Skepticism, properly applied

To start, a few clarifications:

  1. Not all atheists are skeptics.  There are people who arrive at the position of atheism by other means than skepticism.  There is no requirement, logically or practically, to be a skeptic if one is an atheist.  My contention is that if one is a skeptic, and one applies that skepticism properly and completely (a difficult task, for sure), then one necessarily becomes an atheist, at least until some good evidence surfaces.
  2. Similarly, not all polyamorous people are skeptics.  In fact, in my experience polyamorous people tend to be attracted to many ideas which are exactly opposed to skepticism.  The intersection of polyamory and atheism, let alone skepticism, is pretty small, on the whole.  I don’t have any solid numbers, so I am going on my limited experience, so if this is not true, I would love to hear about it.
  3. Not all skeptics apply their skepticism to all aspects of their lives, specifically not to religion and their relationship structures, in my experience.  Skeptics traditionally are interested in things like UFOs, cryptozoology, astrology, psychic abilities, etc.  Of course, it deals with religion a fair bit as well, but in some skeptic circles, directly confronting traditional religious beliefs is less common, although this is changing.

Given all of that, we can move on.

Logic, lack of gods, and love in abundance

Some atheists have been known to say that

  • skepticism, properly applied, necessarily leads to atheism.

OK, that’s Matt Dillahunty’s wording.  But I like Matt a lot, and I’m stealing it, as many others have. But what is this skepticism thing, and why would I also postulate that

  • Skepticism, properly applied, should lead to deep skepticism of traditional monogamy.

Why would I say something so controversial?

What is skepticism?

I will leave it to the experts to provide the fuller and more comprehensive definition of skepticism. But in short, skepticism is the suspension of belief until sufficient empirical evidence is provided. Skepticism shares much in common with the scientific method, in that we should, as skeptics, test ideas (or hypotheses) by attempting to disprove them in light of logic, empiricism, and a willingness to hear criticism. It is a methodology that uses, at it’s core, doubt. With this method in mind, all our conclusions are held provisionally, we keep our mind attuned to alternate points of view, and our goal is what is most likely to be true, rather than what we would like to be true. A more poetic definition is that skepticism is allowing the universe to explain itself, in its own terms, without the lens of our own biases skewing what we hear.

How does ‘skepticism’ necessarily lead to atheism?

Well, until there is evidence for a god which survives probabilistic analysis (and not mere possibility), there is no reason to accept the proposition of a god. As I have discussed elsewhere:

  • At minimum, atheism requires the lack of belief in any gods

A skeptic cannot, by definition, say that no gods can exist (at least, until a specific and comprehensive definition of god is given and shown to be logically impossible).  A skeptic asks for evidence for a claim and will withhold belief until sufficient evidence is presented.  A skeptic cannot, qua skepticism, say that something does not exist, they can only say that they have no reason to believe something exists due to the lack of evidential support. So the stronger definition of atheism, the claim that god does not exist, is not a skeptical claim and is not achieved through skepticism per se.  But Skepticism, the position of doubt seeking evidence for, must lead to the lack of belief in any gods, which is the minimum requirement of atheism. Assuming, of course, that no evidence for any gods exists which survives skeptical analysis.  I have yet to to see any such evidence despite attempts by theologians over many centuries.  I have personally been looking for more than 15 years, and have read work of people who have looked far longer.  So, until some good evidence is produced, skepticism necessarily leads to atheism. For more detail on this subject, see:

OK, so how does skepticism lead to polyamory, smartypants?

For this, we need to define polyamory, which has been done here as essentially responsible non-monogamy.  It is having more than one romantic and/or sexual relationship simultaneously, with full consent and knowledge of all involved.  For the purposes of this essay, I will use the term polyamory in a way which has been articulated by a former writer here at PolySkeptic:

As I explain in the Polyamory page, one does not need to have more than one relationship at the moment to be polyamorous, nor do you even need to be looking for any more relationships.  The essential character of the question is whether, with full consent and knowledge, you have the ability to pursue more relationships.  To be polyamorous is, in another sense, to not adopt the seemingly default (Western) cultural relationship structure of (usually non-negotiated) default monogamy.  In an ideal world, monogamy would only occur accidentally; through lack of interest in relationships with more than one partner, and not out of convention, fear of jealousies, or automatically without explicit considered agreement. If you, or your partner(s), are permitted to explore relationships with other people in romantic and sexual directions, you are polyamorous. So, the question is, then, why should you do so? Well, not all people could or should.  The simple, if unpleasant fact, is that not everyone is capable of applying skepticism, properly or not, to aspects of their lives.  This is especially true if those aspects of their lives mingle with their emotional health, which both religion and relationships do.  As a person with some history of minor mental health (BPD, specifically), I have a fair amount of empathy for that view.  But for people who are capable of, and interested in, applying skeptical, rational, and logical thinking to their lives, they should consider how they go about relationships, sex, and handling their own desires, needs, and potential. For those people, I offer the following argument (which will perpetually evolve, as I add to it)

