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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Ian,

Yes, the early Mormons were a pretty violent bunch and did some awful things. I've seen documentaries and read accounts... and they're pretty bad to say the least. I've also seen/read varying accounts about the original reasons for polygamy and why it was abolished. It appears that there are very biased accounts on both sides, so... as always... YMMV. Like I said, I'm not Mormon and I'm not poly... (not polygamous, not poly-amorous even.)

mhosea,

While it's not for me, I do know some groups (very rare to encounter any group like them, but I happen to have met a few) that are open, poly-amorous, and seem to be/live quite nicely. In those groups I only know of two married "couples" that also "share" each other. The majority are "single" or in an "open" relationship. (Their terminology) Until I made it very clear that I wasn't interested, I was propositioned a number of times... from both sexes in those groups. Now, they completely respect my ground rules and boundaries. When I was younger we always just thought of guys like that as "players" and women... well, that term was much more derogatory, but evidently (from conversations that I've heard) that derogatory attitude and double standard has maintained its hold on many of today's younger folks. But not in these open groups.

Personally, I only need my lovely wife. She's my life and my love and no amount of alternative physical sexual gratification comes close to how much I love her. I could be celibate the rest of my life as long as I have her. Fortunately for me, with her I don't/won't have to be! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:46 pm 
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It's clearly not for everyone, Mike and Panther, and no one would suggest it's anything but optional and individual. For me the question is whether if I had a mate who felt a need for something more, I would want them to A) cheat silently B) leave C) spend the rest of our lives feeling deprived and resentful or D) work out an understanding and some ground rules, and it's easy for me to pick. A mate that left after 6 years a long time ago was unhappy, and I helped that person move on, hard as it was, because I really did want the best for my mate. As a species we are pretty adaptable, and we learn that some stuff is normal and accept it--say, eating juicy grubs, cutting off parts of our genitals, and feeling certain that monogamy is "natural" for our species, you can only love one person (unless you have kids then love expands to the task) and more than one mate is automatically a betrayal. For me all three are decisions and there are examples of cultures living with and without those beliefs in relative happiness.

Oh wait, option E:
http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/267106

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:52 pm 
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"On August 10, 2010, The Mexican Supreme Court ruled 9-2 that same-sex marriage is constitutional and all 31 states in Mexico must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognitio ... _in_Mexico

Wowza. So Canada in 2005, Mexico in 2010, and in the middle in the land of the free in ___? With Spain and Argentina, this is making for an interesting lesson in Catholic tolerance.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:50 pm 
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I'm sure some folks are happy enough doing it. I just take issue with the notion that it is the "key to a healthy marriage". I suspect it is more like a treatment that keeps something alive without actually curing an underlying disease. As in, if your marriage kind of *****, you can either get a divorce or try opening it up and see if that helps. That's how I see it, anyway. Maybe I'm just too lucky in my marriage to have a realistic outlook on marriages in general.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:51 pm 
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Oh no, I would never say it's "key" to a successful marriage, not in the slightest--just one avenue. Sorry if that came across that way. I WOULD say that it's (IMHO) nuts to expect couples to have a fulfilling, active, exciting intimacy life with the same partner for up to 60+ years or to say they're bad people if they won't accept a passionless life. Super for them if they either achieve exciting life long romances or if they don't care about them, however.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:41 am 
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Well, that's a certain perspective, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to say what's "nuts" or not. In general, I think high expectations are better than low expectations, provided you can be philosophical about failures and move forward. You can forgive without condoning. There's a wonderful scene in Moonstruck where Olympia Dukakis' character confronts her husband, who has been having an affair.

For sure there's something exciting about a new romance, but on the other hand new romance is a fundamentally narcissistic thing. IMO, a lifelong interest in experiencing this over and over again is a sign of limited personal growth. It's not the sort of thing you can really tell someone and expect them to accept, given the way our society absolutely worships new romance, but there it is, I said it.

If a marriage is truly "passionless", that is a serious, serious problem, but a passionless marriage probably is going to have a tacit acceptance of infidelity, anyway. The real question is whether infidelity is consistent with a passionate marriage, where expectations are higher because of the high level of intimacy and trust. If you have a high level of intimacy, and your spouse feels the need to seek out romance outside of your marriage, it might be a sign that you are screwing up somehow. I can tell you this much. I take my...er...responsibilities seriously, and now that I'm not 20 years old anymore, I hardly think I could keep up if I had somebody on the side. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:29 pm 
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On topic, I'll say that I also don't need anything but my wonderful wife, but...

