May 11, 2017

"Conventional wisdom has it that men are more likely than women to crave, even need, variety in their sex lives."

"But of the 25 couples I encountered, a majority of the relationships were opened at the initiation of the women; only in six cases had it been the men. Even when the decision was mutual, the woman was usually the more sexually active outside the marriage. A suburban married man on OkCupid told me he had yet to date anyone, in contrast to his wife, whom he called 'an intimacy vampire.' There was a woman in Portland whose husband had lost interest in sex with anyone, not just her. A 36-year-old woman in Seattle said she opened her marriage after she heard about the concept from another young mom at her book club. Perhaps the women in the couples I encountered were more willing to tell their stories because they did not fit into predictable unflattering stereotypes about the male sex drive. But it was nonetheless striking to hear so many wives risk so much on behalf of their sexual happiness."

From a long NYT Magazine article by Susan Dominos, "Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?/What the experiences of nonmonogamous couples can tell us about jealousy, love, desire and trust."

Lots of photographs and real names there. The opening story takes a surprising but — in retrospect — predictable turn. The man talks about going non-monogamous to the distress of his wife — talks and talks. And then guess what happens?

134 comments:

madAsHell said...

Only if it comes with regimen of antibiotics.

Birches said...

This is easy. Women always initiate an open marriage because a man, even if he wants an open marriage, does not want to risk a negative reaction from his wife.

EDH said...

Show me where male infidelity is phrased in terms of acting of behalf of "sexual happiness"?

Plus the economics of the situation. What's the male-to-female ratio of former spouses paying to support the other in the former marital home while the residential spouse indulges in a sexual smorgasbord?

rhhardin said...

It's a "it's just like gay marriage" story.

Michael K said...

It might just be related to the findings that 25% of children tested are not the children of the mother's husband.

I remember reading, years ago, about contact tracing in reportable diseases like syphilis. The distribution of contacts was amazing, at least to my young medical student eyes.

cliff claven said...

It's a little known fact that lawn care professionals are horrible lovers.

David Begley said...

Althouse's tag: adultery. Adultery not allowed under the Ten Suggestions.

Arthur James said...

Don't you understand the beauty of the Virgin Mary. If just a myth, and she is not, just the idea of chastity is cleansing.

Martha said...

Open marriages are not really marriages. My sister-in-law was urged by her couples counselor to agree to an open marriage to avoid divorcing my philandering brother. My brother loved that idea but my sister-in-law saw it as a soul crushing devastating non-solution to a marriage rocked by infidelity and consequent deceit.

traditionalguy said...

You gotta love those intimacy vampires.

Quayle said...

To my thinking, marriage has no other functional purpose in a society than to indicate and sort out who should and should not be having sex with who, and even further, who it is expected is or should be having sex with who.

What other function does it serve on a society , at its root?

Commitment priority? OK, we could consider adding commitment priority. But that is not really a social function, that is more a personal function.

Sebastian said...

"Open marriages are not really marriages." Sorry, we are past that. Gay marriage, open marriage: what difference, at this point, does it make? For the time being, open marriage appears to be a minority taste among heterosexuals; but how many gay marriages are not "open"?

sparrow said...

Sounds like a prelude to divorce

Virgil Hilts said...

Brings to mind an adage that a friend of mine told me in our 20s. "The person who cares least about the relationship controls it completely." One of the saddest posts I've read on Althouse was from a guy w/ 2-3 small children whose wife had decided to simply stop having sex with him knowing he would never leave or cheat on her - knowing absolutely that he could not stand being away from or hurting the children. He cared the most, which put her in complete control. I suspect this same principle is what causes people to agree to open marriages.

traditionalguy said...

Sharing your spouse is risky business from a husband's stand point. We prefer a monopoly. It leads to a life long relationship. But a shared spouse tends to disappear quick.

Fernandinande said...

Cuck Nation
April 11, 2017 by CH (Heartiste)

"TV is now a feminist wish fulfillment wasteland, glorifying every White man-hating matrigenic dystopia, from single mommery to race mixing to willing cuckoldry. The latter’s insinuation into popular (read: single White female and gay homosexual) culture has been egregious; willing cuckolds are everywhere, satisfying the female desire for alpha fux and beta bux. There are shows that have blatantly pro-cuck plot lines in which a pregnant slut or single slut mommy has beta phagg suitors lining up to swear their loyalty to the bastard spawn, while the alpha cads that knocked these hos up are either nowhere found onscreen or they come and go continuing to service the sprog-saddled skanks with the least investment possible."

Arthur James said...

Obedience and humility, staying with another defeats selfishness. Many times it is best to have a committed one correct us.

Titus said...

what a bunch of judge judys in here. clean your own house before judging others.

I, of course, read this first thing in the morning, and loved it.

I love my NYTimes-my bible really.

Kind of like u guys and Fox and Rush or whoever is your talk radio boyfriend.

Todd said...

Shorter version: "Open marriages help wives", women and children hardest hit.

buwaya said...

"marriage has no other functional purpose in a society"

You leave out sorting out who is responsible for the welfare and behavior of whom.
And of course inheritance.

Lyssa said...

Interesting article. Elizabeth sounds like a bit of a jerk.

buwaya said...

"what a bunch of judge judys in here."

