay marriage than the National Organization for Marriage.

This article actually quotes that 2010 "study" which purported to show that 50% of gay couples are nonmonogamous, and which used as its sample anybody they could find hanging around San Francisco.

"It may be why we’re still together.” -- Savage on his nine extramarital flings and their role in his marriage. That's really sad. To say something like that in public about your relationship -- what a horrible thing to do.

Drew said...

This is the second column Althouse has posted since New York's decision that seems to have the subtext: "We didn't really want 'marriage'; we just wanted to agitate about it and claim the mantle of victimhood."

Shouting Thomas said...

There are people who fashion their sex lives on the advice of gossip columnists?

Drew said...

Btw, correct me if I'm wrong, but Dan Savage is the guy who got sick, licked his hand and tried to get a bunch of people sick on the campaign trail when W was running, no?

Yes, Dan the Doorknob-licker tried to infect Republicans in Iowa during, I think, the 2000 presidential campaign. (Or possibly the 1996 one.) This, among other things, is why I consider him to be one of the scummiest people ever given a national platform.

G Joubert said...

Illustrative of how and why gay marriage is a political canard.

Curious George said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Heh. One can't help but chuckle at the idea of married men and women being expected to have occasional affairs. Yes, what a wonderful world that would be, a world full of people running around consumed by murderous jealousy.

I agree, and I think you will find that gay male couple will have a higher incidence of not only divorce, but actual murderous jealousy. There is a big difference between saying you are in a committed relationship (that you can simply walk away from) and being committed to a relationship.

Shouting Thomas said...

We didn't really want 'marriage'; we just wanted to agitate about it and claim the mantle of victimhood.

Exactly.

So, Althouse, what's the next great battleground for the eternal war between the hipsters and the bigots?

How will the hipsters continue to feel sanctimonious and superior to the bigots without a great civil rights battle to fight?

Rialby said...

I hope Dan's not out "chasing the bug". Remember when Sully got his panties in a wad trying to deny that's even something that some members of his community actually do?

Lucius said...

The costs of monogamy are indeed terrible. Perhaps the only prospect even more stifling and deadly is the price of promiscuity.

Germaine Greer, who I take it has led a rather wayward lovelife, writes with great sensitivity on the monogamous, egalistarian marriage ideal exemplified (and, to a considerable extent, introduced) in Shakespearean comedy.

Savage is, alas, correct enough to imply that our ideals of companionate marriage are a relatively modern invention.

But it highlights the hypocrisies in the gay and progressive communities in laying claim to the legal/social sanction of marriage when there is strong reason to suspect that many gays individually, and the gay activist community collectively, have no real, ahem, committment to the institution.

So yes, fuming that Gay Marriage is just a plank in the raceclassgender crowd's warfare eternal against the dire Tyranny of the Father, is not simply paranoid.

Daddy isn't always right; and often he has been a tyrant. But the indoctrination of women and the Young People in programatic promiscuity is not going to make Daddy more level-headed.

Quite the contrary: it makes the supposedly liberated others confused, depressed, and insufferable to themselves and others.

Seeing Red said...

Men were never expected to be monogamous. Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitar­ian and fairsey.”



That's why women r different.

This is what women do.

Civilize man.


What in the hell was in the water while the boomer generation was gestating?


Why is it ALL ABOUT SEX???!!!

Everything is abouy sex.

Why do U ID yourself by what's below the belt?


wv: bingleu

I'm leuing my bing.

Trapper Townshend said...

National Review's recent editorial against the NY gay marriage law basically just reprinted verbatim the NY Times article by the Columbia lawprof which claimed that gay couples' "alternative arrangements" are superior to marriage. It seems to me that other people or outlets which disapprove of gay marriage could do the same thing with this article.

Sixty Grit said...

He's not married married, you know...

Rialby said...

Here's Tammy Bruce on that Sully "bug chasing" denial thing

traditionalguy said...

Sexual immorality in marriage is a destructive force. The cheated upon spouse never accepts that conduct. It destroys the trust and intimacy that makes "knowing" one's spouse such a special gift. It also harms the physical body. I wonder how Tiger Wood's body is doing on the golf course these days? But if they say that men's DNA are built for sex with serial strangers, then what can a man do? What he can do is quit chasing sluts whenever he decides to quit.

SMGalbraith said...

This - Mr. Savage - is what worries good folks (like me, I think, who support same sex marriage) about the gay left agenda.

They don't want to be part of the mainstream, they don't wish to be part of America; they want to radically change the institutions they demand they get to join.

It's important, I think, to contrast radicals like Savage and Andrew Sullivan with thoughtful gay writers like Jonathan Raunch.

Here's Raunch on SSM: Gay Marriage is Good for America.

It's thinking like this that made me support gay marriage.

Although Savage gives me pause.

slarrow said...

Best advice I've heard (that I plan to pass on to my kids when they're old enough) about love and marriage is this: first, give your mind. Next, give your heart. Last, give your body. Get the order right, and you'll be all right. Get the order wrong, and you're in for a world of hurt.

Just marked 15 years with my wife, almost 14 of which are married years. And this Savage punk is supposed to be the guy who says what marriage is? Please.

Fab Forty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JimMuy said...

How surprising that a gay man has no idea about marriage.

And this whole thing about a man having concubines, mistresses and prostitutes? Yes, rich men and nobility; those above the law. Because they could afford it (if they wanted the responsibility) and no one could stop them (if they didn't). Funny how a person who loves to wrap themselves in the flag of equality really, at his core, loves the idea of emulating the worst of the most unequal and unfair of societies. Like the good leftist foot-soldiers, he sees himself as being welcomed into the new nobility--at least as a courtesan--of the more perfect society they are building.

NY has gone from Gotham to Gomorrah in a generation.

Rialby said...

"Taking stupid sexual risks--even if risk turns you on--is reckless; anal sex on the first date--even with condoms--is a bad idea; giving someone HIV--even if he wants it--is immoral; being a huge fucking slut--as popular as that might make you--has physical and emotional consequences." (Dan Savage)

Notice how massages the language? Don't be a "huge" slut. Don't have anal on the "first" date.

Terrific.

SMGalbraith said...