Sorry... I don't think I'll be able to get back on ANY topic in this thread now!

I'm laughing too damn hard!!! ROTFLMAOOL!!! (seriously!)

"Do they all got a hedge like that? Do they?"
"Did you see the bush on that lady? Gee Whiz, it was almost up to her belly button!"
"It was just so big and bushy sir! Why did it look like that ?!?!"

:mrgreen:

hahahahahaha

Classic Butters!

8) :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:28 pm 
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"For sure there's something exciting about a new romance, but on the other hand new romance is a fundamentally narcissistic thing. IMO, a lifelong interest in experiencing this over and over again is a sign of limited personal growth."

Huh. Interesting. I'm kinda drawn to people in need of companionship and support and like to give in relationships, so I'm not sure that narcissism is "fundamental." I dated a younger guy in VA with evangelical parents who got to know me and confided they thought I was a good influence and had been sent by God to watch over their kid in a time of stress in his life. Some people collect new mates narcissitically, or "use" mates, but that's hardly universal. It is NOT how these things go down in many other cultures I just read about, nor need it be expected with any affairs in our culture. "Hedonism" might be how any affair is described, but, by those with the preconceived notion that more than one partner = betrayal = sin = hedonism.

Besides, an interest in multiple mates seems to be programmed into the majority of men. They do have a declining interest with time, as testosterone and sexuality dips and companionship becomes more important, but--men everywhere seek multiple partners even at the risk of death (I just saw a few clips of Taliban executing adulterous women and couples :( )

"It's not the sort of thing you can really tell someone and expect them to accept, given the way our society absolutely worships new romance, but there it is, I said it."

Well, excellent point. Our culture celebrates sex, and sex with young people... just watch tv for an hour. That said, it also celebrates chastity and fidelity. If anyone has an affair they're a monster. The political culture is geared toward abstinence education. You get fired from Surgeon General position for admitting men masturbate. A nipple at the Super Bowl is a crisis (female only, of course). People get tortured and killed all the time on TV but nudity or sexuality is a huge deal (making big inroads on cable and ppv though). Conservative media networks--like the people who bring you Fox and WSJ--make much of their money on pornographic products. It's very schizophrenic, and is best summed up by virgin whore characters. What IS that?

To me, this is a good sign of biology/ID/desire bashing up against social restrictions and culture. And standards have changed. The true love of Romeo and Juliet was just a teenage crush and a brief affair, let's be honest here. They were just kids with hormones. Today we expect those feelings to be sublimated and deferred for years and the crush converted into lifelong monogamy. It's a bit of a reach.

"If a marriage is truly "passionless", that is a serious, serious problem, but a passionless marriage probably is going to have a tacit acceptance of infidelity, anyway."

Men (or the partner with the higher sex drive) might agree; I would assume women (or the partner with the lower sex drive, whomever that is) probably would not. I follow an advice column whose author is continually amazed at couples in which one partner won't give intimacy to the other because it's such an unimportant, minor issue--but demands they not share that unimportant minor issue with anyone else, of course. To me, cheating on and cheating of are BOTH violations of vows.

"The real question is whether infidelity is consistent with a passionate marriage, where expectations are higher because of the high level of intimacy and trust."

I would say the addition of new energy to the arrangement ADDS passion, provided betrayal and trust issues aren't dampening that down.

"If you have a high level of intimacy, and your spouse feels the need to seek out romance outside of your marriage, it might be a sign that you are screwing up somehow."

Possibly, or you could have a mate that like many people is wired to appreciate new experiences and variety. It's called the Coolidge effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolidge_effect

"In biology and psychology, the term Coolidge effect describes a phenomenon—seen in nearly every mammalian species in which it has been tested—whereby both males and females exhibit continuous high sexual performance given the introduction of new receptive partners.[1][2]"

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:05 am 
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IJ wrote:
I would say the addition of new energy to the arrangement ADDS passion, provided betrayal and trust issues aren't dampening that down.


I guess I'd call that the "main squeeze" definition of marriage. Well I guess you've got to find the ways that make your life work for you. That much is certain.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:36 am 
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IJ wrote:
Jason, I'm lost. Do you think most Americans, gay couples included, aren't already more concerned with survival than "personal gratification," other than a few people who are actively using hardcore drugs?


No, Ian, I really don't. Most Americans are affluent enough to have time to persue leisurely pursuits, like arguing on forums, watching television, and hanging out with friends, rather than working most of their awake hours and scrounging resources to just stay alive. Community is an afterthought, and survival instinct is pretty much lost.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:28 pm 
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The question is not if "some" people are ok with being poly amorous etc.
The question is weither or not such attitudes are very far reaching.