Monogamy as the default goal

It is clear that, at least statistically and as an ideal goal, most people are monogamous, or at least serially monogamous.  That is, most people go about the dating world either having one partner at a time or intending towards the goal of finding one person worth “settling down” for.  In the end, most people are hoping to find ‘The One’ with whom they can have a happy, satisfying, and life-long sexual and romantic relationship.

Moreover, they are apparently doing so freely, happily, and often with a fair amount of emotional stock placed in its possibility. And when they find such a relationship, they insist they are happy, fulfilled, or at least content with the arrangements.  Sure, there are arguments, disagreements, hard times, etc but they have reached a goal and are not interested in more relationships.  One relationship is hard enough, after all! And these claims may actually be the case.

There are undoubtedly many examples of healthy, happy, monogamous relationships which could be indicated as encouragement for those seeking such things, and as an attempt to parry my argument, thus far.  I have been in pretty successful monogamous relationships, myself.  I know that you can be happy, content, and satisfied being so, but what does that have to do with polyamory?  What I mean is, how does the existence of happy monogamous couples effect the viability of some non-monogamous alternatives?

What many people, including prior versions of myself, don’t seem to understand is that those desires and needs I had while in those relationships, things I felt fine putting aside in the name of maintaining an important relationship, were not necessary to put aside. I didn’t have to sacrifice every other thing I wanted to be with someone I loved.  And neither does my partner, nor anyone else for that matter.

Why monogamy?

So, the question is this; if there is the possibility to have more than what the confines of monogamy (splendid as they often are) allow, why do so many people remain monogamous in practice and in intent given the existence of other possibilities?

  • They are happy with their partner, and feel no desire or need for any other romantic or sexual partners.

This is exceedingly rare, I think, because most people simply choose to ignore, suppress, or act on such desires surreptitiously, rather than being actually completely fulfilled with their monotonous monogamous lifestyle.  If more monogamous people were honest with what they wanted, then more people would at least try some form of non-monogamy.  Many would try swing clubs, partner swapping, or perhaps allow for business-trip exceptions or something like that. In the rare cases where both partners really feel no desire to explore other relationships, whether such a relationship might be a purely sexual relationship to a deep friendship with some physical intimacy (but not necessarily sex), then those people certainly do not need rules or agreements not to have other partners; they simply don’t want any other partners, and so they achieve what I call monogamy by accident, not by design.

  • Presence of social pressures, leading to monogamy being the default relationship structure.  

Basically, this means people do it for practical reasons.  It’s easier to not rock the boat.  Their partner fulfills enough of their needs to be generally content, and putting aside other wants and needs is not so bad in order to keep the peace. All sorts of social stigmas and sanctions surround many abnormal sexual or relationship practices, and so it’s best to just avoid them, right?

Talk to non-monogamous people, and you will find that many of them are in the closet to family, work, and even to some friends, much like many gay or bisexual people have been for so long, in our culture.  In an ideal world, nobody should be in the closet, but I understand why some people choose to be so for practical reasons even if I would not want such a world. Challenging sexual and relationship norms is potentially dangerous to one’s profession, social life, and relationships with family.  It’s sort of like being an atheist, queer, or any other minority.  Imagine how that works out for some atheist, polyamorous skeptics (some of whom are bisexual and/or women!).  Holy intersectionality, batman!

  • Lack of familiarity with non-monogamous concepts

That is, there is the (probably common) fact that many people have not heard about polyamory.  The thought might have crossed their mind about maintaining a serious relationship with more than one person or simply dating 2 people, but they had no conceptual map to cognitively navigate through such a terrain.  They had no example to draw from, no vocabulary to drive the concepts, and this in conjunction with the unfamiliarity of it all simply leaves the thought cold, direction-less, and without form. Without the alphabet and syntax of a language, it’s rather hard to write a convincing story, and we are stories we tell ourselves.