As a married female, I have to agree. I don’t think monogamy is normal

I'm not sure what you mean by "normal".

Are we animals or human beings? Do we have free will or don't we?

I imagine, to use an anlogy, that selfishness is normal. We see children grabbing toys and not sharing.

But we teach children and develop institutions and a culture that says selfishness and greed are not good. Yes, it's good to be an individual and to be productive and make money and be successful.

But there's more to life than that.

Greed is normal like promiscuity among men. But the naturalistic fallacy that what is normal is good is just that, a fallacy.

Shouting Thomas said...

Am I the only person responding to this who doesn't give a fuck what anybody else thinks about how I conduct my sex life?

I'm not looking for permission for what I want to do.

I'm not looking to anybody else for advice on how to go about it.

If something goes wrong, I'm not looking for somebody else to excuse it or fix it.

I'm an adult. I don't belong to any of the various junior high school cliques.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Fab Fourty appears to have been brought up in an entirely different society then I was. I've always understood that sort of thing to be perfectly acceptable, particuarly between responsible married couples. Pop culture has backed that up- did she never watch one of the ubiquitous family sitcoms from the 80's and 90's that culminated with the mom putting on something PG-sexy and getting "Wooo"s from the studio audience?

I think marriage is hard. It’s a grind. Things get stale. And gee whiz not every partner in every marriage gives two hoots about making any of it better .

She also appears to have had an entirely different understanding of marriage than I, though my experiences, have. My marriage of 10 years is the exact opposite of everything there.

Sad.

- Lyssa

Scott M said...

Am I the only person responding to this who doesn't give a fuck what anybody else thinks about how I conduct my sex life?

No, but, at your age, a narrative on your sex life is more a pamphlet on Jewish sports heroes rather than War And Peace.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

My last comment was supposed to start with this quote from Fab Fourty:



Not sure why it didn't take.

Shouting Thomas said...

No, but, at your age, a narrative on your sex life is more a pamphlet on Jewish sports heroes rather than War And Peace.

Point well taken, but I do have my eye on a very hot Social Security mama at the Senior Center.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Or that one. How strange- well, it was the quote about how society has always drilled it into our heads that women can't be soccer moms and bad girls in the bedroom.


Oh, and I should also add: Sex is not at all comparable to ice cream. I've not tryed all of the flavors of ice cream in the world, but I've never heard of any that can create new people as a result of eating them. (Nor have I ever had one nearly as pleasurable.)

Scott M said...

Point well taken, but I do have my eye on a very hot Social Security mama at the Senior Center.

lol

SMGalbraith said...

Am I the only person responding to this who doesn't give a fuck what anybody else thinks about how I conduct my sex life?

As you implied, nobody cares.

But if you want to write an op-ed piece about your sex life and use it to justify changes in either public policy or our mores and values, then people will push back.

If Savage wants to have his type of open marriage, fine. But if he wishes to promote it on the pages of the NY Times or makes changes in public institutions based on it, he'll have a response.

JimMuy said...

Monogamous marriage between one man and one woman isn't something that "society decided" (as if such a thing is even possible). No. It was arrived at after hundreds of thousands of real-life, real-time experiments using real, live test subjects. Humans, with the same emotions, same drives and same intelligence as modern humans, have tested every type and manner of marriage--including those types you think to your modern, smug self are new and better.
But, by all means, keep the delusion that the skill-set that allows you to read somehow makes one smarter and better than someone with the skill-set to forge a sword from raw materials.

Fab Forty said...

@lyssalovelyredhead

To clarify. I did watch those sitcoms and I didn’t have that upbringing. But the majority of my female friends did have that nice girls don’t upbringing. There is hard wiring there about sexuality that can’t be undone even in the realm of a committed loving relationship. There is a double standard. Perhaps not to the extent of the 1950s but I really do think it’s out there lurking in the minds of many women.

t-man said...

In theory, I don't care about anyone's sex life. Infidelity is about more than one's sex life, however. Broken marriages affect the community beyond the immediate couple, which is why there is a social stigma to infidelity. Also, when I find out someone is cheating on his/her spouse, I trust that person a whole lot less.

Fred4Pres said...

I agree with Shouting Thomas' post immediately above and I agree with SMGailbraith's post.

I do not care what other people do (especially in the privacy of their own homes) provided they are consenting adults and it is not impacting me. But if they are going to project their belief system on us all, then of course it can get push back.

Fred4Pres said...

I meant the ST post above the immediate above post.

DADvocate said...

the female-driven concept of fairness in marriage is a caricature of fairness that favors women

Completely disregarding sex, this statement is true. But, women are fragile and weak. They need the advantage, as Bill Wineke pointed out the other day.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

FF, I hope that this doesn't sound rude, but in that case, your female friends need to get over themselves and think a little bit more independantly. If they want to have missionary vanilla sex, good for them. If they want to have bad girl fishnet sex, have it. Just don't make babies with jerks (that goes for the fellows, too).

This whole fussing about how society told them (somehow) that they shoudn't and therefore they can't is silly and demeaning to women.

- Lyssa

madAsHell said...

Mr. Miller is emotionally battered.
Mr. Savage doesn't care about anything except his prick.

Saint Croix said...

Well, the sexes aren't equal when it comes to sex. Women get pregnant, men don't.

So if a husband sleeps around, the wife still knows her children are hers.

If a wife sleeps around, fatherhood has been destroyed, basically.

So a wife cheating on her husband is worse than a husband cheating on his wife. It's not just betrayal of the marriage. It also undermines and destroys the man's relationship with his children.

At a biological and animal level, men sleep around to ensure they are reproducing. Women know they can reproduce, so they have no biological need to sleep around.

Marriage is an attempt to civilize humanity, to have us act better than animals. It's an attempt to bring man into the role of father. If you have that, society is in good shape. If you don't, you're fucked.

Marriage is far more than just a public statement of love. It is an institution designed to raise our children and reproduce our species.

George Grady said...

Society expects it because someone somewhere decreed that it was only acceptable have sex with one person for the whole of one’s life.

Not quite. It is only acceptable to have sex with one person for the remainder of one's life, once one has made that promise. You see, that's what marriage is: a promise. There is a faction in our society who is trying to reduce that promise to empty words, while others are struggling to have that promise still mean something.

