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Is Polyamory Back?

Sex outside marriage has been getting a lot of attention. There was the movie based on real life, Breaking Upwards, about a young couple that chose an open relationship over a bored one; dating sites for extramarital affairs popping up, and studies touting the benefits of booty calls and cheating.

Research psychologist Jesse Bering blames his colleagues in evolutionary psychology and "liberally minded journalists" for making polyamory look like a chic, progressive alternative to monogamy. Evolutionary theory says we're animals and animals aren't monogamous, so why not be true to your animal instinct?

Bering says throwing this theory around as casually as a one-night stand is dangerous. "Monogamy may not be natural," he writes, "but neither is indifference to our partners’ sex lives or tolerance for polyamory."

So before you throw your keys into a fishbowl from 1977, consider this: the risk of heartbreak awaits anyone — except maybe sociopaths? — even if you open a relationship the respectful way and don't resort to cheating. That's what makes us different from animals, and why cheating and open relationships will always come to an end.

Join The Conversation
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I totally agree with le romantique. I get really frustrated at the argument that humans are mere animals. Yes, there is truth to the statement that we have animal-like urges because we are, afterall, animals. BUT, we are also animals with complex brains that experience complex emotions and feelings. You have to take that into consideration when talking up a storm about succumbing to animal urges. SKG, that is one of the worst relationship stories I have ever heard.
stephley stephley 6 years
What's new about any of this?
Kimpossible Kimpossible 6 years
I think it's funny that the article is contradicting. It says it's about polyamory, but then discusses websites about "extra marital affairs" and "cheating". When a couple is in an open relationship, it's not cheating when they have sex with other people. Affairs imply secrative and the open relationship couples I know have no secrets and nothing is done behind their spouses back... as a matter of fact, most of the time the extra marital sex is being done together. And very few of the couples I know practice polyamory (having more than one romantic relationship), their extra marital activity is purely sexually based. I think "swinging" and "open relationships" are very misunderstood.
le-romantique le-romantique 6 years
"Evolutionary theory says we're animals and animals aren't monogamous, so why not be true to your animal instinct?"... Because we have complex brains and feelings... we aren't like fish or something!
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