House is clean (or in that way anyway).
So I judge, like a fellow appointed by Torquemada.

Clean up, Titus, confess, marry, and give your lineage heirs, as God commands.

buwaya said...

"Elizabeth sounds like a bit of a jerk."

Social evolution is driven by jerks, unless jerk behavior is suppressed by social and legal sanction.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

sexual happiness

If you say so, honey.

John Lynch said...

Men don't share.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The man talks about going non-monogamous to the distress of his wife — talks and talks. And then guess what happens?

Divorce? She gets half of the house and his 401K?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That said, you do you, folks. It's pointless to try to judge someone else's intimate life.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
It might just be related to the findings that 25% of children tested are not the children of the mother's husband.


That's a bogus number; it's more like "1 of 25" or or less.

Here, the 25-30% rate is for men who already had doubts; 2% otherwise.

mockturtle said...

"Forsaking all others" is in the traditional wedding vows for good reason. But those who want to sin will always invent an excuse to do so. We have become an amoral society.

Michael K said...

"That's a bogus number; it's more like "1 of 25" or or less. "

No, I said that kids who were tested. Not everybody has DNA tests on their kids to see if they are theirs. Do you ?

Fernandinande said...

"Anemonefish ... parenting instincts are so strong that if you give a bachelor anemonefish eggs from an unrelated anemonefish nest, he will care for them as if they were his own. (Any other fish would eat them.) A new study of Amphiprion ocellaris reveals some of the potent hormonal signals that regulate this gallant paternal instinct."

"Gallant" is the Science Word for "stupid".

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
"That's a bogus number; it's more like "1 of 25" or or less. "
No, I said that kids who were tested.


For kids tested in random samples it's in the 1 to 4% range.

buwaya said...

"It's pointless to try to judge someone else's intimate life."

This was the human normal until very recently, not pointless.

Meade said...

"Not everybody has DNA tests on their kids to see if they are theirs. Do you ?"

No, but if I have any more, I will.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Reading the article: sex is not their problem. Talking and respect and teamwork is their problem.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur James said...

Ann I consider myself a connoisseur of art and this kid naming himself 21 Pilots is something special. Trust me and watch his live performances. This kid has something going on. He deserves respect. This comes from an older man.

Crazy Jane said...

This is a variation on what was supposed to be the next big culture crusade, which was deferred for a couple years by discussions of the origin and nature of transgenderism.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell that all states must recognize gay marriage.

Later that same day, Politico published a Fredrik deBoer article whose thesis was this: "Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals? The most natural advance next for marriage lies in legalized polygamy—yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it."

I'm with Pants here: "You do you, folks."

Michael K said...

"For kids tested in random samples it's in the 1 to 4% range."

Why the hostility ?

You already confirmed my point with your link to the 30% figure.

As more and more people do dna testing for random reasons, the percent will drop. The reasons why kids were tested in the past was almost always an issue about divorce or child custody.

We recently discovered a family secret with random dna testing.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This was the human normal until very recently, not pointless.

The human normal until very recently, and still in many parts of the world, is to force conformity. We're an advanced culture and we can tolerate weirdos.

(Unless you're a weirdo nun who doesn't want to pay for birth control for your employees, but that's a different problem.)

On a personal level, it is indeed pointless to try to judge what sexual and intimate arrangements others make, unless they ask for your input or publicize themselves (such as the folks in this article). It's too personal and complicated and private and people never tell the truth about what is happening, often to themselves even, let alone their partners or others outside the relationship.

I'm sure you could find people to criticize your marriage; do they understand anything about you and your wife?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

IHMMP: "Reading the article: sex is not their problem. Talking and respect and teamwork is their problem."

That, and commitment.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I will point out that if the genders were reversed, this point of view would never never ever be tolerated, ever:

“It caused a lot of pain, so I’m still not even sure why I fought for it the way I did,” she finally said. “I really just felt like it was right, like it was important to my growth. It was like I was choosing to take a stand for my own pleasure and sticking to it. It was so strong, that feeling.”

I believe that is what the mens rights folks, who are not always wrong, call the pussy pass.

Darcy said...

Fascinating subject for me. My story includes a destructive, selfish path with regard to fidelity. The cost of such choices is immeasurable. For people who have been that selfish, it is only when our selfishness thoroughly breaks us that we realize the wisdom and treasure of fidelity.

God's plan is perfect.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If a married man with children tried to justify sleeping with the hot new salesgirl at the office thusly, even in this enlightened age he would be shunned by everyone they knew.

buwaya said...

"We're an advanced culture and we can tolerate weirdos."

This has been the case in several advanced cultures.
At a certain point in their life-cycle.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Fascinating subject for me. My story includes a destructive, selfish path with regard to fidelity. The cost of such choices is immeasurable. For people who have been that selfish, it is only when our selfishness thoroughly breaks us that we realize the wisdom and treasure of fidelity.

God's plan is perfect.


Including the part where he uses everything under the sun, even sometimes our sin, to teach us the nature of his enduring love.

buwaya said...

"I'm sure you could find people to criticize your marriage; do they understand anything about you and your wife?"

In traditional cultures a whole lot of people tend to know you and yours inside out, and vice versa.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This has been the case in several advanced cultures.
At a certain point in their life-cycle.


