Monogamy is under attack.
The angry mob is led by sluts and scientists alike. They say the romantic norm of a lifetime with one lover is impossible to stick to. However, they can’t seem to agree on whose fault that is.
Some say it’s men who get bored of monogamy sooner. Their insatiable sex drives crave more action than one woman could possibly provide. Others argue it’s women who more quickly lose interest in their one-and-only.
However, it’s time to stop endlessly disputing which sex struggles more with the ideals of soulmates and the sanctity of marriage. Instead, we need to acknowledge that both men and women get sick of monogamy — often for different reasons.
Surprise, surprise: a central factor for both men and women is the sex. Neither partner can deny it’s difficult to maintain the desire to hump in the long haul. On this issue, many say it’s easiest to empathize with men.
Conventional wisdom holds that men are the victims of monogamy. Their natural tendency to hump anything with a heartbeat is savagely smothered by the cultural requirement to settle down.
It’s just our natural biology. Men want to spread their seed, while women want a lifetime provider. They’ll use sex as a tool to lock down a man, but once she’s got that sense of security, the sex disappears.
However, emerging evidence changes our understanding of this dynamic every day. New research indicates that women lose interest in monogamy much faster than their male partners do. Women crave more sexual novelty, the study’s authors found. They get more turned on by fantasies of sex with strangers than with friends.
Esther Perel, the prolific relationship and sexuality therapist, also points to women’s roles in family life as a major killer of their arousal. Their positions as mothers and caretakers — their endless duties taking care of the needs of others — are so difficult to disconnect from in the bedroom. They desperately need to focus on their own pleasure, but that’s practically impossible to do in the context of the same ol’ house with the same ol’ husband.
“Put that same woman with a new person, in a new story, and suddenly she doesn’t need a role replacement,” Perel explains.
Unfortunately, it’s perceived as much more problematic when women are the gender looking to break with monogamy. Boys will be boys, but fear ensues when women abandon their hard-wired roles as the seekers of sexual exclusivity.
To solve this potential crisis, a ton of money is being spent on developing a drug women can take to restore their desire for their husbands. The drug, called Lybrido, is currently in FDA clinical trials.
It’s easy enough to envision a future in which husbands are and women are popping Lybridos — just to simulate the kind of sexual encounters monogamy isn’t suited for in the long-term. After all, a lifetime of marriage is a taller order than it’s ever been.
“If you get married in your twenties, you’re making a much larger commitment than ever before,” Indigo Stray Conger, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Rooster. “You’re looking at about 60 years with one person. And it’s only recently that love became a primary reason to get married. So this whole idea is relatively new — that you’re supposed to fall in love and stay in love, until you die.”
All this to say, love isn’t even the hardest part. For men and women both, it’s love-making that we're worried about.