Our two cats groom each other in the sunlight. A Subaru is parked in the driveway. Mojo strolls into the room, telling me about a woman she recently met.
Hello, sex maniacs! The internet has served to make people more aware of and empowered by non-monogamy than ever before. We asked survey-takers for their current relationship status.
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Probably different but not that different. Data on straight monogamy are all over the map. One report suggests 70 percent of married men cheat. A nationally representative survey of men put the number at only 23 percent.
Before we go farther, some full frontal disclosure: We were asked to write about gay and lesbian sex and monogamy, specifically from a straight perspective. We aren't going to do that. Instead, we're going to write about sex from a different and even straighter view: that of your mother, evolution.
In February, the popular girl-on-girl magazine Autostraddle released their Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey and found a whole wealth of data on the types of relationships often found among queer women. The survey asked all sorts of questions, from how frequently participants were having sex and how kinky they perceived their sex to be, to how happy they were in their relationships and what they could change if they wanted to. Some of the more interesting results revealed data about monogamy and non-monogamy in the queer lady community — and in addition to being interesting, I would argue the results are also incredibly important.
When the fight for gay marriage began to gain traction back in the early years of the last decade, social conservative critics usually went beyond denying that marriage could be redefined to include same-sex couples. Many of them argued that homosexuals were much less inclined than heterosexuals to valorize the ideal of monogamy. Allowing gays and lesbians to marry would therefore introduce a polyamorous option into the institution, and adultery would come to be viewed as an acceptable option for all marriages.
When Rio and Ray married inthe Bay Area women omitted two words from their wedding vows: fidelity and monogamy. As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research. A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many.
Hanna Rosin posted a piece at Slate 's Double X last week about gay male couples and monogamy--or rather their lack of it. Rosin said that some gay couples' resistance to monogamy might be a model that hetero couples could learn from. A rebuttal by Nathaniel Frank took the data from both sources to task: "None of these sources show that 'most gay couples aren't monogamous,'" he wrote.
Non-monogamy seems to be coming out of the closet. A study published in the prestigious Journal of Marriage and Family claims that contemporary marriage is undergoing a process of detraditionalization, which includes an openness to nonmonogamy. The study, which was co-authored by three Canadian sociologists, Adam Isiah Green, Jenna Valleriani, and Barry Adam, 1 may capture media attention, but a closer look reveals that the evidence is shaky and their conclusions are premature, especially when we look at a broader set of studies. In their study, the Canadian researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 90 heterosexual and same-sex married Canadians.