Practicing Monogamy Now vs. Then

Never in history has there been a time when people have been so connected and sexually viable. While there have been some wild periods in terms of promiscuity, no previous generation was afforded the global sexual reach—crossing all cultures—that is in front of us today. As a result, the value of the monogamy promise has reached an unprecedented height. It is easily worth hundreds, if not thousands, times more than it was at its inception. Think about it.

When the concept of promising monogamy was first introduced, the average person probably met a total of ten people they found sexually attractive through the course of their entire life. Today, one can easily meet ten such people in the same day, either in person or through the Internet. Then one can proceed to create an independent and instantaneous means of communicating with them via smart phone, e-mail, IM or a social-networking website.

Lifetime monogamy, as an economic and sexual ideal, was until only recently a pretty simple promise to keep regardless of how many people one met. On the economic side, money and power were confined to a very small percent of the population. For the average person, there really were not many partner options for earning lifestyle perks, so temptations to stray outside a monogamy promise were often very limited. There were also far fewer big-ticket material possessions to desire.

On the sex side, they generally met their future partner by age eighteen. They married as a virgin at age twenty. They procreated at age twenty-two. They became physically non-attractive in their late twenties. They died when they were in their thirties or forties. In summary, one promised and practiced monogamy for five to ten years while one was still sexually desirable and about ten to twenty years while one was not. Keeping a monogamy promise is not much of a challenge if no one is interested in helping you break it.

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