I think monogamy it’s great for families but not so great for the adults in them.

Monogamy is plenty great for plenty of adults. And the fact that it's especially important for families is why a lot of people get upset when people who have no stake in that insist on changing what marriage is.

My feeling is that easy divorce has been much, much worse for marriage and families than gay marriage will be. And it's because there are just too few adults in this country.

Joan said...

How odd that Savage thinks that expectations of males being monogamous started with feminism. It goes back a lot longer than that, to the institution of Judaism and the Ten Commandments, which started the idea that adultery is a sin. Christianity agrees.

Remember that adultery isn't just a married person having sex with someone other than his or her spouse -- it's anyone having sex with anyone other than a spouse, so it includes all sex outside of marriage.

I began this by thinking that Savage was both foolish and ignorant, but when I hit the comments from Miller about becoming "more realistic" about infidelity, I realized Savage is just evil.

Scott M said...

Marriage is an attempt to civilize humanity, to have us act better than animals.

Bald eagles mate for life don't they? Just sayin'...



("Birds of prey know they're cool.")

YoungHegelian said...

Dan Savage's is now learning the hard way the old adage "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."

The question of married monogamy is not an academic exercise for gay men. They know that it will mean that a pissed off ex-partner will be able to clean them out in divorce court on grounds of infidelity. They know because they've seen it happen to their straight friends and co-workers.

So, what to do? Get married and share the bennies of legal couples, while putting your dick on ice, or keep things informal as it is now?

SMGalbraith said...

As others have noted, Savage is undermining the argument for gay marriage.

I support gay marriage because gay people should have the same right to have the sharing of their lives recognized legally as heterosexual couples do.

Life is tough. It's unfair. It stinks. We fall down and fail.

And if we're lucky, we find another person who we help and who helps us. Someone who accepts us for our failures and stupidity.

Gay people are now fortunate after centuries of oppression to do that. To find someone.

And Savage comes along and says all of that specialness of finding someone and sharing your life and making commitments to are just so much old fashioned repression.

It ain't just sex, Dan.

If I was against SSM, I'd hire Savage to be my spokesman.

Moose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moose said...

I have to echo Grady here - the damage is done. SSM and the concept of how gays view monogamy just icing on the cake. We're all so concerned about not being limited we don't see the damage all this crap does to our families and children.

carrie said...

At least a gay finally publically admitted this. His views are consitent with the views of most gay men that I know which is the reason that I am against gay (not necessarily lesbian) marriages. Children can result from heterosexual marriages which is one of the reasons why monogamy is so important in marriages. I think that many people who are sympathetic to gay marriages are sympathetic because they believe that gay married couples will be monogamous like heterosexual married couples---it is great that the truth is finally being told. The more gays that are honest about, and speak up about, the gay moral code the better.

edutcher said...

Frankly, I think this is one of those Lefty Boomer-hippie excuses for them to do what they want.

A mature man (or woman) can live happily in monogamy. A bad marriage may engender infidelity, but not all males are forever on the lookout for the next lay once they marry. The smart ones know when they have a good thing and a certain male loyalty to dependent children also comes into play.

Also, the "concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes" business was for the rich through most of history. So he's clearly lying there.

Carol_Herman said...

Annal sex is disgusting.

And, this "gay" business usually involves older men who use underage boys. There's no getting around this. And, what we will see will be the importation of sex slaves of Thailand.

It's stupid to let left ideology take one last swing as it is fading away.

The EPIC FAIL is not quiet! The elites are shooting off rocket fire. And, the skies will be lit by their supervnova.

Whatever mischief they can get away with ... before they're tossed out. Dead ideas. Dead ways of their politicians to get elected. And, dead for them, too, when they run to the press.

They once said the USSR wasn't going to fail.

It has failed. Only the propaganda noise remains to terrify. (If propaganda terrifies ya.) Propaganda is like ghost stories. When reality teaches, finally, that there are no ghosts.

William said...

I don't think Savage or many other practitioners of open marriages will go on to celebrate their Golden Annniversary.....Fidelity is not an ancillary feature of marriage, like giving up sweets for Lent is for religion. It is the whole point and purpose of marriage, like believing in Christ is for Christians.....Nothing burns down a relationship quicker than infidelity. Well, fire and ice. Money will tear couples asunder, but it takes longer.....Monogamy is harder for men, but, in the long run, they come out ahead. The wives of many here would prefer to be one of Brad Pitt's wives or, perhaps, even his concubine. However, in our society, that option is not open to them. They have to settle for you.....Also, after a while, there's a kind of monotony and superficiality to promiscuity that wears you down. There is actually more complexity and change in a married relationship than in a quickie. In my married life, I was never an adulterer, but I have been promiscuous. I would presume that adultery is like promiscuity squared. Further, the third wheel in the adulterous relationship is bound to feel like a bit player. For just this reason, I would have turned down Angelina Jolie's advances had she made them.

Phil 3:14 said...

And this is why Gay marriage is so important!


Hmmm, did I get that narrative right?

I can't keep track.

SMGalbraith said...

And, this "gay" business usually involves older men who use underage boys. There's no getting around this. And, what we will see will be the importation of sex slaves of Thailand

I think you need to get out more.

And I'll remind you - or inform you - that the biggest users of child porn and underage prostitutes are heterosexuals.

Neither "side" can be proud of themselves.

Geoff Matthews said...

This was exactly my fear, that homosexuals would try to undermine the expectation of fidelity in marriage.
The sort of people arguing for SSM were the same sorts that argued that marriage was just a piece of paper. That link made it hard for me to take the SSM argument at face value.
FWIW, there have been plenty of studies showing that fidelity among male couples is rare. I do think the folks who argue for fidelity among SSM folks will drowned out by those who argue that fidelity is an archaic structure of a repressed society.
And I think that these argument will gain traction in main-stream society to the point where affairs and open-marriages among heterosexual couples will become more common.
Do I think that SSM will cause this? No, but I do think that it makes it harder to fight against it.

Seeing Red said...

And I'll remind you - or inform you - that the biggest users of child porn and underage prostitutes are heterosexuals.