That’s one of the reasons I write things like this; education gives us more perspective and provides concepts for our mind to drive our experiences to places where we previously didn’t know existed, or though merely mythological. Map of monogamy; on the edges are signs that say “beyond, there be dragons!” or something like that. When we fill in the edges of those maps, we can better create a life that we want.

  • Jealousy derived from fear, insecurity, and sex-negativity.

Many aspects of our culture see sex as a bad thing, or at least something only good under the right contexts.  This lack of sex-positivity makes people feel guilty about their sex lives and is rather common in our culture.  Also,  you might start to think that you are inadequate as a lover if your partner wants someone else too.  If you love someone else, you don’t really love your partner! This is, of course, all bullshit.

There is also the reality that the idea of polyamory is scary to many people.  The fact is that relationships are scary, and the more people you make yourself vulnerable to the worse that fear can manifest itself.  The presence of intimacy, especially lots of it with more people, forces us to be confronted with emotional challenges (jealousy, competition, etc), complexity, and the real threat of social, professional, and personal sanctions from those around us. It can seem quite overwhelming, and there is no question that it requires hard work, internally and externally, to pull off well. But trust me what I say that the work is worth doing!

  • Religious tradition and “morality”.

That’s right, folks! In our culture, which is traditionally Christian, monogamy is derived from our religious tendencies.  Go to Islamic nations, Utah (before the Mormons caved to pressure to get rid of plural marriage in 1890) to any of the current FLDS sects around the country, and many other cultures in time and space to find all sorts of non-monogamy being practiced as “normal.”  Hell, even in Christian tradition; King Solomon much? People are told that monogamy is the only moral option, and more of that slut-shaming and guilt is poured on through religious traditions.  Of course, some religious traditions are fine with polyamory (Paganism is quite common, for example), but in the west, Christianity is dominant and has left its mark on us. So, clearly, being polyamorous is sooo rebellious and radical, right?

Questioning Monogamy

Monogamy, as it is practiced in the majority of the West, is hardly even questioned (although this is changing).  The privileged position of monogamy, therefore, makes it appear normal because it is commonly expected.  To most, what non-monogamous people are doing is abnormal and possibly wrong.  But even if it were OK, it is definitely not for them.

But what if we were to dig under the surface of monogamy and ask why we should be monogamous? What evidence is there that monogamy is natural, healthy, or that it leads to better relationships?  If we are to be good skeptics; that is, applying skepticism to every aspect of our lives, including how we structure our relationships and pursue our romantic and sexual wants and needs, then we have to address whether monogamy actually is objectively more functional than the alternatives.

Commitment and exclusivity

People want relationships for many reasons.  We want companionship, sex, friendship, children, family, and even the financial benefits of sharing some resources. We meet someone we like, whether for their physical attractiveness, sense of humor, intelligence, or some combination of attributes.

If there is some mutual interest, we find a way to spend time with them and either we develop a relationship or we do not. The kind of relationship we have depends, obviously, on the mutual needs and wants of the people involved.  At some point, the people may decide to declare each other as significant, as long term partners, and possibly eventually announce an engagement.

That is, there are many levels of commitment that are possible, from casual situations to intense romantic affairs, long term relationships, and even marriage. But why do we include exclusivity in this mix? When we find someone we really like, why is exclusivity an assumed step, at least at some point, for most people?

I think, for many people, the idea of exclusivity is endemic to commitment; they seem to assume that a commitment to a person implies exclusivity. But why should this be? What about commitment in every other aspect of our lives implies exclusive commitment? Nothing in the definition of commitment necessitates exclusivity.  I have written about the analogy of a physicist who, later in life, finds a second love in Russian literature, but it basically boils down to the fact that commitment to one thing does not mean you cannot share some of your love and attention to other things that you love.

This goes for people as well. There are many married and committed people who are polyamorous, swingers, etc, and their commitment is still very real and meaningful to them.  A person can be “committed to 2, 3, etc people simultaneously, just like I can be committed to learning guitar, Spanish, and doing well at my job simultaneously.

Are these various commitments mutually exclusive? Can I not pledge a portion of my life, consideration, and time to two (or more) people without somehow necessarily failing at my commitments? There is no necessary conflict here.  I am able to love and maintain a committed relationship with more than one person, and anyone who meets the right persons will find the capability to do the same.  Just as we divide our time and energy towards a career, relationships, hobbies, etc, we can make time for relationships that matter to us. It’s not that you have to find more relationships, but when you find them accept them for all that they are.  Life is too short to pass by happiness just because of convention and jealousies.

