The Bird & the Fish — Dismantling Our False Ideas of Relationship Sexuality
We expect monogamous relationships to make us sexually happy for the rest of our lives. Here’s why we are wrong.
The world we live in was largely built by men for men.
Many structures around us reflect male views, priorities, needs, and abilities. For centuries, even millennia, these structures “worked” because they only had to work for men. And male societies didn’t bother to ask women.
The rise of feminism questions this lop-sided civilization that was designed around what men needed and wanted. That’s a good thing because it’s about damn time. But with progressing gender justice and women stepping into that male world, we notice that some things don’t work as they did for ages.
For example, the monogamous, sexually exclusive long-term relationship.
It came into being when people started to live in sedentary settlements, and private property was assigned to men. A form of relationship was needed to secure male wealth for following generations (patrilineal heritage) and to reduce social tension due to sexual competition among men.
The first purpose is widely accepted among anthropologists and sociologists, the latter not so much. But getting rid of social tensions was a major challenge when people began to live together in the same place permanently.
So giving men easy access to regular sex (as opposed to the female choice mating system) was an important purpose of a monogamous relationship. Women, however, weren’t asked about consent: they were forcibly married by their fathers, and marital sex was considered their duty.
Fortunately, that changed over the last five or six decades, but our ideas of relationship sex are still biased by male views. Time to clean up this mess.
(Note that — as always — I’m referring to principles, patterns, and trends, not individuals. Your experiences can differ from that patterns, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no pattern. Thanks.)