Sir, I say this with all due respect: I always read your exellent comments and thus know you have a thing for top-down, authoritarian, Catholic~Spanish, culture, but that is not the only worthwhile paradigm. Some of us prefer a Protestant, personal freedom, individual moral responsibility, guilt culture over an imposed shame culture.

Darcy said...

Amen, Misplaced. Amen.

Meade said...

I don't really need DNA testing to know my daughter is mine and not Webb Hubbell's.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

In traditional cultures a whole lot of people tend to know you and yours inside out, and vice versa.

You do you, as I said above, but I have zero interest in anyone inhabiting my marriage but my husband and me.

Sure, sometimes the people who know us best can point out patterns that we're not seeing, and sometimes they do this out of love and with humility, but most of the time in my experience it's just recreational judgement. It's fun to mind other people's business, and I'm sorry, but no one can or should know how a couple experiences intimacy.

buwaya said...

A lot of this is the result of being disconnected from a community of extended families.

These extended families, the village (the real world villages that HC did not understand), are the social structure that maintains traditional forms.

Anonymity and disassociation, where relatives are dispersed and contact is lost, is at the root of disorder. My own family has a long streak of this, perhaps ironically in the 19th century. I've got, back there, a lot of single men going out east for adventure, careerism, or getting out of town ahead of the law. Out in the Wild East they behaved as one would expect, finding there women who would associate with that sort of character. It makes for interesting romance novels, but not stable families, hence multiple relationships, out-of-wedlock kids, disputed paternity, abandonment, etc.
Nobody had to answer to the great uncles and aunts who were the village elders.

buwaya said...

"I have zero interest in anyone inhabiting my marriage but my husband and me. "

Thats what you feel now, but what about the you of 100-200 years ago?
That was the human normal.

Birches said...

Openness in a marriage, for better or for worse, would seem a natural outgrowth of those conflicting cultural values, especially since same-sex marriage, open adoptions, single-parent homes, and ideas about gender fluidity have already redefined what constitutes a family. Two-thirds of Americans feel that “a growing variety in the types of family arrangements that people live in” is “a good thing” or “makes no difference,” according to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center.

Who could have seen this coming?

Kyzernick said...

I've seen enough in this world, especially with two friends that come to mind (one is a coworker), that has persuaded me to have a paternity test performed on any children I have in the future. MY self-respect outweighs my love for my wife, and while I have no suspicions, I have both cheated and been cheated on in past relationships.

One of my friends spent two years helping to raise a child that was not his, and upon finding out, almost killed himself. Then he spent weeks fantasizing about killing his wife. Neither happened, but the divorce was a messy affair. Fortunately, with DNA test in hand, the cheating bitch got nothing. I was amazed that he got away cleanly. She lives with her parents last I knew, unemployed, miserable, and having gained so much weight due to stress that I doubt she's able to attract any but the dregs of male society. We never learned who the real father was, and it's possible that even she didn't know for sure. It was for the best, because that man would have died a gruesome death and my friend would likely be in prison for 2nd degree homicide or some such crime of passion.

Bel Biv Devoe had it right. Never trust a big butt and a smile.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I'm sure you could find people to criticize your marriage; do they understand anything about you and your wife?"

The very last thing I want to know or understand is the sexual relationships of other couples that we know. I don't ask...and please do NOT tell me anything about your sexual whatevers. I'm not interested in yours and I won't tell you mine.

Also....don't bitch to me about your husband or your wife. I'm not going to criticize your marriage. If you have any criticisms of mine, it is none of your business. STFU. Deal with your petty annoyances yourself. I'll deal with mine. Deal with it. There is nothing worse that being stuck with a bunch of women who want to just complain and tear down their husbands or boyfriends. Bitch bitch bitch. SHUT UP!

Now...if there was a situation of true abuse, physical harm or something dangerous and that person (male or female) was reaching out for some help...I might consider that a reason to share and help them to get help.

Too much sharing of feelings and too much information!!!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Thats what you feel now, but what about the you of 100-200 years ago?
That was the human normal.


I appreciate your taking the long view, but I have to point out that 'the human normal' as defined as something that people did for a long time includes an awful lot of practices that are best abandoned.

On this topic, I believe that living in a tiny village, knowing 50 people my whole life, and minding everyone else's business for the purpose of social conformity and order is something that my culture has outgrown, and thankfully so.

I enjoy being in a marriage that I chose freely for emotional, spiritual, and logical reasons, and that I choose daily to honor and cherish and tend out of my own free will, not because I'm afraid of the town elders making me sew a scarlet A on my dress, clapping me in the stocks, or giving me a nice public whipping if they disapprove of my performance as a wife.

Meade said...

"the village (the real world villages that HC did not understand)"

When Hillary borrowed that idea for the title to her book, she left out one word that changed the essential meaning of the original proverb: It takes the entire village to properly raise a child. Apparently, Hillary wanted to segregate out the icky villagers she'd choose to put in her basket of deplorables.

buwaya said...

I realize I may be being a PITB. But please indulge my Aspergerish mania.

This is not just Spanish-Catholic authoritarianism. The old Spanish tradition is not actually family-dominated authoritarianism. The Spanish tradition has a great deal in it of the highly "romantic" and impractical, going back into deep tradition. Passion is honored out of tradition, there is an ancient tension between custom and passion.

And a great deal of tolerance of the unconventional.

