I dispute monogamy and I hope that my monogamous brothers and sisters understand that it is not just the failures of monogamy that provoke the contempt, ever perceptible in my writing. The world is imperfect and I accept the imperfections of society, yet I do not condone bad ideals or a society that refuses to realize the good ideals it possesses.
We are always free to choose monogamy. Elsewhere I’ve published five very different reasons to question monogamy. I state plainly here that monogamy is a wrong ideal for most people. I suggest the normalizing of deceit involved in the actual practice of monogamy harms society far beyond the scope of sexuality. My dispute is not about the imperfections in model monogamous people who display behavior that I would be happy to recommend. I dispute monogamy because of its principles, the idealistic foundations upon which monogamy rests, hides inherent flaws such as selfishness, possessive-ness; valuing another as merely a means to serve our purposes when they are an outpouring of life itself. Others were not created to serve our ideas nor are they obliged to adapt themselves to our imagined future. I’m not against mutual cooperation. I’m against dismissing the value of people or their happiness as worthless unless it is somehow useful to us.
Sexuality needs a moral awakening because, if we cannot be honest with ourselves about something so personal and immediate as our sexual reality, then how can we, as a society, be expected to grapple honestly with other vital facts of life, such as climate change?
- Who can guide others in a moral awakening?
Only those people who have undergone a moral awakening and who dare to speak truthfully will lead such an awakening. Such a standard cannot be claimed by many who advocate for monogamy. Their rationalization of hypocrisy makes them unfit for such work. If they had undergone such a moral awakening, then they would neither delude themselves nor would they manipulate the credulity of the masses. The break down of monogamy as displayed by Machiavellian moralists shamelessly appeals to the ideals of the past, which lack relevance with the present, however well-adapted they might have been in the past. Let possessive-ness be just one example. Possessiveness sees another as either a means to an end or an object of possession. This one example by itself shows why we should dispute monogamy. This person as a possession loses their value after touching some parts of another person’s body with some parts of their body. That is ridiculous.
Many of us habitually harbor respect for the earlier social forms regardless of the many failures we have witnessed. Such respect makes many of us fear, dismiss, and even oppose any investigation of the foundations of our beliefs. The monogamous masses remain incredibly indifferent to the formation of their beliefs, but the indifference and hypocrisy also drips from the teachers and moral leaders. Moreover, some of these leaders become filled with righteous indignation when any one of their fold slips out of their grasp. When monogamous moral leaders do not seem to believe in free thinking or choice it becomes a reason to dispute monogamy. These leaders profess the authority of the past regardless of their own conduct. They pay lip service to monogamy, this is Machiavellian thinking.
Machiavelli’s philosophy is indeed easier in the short run and eventually disastrous. The easier road is why we ignore over population, climate change and why we lie to lovers.
Following a rut is always easier. Breaking out of a rut requires not only a willingness to try something new but the energy it takes to stop the force of a habit. Breaking any habit requires conscious effort and we dispute monogamy as part of that effort. We cannot expect misguided beliefs from the past to lead us to the truth. The people who formed these beliefs were fallible human beings. We shame our intelligence if we refuse to adapt to the people and world around us and such treason against intelligence is worse for thoughtlessly praising antiquated social structures because they are old. To the extent that the struggle with our own impulses is unnecessary and robs us of better choices, those people who promote this struggle are the enemies of society. I refer to moralists who are not content merely to believe and follow. They dare guide the young into a war within themselves and put them at risk by robbing them of the most advanced and comprehensive sex education the modern world has to offer, that is the rightful inheritance of the young. Such leaders are either dishonest or indifferent to the suffering of other people, it’s a reason to dispute monogamy.
- How many monogamy advocates have transgressed the bounds monogamy?
The number of scandals that have seen the light of day may be the tip of the iceberg. Not only have the moralists given up their obedience to strict monogamy, but they rationalize prohibited conduct by themselves, their friends, and their respected leaders. For one honest monogamous person who dares to question the moral shell game because their moral impulse cannot entirely support monogamy, there are several who lie, cheat, and tread with filthy boots upon monogamy, but are still fanatic supporters of monogamy and the sanctity of marriage: think philandering preachers and predator priests.
- Why all this double-dealing in monogamy?
This double-dealing occurs because moral leaders fear that, if the masses free themselves from the yoke of sexual coercion, then they will become a threat to the power, prestige, and livelihood of moral and religious leaders. This also threatens the power elite who look to these moral leaders to barter for moral credibility. It is also lucrative to build a fence around a vital natural resource and then sell access to that resource. In this case, the fence is shame and social devaluation. The access to sexuality is sold through a vast marriage industrial complex, including divorce lawyers, as well as vicarious access through the media. This selling of water by the river is a disgrace and causes misery, it’s another reason to dispute monogamy.
But what about the appeal to “human nature or morals” as a defense of monogamy by experts. I’ve answered this dispute here.
- The ordinary person is at a loss about sexuality and feels embarrassed to admit any ignorance of the topic; they do not trust themselves. Why is this?
In the words of *Robert Briffault: “They taught him at school what they wanted him to know and they did not teach him what they did not want him to know. Then, they told him to judge for himself.” The moral leaders, gurus, and therapists to whom society at-large appeals for council may not believe in thinking beyond the norm and cannot give much direction that stands the test of life. The people to whom the masses look for guidance are often either too dishonest or apathetic to spare the effort to educate people about the moral high ground of a principle like sexual freedom or generosity. This tragedy of ignorance takes place all around us and all we can do is weep like a child who speaks the truth, but to whom no one will listen or believe.
- What is the average person to do?
The average person will do nothing, much less dispute monogamy and regardless of conduct they probably won’t do anything until the sexual vanguard returns with different ways forward. What the average person can do is stop denigrating the vanguard of sexual morality. These are the minorities, such as the LGBTQ and polyamorous community. When the innovators are not deceitful, coercive, reckless (like unsafe sex), or violent, then the masses do not have a reason to fault them. All innovation begins with a minority, beginning with the first person to imagine something better. Such innovators deserve respect, but they persist even without it. The impulse to find a better life serves not only the desires of the people who have them, but all the generations yet to be born. As we look upon the ignorant ages past, remember their courageous hearts and their trial and error methods. Remember they who cultivated the gardens where our choices bloom today. Undoubtedly, they watered some of the blossoms with their tears. This kind of responsibility and joy is our legacy to squander or increase. It is our love of life and our quest for a better world that should embolden us to dispute monogamy.
* Robert Briffault, Europa: A Novel of the Days of Ignorance, Charles Scribner's Sons, (1935)