Guys: Where Do You Fall on the Monogamy Spectrum?

affectionate couple

New research overturns commonly held beliefs about men

Regardless how many sexual partners you've had, you may still benefit from figuring out the extent to which you're wired for pair bonding. Being a pair-bonder, by the way, doesn't guarantee "happily ever after." It means socially monogamous: having the capacity to fall in love and the desire to bond, at least for a time. In contrast, most mammal species are like bonobo chimps and rats; they mate and move on. The reasons for the differences lie in brain structure.

Despite our capacity for promiscuity, we humans are a pair-bonding species. It shows up in our powerful hankering for touch and ongoing companionship—and makes perfect sense, as our offspring benefit from parents who hang around with each other for more than one estrous cycle. (For a solid analysis of human pair bonding, see "Your Sexy Brain" in The Compass of Pleasure.) As with any trait, however, there are always outliers (atypical individuals). So how do you know where you are on the pair-bonder spectrum? And what does it mean in terms of finding contentment?

"Karezza: Sex, Please...But, Hold the Orgasm!"

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on

This article appeared on an online magazine called "BettyConfidential.com"

The mysterious art of making love without climaxing.

(by Natalie Bencivenga) The idea of having sex without crossing the finish line may seem to some like a waste of time. Like Samantha from Sex and the City famously once said, “When I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come.”

♥How Sex Ruined My Life - Then Restored It Again

disharmonyImages are from a fountain with a series of sculptures in Nuremberg, Germany called the "Marriage Carousel." It depicts a 400-year old poem by a former town resident about the phases of marriage. The fountain shows a couple starting out in a swan boat, the happy honeymooners. They end up grappling with each other in hell. With karezza, the story is reversed.

...When I married a girl I met in college I thought it was going to be wonderful and we would live happily ever after. I thought I was going to get my needs met once and for all. What I didn’t realize was that she had the same thing on her mind. We both approached each other with our own selfish personal agenda. To me, it seemed that all she wanted was sperm and a paycheck. And I guess to her, it seemed that all I wanted was frequent sexual loving. It became obvious that we didn’t want and value the same things in life. Ten years later found me with three children, bankrupt, jobless, homeless, divorced and heartbroken. It was a nightmare.

Want to read "Cupid's Poisoned Arrow" in French?

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on

French flagA friend of the site has translated the preface, chapter one and the first of the "Wisdom" essays into French, in hopes of helping to attract a French publisher to Cupid's Poisoned Arrow. Read the excerpt.

If you have suggestions of a suitable French publisher for Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, please let us know and we will pass the information on to the publisher.

The Great Porn Experiment

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on

The Evolutionary ReviewAbout a year ago I was asked to write an article for an academic journal called The Evolutionary Review. It has finally been published. I couldn't get a proper PDF of it, so here's the galley proof for those of you who would like to read it:

The Great Porn Experiment

"The collision of widespread internet porn use with man’s ancient mammalian brain constitutes one of the fastest-moving, most global experiments ever unconsciously conducted...."

Committed Relationship: Like It Or Not, You’re Wired For It

Zeus and his wife HeraPair bonding is a biological program not a cultural construct

Despite a colorful array of cultural differences, humans everywhere fall in love, attach emotionally for long periods, and feel betrayed when mates are unfaithful. These behaviors are innate, not the products of random cultural influences. To make this point another way: Most mammals don't tattoo their mates' names on their bums, and are not subject to fits of jealous rage.

Human Brains Are Built to Fall in Love, an earlier post, explained that pair bonding behaviors have neurobiological mechanisms behind them. Now, there's more research evidence of our underlying pair-bonding programming.

Is a cuddle better than sex?

Don't panic if the passion is gone. New research says it's hugs not hanky-panky that keeps couples together

footsies25 July, 2011 Recently, I met a few close female friends for dinner. As is the way on these occasions, the talk swiftly turned to relationships. Tellingly, the topic of marital sex — or more accurately, the lack of it — was a big issue among this group of fortysomething women, many of whom have either young children, husbands with demanding jobs or high levels of financial stress. ‘We hardly ever have sex these days,’ admitted my friend and lecturer Jo, 37.

An Uncanny Love Potion

couple kissingI went through a number of disastrous relationships. Finally, I decided, "Why date real people? Who needs the nonsense? If I have porn, I don't need anyone." So I closed myself off to the world, worked, watched TV, watched porn...and got fat. A few years ago, I took a long, hard look at myself, and decided that I could not keep living the way I was. I used to be very active and an athlete. I had basically fallen into "the pit."

A recent study assures us that romantic, sexually active, long-term relationships are possible...for a mere thirteen percent of lucky couples.

Some Like It Warm

Cover of 'Psychologies' magazine

Here's an attempt to explain the karezza-type approach to sex and bonding behaviors in a mainstream magazine in the United Kingdom.

by Mary Sharpe "SEX: Why It's Not All About Orgasms" "...She and her current partner have nicknamed the practice 'riding the wave.' "The idea is that instead of having foreplay to create a need to release, or orgasm, we have a slower, more connecting way of being intimate." Read more

Pages