The tradition I'm talking about is the human, which was true of the whole world, in various flavors. A Chinese peasant and a Spanish peasant and a Welsh peasant, brought up in their respective villages, would have had a very great deal in common, the institution of marriage, the influence of elders and in-laws, of inheritance and legitimacy.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I find myself reminded of that episode of The Twilight Zone where Darrin Stephens can read minds and he hears the old bank teller planning to embezzle funds and escape to some island paradise.

buwaya said...

My point is that the conditions of personal relationships of 100-200 years ago is what people have evolved to, and societies have evolved to.

Going along the paths of either Darwin or Burke, I have to consider that human nature, in terms of either biology or culture, was designed for very different conditions from the modern. It is those modern conditions that are unhealthy and are the cause of personal and social distress. It is these modern innovations, including those we have been indoctrinated to value above the traditional ones, that are the source of modern dissatisfaction.

FullMoon said...

But it was nonetheless striking to hear so many wives risk so much on behalf of their sexual happiness


Not only sex, but the idea of being desirable to another.

Arthur James said...

What amazed me was this American kid, 21 Pilots, performed in Moscow and completely touched hearts.

Birches said...

Also, the opening story was not entirely too predictable. She's left their story before the inevitable divorce.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Buwaya...
I agree in basis with your point----> "My point is that the conditions of personal relationships of 100-200 years ago is what people have evolved to, and societies have evolved to."

And that the basis in biology, sociology is still there. However, in a world where most people no longer live cheek to jowl with family or even have so many long term friends and acquaintances some of the cultural structures have been changing. For the worse IMO. Too much bending and avoiding the biological and sociological realities is not going to end well.

We no longer have the community and family so involved in our lives and so aware of our more intimate, inner lives. Relationships have become unmoored from the greater community and more isolated. This leads to situations as described in the post where the couples don't need to feel the obligation to bow to public pressure.

I live in a very small community. Less than 300 people in the "town" itself and probably only a few thousand in the outlying areas. Having lived here for over 30 years, I can attest that we know a lot about each other. It is a joke, but actually reality, that you can't get away with anything without someone knowing it. The fastest thing in town is a rumor.

Nevertheless, sharing of intimate, personal details of your marriage is not something that is done. Polite society has rules and one is you don't pry or offer too much information. Like others have said. I don't want other people involved in my marriage, intruding on the supremely personal relationship of husband and wife. Even in same sex marriages it should be sacrosanct.

mockturtle said...

Misplaced, you are supposing that social opprobrium is the restraint, or perhaps the wrath of God. As Darcy has explained, God's will for us is perfect and when we venture outside of it, we pay the price in destroyed relationships, self loathing and cultural ruin.

Quayle said...

"We're an advanced culture and we can tolerate weirdos. "

It isn't the advanced stage of our cultures which allows this. It is our wealth - the byproduct of our particular form of capitalism.

If and when the global economy fails; all these artificial remakes of gender, family structure, and social communal norms will all be swept away in a second as impediments and even subversive to survival.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I am enjoying this conversation very much; please do not apologize. :)

A Chinese peasant and a Spanish peasant and a Welsh peasant, brought up in their respective villages, would have had a very great deal in common, the institution of marriage, the influence of elders and in-laws, of inheritance and legitimacy.

Yes, but those institutions developed for the purpose of control and order, which I reject; not for personal fulfillment and happiness, which I promote.

I don't disagree that enforcing conformity for the survival of the group is part of our evolutionary heritage; I just think that we have outgrown that, for worse in some ways but mostly for the better. I appreciate the gains in personal freedom and authentic, individual engagement with the world in all its variety, with all the experiences and lessons that imparts.

That which is freely chosen always has more value and meaning than that which is imposed.

Todd said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

The human normal until very recently, and still in many parts of the world, is to force conformity. We're an advanced culture and we can tolerate weirdos.

5/11/17, 9:52 AM


Depends on what the "weird" is. I am strongly opposed to non-consensual cannibalism and NOTHING will get me to change my mind on that!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It isn't the advanced stage of our cultures which allows this. It is our wealth - the byproduct of our particular form of capitalism.

If and when the global economy fails; all these artificial remakes of gender, family structure, and social communal norms will all be swept away in a second as impediments and even subversive to survival.


I agree, and that is one reason why the failure of the global economy is such a scary idea. We'll go back to necessary and enforced social conformity. That's a bad thing in my book, but some people get very excited at social control and get shaky at the idea of others being able to do what they like. This happens at both ends of the political spectrum, of course.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Depends on what the "weird" is. I am strongly opposed to non-consensual cannibalism and NOTHING will get me to change my mind on that!

Weird does not extend to nonconsensual aggression toward others, no :)

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Misplaced Pants....Yes, but those institutions developed for the purpose of control and order, which I reject; not for personal fulfillment and happiness, which I promote.

Well, Yes and No. When you are in a very small group or a society where people are in very close physical approximation, the rules of conduct are more important. Not for the purposes of "control" but more for the purposes of keeping order and conflict to a minimum. This is one of the main reasons for the strict and formalized social rules of the early Japanese.

People who are out of the ordinary, deviant, overly impulsive, cause stress on the small society. The rule to not covet your neighbor's wife is crucial in a small group when breaking that rule can cause some very serious disruption of not just the couple(s) involved but everyone else in the group. Not so much in New York City where people are anonymous.

