The Misconceptions Of Monogamy
Why Monogamy Is Abnormally Normal
Before I enter into this debate, there are some clarifications and caveats I have to make before I proceed. To define the issue of monogamy as an either/or scenario is relatively impossible. To say that monogamy is a contrived concept and that philandering is a man's “natural” state is to oversimplify the issue and opens up a never ending debate about nature vs. nurture. For the sake of this argument, I have to differentiate between the image of man as a pious entity and the overall concept that we are nothing more than Neanderthals with better hygiene (usually). By way of example, a caveman's primary goal in everyday life was eating, sleeping, defecating and fornicating, hopefully with no two being attempted at the same time. During those primordial wonder years, the competition would have been fierce, not only for territory, food and materials, but also with an innate need to procreate to progress ones lineage. This was our natural state.
In our modern society, however, there is very little about us that can be defined as “natural.” We control our environment and have skewed our own physiological development by altering the processes of natural selection. We have, for the most part, radically changed the very definition of evolution, creating laws that prohibit our “natural” responses. We can no longer club Grog unconscious, take his Brontosaurus Burger and then forcefully fornicate with his mate à la Quest for Fire. We are, as a society, the most unnatural little creatures on this planet, so the argument of whether or not infidelity is “naturally” hard wired into the male's brain is a rather moot one.
That being said, I will now take this into a more personal realm so that my argument will (hopefully) make sense. There may be several old girl friends (as well as one ex-wife), that may read this and feel as if they have awakened into some kind of post apocalyptic Twilight Zone where George W. Bush now heads up the Literacy Council and Wal-Mart works for the good of the common man. Even though it is hard to imagine, as people look at me slumping through middle age, I was once such a prolific sexual being that the IRS was actually scared that I might screw them. I used to stalk the wide open Serengeti of the single scene, looking for those who were weak, separating them from the herd before going in for the kill. Many nights were spent with my quarry's pelt lying on the floor next to my bed and, upon waking, I would unceremoniously rush them out...before my steady girlfriend was scheduled to arrive. I was imperceptibly fastidious with all of these encounters, making sure that no errant blonde hairs were stuck to my clothes, that no discernible marks were left on my person and I always carried a small bar of my usual soap with me so that I wouldn't smell “different” when I went back to my “mate.”
Neanderthals Among Us
This is in no way to be perceived as bragging. This is the reason I am on this side of the debate. While those people found exclusively on the AM talk radio shows will probably drone on about how monogamy is a devious neo-liberal, Marxist plot perpetrated by the Obama administration to force us into becoming socialist drones, there advice should be taken with a grain of salt, or possibly a salt lick, because I find it hard to believe that most of those folks have ever gotten laid even once, let alone having the ability to entertain multiple partners. I, however, am speaking from experience. While, at the time, I made excuses for my own behavior, I can now see the repercussions that this behavior has wrought. I can see the women who can no longer trust. I can see the women who can no longer have a healthy relationship due to the rampant mistrust that I have planted within their hearts. I can see the families I have destroyed. I can see the course of people's lives that I have altered with one single indiscretion, one night of lust. I can see the pain I have caused in others that they carry with them to this day, and for that, I am sorry.
Regardless of whether or not we, as humans, have the predisposition to be unfaithful, it is the fact that we have intentionally separated ourselves from our primeval past that makes the argument against monogamy moot. We have created a society that protects those who would have, at one time, fallen by the wayside, forgotten. We now cater to the perceptions of ownership and control, placing ourselves in the role as nature's caretaker. We are living in a culture of concessions whereby we have left the animal within us somewhere in the dim past. To advocate infidelity by reason of an evolutionary quirk allows us also to bring back other “natural parts” of our animalistic makeup, like taking whatever we are strong enough to take, indiscriminately killing those that oppose us or allowing the weak to founder and die because they were deemed not the fittest? Either we act in a manner in accordance with the “civilized beings” that we purport to be, or we should just scrap the whole thing and go back to the caves. We cannot, as a society, rally around the sanctity of marriage, while at the same time giving a pass to bad behavior with a wink and a nudge, and if we do, what other conduct will our culture allow?