I wanted to thank you for drawing so much attention to Sex at Dawn (www.sexatdawn.com). I am going to get it as soon as possible so I can better understand myself. I have always felt a certain amount of shame because I've never had a monogamous relationship. Having been married 14 years (married at 19, which I know is a no-no in your book), I've had plenty of temptation and only given in a few times. Those events felt like they were saving my sanity; they never had anything to do with me loving my husband any less. It wasn't until I started listening to your advice that I realized that maybe I wasn't the problem. For all these years, I felt like shit because I couldn't be monogamous. Thanks for clueing me in to evolution, reptile brains, etc.
Thanks for the nice note, M, now go forth and cheat no more, i.e., don't be a CPOS (cheating piece of shit). If you're incapable of being monogamous, don't make monogamous commitments that you're damn well going to break.
And to all the outraged folks writing in to ask if I'm seriously suggesting that no one should ever be monogamous: That's not what I'm saying — and it's not what the authors of Sex at Dawn are arguing either. The point of Sex at Dawn — and my point in drawing my readers' and listeners' attention to it — isn't that no one should attempt to be monogamous or that people who've made monogamous commitments have a license to cheat on their partners. For the record: I'm happy to acknowledge that there are lots of good reasons to be monogamous and/or very nearly monogamous, e.g., children and other sexually transmitted infections.
What the authors of Sex at Dawn believe — and what I think they prove — is that we are a naturally nonmonogamous species, despite what we've been told for millennia by preachers and for centuries by scientists, and that is why so many people have such a hard time remaining monogamous over the long haul. I'm not saying that everyone everywhere has to be nonmonogamous; the authors of Sex at Dawn don't make that argument either. (Lots of monogamists, however, do run around insisting that everyone everywhere should be monogamous — and proscriptive monogamists get a pass because, hey, they mean so well and wouldn't it be nice if everyone were?)
The point is this: People — particularly those who value monogamy — need to understand why being monogamous is so much harder than they've been led to believe it will be. In some cases, this understanding may help people find the courage to seek out nonmonogamous relationships and/or arrangements and/or allowances that make them — gasp! — happier and make their relationships more stable, not less, as a routine infidelity won't doom their marriage/civilunion/commitment/slavecontract/whatever. But understanding that monogamy is a struggle for most people — and being able to be honest with our partners about experiencing it as a struggle — may actually help some people remain monogamous.