The reason pair bonds are so powerful (of whatever gender/same sex etc) is the whole "forsaking all others", if you'll forgive a slight aside into "religious" verbage. ;)
To commit fully you should have someone willing to do the same----should.......and it's an open question if someone that is dating multiple people is "really" commiting to all of the relationships equally.

There are only so many hours in the day.

Even in places that allow multiple "wives" etc. the practice isn't as widespread as one might think.
IMO their are practical and evolutionary reasons for that.

From an evolutionary standpoint powerful pair bonds...esp with young that take a long time mature are a powerful tool that provide significant advantages.

I may be overly romantic.......although few people would ever accuse me of that. ;)
But IMO its next to impossible to really commit to more than one person outside of family.

And IMO when you don't really commit you miss out.

And I usually see cheating on ones significant other as a sign of weakenss.
There are always exceptions of course.
But as a general rule if someone is willing to roll on their spouse, mother of their kids, father of their kids, long term partner etc. than they will roll on you for far less cause.

Its a question of trust. And how could you possible trust someone that could violate the trust of the person closest to them?

Short answer is that you can't.

And while I'm sure there are exceptions..........exceptions are by defination not the rule.

IJ

"Besides, an interest in multiple mates seems to programmed into the majority of men"

Maybe...kinda depends on how you define "mates." Mates as "life partner" or mates as in "somebody your having sex with?

I don't think many guys (or girls) are willing to shoulder the burden of what the term "mates" (in a non British use of term ;) ) of multiple mates.

Multiple bed partners? Sure.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:40 pm 
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"No, Ian, I really don't. Most Americans are affluent enough to have time to persue leisurely pursuits, like arguing on forums, watching television, and hanging out with friends, rather than working most of their awake hours and scrounging resources to just stay alive. Community is an afterthought, and survival instinct is pretty much lost."

Hmm, I guess that's an issue of perspective. Things are a lot easier in some regard, in that we have unlimited calories a short drive away from us if not in our fridge, but there's a lot of new stress that didn't used to exist in our lives. We do work to keep ourselves alive constantly, just in different ways--eating and seeking shelter are still major pursuits, and the ways those activities have changes doesn't mean we're not still doing them. The idea that we spent most of our awake time scrounging resources back in the day is pretty commonly held, but it was a major thesis of the book I just read that the Hobbesian view of life as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" was basically wrong, and one of the reasons the native cultures appeared so lazy to visiting westerners was that it was relatively easy to find what they needed foraging in just a few hours. It's an interesting read if only for the perspective on agriculture's impact on our quality of life (bad for us, except for a few humans recently emerging from scarcity to, well, diseases of affluence). If a prehistoric person watched us crawling through coal mines 12 hours a day for money to buy food and shelter, they might think we had it pretty tough.

But definitely, most modern people in our culture aren't fighting tooth and nail for survival all the time. Agreed. But I don't know why that would necessarily cause communities to fall apart.

CXT your opinion is noted. I would suggest you read the book.* It's not just an opinion, it's a very interesting thesis supported by lots of evidence from cultures all over the world, the archaeologic record, and comparisons with the other great apes. And it goes into why allow it "seems" reasonable for there to be practical and evolutionary advantages to life long exclusive mating, that is because we grow up in an environment where we are taught that, and where conditions are markedly different from the way they were for most of our species' history. As I mentioned before, it seems normal to many people to whittle away bits of their genitals, but that's just the power of culture, not biology or reason. Back to the opinion stuff:

"But IMO its next to impossible to really commit to more than one person outside of family."

Why? We can love multiple kids, why can't we love multiple mates? What if those mates ARE family, eg, a close knit mini community comprised of several overlapping traditional families? Until you read about cultures where mothers breastfeed nonbiologic shared kids, or the concept of solo paternity doesn't exist, this would seem logical--but while it may work, it's proven not the only way.

"And IMO when you don't really commit you miss out."

Sure, I support that option. There's definitely something to be said about the obvious thing that happens when a couple permits each other to have outside relationships: they don't "miss out" on outside relationships. And "really committing" doesn't have to mean you can't have those outside relationships too. What if you really commit to your partner's lifelong happiness and then you get paralyzed (or disinterested) and you continue to love them and celebrate their happiness respectfully dating other people? Would you be a more, or less, committed spouse if you told your partner they can't ever have intimacy again, or sufficiently, because you can't or don't?