When it's a 95/5 ratio....at best.

Kids r kids, disgusting any which way.

Phil 3:14 said...

Maybe Mr. Savage is saying:

You Hetero's f**ked up marriage, now let us gays try our hand at it.

I bet we can REALLY f**k it up!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I've not tryed all of the flavors of ice cream in the world, but I've never heard of any that can create new people as a result of eating them.

I've never heard of any people that can create new people as a result of eating them either, but it's not a bad way to get the ball rolling. :)

BCW said...

Many posters are citing the myth that men are more promiscuous than women. In surveys, men appear to have more partners but it's mathematically impossible: for each Arnold Schwarzenegger there has to be a Mildred Baena. A man can't gain another partner unless a woman does the same. (Unless there are an awful lot of Larry Craigs.)

The truth is that women and men lie differently to surveys, but lie together the same.

Seeing Red said...

Here's an Obamacare tie in.


No salt, no smokes, ect.


but 20% of the population, IIRC, has genital herpes.


No cure.

No one says anything about all the STDs we have to pay for


when restraint just may cut down on our costs.

No one really talks about how much STDs cost the collective, but they'll attack anything else.

Scott M said...

Many posters are citing the myth that men are more promiscuous than women. In surveys, men appear to have more partners but it's mathematically impossible

I'm not gay, but I understand the dynamic of the gay men single scene from gay friends I've had over the years. Your math would crumble in dismay in light of their numbers of couplings. Gay women do not have this problem. You give men a roomful of willing and like-minded sexual partners that don't necessarily have a problem with balls across the face, and they are going to rack up some impressive stats.

On the other hand, I single hetero manslut can screw 20 women in twenty days, but each of those women may not have more than five partners in a year. I'm not saying that's the norm, just that it flies in the face of your premise.

Not that I've ever gone 20-for-20 before or started any sort of club along those lines...

Moose said...

Me, I'm just waiting for Sully's nuanced interpretation of his role-model Savage's take on this.

Oh, and his complete and total commitment to fidelity to Aaron in print.

Yeeeeahhh....

edutcher said...

I also think there's an issue of honor to which most (though, God knows, not all) men subscribe. If you love a woman, the last thing you want to do is hurt her, so you keep your pants zipped.

The whole article is a Lefty let's-destroy-the-family-by-pushing-the-Playboy-Philosophy piece done by someone who probably doesn't know what manhood really is.

PS Savage sounds like a grand argument against same sex marriage.

PPS The pederasty thing gets blown to Hell if one has seen TV footage from any San Fiasco street fair.

Carol needs to check out zombietime.com.

But not on a full stomach.

t-man said...

Many posters are citing the myth that men are more promiscuous than women. In surveys, men appear to have more partners but it's mathematically impossible

Do those studies include prostitutes? That would solve the math problem. A prostitute can rack up a lot of "partners" in a lifetime.

aronamos said...

In any social structure in which gay men set the rules, from coture fashion to the Roman Catholic Church, women get the short end of the stick.

If gay men are now going to set the rules for marriage, the status of women in that institution will be degraded. Gay men see women as fundamentally flawed, because they do not have a penis.

PatCA said...

Sounds like he's just making excuses for the fact that he doesn't consider marriage something to live up to. It's merely another sort of relationship, for the time being. And sex is just good hygiene, or entertainment.

Yet the heteros seem to differ; the big study recently found that middle and upper class marriage is more stable than ever, while lower class marriage has ceased to exist. Just watch Teen Mom or Jerry Springer to see end stage "freedom" in marriage.

TMink said...

My God says differently. He did not say it would be normal or easy, just that he wanted me to be abstinent outside of marriage. Not that I was before I got married, but I have been since I got married, and we are happy. But it was not my idea. It is an act of obedience that God has blessed wonderfully.

Trey

SMGalbraith said...

Shorter Dan Savage/Andrew Sullivan et al.:

"We don't believe in marriage but we demand it for us too!!"

edutcher said...

aronamos said...

In any social structure in which gay men set the rules, from coture fashion to the Roman Catholic Church, women get the short end of the stick.

You make a lot of assumptions about the Church. Are you even in it?

carrie said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the government spent as much time, money and effort promoting abstinence and sex only within marriage as it does fighting obesity? I think the social and eceonomic costs of casual sex (e.g., STDs, teenage pregnancies, children born to parents who lack the means and the nurturing skills to be good parents, abortions, counseling to deal with the emotional effects of abortion, medical complicatons of abortion, paternity actions, low achievement of kids born to unwed teenage mothers, etc.) far outweigh the social and economic costs of obesity or happy meal toys.

Jay said...

Unfortunately society tells that that nice mini-van driving soccer moms who bake brownies and serve roast chicken for Sunday dinner shouldn’t be fishnet stocking wearing bad girls in the bedroom.

Which "society" would this be?

The one that celebrates Sex and the city?

Or the one that celebrates Desperate Housewives?

MayBee said...

Find me the person who isn't hurt if his spouse cheats on him.

Savage may believe people/men are hard wired to cheat, but we are also hard wired to feel emotional pain at infidelity.

Jay said...

when restraint just may cut down on our costs.

No one really talks about how much STDs cost the collective, but they'll attack anything else.


How about HIV?

I get the pleasure of paying for "free" drug cocktails for gay men in Washington DC who have lived recklessly and are 44- 77 times more likely to have HIV than a straight man.

Luther said...

"PPS The pederasty thing gets blown to Hell if one has seen TV footage from any San Fiasco street fair.

Carol needs to check out zombietime.com.

But not on a full stomach."

When these sorts of discussions come up, Zombie's film, which I watched a couple of years ago, comes to the fore in my mind. Pretty much crowding out any sympathy/empathy I might have for the gay agenda and calls for equality, as it seems that such debauchery is the whole point of gay 'acceptance'. Even as I know that many gays would be as disgusted as myself by the behavior displayed in that film. It is an internal contradiction, I guess, wishing to be open-minded but viscerally repelled at the same time.

I wonder if Dan Savage has taken a stroll down Folsom and what he thinks of the activity going on there. Would that fit in, in his idea of marriage, such 'escapades'.