Being everything to someone is an unrealistic ideal

If you love someone, shouldn’t you want them to be happy? Shouldn’t you want them to pursue happiness in all its forms, in safe and consensually negotiated ways, of course, so that you allow that person you love to be all they want to be in life?

None of us are perfect people.  But even if we were perfect, at least in the sense of being precisely what we want to be, there is no guarantee (and there is only a very small probability) of being everything another person would want their partner to be.  In short, we cannot be all that our partners want and they cannot be all that we want.  No matter how much the New Relationship Energy (the falling in love stage of a relationship) may feel perfect, magical, and lacking nothing, eventually a more mature love will still love the things that aren’t there, and which might be found in others.

Sharing yourself with others does not mean you love your partner less, only that we are complicated beings and our complexities do not match up 100%. What reason is there to agree to limit our happiness in the name of some ideal of being “the one” for someone? What good is it to delude ourselves with the cultural trope of ‘happily ever after’ with ‘the One’ when reality perpetually slaps it back in our face as a delusion?  The facts are that the best, most loving, most compatible person you are likely to meet will lack something, as a partner, that you desire to have in your life.

Monogamy cannot satisfy all of our desires and needs, it can only limit them to what one person can offer.  And to decide, based upon convention and insecurities left unchallenged, to forgo developing relationships with other awesome people is, frankly, unwise.

Sacrifices v. Fear of Loss

People do make decisions to sacrifice lesser desires in the name of greater ones, sure, but if it would be possible to satisfy more desires, perhaps even at least a little bit of all of our desires, why shouldn’t we give this freedom to the people we care about?  Why should we not at least request to satisfy our own?  It’s not like it actually prevents you from loving them less.

Unless you think it does!  You would be wrong in thinking that; love is not limited in such ways, only our cultural relationship assumptions are so parochial as that. Wouldn’t it be selfish of us to request, through negotiation, manipulation, or demand, that our partners to give up things that they could easily have if we were just to allow our minds to grow past social expectations, fears, and our own stupid jealousies?

Why would you want your partner to not have something that they want, and that does not take anything away from you? Do you think it does take something away from you? Again, you are probably wrong.  If they love you, genuinely, then no matter how amazing their other thing is for them, they are still coming back.  Because they love you for some reason, and that other thing cannot erase that. If they don’t love you, then it was not polyamory that caused it, as a monogamous person will still eventually leave if they don’t love you.  So be careful not to conflate polyamory with relationship issues that would effect any relationship.

Meeting someone new and awesome is a problem, why?

What do you do if, after some amount of time with a partner with whom you have a wonderful relationship, you meet another person you are attracted to, have wonderful conversations with, etc.  Well, if this were a romantic comedy, the plot would be about resolving the conflict, right? What conflict?

Oh, you mean how the competitors will feel jealous, will fight over your affections, and ultimately you will find ‘The One’ for you with hilarity mixed in. Romantic comedies are just awful relationship models wrapped in embarrassing mis-communication antics followed by disappointing resolutions of monogamous coupling.

In what kind of world do “mature” adults with intelligence, creativity, and basic critical thinking skills stop short of saying something like, for example; “hey, I like both of you.  I want to date you both! What do you think about that, two other people I like?”  How is that idea so difficult for our culture that it seems so wrong, so dirty, so impossible?

It’s just unskeptical thinking.  It’s just avoiding challenging our assumptions about love, sex, and relationships.  It’s just stupid. There is no basis for thinking that monogamy is actually better, unless by better you mean that it is less difficult, less challenging, and won’t get you strange looks as you walk down the street holding hands with two people while stealing a kiss from each occasionally. How boring.

So, if after reading all that you still think monogamy can survive skeptical analysis, I’d be interested in hearing why.  Because while monogamy might be where you end up, so long as you are ignoring, repressing, or intentionally giving up other possibilities you might not be acting rationally.

17 thoughts on “Skepticism, properly applied

  1. Just my opinion-

    I find polygamy to be the thing people do when they can’t handle (or find) monogamy, not the other way around.