"And I usually see cheating on ones significant other as a sign of weakenss."

I generally do too, but I see open conversations about happiness and trusting your life partner well enough to love them and accept that you won't be alpha and omega to them, as a great sign of strength. This isn't a choice between fidelity and cheating, it's meant to be a choice between single fidelity and honest multiple fidelity.

"But as a general rule if someone is willing to roll on their spouse, mother of their kids, father of their kids, long term partner etc. than they will roll on you for far less cause."

I don't support cheating on your family. But someone who feels lonely and trapped in a passionless (but loving and wonderful, perhaps) marriage and committed to that relationship and not given the chance to openly date anyone else may cheat. This is very common. I don't see why a person who decides to cheat for a reminder of what passion feels like is going to steal $20 out of your wallet; they're different issues. I might be as worried about someone who divorces and remarries instead of having that affair--they really did leave the family, didn't commit to it, whether they cheated or not. And better than either option, or committing a spouse toward a passionless life, would be maintaining passion the whole time (great for them!) or allowing for a safe, honest, discussed approved outlet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery has some interesting facts on prevalence.

*No, I can't type the whole thing out here.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:34 am 
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IJ wrote:
that is because we grow up in an environment where we are taught that, and where conditions are markedly different from the way they were for most of our species' history.


But ultimately you're going to have to form an opinion about whether a given practice is wise or unwise. Cultures, history, the animal kingdom, and the archaeological record can help you explore consequences, but only, as you note, in other contexts.

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"But IMO its next to impossible to really commit to more than one person outside of family."

Why? We can love multiple kids, why can't we love multiple mates?


Actual experience with multiple kids is a powerful teacher. Love is a limitless emotion, but you do inevitably have to face that you are only one person, there are only 24 hours in the day, and sleep is negotiable in quantity but not optional. While your emotions may not be divided and diminished, your time and energy definitely is, and everybody needs some "me" time. Have you not heard the joke that having kids is a form of birth control? Hopefully, once there are multiple children to care for, some of these extra-marital sexual partners will be willing to come over to the house and do some laundry instead of just doing others' spouses. Now that will add some passion. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:09 am 
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"But ultimately you're going to have to form an opinion about whether a given practice is wise or unwise. Cultures, history, the animal kingdom, and the archaeological record can help you explore consequences, but only, as you note, in other contexts."

I wouldn't say that what's found out about how humans lived for most of their existence is irrelevant to how we live today in different circumstances. Obviously there are some hints at the past that don't translate directly; the authors note that, shall we say, female copulatory vocalizations may have served a purpose in notifying other potential mates of availability. Apparently characteristics of the cries even informed potential mates of the social rank of the current partner (in bonobos). Gorillas (harems) and gibbons (monogamous) don't do this (if memory serves), but humans do/did (I recall someone broadcasting the fake orgasm scene from "When Harry Met Sally" through the freshman dorms). That said, this kind of mating behavior is disruptive to board meetings and isn't going to be resumed even if that's what people used to do.

But learning that humans used to eat less of more varied foods of different types than we eat today is relevant to current maladies and suggests an intervention, whether we forage for food today or not. Understanding that humans are not monogamous does inform us about our current situation, although I'm not suggesting it mandates a particular response.

As for the idea that extra interests could pitch in around the house, agreed, and some of them do, right now, in the USA. There's enough of them to have family summer camps. And there are certainly cultures in which such behavior is common. As I mentioned, some cultures have women breastfeeding whichever kids happen to be running around the village into their hut. That's not a behavior that fits within our current private / separate family / competition for survival paradigm, but there it is, within our capacity as a loving caring ape. I've never breastfed but I think given the frequency required I might want to give the nipples a break and do the laundry instead! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:52 am 
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IJ wrote:
I wouldn't say that what's found out about how humans lived for most of their existence is irrelevant to how we live today in different circumstances.


I wouldn't say that, either, just that you're not off the hook when it comes to making a judgment. More to the point, it's one thing to argue that the past and other cultures of the present are useful mines of ideas for making our lives better. Yes, mine them. Lay the ideas out on the table and let's have a look. We can try to figure out whether they're good ideas for today or not. It's quite another thing to point to these sources and argue for a particular policy or practice, or lack thereof, on that basis. That is not a cogent argument. The past is filled with ideas that were good, bad, or indifferent depending on their contexts. Battleships were a pretty good idea for hundreds and hundreds of years. They are now a bad idea. In other words, you have to admit the possibility that your culture has evolved for the better in some respects when you consider how it might be changed.

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