In a small group, those who are disruptive can be shunned, censored or even ejected from the group. When the chance of ejection meant death or starvation, people were more careful to pay attention to the rules and not roil the waters.

It wasn't for control. It was for survival of everyone. A small group of people "at war" with each other because some decided to break the rules was in peril of actual DEATH.

Darcy said...

That which is freely chosen always has more value and meaning than that which is imposed.

Yes! My husband and I frequently discuss "living under the law". Not giving in to temptation because you may be caught or may face the wrath of your spouse is not the same as not giving in to temptation because you recognize the damage that is caused by that sin and you recognize the true meaning of what it is to love. I'm not sure I am stating that as eloquently as necessary, but it is such an important distinction.

When we live by the law, we are destined to fail.

mockturtle said...

I agree, and that is one reason why the failure of the global economy is such a scary idea. We'll go back to necessary and enforced social conformity.

Misplaced, do you not think globalism enforces social control? Are Europeans free to speak their un-PC minds? Can teachers in the US teach un-PC ideas? Not only does globalism enforce social control, it does so on a global scale.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Misplaced, you are supposing that social opprobrium is the restraint, or perhaps the wrath of God. As Darcy has explained, God's will for us is perfect and when we venture outside of it, we pay the price in destroyed relationships, self loathing and cultural ruin.

Isn't social opprobrium the topic under discussion, though? That people used to behave themselves because of the influences of their tight little societies and through fear of an angry God, and how because people no longer do this* society is headed for hell in a handbasket?

(*I believe they do do this; it's just that the beliefs have changed. Modern progressives and SJWs have become the same as any medieval village/church in terms of defining correct behavior/beliefs and punishing deviance from them.)

Anyway, God's will for us includes our fighting our way through many sins and missteps and misunderstandings, stumbling toward a greater understanding of his love for us and our ability to extend love and compassion to others.

One of the major sins I was able to overcome--through other serious sinning that grew from severe private emotional and spiritual pain, which was followed by his amazing, everlasting grace--was thinking that I was a good person, that I was obedient to God, that I was good at following his rules and thus I was safe from Bad Things Happening. Haha!

The funny thing is, that just as the rainbow follows the rain, just as the father embraces the prodigal son, just as the shepherd follows the one lost lamb, destroyed relationships, self loathing and cultural ruin are part of the plan. Yes, it pains him (and others) when we sin, but he also redeems every bit of that sin and uses it for good. Sometimes the only way we truly grow and learn and progress is by persisting through that parade of horribles. By accepting their existence.

I learned myself, and now counsel others, that if you misunderstand and make an idol out of Following God's Plan and Keeping God's Rules, you are in danger of the sin of pride and you are probably erecting a wall between yourself and true knowledge of his grace, and he wants to be close to you so much that he will sometimes obliterate that wall.

This isn't a license to sin, but rather a better understanding of its function. If I do say so myself.

Darcy said...

I profoundly agree with you, Misplaced. Very well said.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It wasn't for control. It was for survival of everyone.

Yes, this is precisely what I was trying to express. The control was necessary for everyone's survival. It's not anymore, though, although some people think it is. Both the zomg no-fault divorce is ruining society and the zomg hate speech is ruining society hair on fire camps.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Darcy

Not giving in to temptation because you may be caught or may face the wrath of your spouse is not the same as not giving in to temptation because you recognize the damage that is caused by that sin and you recognize the true meaning of what it is to love. I'm not sure I am stating that as eloquently as necessary, but it is such an important distinction.

That was very eloquently stated. I agree totally.

Love and fidelity come from within. It is a part of your inner core, your soul if you will.
Obviously, not everyone has the same moral compass. The societal and religious strictures are there to help prop up and reinforce those who may have a more 'faulty' compass. Some people need that reinforcement and always have since we started living in tribal communities. Others do not need any outside 'help'.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Thank you so much, Darcy. Fistbump, girl.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff Matthews said...

Open marriages seem like an extravagance of a wealthy, undisciplined society. Being on the look-out for potential partners takes an investment of time and money, and my guess is that this emerging aspect of society will find more success among middle-class + participants than among those much poorer.
And as more people do this, they'll want to ensure that they have enough money to ensure that they can be competitive in the polyamorous data game. Thus ensuring that the disparity between rich and poor increases.

Virtually Unknown said...

Whose controlling whom? A man spends his life providing resources for, presumably, his child, or a woman who ropes him into providing for the child of another man.

Under the patriarchy, one person exploits another, under feminism, it's the other way around.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Obviously, not everyone has the same moral compass. The societal and religious strictures are there to help prop up and reinforce those who may have a more 'faulty' compass. Some people need that reinforcement and always have since we started living in tribal communities. Others do not need any outside 'help'.

And sometimes people develop that moral compass over time and through mistakes. This is the glory of being alive and being given both free will and forgiveness by our Lord. This is mercy. This is progress. This is modernity. This is compassion.

I don't at all disagree with having standards and expectations and ways of living that don't cause harm to others. I don't disagree that God's laws are for our own good. It's just such a damn delicate balance between justice and mercy. We as humans are always just one step away from stoning to death the ones whose choices cause us fear. I'm no theologian but this is why I love Jesus, because intimately understands our desire to judge and punish and shows us a better way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That people used to behave themselves because of the influences of their tight little societies and through fear of an angry God, and how because people no longer do this* society is headed for hell in a handbasket?