Carol_Herman said...

Before people could read and write, marriages were between state actors. It bonded together families.

It made some tribes more important than others.

But the thing about marriages ... like the story of Cinderella ... it became folklore magic.

In all of that time men not only had sex with their wives, but schtupped sheep. Male friends. And, underage kids who couldn't run away fast enough.

None of those antics took on the folkloric magic of marriage. And, marriages blossomed into customs. Pretty much across borders and languages.

Even if the man didn't love his wife. Or the wife didn't love her husband ... the state ... and all the families of friends and neighbors, understood what it meant. It came with stature that spinsters weren't able to achieve.

And, most of the unions came with children. Not planned. But as a result of the husband and wife sharing their marital bed.

We are now watching the dying embers of a failed political experiment. When it started ... back in the 1930's ... with the collapse of one government: Hoover's. And, it's replacement with FDR. We got to see political changes.

But it didn't include annal sex as a religious marital ceremony. To the contrary. People born unable to enjoy heterosexual relationships, stuck their heads in closets.

Wasn't the only thing. There were words you couldn't say out loud. If you said "fuck" you could probably get arrested. And, if you said "cancer" to a dying person, you were thought of as a rotten egg, yourself.

Secrecy is gone, now.

Lots of stuff is much better when discussed openly.

But annal sex is still disgusting.

And, there's not ceremony out there that will give it credence.

While the left is now throwing at us everything they have.

Sort'a like a Kloppenoppen "victory" speech.

Which wsn't good enough for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. So we got act II ... with Abrhamson's and Bradley's "going public" against Prosser.

Well, Prosser hasn't been forced into "etiquette class" ... and, I doubt annal sex ceremonies won't meet with muster, either.

Of course, when there's MASSIVE FAIL on the left ... the results go unreported.

But you can just imagine, still ... how 3 bitches ... getting together for coffe in the morning ... Kloppenhoppen, Bradley and Abrahamson, stir away with venom. Calling out names to all their opponents. Shame you can't hear them now.

If you heard them you'd fall on the floor, laughing.

By the way, should you be invited to a wedding that will celebrate annal sex ... what do you bring for a gift? And, would you touch the cake?

OH! Rudy Guiliani, when he was running away from the wife who was living in Gracie Mansion ... before his expensive divorce ... Lived with a gay couple who are his friends. He had promised them, that IF homosexuals could marry, he, himself, would perform the ceremony.

Does it surprise you that Guiliani is now ducking their phone calls?

Carol_Herman said...

LUTHER: ZOMBIE is our economy!

You should check this out if what you own is important to ya.

In ZOMBIE ECONOMICS buying and selling goes flat line. There are no blips to measure when an EKG is used to find out what's going on.

Without the spikes? There's no hedge funds. There's nothing to hedge. There's no safety hiding behind a hill. Because there are none. And, commissions went from scarce to none.

This does not lead to annal sex, though.

Mary said...
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Mary said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

No fault divorce should be abolished. I can see why it was instituted, but the data is in now, and it's been bad for society, so it's time to scrap it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Interesting for the NYT to publish this the week that New York legalized same-sex marriage.

It's not "interesting" - it's mission accomplished.

You fell for it.

Scott M said...

No fault divorce should be abolished. I can see why it was instituted, but the data is in now, and it's been bad for society, so it's time to scrap it

I agree, but it's probably a state-by-state issue. Likewise, possibly like abortion, it might be a djinni we're never going to get back into the bottle entirely.

Sofa King said...

Thomas J. Ball was not available for comment.

Mary said...
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The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

No fault divorce should be abolished. I can see why it was instituted, but the data is in now, and it's been bad for society, so it's time to scrap it.

Two things:

1) You're absolutely right.

2) It won't count until Ann or Glenn says so.

Jay said...

Ill-planned heterosexual marraiges ... how come nobody much talks about the social costs to all taxpayers of those?


I'm for eliminating any spending program related to this.

Mary said...
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Scott M said...

How is no-fault divorce an entitlement?

Carol said...

This is by far the best defense of traditional marriage I've ever seen. If you hate Dennis Prager (whom I'd never heard of when I read this), you still ought to check it out.

http://tinyurl.com/3ut9uo4

Mary said...
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Mary said...
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Peter Hoh said...

Dan should have explained that it was all because he works so hard and loves his country so much.

Peter Hoh said...

Freeman @9:09 -- people in non-monogamous marriages are still legally married.

Mary said...
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Juba Doobai! said...

Marriage? What Savage and Miller describe have nothing at all to do with marriage, everything to do with idolatry and self-gratification.

Marriage is all about self-control even when someone else makes your eyes and hormones pop. That's the point of "forsaking all others as long as you both shall live." Note that that seems to have disappeared from modern marriage vows.

Peter Hoh said...

And for a completely different take on the idea that the myth of monogamy hurts marriage, here's Peggy Vaughn

The "Monogamy Myth" includes the belief that:
-Monogamy is the norm in our society and society as a whole supports monogamy.
-You can assume monogamy when you get married, so there's no need to discuss it.
-Most people are monogamous, so an affair indicates a personal failure of your particular marriage.

Challenging Society's Monogamy Myth:
-Monogamy is not the norm. Society gives lip service to monogamy, but actually supports affairs.
-No marriage is immune from affairs. There needs to be ongoing honest communication.
-No couple can fully understand why an affair happens by looking ONLY at their own marriage.


Much more at Vaughn's website.

Peter Hoh said...

Those of you interested in reforming divorce laws might be interested in this group: The Coalition for Divorce Reform.

jamboree said...

Whenever I read something like this, I get the feeling the writer thinks that the female to male ration is 100: 1.

All of this ignores that elephant in the room that women and men are born in equal ratios - therefore whenever a man has sex with someone new, so does a woman. At worst, the "lack of monogamy" simply creates a (mostly) exploited mistress and prostitute class.

And that's not "fairsy" - whatever the hell that is.

Having said that, Judeo-Christian monogamy (one man, one woman, one life together) made sense for a small tribe trying to survive - as do many less-than-libertarian principles. Theoretically, I'm socially liberal, but realistically you need a pretty fat society before "social freedom" allows survival - and usually on the backs of others. Pun intended. For example, any communes that are still around from the 70s all adopted anti-drug, have-to-work, quite conservative rules or they didn't last.

