Imagine standing at the departure gate, at an airport, and looking out. On the other side of the glass are planes taxing for take-off to distant destinations and as plane take off other planes are landing. Further in the distance there are building, roads, and a line of traffic. Behind you are people all flying off to another destination sitting on chairs, shops, and walls. Monogamy is like being at an airport, surrounded with boundaries but within those boundaries are choices that can take you to other destinations.
Why is defining monogamy important? Monogamy is society’s ideal definition of a relationship. It define how a couple should act, what is acceptable, and it place a limit on behavior. Essentially monogamy is the standard by which a relationship is judged. A couple that momentarily entertain the idea of breaching the ideal standard will face an internal struggle and if discovered breaking the ideal standard will most likely face scorning. It is is the brick wall that will keep a couple from trying a threesome and acting in a socially acceptable way.
What is monogamy? From a relationship perspective it is a consenting adult relationship that is exclusive. Using this definition a couple does not engage in having a relationship or sex with anyone else beside their chosen partner. Even with today’s enlightened sexual attitude towards gay marriage and televisions shows dealing with polygamy, monogamy is still the strongly preferred relationship structure.
History of Monogamy – a brief introduction
Defining monogamy from a historical perspective is much more difficult since monogamy is not a natural evolutionary choice to provide a diverse gene pool but a choice imposed by the Catholic Church in the Roman Empire. The definition of adultery prior the imposition of monogamy is very different than what we know today. Adultery was regarded a married man having sex with a married woman, who was not his wife. This meant a married man could be married and have sex with a woman who was single. The reason, during this era, marriage was seen as a property transaction between the husband and the wife’s father. It was not until suffrage and civil rights movement of the mid-20th century when women began achieving equal rights as men.
As for other nonmonogamous practices polygamy existed during biblical times but it was not until the rise of Catholicism in the Roman Empire and priests attempt to control sex did monogamy become the legal requirement for a couple. There is a suggestion that wife-swapping occurred in ancient Britain and continued into the modern era. Wife-swapping as it is known today started in WWII.
Therefore, when discussing monogamy it is important to determine if it relates to biblical times or modern times since the biblical times definition is incompatible with today’s definition because a married man was permitted to have sex outside of his marriage with an unmarried woman. Whereas today’s definition is gender neutral forbidding any sex outside of the primary relationship.
Types of Monogamy
So, what makes a relationship exclusive? Putting aside the definition of monogamy. I believe there are two parts to exclusivity, emotional and physical.
When monogamy is discussed, it is my feeling, monogamy is being equated with emotional monogamy and I believe, the presence of emotional monogamy separates having a threesome from other non monogamous activities such as cuckolding. Emotional monogamy is the emotional bond that binds and keeps a couple together. It is the unspoken bond that pulls a couple through a difficult time and it is the unspoken bond that motivate to provide for their partner’s well-being. It is the intangible bond that define a relationship.
Unlike emotional monogamy physical monogamy is very easily seen and experienced, simply put physical monogamy is sex. If a couple participates in any threesome activity, with the possible exception of soft-swinging, then physical monogamy is lost.
Monogamy and threesomes – Overcoming the Monogamous hurdle
So, how does a couple get over the monogamy hurdle to have an enjoyable threesome? For any couple just beginning to explore this idea the hurdle can be epic because it involves going against everything that has been taught regarding a relationship and the expectation that goes with it. From my experience, it involves changing perspective. Instead of trying to be same as every other couple and believing the same thing as them, try being a leader. View monogamy as a choice, instead of viewing monogamy as an absolute must have for the relationship. By this I mean, think about 10% – 25% of couples that have tried having a threesome and are still together. It is important to remember having a threesome is not a mathematical formula of: loss of relationship = threesome – monogamy. Another possible way, if monogamy is important to the relationship is viewing having a threesome as the loss of physical monogamy while maintaining emotional monogamy. This means viewing the act as a physical act whereby feelings for your partner is maintained.
Monogamy and polygamy have been around since the dawn of ‘man.’ It was not until the rise of the Catholic Church in the Roman Empire that nonomongamy practices became shunned. Even during the time nonmonogamy fell out of favor it still survived being reborn during WWII. Whilst I do not believe monogamy is the right choice for every couple. Monogamy still remain a driving force in shaping a relationship. If couple wishes to try having a threesome but feels monogamy is an issue then there are two methods they can try. First is viewing monogamy as a choice instead of an absolute the other method is viewing having a threesome as a physical act where feelings for each other will remain in tact. In answer to the question, is monogamy a barrier? That is a question each couple will have to answer based on their situation. Whatever choice a couple will make the choice must be in their best interest.