Society is not static or homogeneous. It is too big, diverse and fluid to "head to hell in a handbasket". (I like that term) Some parts may, but others survive, change, develop or even die off. People are being hysterical and silly.

While I may not like or approve of what some other people chose to do, as long as it doesn't affect me, personally, adversely, I really don't care. I would never chose those things. Someone's marriage style, open marriage, same sex marriage doesn't affect me and mine, just as mine doesn't affect theirs.

I must add there is the exception of harming children, animals, the helpless, to my not caring or acting :-) Now they've made it my business.

mockturtle said...

One of the major sins I was able to overcome--through other serious sinning that grew from severe private emotional and spiritual pain, which was followed by his amazing, everlasting grace--was thinking that I was a good person, that I was obedient to God, that I was good at following his rules and thus I was safe from Bad Things Happening. Haha!

I certainly agree that spiritual pride is the worst kind of sin. We are all sinners and we are not under the Law but under Grace. But, while we learn from our moral failures, we do so because we have suffered some consequence. I believe God set down moral guidelines because he knew they were good for us. Good parenting, no?

Darcy said...

Coercion and condemnation teach nothing.

Truth. What is ironic is that this is the religion of leftists. And there are a great many self-described Christians who adhere to this as well! But the lefties who characterize belief in the gospel as "coercion and condemnation" totally misunderstand and do not recognize these methods as precisely their god. Not mine. Not ours.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

While I may not like or approve of what some other people chose to do, as long as it doesn't affect me, personally, adversely, I really don't care.

Quoting myself here. Speaking not of actual crimes like murder and other actions that harm other people, which I do care about and feel that I am allowed to make judgements. This is more about the topic of open marriage and sinful actions.

It isn't that I don't care entirely. It just isn't my place to judge the sins of others. That is way above my pay grade.

mockturtle said...

Misplaced, was anyone here advocating stoning or arresting those with 'open marriages'? I think not. No one need tell them that the lifestyle is destructive. They will learn that on their own.

damikesc said...

An open marriage isn't a marriage.

Bay Area Guy said...

Any child from a broken marriage likely has a different perspective.

I read this claptrap and think, "How do the kids feel about this?"

Sex is a critical component of marriage, but so is the stability and security from a healthy non-open marriage.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Misplaced, was anyone here advocating stoning or arresting those with 'open marriages'? I think not.

I wasn't speaking strictly literally, although it's not that long ago that adultery was a criminal offense dealt with severely, even in these United States, and lots of people right now think that there should be severe penalties for heresies against the modern church of the progressive. No matter the sin, there's someone who wants to push your face in the mud for committing it.

Telescope out. I was talking bigger, about justice, mercy, and moral standards enforced with love vs. by force.

mockturtle said...

Societal acceptance of abortion has no doubt increased its prevalence. And societal acceptance of unwed motherhood not only removed the stigma [which is good] but has given it the status of normality, resulting in the highest rate of poverty of any demographic group.

ken in tx said...

If, as a man, you are not frequently turning down women coming on to you, you will loose out on the Open Marriage deal. Your wife does not have to do anything to increase her sexual variety except accept some of the men who hit on her every day. The man, on the other hand, must spend a lot of effort and money to find willing partners. You can join a swingers group, but if you are not naturally outgoing and attractive, you'll be left sitting alone there too. These groups are almost always run by the women, for the women.

buwaya said...

"That which is freely chosen always has more value and meaning than that which is imposed."

That is assuming that "freely chosen" actually is, and is not merely the effect of mental programming that defines the parameters of freedom or channels the available choices. How free are we? Potentially, very, but in fact?

"Coercion and condemnation teach nothing."

Yes they do. They are very effective, not least in programming people, see above.

"That people used to behave themselves because of the influences of their tight little societies and through fear of an angry God, and how because people no longer do this* society is headed for hell in a handbasket? "

Yes, because this is how people and societies evolved to exist and survive. We are not designed to operate under modern conditions. We are remarkably flexible, but its far from optimal for personal or social health long term.

We can exist, for instance, on very varied diets, but some of them are going to be very unhealthy. Healthy societies, say, have learned over millennia to live on rice and fish. But now they are required to live on candy.

Bruce Hayden said...

"No, I said that kids who were tested. Not everybody has DNA tests on their kids to see if they are theirs. Do you ?"

No - my kid is mine. No DNA testing required. Like Meade, there is no question. They even look more like me than their mother. And have more my strengths and weaknesses than hers, though their mother being the primary parent after our divorce probably helped overcome some of my weaknesses (like giving into the rush of waiting to the last minute, and then excelling at getting the project done on time).

I will admit that I wasn't completely chaste during the most of my adult life that I wasn't married, so I was never quite sure that there weren't some other offspring out there, just waiting to inherit. So, I included a proviso in my will that any putative children trying to inherit, whom I had not formally acknowledged had to be DNA tested in order to inherit, get child support, etc.

buwaya said...

" it's not that long ago that adultery was a criminal offense"

This is one of those areas where the Spanish-Catholic tradition differs, a lot, from Northern strictures. Much was tacitly acceptable if kept private. This applied mainly to men of course.

