Are you willing to negotiate monogamy?
May 19th, 2011
10:56 AM ET

Are you willing to negotiate monogamy?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

When you take your marriage vows, you’re pretty much making the commitment to never have sex with anyone else ever again. Wow - just writing that is scary.

With the demise of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s 25-year marriage making headlines, it’s hard not to wonder if long-term monogamy is possible or even practical.

As a sex therapist, not a day goes by that I don’t see people who are stuck, feeling as if they have to give up on their marriage, or give up on sex - or cheat. My patients have taught me that sex - or a lack of it - is one of the major contributors to marital strife between longtime couples.

Many people don’t want to throw in the towel, however, which is why the idea of “negotiating monogamy” is becoming more popular. From open relationships, to disclosing affairs before they happen, to giving a partner a “free pass,” negotiated monogamy is a way for some couples to stay committed to each other without having to stay sexually faithful.

Such an approach may seem to fly in the face of the concept of marriage - I don’t blame you for raising your eyebrows or shaking your head at the suggestion. But hear me out.

We live in an age when we’re surrounded by countless arguments (or maybe just excuses) against monogamy: Men have a biological imperative to spread their seed and have always cheated (“boys will be boys”); humans are wired for serial monogamy, not one lifelong relationship; long-term relationships beget boredom; people are living longer and longer but half of all marriages fail… Whew.

When you consider what we’re up against, it may not be such a bad idea to give negotiated monogamy a chance before we dismiss it outright as a violation of the sanctity of marriage.

In my own practice, I often raise the option of negotiated monogamy with couples who have worked their way into permanently sexless marriages, or who feel starved for sex - but not with each other. The very concept of negotiated monogamy is a provocative and useful way for these couples to talk about sex and marriage, even if they choose not to practice it.

As with most issues, it’s better to talk about something and understand each other’s boundaries than to guess or cheat or commit to life of silent desperation. And you know what? It turns out that once couples start talking about what they would or wouldn’t allow - strippers, lap dances, flirty friendships, free passes, oral sex with other people, swinging, open relationships - they often tend to get turned on and end up going home and having sex with each other.

After all, the brain is the biggest of sex organ and, as I discussed in last week’s column about fantasies, even just talking about sex can get people interested in actually having sex.

So remember: Taking a marriage vow does not mean taking a vow of silence. If anything, being married should give you a level of trust where you feel like you can talk about anything. And if you actually want to try negotiated monogamy and your partner doesn’t (or vice versa)? Well, at least you’re having an adult conversation instead of acting like children - or former governors.

soundoff (2,204 Responses)
  1. sites.google.com

    Yes! Finally someone writes about mila pendant light.

    April 28, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. pkvgames

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my website something like that. Can I implement a part of your post to my site?


    April 28, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 바둑이

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ


    April 28, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. flowerpot lamp white

    hello there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical issues using this website, as I
    experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement
    in google and can damage your high quality score if ads
    and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this
    RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much
    more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this
    again very soon.

    April 28, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. https://sites.google.com/View/how-to-buy-aim-pendant-light

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many
    of your post's to be exactly I'm looking for.
    Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating
    on most of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web site!

    April 28, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. louis poulsen ph 5 designer-pendel lampe blau

    Excellent way of describing, and fastidious piece of
    writing to obtain information about my presentation subject, which i am going to convey in college.

    April 28, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. sites.google.com

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I
    could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    April 28, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. https://sites.Google.com

    Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to go back the desire?.I'm attempting to in finding things to
    improve my website!I assume its good enough to use some of
    your ideas!!

    April 28, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. atollo table lamp small

    Hi friends, its fantastic piece of writing concerning tutoringand
    fully explained, keep it up all the time.

    April 28, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. serge mouille bedroom

    I feel that is one of the most important information for me.
    And i am satisfied studying your article. But want to commentary on some
    general things, The site style is great, the articles is
    actually excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers

    April 28, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. مكافحة الحشرات لماستر كلين

    I think the admin of this web site is truly working hard
    in favor of his website, for the reason that here every
    material is quality based material.