    Some things to consider – People who suffer from emotional disorders (BPD as you mentioned, bipolar, depression) are often unable to have one stable relationship and are prone to cheating, which can be band-aid-ed with “polygamy.” I find this with people who lack good life skills in general and don’t want to put a lot of effort into their relationships (i.e. they want everything their way). They can’t handle truly keeping a partner happy, so they let other people do that for them, and they themselves are never truly happy so they attempt to “treat” this with as much attention and sex as they can get. In the end they are still unhappy people lacking life skills and/or still mentally ill. Sadly, the vast majority of people I know who are polygamists fall into this category (and I know many). Most of the rest consist of couples wherein one person is either bored with their partner, because one or both of them lack the skills to have a good relationship/sex life, or one party would otherwise be vigorously cheating. Polygamy is “agreed” with to ease these situations (“it’s suddenly not cheating because we agree it’s not” or “we can avoid having a real conversation about why I’m unsatisfied if I can be with other people”).

    Also, if your sex life with one person is monotonous that is the fault of either you, that person or both, not the fault of the concept of monogamy as a whole. Again, a lot of people use quantity of sex (polygamy) to overcome lack of quality of sex, or they are just shallow, fickle people who need something new at every turn (we are, after all, a materialistic, consumer culture that treats people like things). Part of a healthy relationship is compromise and this includes sexual compromise. A lot of people can’t handle that.

    I’ve read quite a bit of your site, and you say many logical, intelligent things and seem to be a cogent, literate thinker. I am neither averse to atheism nor polygamy, though I practice neither because I find them limiting in ways I don’t think you would understand (as you seem very set on the rightness of your now-hip opinion), and have many friends who believe in one concept or both. However, your repeated claims that you won’t judge others for not living their life as you do are damaged over and over by snarky, sarcastic and judgmental comments. I find the comic you posted about religious radicals and atheists both being irritating quite true, as both exhibit preachy “my way is the right way and you’re a fool if you don’t agree” behavior, and you seem to subtly carry on this trend. Your site has left me unconvinced (we can at least agree on skepticism).

  2. You say you have been reading the posts here for a while. I find that unlikely. Or, at least, I find it unlikely that you have done more than glance at them.

    2 reasons (there are others, but these stuck out):

    1) its polyamory, not polygamy. Such an egregious and obvious error must come from inattention or lack of comprehension.

    2) you said I claimed I would not judge people. I have never said such a thing on this blog, nor would I. Unless it were April 1st. I maintain the position that judging is not only permissible but an imperative upon us as rational beings.

    Yet somehow you missed those major (among others) things from my blog. Your comment is not a reply, but merely words written after my own with no obvious relational context. They barely merit a response of my own, but here they are;

    You MUST do better than that. Your arguments are hackneyed and self-incriminating.

  3. @Luna Based on your post, I can only conclude that you don’t really understand polyamory at all. I don’t think you want to undersand an alternative approach to monogamy based on the vehemence of your argument combined with logical fallacies. For example, your pairing mental illness with the inability to maintain a relationship – are all of the people you know who have gone through a break up or divorce in a position to be classified according to the DSM-4(R)? (This logical fallacy is known as “non sequitur”.) Your post feels very much like you are trying to justify monogamy to yourself, because the presentation of an alternative relationship paradigm stirs up some level of insecurity within, thus you have needed to validate your feelings about monogamy to appease your own ego.

    I am not convinced you understand the social paradigm of monogamy either. To start, there are very few humans who are truly monogamous – pair bonded with a single mate for life. At best, most people engage in serial monogamy – any guesses to why that is? I also strongly disagree with your premise that non-monogamy (you use the term polygamy, which is erroneous, thus I am paraphrasing) is a result of a relationship failure.

    I have been in a successful non-monogamous relationship for 7 years (married for 5). Our relationship was open from the onset because I know that I would rather be alone than in a relationship where I could not explore my sexuality with other people. Furthermore, no one will ever be given the right to absolute dominion over my body. In turn, I do not have the right to demand dominion over another’s body. In those 7 years I have had two one-night stands with men with whom I shared an intense physical/chemical connection, and one short term relationship with a friend. It has been three years since I have met anyone else I have want to experience sexually, however I am currently desiring a relationship with a “second”.

    I love my husband and I really admire the fact that he has the mental and emotional fortitude to overcome his base protective instincts so that I may experience other sexual partners. I have also found that in turn (through his other relationships) that I have learned to overcome my jealousy (for the most part, sometimes it rears its ugly head … no one ever said non-monogamy was easy) which has been exceptionally emotionally liberating. Furthermore, we have a unique level of honesty, trust, and non-judgement in our discourse that would not exist otherwise. Our relationship paradigm is superior to one that would otherwise involve lying and cheating, because we both recognize our own needs to explore base desires.