But its surprising to examine details of lives in those days; women got away with a lot.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

but its far from optimal for personal or social health long term

Sorry, don't agree with your definition of health. Islamist societies are remarkably effective at forcing conformity; they are certainly good at proliferating (which seems to be part of your definition), but they are pretty shitty at advancing human achievement which is a crucial element in my definition and which you are ignoring.

People have to be free to think and live originally, authentically and yes weirdly if we are to discover and apply new knowledge.

I have never denied the role that conformity has always played in keeping humans safe, but the risk that nonconformity brings is necessary too.

mockturtle said...

Nothing wrong with nonconformity, Misplaced. I've been a nonconformist all my life. But we have reached a point at which nonconformity becomes conformity and defines societal norms, to our detriment.

Earnest Prole said...

If I understand sociobiology correctly, women, left to their own desires unmitigated by morals and culture, would all mate with the most powerful male in a community rather than their own husbands.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have a very hard time believing the 1 in 25 figure. I know that figure to be low even in the people around me.

Think of it this way. Male and female humans have opposing, but complimentary, sexual strategies. Or, at least did so up until the last third of the 20th Century. Basic male drive is to have as many offspring as possible, with as many females as possible. And basic female sexual strategy is to mate with best males you can for the highest quality offspring. Most versus best. Pretty universal throughout the animal kingdom. But layered over this for humans, at least until very recently is marriage/pair bonding, which provides statistically better outcomes for children of both sexes, by dedicating the added resources of the fathers to their children. The problem is that females still are affected by the more primal drive of preferring alpha over beta male genes, despite most females not being able to marry an alpha male. Which means that (prior to DNA testing), there was an evolutionary incentive for (some) females to cheat, getting their beta male husbands to expend resources raising the biological children of some alpha male. Best of both worlds for the females, if they can pull it off (which is why, I suspect, that females are reputed to be sneakier than males). Good for the sperm donors too. Not so good for the cuckolded males, who have spent their valuable resources furthering the genetic legacies of other males.

I will suggest that this tension is the cause of much of the sexual double standards in this world, and why female infidelity was traditionally responded to so brutally. Why stoning adulterous wives is still condoned throughout much of the Muslim world. Why female chastity was so prized. Which is why I suspect that a 1/25 incidence rate is much too low - too low, I would expect, to be such a cultural driver.

madAsHell said...

that females are reputed to be sneakier than males

Before her panties hit the floor, a woman is compiling a list of women to tell about her new relationship.

Darcy said...

Before her panties hit the floor, a woman is compiling a list of women to tell about her new relationship.

Much sneakier than that.

madAsHell said...

If I recall correctly, misplaced pants, mockturtle, dust bunny queen, and darcy (obviously) are all women.
Interesting discussion ladies!!

Unknown said...

70% of divorces initiated by the wife. Women do not feel as bound by obligations as men do. Legal marriage was not invented by women but by men.

Bruce Hayden said...

"70% of divorces initiated by the wife. Women do not feel as bound by obligations as men do. Legal marriage was not invented by women but by men."

Presumably to guarantee paternity. And, yes, to some of xtent, so that beta males could have sex.

Gahrie said...

70% of divorces initiated by the wife

Why not? They get 50% (or more) of the splooge stooge's assets and income, and don't have to deal with the splooge stooge.

n.n said...

This is what the humanitarian pornographers have been saying all along. Women are the sum of their vagina, breasts, and, if particularly liberal, the dark side of the moon. They've even sold men, transitioning and straight, on this quasi-moral perspective.

It also explain the nexus between social liberals and libertarians, and their need, nay, demand, to resume abortion rites under the selective-child doctrine. And the latter wonder why laws, principles, etc. are so selective. It begins with conception.

Anyway, the female chauvinists approve this behavior... for other women. Wear your vagina hats proudly. Feed the pig(s). Embrace your inner dodo.

Darcy said...

@madAsHell

We are, and I suspect we would all get along famously in person. I know that I've enjoyed their comments here for a long while.

n.n said...

This also explains why congruence "=" did not include polygamy. We already have a de facto polygamy, without committment, and, if the mood should strike you, if you so deem, abortion of the unknown child. Still, it doesn't explain why congruence excluded the state sanctification of polygamy, or maybe it does. Pro-Choice and State.

Scott M said...

"But of the 25 couples I encountered, a majority of the relationships were opened at the initiation of the women; only in six cases had it been the men. Even when the decision was mutual, the woman was usually the more sexually active outside the marriage.

Duh. Is this really a surprise to anyone? I haven't read through the rest of the comments here, but...duh.

The men might be thinking about suggesting an open relationship, but it's much harder for the overwhelming majority of men to go out and get laid than it is for a woman, so they don't. On the other hand, the woman KNOWS that it's much easier for a woman to go out and get laid.

And as for who is more sexually active after the decision was made, even if mutual? Again...duh.

Virtually Unknown said...

Supposedly all the females in a colony of 'birds of paradise' mate with the same male. No lesson to be drawn there because human beings are separate from the animal kingdom!

Scott M said...

You gotta love those intimacy vampires.