Judeo-Christian monogamy really is a form of rationing. The tribe isn't going to survive if one alpha guy takes all the women - at least w/o killing or mutilating the other guys having already turned them into essentially eunuch slaves. Not good for tribal happiness.

Scott M said...

The tribe isn't going to survive if one alpha guy takes all the women - at least w/o killing or mutilating the other guys having already turned them into essentially eunuch slaves. Not good for tribal happiness.

I've seen exceptionally reason arguments along these lines explaining why the Muslim-controlled populations generate so many young men willing to suicide. The solution to this, like just about everything else with young men, is getting them laid more.

John Lynch said...

Power doesn't excuse behavior. And can Savage figure out that if some men are polygamous it means that other men get no one?

How's that working out in the Middle East?

Savage does understand a lot of human nature very well. I think it's great that he's talking about the need for sex in a normal relationship. That gets left out most of the time. But...

Marriage is more than sex. Raising children is more important than sex. That's when cheating and polygamy falls on its face- it's terrible for children. Men are needed to socialize children (especially daughters). When they destroy their marriage by cheating or have many wives and can't spend time with their children then the next generation suffers.

Monogamous marriage is less about sex than it is about raising kids.

Mary said...
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John Lynch said...

No, I don't think that would help at all.

Renee said...

For the record, according to Wiki Dan Savage seemingly benefited from his own parents being married, I'm assuming the stability and commitment his parents provided contributed to success.

"Dan Savage was born to William and Judy Savage in Chicago, Illinois.[6] He is of Irish ancestry.[7] The third of four children,[6] "

Phil 3:14 said...

Carol;
But it didn't include annal sex

Having sex with books and files...

eeeeewwwwww

Peter Hoh said...

Renee, Savage's parents also divorced, and that seems to have affected him as well, though he keeps pretty quiet about it.

Phil, will there be much demand for annal sex, now that everything is digital?

Peter Hoh said...

Chris Hansen starring in a new reality show, To Catch an Adulterer.

kellie austin said...

@John Lynch:

True. My dad was a cheater, and it absolutely destroyed our family and affected my socialization.

I'm attractive, straight *and* I love(d) sex, but I can't get near men and likely won't have kids. I just won't live like that.

It just took one relationship where the guy cheated for the first time, and that was it for my contribution to society. It's not even a choice. No matter what psychological steps I take, and I've taken many, I just can't make myself do it. It's like I started life with brakes already down to the metal due to all we suffered as kids.

I'm sick of trying to change it, but I'm philosophical. At least it won't be passed down to the next generation through me.

But really people, with all sincerity, don't dick over your family (as Halperin might put it). You're causing pain that lasts down the generations. And while you might think it's okay because you bring in the $$$, money is really only a balm for the pain.

William said...

The suicide bombers of the Middle East believe absolutely and literally in the word of the Koran. They take that seventy virgin crap seriously, and thus they blow themselves up in order to get laid. Truly, it happens....I'd like to voice my support for Carol Herman's distaste of "annal" sex. I think that any couple making the marriage commitment should endeavour to have relations more than once a year. Bi-weakly should be the ideal......In our society, we regard a monagomous marriage as the fulfillment of romantic love. It's an ideal, but a lot of people have reached it--many more than have reached and maintained their ideal weight....In counterbalance to the ideal of romantic love and a happy marriage, there is the concept of nookie. The fulfillment of this ideal can be found in the life of Charley Sheen. There is much to be said in favor of nookie. I would advise any young man who has the chance to go on a thirty six hour coke binge in a luxury hotel with a rotating series of porn stars to go for it. Life doesn't get any better. However, if you want to play the probabilities, a monagamous marriage is the way to go.

BJM said...

@Freeman

He sounds just like one of those wives whose husband has manipulated her into thinking that his crummy treatment of her and disregard for her feelings is normal.

We are also going to hear a lot more about the hidden issue of violence in gay relationships as spousal abuse laws are enforced.

Married gays will be no different than married heteros in that they will fight and part over the same issues and stresses that cause hetero marriages to fail.

btw- lest it sound as if I am against same-sex marriage, I am not.

I have friends who have been in committed relationships for decades, who raised successful children and established loving extended families that hetero families would recognize and perhaps some would envy.

I also have gay friends who are the worst possible candidates for marriage, for all the same reasons as serially divorced hetero friends.

In the long term, I expect we'll see the about the same percentage of same-sex marriages succeed as in the hetero population.

I recently read that cohabiting is becoming far more common than marriage among younger folks so the issue may be moot in a couple of decades anyhoo.

Mary said...
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deborah said...

"sorry kids - this has always been a major fallacy of SSM. that gay men would be monogamous in the same way as straights.

further trivializing the concept of marriage."

I don't know, Moose. Is the old statistic that 6 out of 10 married men have cheated? I think there is a fair proportion of gays who would be the faithful type.

mariner said...
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mariner said...

BJM,
We are also going to hear a lot more about the hidden issue of violence in gay relationships as spousal abuse laws are enforced.

What in the holy name makes you believe spousal abuse laws will be enforced against gay men?

Feminists won't benefit and therefore won't give a damn about it, and homosexuality has become the love you dare not speak against.

The HDR Blogger said...

It's real simple. If you make it a point of emphasis in your life to avoid intentional conduct that hurts someone you love, fidelity comes easily. You can think around the issue all day long but in the end it boils down to the Golden Rule. If this heathen Savage doesn't understand it, he deserves scorn, regardless of whether he's gay or straight.

Scott M said...

Marriage is not a 50-50 effort and a marriage based on such a split is probably going to fail. Only with both partners are willing to do the lion's share of a 60-40 or 70-30, both endeavor to do so as often as they can, will the marriage by lasting and happy.

If you're in there doing your 60-40 or higher, the chances that you're going to stray tend to drop dramatically.

John Lynch said...

I don't think we should scapegoat gays for the breakdown of marriage. It's not their fault.

If conservatives want to fix marriage, then fix marriage. Pass laws or change social norms to encourage marriage and discourage illegitimacy. This has nothing to do with gays.

