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-   -   History of Love (& Sex & "romance") (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12898)

River 08-01-2011 09:08 PM

History of Love (& Sex & "romance")
 
Today, I'm wondering how monogamy came to be the "default setting" and "norm" in most world cultures I know about.

And I'm wondering why non-monogamy has so much taboo around it.

The book "Sex At Dawn" (which has its own thread in here) must go into some of this, though I've not yet had a chance to read this book (which is on my list!).

If anyone wants to link to relevant essays, conversations, book reviews, etc., I'd appreciate it. Let's use this thread to explore how we came to have the social attitudes which prevail.

nicothoe 08-02-2011 07:56 PM

I have my own theory.

Rather than Man being by nature either polyamorous or monogamous, I imagine him as being polygynous, or in the case of females, polyandrous. That men had an evolutionary desire to spread their seed to as many women as possible, while at the same time, women wanted as many protectors for themselves and their young. Of course, men saw other men as competition for mates, just as females viewed other females as competition.

It goes without saying that you can't have a society that both polygynous and polyandrous, because someone is always on the losing end of it. This will always lead to cheating.

So you have a choice.

You form a polyamorous society, in which men have to accept the reality they don't know if they fathered any children. Or you form a monogamous one, in which they do. I think that latter prevailed because the males of the species need to be certain that they fathered the next generation.

These days I see poly vs mono more in terms of love/lust vs jealousy. If you allow yourself to love others, then by default, you exposed yourself to jealousy. You must then learn to control the jealousy. Alternatively, you can try to prevent any jealousy , but only the expense of giving up multiple partners. However, in this case, you must learn to control the lust.

MonoVCPHG 08-04-2011 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nicothoe (Post 95354)

So you have a choice.

You form a polyamorous society, in which men have to accept the reality they don't know if they fathered any children. Or you form a monogamous one, in which they do. I think that latter prevailed because the males of the species need to be certain that they fathered the next generation.

[/B].

That's an interesting theory. It also predates modern history or even medieval history in that lineage has often been tied to inheritance and positions of authority...think royalty, kings, chieftains and such. I'm certainly not saying that all cultures practiced that but a lot of the more historically influential ones certainly have.

Thanks for sharing that :)

Magdlyn 08-04-2011 06:38 PM

This theory is rather thoroughly explored in Sex at Dawn. Of course it began long before medieval times. It's quite obvious in the Bible for example, especially the Old Testament, in the laws, and in the historical books where patriarchal Yahwist tribal lords strove so mightily and violently to overthrow goddess worshipers (Asherah and Astarte).

For more help at reading between the poetically politically slanted lines in the Old Testament, read When God Was a Woman, and The Hebrew Goddess, both scholarly books.

nicothoe 08-04-2011 06:48 PM

Bare in mind that I have never read Sex At Dawn, and this "theory" comes from my own musings without any evidence to back it up. *grin* It more based on an observation that:

1) men and women like sleep with multiple people
2) men and women typically don't like our partners sleeping with multiple people.

In essence, we all want our own little harem!

Magdlyn 08-04-2011 06:54 PM

Well that's the monogamist mindset. We all fantasize about fucking attractive people we see, while staying blissfully in love/lust with our faithful SOs.

Successful poly people, OTOH, get lots of vicarious pleasure (compersion) out of their partners' other romantic/sexual relations.


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