Not really sparkly. Intimacy vampires have more a glazed donut look.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Conventional wisdom has it that men are more likely than women to crave, even need, variety in their sex lives."
"But of the 25 couples I encountered, a majority of the relationships were opened at the initiation of the women; only in six cases had it been the men.


The population of Officially Non-Monogamous People Likely to Be Chatted Up By People Writing Stuff for NYT Magazine is surely a representative sample from which we can gain insight into the accuracy of the "conventional wisdom"!

"Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?/What the experiences of nonmonogamous couples can tell us about jealousy, love, desire and trust."

How many thousands of times in the last half-century has this article been written by The Sort of People Who Write Stuff for NYT Magazine?

I couldn't read it because it froze my browser, but I'd bet it's about as insightful and informative as all the others.

Michael K: It might just be related to the findings that 25% of children tested are not the children of the mother's husband.

"Children tested". (That figure looks high even for that very non-random sample. That cuckoldry abounds seems to be an enduring internet urban legend.)

Scott M said...

What other function does it serve on a society , at its root?

Kidding, right? I mean, providing a stable home for the raising of well-rounded children doesn't count?

n.n said...

That cuckoldry abounds seems to be an enduring internet urban legend

Not legend, propaganda. The hope is that perception will be realized as reality. There are distinct strains inside and outside our society that hope more people will embrace their inner masochist, indulge in sadistic pleasures, and follow the dodo's orientation to a less fruitful, less coherent, dare I say it, less carbonated world. Or maybe it's just retributive change.

California Snow said...

"To my thinking, marriage has no other functional purpose in a society than to indicate and sort out who should and should not be having sex with who, and even further, who it is expected is or should be having sex with who.

What other function does it serve on a society , at its root? "

Quayle - My wife and I just welcomed our fourth child a few weeks ago and yesterday had to go to the county offices to register for a birth certificate. Being married the county automatically assigned me as the legal and biological father (which I am). Otherwise I would have had to sign an Affidavit of Paternity claiming I was the father. Marriage allows society to assign children to guardians/providers.

Freeman Hunt said...

How does anyone stay in love with somone who doesn't care if they sleep with someone else?

Freeman Hunt said...

I read the beginning of the article, and that was enough. The people aren't interesting enough. They couldn't come up with hobbies more interesting than dating. Ever had anyone describe the goings on of their favorite television programs to you? That's what this article is like.

The funniest part I read was when the woman's outrageous selfishness was described as "Zen."

JPS said...

"In June, [Daniel] sat down and made a document he called Bizarro World Benefits and Drawbacks. Under Drawbacks, the list he wrote, as if addressing Elizabeth, included: “You get distracted by your other relationship. [...] The theory of nonmonogamy is easier than the practice.”

I'm tempted to have some Lazlo-style fun with that list, but I lack his talent. So I'll second Freeman Hunt at 3:38, and Virgil Hilts at 9:13 re caring least.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder if anyone has the hobby of stacking heavy weights on his roof and seeing how it holds up?

Freeman Hunt said...

Related:

For many people, being a kid sucks.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Men don't share."

John Lynch put it well.

Virtually Unknown said...

Men crave it more alright, but as the old saying goes 'many are called, few are chosen.'

Joe said...

For me, the article came off as disingenuous. There are several hints that most of these marriages were failing badly and that the author is deliberately masking this. Most of the women mentioned come across to me as extremely selfish and quite adept at justifying their behavior.

I do think there are a very small minority of people who could make this work, just as there are a very small minority of people who could make a genuine polygamous relationship work, but even amongst those; what is the real psychological cost? I suspect that for most (not all) it is greater than they let on.

(How many people, after suggesting acting in an immoral way and then doing it, are willing to admit they were wrong?)

Joe said...

Other points; the woman bears almost no risk at suggesting an open marriage. When the divorce happens, she'll still get custody and he'll still pay alimony.

I think that, in general, the idea of an open marriage is almost purely a sexual fantasy by the husband --that is, to get some temporary sexual variety--but a relationship fantasy by the wife--that is, to find an alternate relationship if not a replacement at little risk.

(This would suggest that the end result is that the husband will find the easy lay, which is of no real threat to the wife and she knows this. BUT, if he found a genuine potential replacement, I all but guarantee that she'd freak out.

Inga said...

Pants, I have to tell you sister, I love the new you. You seem ever so much lighter, happier, less judgmental. Whatever happened to you, it was a good thing.

Swede said...

Are you kidding me?

I get enough flack for laying about, doing nothing but sitting in my underwear and watching sports and fishing on tv.

I need another piece of tail complaining?

No, thank you.

Also, you're welcome for the visual.

n.n said...

Not marriage, but rather incorporation, with relationship lawyers to manage joint ventures. This is an easier model for government to tax, and it frees social liberals from the special interest congruence "=" movement that excluded marriage between a woman and men, man and women, etc.

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JAORE said...

"...yet many of the same people who pressed for marriage equality for gay couples oppose it."

It being polygamy.

I'm not sure they were really opposed. Instead I suspect they feared the public was not ready for that next step and they did not want to add ammunition to the arsenal of those that opposed gay marriage.

It takes a lot of battlefield preparation before,currently radical, notions become acceptable.

Todd said...

JAORE said...

It takes a lot of battlefield preparation before,currently radical, notions become acceptable.

5/12/17, 7:23 AM


Or just 5 out of 9 black robed individuals...