I'm always suspicious of people whose proposed solutions have nothing to do with the problem they identify.

Mary said...
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Scott M said...

*fingers crossed this one doesn't get deleted for honesty too*

I could be wrong, but the only person around here that deletes a comment is the one who wrote it. I have no doubt AA has that ability, but I don't recall her using it.

Renee said...

Thanks Peter for letting me know. There wasn't a lot of detail on Wiki. I always like to know how one's parents' relationship shapes how they see marriage.

John Lynch said...

They say "removed by administrator."

Not sure why there are so many in this thread.

Palladian said...

"Not sure why there are so many in this thread."

Because some nutcases can't take a hint.

Mary said...
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Mary said...
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blake said...

Mary is officially banned from this site.

Althouse deletes her comments, regardless of content, when--well, whenever she feels like it.

ricpic said...

The minute matrimony is no longer holy, monogamy becomes silly. Because what could be more important than acting authentically? i.e. yielding to lust, which is a natural impulse.

SGT Ted said...

translation: I want all the legal protections and societal approval of marriage but I want to fuck whoever I want.

Mary said...
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Carol_Herman said...

Did you know cruise lines specialize in cruises for gay couples?

Did you know on these cruises there's a night set aside where the captain marries couples? Same sex couples.

Do you know how often these couples cruise? I mean, on these cruise ship vacations.

Do you know how often most gay couples who've cruised have already been married?

At sea, these marriages are valid.

Couples come ashore ... and not one of them celebrates anniversaries! None of them send out announcements.

How come?

SGT Ted said...

translation: I want all the legal protections and societal approval of marriage but I want to fuck whoever I want.

SGT Ted said...

woops double post

Mary said...
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Peter Hoh said...

Sgt Ted, that deal already exists for straight people.

Especially celebrities, pro athletes, and the aristocracy.

RebeccaH said...

Soooo.... commitment, honor, and loyalty all go by the wayside because some selfish and immature hedonistic boors want to have their cake and eat it too?

flenser said...

Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitar­ian and fairsey.”

It's hard to argue with that "everybody" wants to do.

Seriously, monogamy is more in the male interest than in the female.

Big Mike said...

According to an article I read some time ago, if one plots the degree of sexual dimorphism in primates against average number of mates per male, and then examines where h. sapiens falls on the curve, one discovers that we human males should have roughly 1.2 wives.

The article didn't (to my recollection) actually show the graph, so there was no way to know if it's true or not.

But it is really is true then Tiger Woods sure makes up for a lot of us who've never cheated on our wives.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If one person, Dan Savage, can delegitimize gay marriage, then I guess Anthony Weiner deligitimized all straight marriages.

And when did the New York Times start becoming so influential to so many of you guys?

the wolf said...

There's a gulf between being an adult and being a narcissistic asshole, but it has nothing to do with being gay or straight, and it would be a waste of time trying to explain it to Savage.

gutless said...

I'm assuming that these fellows are of the nutsy wutsy persuasion. Fine examples to be sure. I'm sure you've heard the joke the punch line of which is, "May I push in your stool?" Now that's humor.

SMGalbraith said...

If one person, Dan Savage, can delegitimize gay marriage, then I guess Anthony Weiner deligitimized all straight marriages.

I don't recall Anthony Weiner opining in the NY Times that monogamy in marriage should be jettisoned.

I do recall him apologizing for his non-monogamous type behavior.

As was stated above, Mr. Savage can live with whatever type of open marriage he wishes to have. But if he wishes to promote that arrangement in the NY Times and elsewhere and try to influence - however minimally - our culture and mores, others will answer back.

He invited this discussion and we're simply joining in.

And given the comments on the piece - and from my readings, anecdotal to be sure, of the views of other gay men - he seems to have some support.

SMGalbraith said...

Which raises the question: How representative of gay men is Savage's view about monogamy and marriage?

The gay writer Jonathan Rauch argues for a Burkean type defense of gay marriage (which is why I support SSM). So, there is no monolithic view.

Obviously (or perhaps not), even if it's 100% that doesn't mean that they should be denied marriage licenses.

But it does mean that the discussion takes on a different direction.

Harold said...

What JimMuy said...
"Monogamous marriage between one man and one woman isn't something that "society decided" (as if such a thing is even possible). No. It was arrived at after hundreds of thousands of real-life, real-time experiments using real, live test subjects. "

Sharialand has decided on polygamy as the norm, the other form of "traditional marriage."

The societies with opposite sex monogamous marriages seem to be much better off.

It's not a particular religious or cultural thing. The practice of opposite monogamous marriage cuts across all cultures and religions not in Sharialand. Even in the officially ateist countries. Note that to date none of them have yet abolished marriage or embraced expanded forms of marriage.

Opposite sex monogamous marriage, encouraged by the prevailing culture, works for any just about any culture; providing a stable backdrop for raising a new generation inculcated in the culture, keeping it moving along.

Abandon marriage, and well, you can see the results in jails across the U.S. They're filled mostly with children of unwed mothers, way out of proportion to the percentage of unwed mothers in the population.

The traditional system of marriage isn't completely broken yet. That's what keeps our civilized nation humming along. Now, we'r taking a perfectly good system that's working, and fooling around with a component of it. Engineers can tell you what happens to a working system when you try to "fix" it- it breaks.

ET1492 said...

I blame Will and Grace. And Ellen.

Peter Hoh said...

Harold wrote: Even in the officially ateist countries. Note that to date none of them have yet abolished marriage or embraced expanded forms of marriage.

What exactly do you mean by "expanded forms of marriage"?

Timotheus said...

Monogamy is a good deal for both sexes. For females, it gives her stability in knowing that she will have support as she raises offspring. For males, it lowers the amortized cost of sexual intercourse and increases the frequency of the same (it takes time, effort, and resources to seduce a new coital partner) and helps insure that the offspring he is supporting are his and ensures that they will survive to adulthood to pass on his genes.

That's the economic argument. Morally of course, I pledged my faithfulness to my wife -- and I honored that pledge until the day she died. My new wife knows that I'll have the same committment for her.

MaxedOutMama said...

