Married, With Infidelities

My co-worker forwarded me this article. I don’t like how they align “infidelity” with non-monogamy. I miss how funny Dan Savage’s column used to be. Following are some excerpts I agree with.

Savage’s position on monogamy is frequently caricatured. He does not believe in promiscuity; indeed, his attacks on the anonymous-sex, gay-bathhouse culture were once taken as proof of a secret conservative agenda. And he does not believe that monogamy is wrong for all couples or even for most couples. Rather, he says that a more realistic sexual ethic would prize honesty, a little flexibility and, when necessary, forgiveness over absolute monogamy.

And he believes nostalgically, like any good conservative, that we might look to the past for some clues. “The mistake that straight people made,” Savage told me, “was imposing the monogamous expectation on men. Men were never expected to be monogamous. Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitar­ian and fairsey.” In the feminist revolution, rather than extending to women “the same latitude and license and pressure-release valve that men had always enjoyed,” we extended to men the confines women had always endured. “And it’s been a disaster for marriage.”

In their own marriage, Savage and Miller practice being what he calls “monogamish,” allowing occasional infidelities… “It’s not about having three-ways with somebody or having an open relationship. It is just sort of like, Dan has always said if you have different tastes, you have to be good, giving and game, and if you are not G.G.G. for those tastes, then you have to give your partner the out. It took me a while to get down with that.”

“If you are expected to be monogamous and have one person be all things sexually for you, then you have to be whores for each other,” Savage says. “You have to be up for anything.”

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