    RE: Compromise – if you ever want to learn about compromise in a relationship, try laying out the terms for sexual exploration with alternate partners that ensure an environment that does its utmost to protect the physical and emotional well being of all parties involved. That is a level of compromise I had never thought possible until this relationship.

    It is the aforementioned qualities in our relationship that create a non-limiting perspective. Our sexual proclivities have no baring on these limits. Living in a relationship paradigm of monogamy, as thrusted upon a couple/individuals by social convention, without the mental fortitude to explore other options (which after exploration can be monogamy), now that’s limiting!

  4. Loved this article. Linking skepticism with polyamory. I consider myself a skeptic, atheist, and polyamorist. But to me the strong connection is not skepticism and polyamory, to me it is the political view of classical liberalism (libertarianism). There is of course strong relationship between skepticism and classical liberalism. But, I came to polyamory from that ethical/political point of view. Which is essentially belief in liberty and allowing people to live their life as they see fit.

    I am not sure what is the actual statistical correlation between libertarianism and polyamory. But generally speaking libertarians are notorious for being the most political group that is committed to consistency and logical discipline, and when you are committed to logical consistency I guess that means that all ideas come together coherently.

    But I consider the essence of human relationships (all relationships, romantic and non-romantic) is freedom and openness. So, I consider myself to be *fundamentally* someone who believes in open-relationships not polyamory. That is to say, that I consider the fundamental virtue of human relationships to be freedom not the ability to love more than one person.

  5. I am not quite so sure I agree with the skepticism leads to polyamory. You have to be a bit careful applying logic to predictive emotional reactions, especially if those states are ones you don’t tend to share. Personally, I’m poly and the idea of having to be mono is unpleasant, to say the least. That said, the woman I’ve been with for 36 years is quite certain she’s mono. She’s been quite clear she has absolutely no desire to love a second (third, or forth) person. I’ve tried to subtly encourage her to proceed further than friends with some of her friends, but nothing has ever come of it. I guess I just have heard too many arguments on sexuality (both gay, straight, and bi) that are in the same vein. Who and if we are attracted to someone, both physically and/or emotionally, are desires driven from a part of the brain stanchly refusing to follow rational logic.

  6. @Glenn,

    I’m not sure how closely you read the above, because I addressed this. We need to follow the data of our actual desires. A person whose desires are limited to one person is following what they really want, and while she (your partner) has the option to have other people, she does not want them. She’s also OK with you having other partners? Well, fine. That’s all I ask for in a skeptic.

  7. I like my polyamorous relationships the same way I like my cars. One red Ferrari is not enough! On Tuesday, I need a black Lamborghini, on Wednesday, I need a white Jaguar, on Thursday, I need a yellow Audi, on Friday, I need a pink Toyota (just to mix things up and change the pace). If any of them need an oil change, I drop one for another (or a new one), rinse and repeat. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. That isnt polyamory. That’s being a douchbag. With that attitude, you will end up walking, because you will not be worthy of any car.

  9. It’s rational to judge? I judge this to be one of the silliest sites I’ve ever seen! Ha ha ha!!!

  10. I think there is room for intentional monogamy. It is perfectly reasonable for even a skeptic to say they have no desire for other relationships and would prefer someone who feels the same and then pursue relationships with that desire in mind — just as they would with a preference for or against having children or any other significant life element. And like with those other preferences, the preference for mutually desired intentional monogamy can go out the window if the right partner comes along or as people change over time.

    Functionally, this would look like what you call accidental monogamy while in a relationship, but it would be a different attitude when developing a relationship.

    But to your larger point, an attitude that monogamy is or should be default is just as harmful to this preference as to any other because it leads people to assuming that a relationship is intentionally monogamous without discussing the actual needs and desires of both partners. Unless you have the kick to have accidentally found someone with compatible desires, there will likely be suffering involved in eventually dealing with the differing expectations.

  11. When you jokingly replace monogamy with monotony, you lose your position of skeptecism and rationality. Just like if a monogamist refered to pursuing other romantic and sexual relationships as “whoring around”. Youve introduced a value judgement, and im no longer even listening, because we already know where you want this ‘logical’ exercize to end up; firmly on the side of your personal preference.

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