The truth is that Dan Savage is a nasty person bent on justifying what he wants to do, and also bent on imposing rules on others that rule out stuff he doesn't want to do. His idea of ethics is a system that he likes. Most people ould recognize that as amorality instead of morality.

Read this quote from the article and think about the dynamic he is setting up:
“Given the rates of infidelity, people who get married should have to swear a blood oath that if it’s violated, as traumatic as that would be, the greater good is the relationship,” Savage told me. “The greater good is the home created for children. If there are children present, they’ll get past it. The cultural expectation should be if there’s infidelity, the marriage is more important than fidelity.”

Okay, so adopting a kid means that his partner is morally forced to put up with Savage sleeping around? Where is Savage's responsibility to shield the kid from instability by NOT sleeping around?

The reason why the ideal of marriage involves fidelity is because there can be no equality in marriage without that - if women were allowed to sleep around, then men would find themselves having to support other men's children. This is such an evil that it will break any relationship. Savage is so bent on justifying his own awful behavior that he's not even thinking, and in seven pages the author of this article can't identify the gaping flaw in Savage's doctrine?

It is interesting to me that so few people on this thread acknowledge the real import of Saveage's theories - a savage selfishness that enslaves the more decent person to the jerk.

Harold said...

"What exactly do you mean by "expanded forms of marriage"?
"
Same sex marriage, all the different forms of polyamory and group marriages, parent-child....

SukieTawdry said...

Well, I don't know how things stack up in the gay male psyche, but we straight girls aren't very good at sharing. It's the rare woman who will endorse an "open" relationship and really mean it.

It's been interesting watching the post-New York reactions roll in. First was the lesbian's lament that she and her partner would have to get married if they wanted to keep their joint benefits. She seemed to regard it an assault on her civil rights or something.

Now we're getting the "excepts" and "buts." Yes, we gays demanded the right of "traditional marriage," but we don't really mean "traditional" in the the sense you straights do. We expect you to treat our marriages with the same respect you show your own and as every bit the equal to yours except we will have different standards for marital and extra-marital behavior and we expect you to respect those as well.

Who could have seen it coming.

Peter Hoh said...

Harold, many other countries have expanded marriage to include same-sex couples.

Peter Hoh said...

Sukie, Savage is talking about traditional marriage, in the JFK/Bill Clinton/Eliot Spitzer/David Vitter/Brett Favre/etc./etc sense.

ZorroPrimo said...

Anybody who thinks women are even remotely more disposed to monogamy needs a CAT scan. Random blood sampling across the country of children of married couples has revealed that between 8 and 11% of American children are calling the wrong man Daddy.

Human sexuality--both male and female--is far more feral than we would like to admit.

Time to put away the fantasies and grow up.

Renee said...

It's tempting to cheat. It's tempting even if not to cheat, to walk away when a relationship is stressed by outside factors. The reality over rides these temptations. We value couples who don't give into temptation and don't abandon their vows.

I wonder if the adoption of his son was public or private? Did the disclose to the agency and social services about their open arraignment. Single moms lose their kids to neglect for investing too much time on various men that come in and out of their children's lives. This type of instability would knock them off as an applicant for a child in need.

CableGuy said...

Feminism always got the purpose of marriage dead wrong-- it never was meant to control women, but was developed to control the baser instincts of man. Hell, all of civilization is designed to control men's Darwinian propensities. That's why women seem so comfortable with it, and men seem to move through like the uncultured apes we (generally) are.

Chango said...

Maybe I don't know what life is like for gay relationships in fancy New York City but where I come from, most divorces do not happen due to infidelity. I have taken an informal survey and have seen only 2 out of 30 divorces that where because one person cheated (one male, one female.) The vast majority are "She changed after she had the kids." I wonder if it's a hormone thing. If so then it should be prevalent in most marriages but some learn to live with the change and others can't. So ask any married guy with kids: "Does your wife treat you differently now than before she had the kids?" I would be surprised if you got less then 90% positive correlation. Not that anyone will read down this far anyway...

S. said...

"Not that anyone will read down this far anyway..."

I read down this far.

I disagree with the general statement that "women change" after having children. Although by change if you mean - women are now aware of being responsible for another living person, then yes, I suppose there is some truth to that.

However, in my personal experience, most of the divorces I have witnessed have not been because of infideliy, as far as I am aware. It has been other factors, growing apart or lack of common interests.

I do think that married people change and sometimes just don't grow in the same direction. Maybe that is a result of children, maybe it isn't. I won't speculate.

I do know that the folks I know personally, that chose to divorce it was not a whim. Decisions were not made lightly.

I do think life is messy.

kwood said...

I know that there have been times in my marriage where seemed like it would be so much better for all concerned to just let it go.

I also know that change is a constant, and feelings change. There are many more times when I am incredibly happy with and grateful for the children and support structure my marriage provides.

I look at other women all the time and always have and probably always will, so if you want to wax biblical, then I have cheated through my eyes many times. I see no cure for that nor the sense in any penance.

My actions, however, are supportive of the marriage and the vows I took.

Marriage definitely protects children. In the absence of those, it protects our integrity and self-respect. People lacking those things may well see the world as a feed trough of endless delights there for the taking.

But you can't touch the world without affecting it. The married man who charms a single girl is hurting her chances at a real partnership, which is what most single hetero girls want (whatever they may tell you).

It's not right to hurt people, even if it seems they are asking you to. There is no excuse, and there is no scripture needed for this to be true.

A life of integrity and kindness is not an easy thing, but the rewards are endless, in my opinion.

bcw said...

Scott M objected to:
Many posters are citing the myth that men are more promiscuous than women. In surveys, men appear to have more partners but it's mathematically impossible

Using the crappy anecdote:
"On the other hand, 1 single hetero manslut can screw 20 women in twenty days, but each of those women may not have more than five partners in a year. I'm not saying that's the norm, just that it flies in the face of your premise."

Scott, you are both math illiterate and wrong. Your argument only works if all the non-mansluts men get no or less sex than the average woman. Yours is one of those truthiness arguments built on the myth of the purity of women. Women just lie and say they have fewer partners than they do and men lie and say they have more. For every slut there's a manslut. You can't screw alone.