    April 28, 2021 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. canadian pharmacies ed pills

    canadian weight loss pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian generic pills

    April 28, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. levothroid generic

    Howdy, I believe your website may be having browser compatibility issues.

    Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks
    fine however when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues.

    I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic website!

    April 28, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 바둑이사이트

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    April 28, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 바둑이게임

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    April 28, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. lawn machinery

    Exactly the kind of material that enriches the web. Thanks!


    April 29, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. canadian prices for sildenafil

    buy sildenafil from canada cheap https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ buy sildenafil 25 mg

    April 29, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. canadian generic cialis 20mg

    canadian pharmacy cialis no prescription https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian meds cialis

    April 29, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. avanafil

    avana tabs avanafil cost

    April 29, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Copper Scrap Rate in Chennai

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    April 29, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 바둑이게임

    I'm excited to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you book-marked to look at new stuff on your blog.


    April 29, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Today Copper Rate in Chennai

    I’m just commenting to let you understand of the brilliant encounter my friend’s daughter found visiting your web page. She realized several issues, which include how it is like to possess a great teaching spirit to get other individuals easily have an understanding of specific complex topics. You truly did more than readers’ desires. I appreciate you for presenting those interesting, trustworthy, informative as well as cool guidance on this topic to Tanya.


    April 29, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. pbn backlink murah

    I'm not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.


    April 29, 2021 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sildenafil 50mg tablets

    sildenafil tabs 50mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 85

    April 29, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Phil

    Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital
    to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I success you get admission to persistently

    April 29, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. top packers and movers in chennai


    April 29, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. flowerpot pendant Light vp7

    Amazing things here. I'm very glad to see your post.

    Thanks a lot and I'm taking a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    April 29, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. flowerpot lamp orange

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the
    blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

    April 29, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. serge mouille Usato

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn a lot of
    new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

    April 29, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. is viagra the same in canada

    getting viagra from canada with no prescription https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra canada

    April 29, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. sites.google.com

    When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added"
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three
    emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    April 29, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. website

    Very few writers with appropriate knowledge of the subjects they blog about.


    April 29, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ph 3-2 1/2 outdoor Wall sconce

    Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having trouble finding one?

    Thanks a lot!

    April 29, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 바둑이게임

    Can I just say what a comfort to find somebody that actually understands what they're talking about on the internet. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people should check this out and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you are not more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.


    April 29, 2021 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. beat wide pendant black

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your
    blog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A small number of my blog readers have complained about my blog
    not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.
    Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

    April 29, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. priligy

    buy priligy usa priligy uk price

    April 29, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. sites.google.com

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend
    who was doing a little research on this.
    And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that
    I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this....
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time
    to discuss this subject here on your blog.

    April 29, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. pfizer viagra canada pharmacy

    viagra/canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ generic viagra order canada

    April 30, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Vibia Wireflow Replica

    Informative article, just what I wanted to find.

    April 30, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Used nelson bubble lamp

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.

    I'll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right
    here frequently. I am somewhat certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right right here!
    Good luck for the following!

    April 30, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. bell pendant nz

    I know this web page gives quality based articles or reviews and extra data, is there
    any other website which presents these kinds of stuff in quality?

    April 30, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 바둑이사이트

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    April 30, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. aura light control

    I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own blog and
    was wondering what all is needed to get set up?
    I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I'm not very web savvy so I'm not 100% positive.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    April 30, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. flos zeppelin 1

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    April 30, 2021 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. sites.google.com

    Thanks to my father who told me about this web site,
    this website is truly remarkable.

    April 30, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. sites.google.com

    I just couldn't leave your site prior to suggesting that I actually loved the usual
    info an individual supply on your guests? Is going to be again frequently in order to inspect new posts

    April 30, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. https://sites.google.com/view/how-to-buy-empire-chandelier

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

    April 30, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 바둑이

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.


    April 30, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Anonymous

    Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is
    just nice and i could assume you're an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying

    April 30, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. sites.google.com

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There's a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.

    Please let me know. Cheers

    April 30, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Leave a Reply to ktovn blog du lịch


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.