home
RSS
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 (1,935 Responses)
  1. 먹튀검증

    https://hikvisiondb.webcam/wiki/How_can_Poker_Work

    January 26, 2021 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 먹튀검증업체

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the website is also really good.

    https://picomart.trade/wiki/The_Best_Way_To_Win_In_Online_Tai_Sai

    January 27, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Floria Lasorsa

    thank you for this article

    http://5fdce6e850826.site123.me/

    January 27, 2021 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Get Info

    Thanks for another fantastic article. Where else could anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

    http://www.petralene.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=922772

    January 27, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 먹튀검증업체

    https://vuf.minagricultura.gov.co/Lists/Informacin20Servicios20Web/DispForm.aspx?ID=12513

    January 27, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 실제 돈 슬롯

    This is something New !

    https://robharp.com

    January 27, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. best deals

    My spouse and i were very more than happy that Ervin managed to finish up his survey while using the ideas he gained using your site. It is now and again perplexing to simply happen to be releasing guidance which usually some others could have been trying to sell. And we all know we have got the writer to be grateful to for this. The type of explanations you made, the simple site menu, the relationships you can assist to instill – it is most incredible, and it's really helping our son in addition to us recognize that that situation is satisfying, and that's really important. Thank you for everything!

    http://cse.google.al/url?q=http://payprodeal.com

    January 28, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 출장마사지

    Hello, I think your website may be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic website!

    http://indore.allads.co.in/user/profile/466070

    January 28, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Stanford Barbetta

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 28, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 토토사이트

    http://www.topfrage.de/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=nicgroup7

    January 29, 2021 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Elba Meurin

    We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

    https://extraproxies.com/buy-proxies/200-proxy-pack

    January 29, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 먹튀검증

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    http://bkd.tulungagung.go.id/kms/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=waiterdiving3

    January 29, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. froleprotrem

    Would you be enthusiastic about exchanging hyperlinks?

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    January 29, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    https://www.adirs-bookmarks.win/the-most-underrated-companies-to-follow-in-the-meogtwigeomjeungsaiteu-industry-6

    January 30, 2021 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    http://www.hyoito-fda.com/out.php?url=http://shanehjlb838.theburnward.com/getting-tired-of-meogtwigeomjeungsaiteu-10-sources-of-inspiration-that-ll-rekindle-your-love

    January 30, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 먹튀검증

    http://rispondipa.it/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=bottlerussia85

    January 30, 2021 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. slot online

    952818 446818I genuinely prize your work , Wonderful post. 408287

    January 30, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 먹튀검증

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://www.fivedollarclassifieds.com/user/profile/287674

    January 31, 2021 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. visio 2016 portable

    We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

    http://www.dom-ita.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=1518062

    January 31, 2021 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 토토사이트추천

    http://fzk66.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=379246

    February 1, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 먹튀검증

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you should write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don't discuss these subjects. To the next! All the best!!

    https://crabcello5.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/macao-escape-into-a-luxurious-world-of-baccarat/

    February 1, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 서울출장안마

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal site now 😉

    https://blogfreely.net/cribcirrus76/the-basics-of-a-burmese-massage

    February 1, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀검증사이트

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s451/sh/6633e230-8fc4-ed8a-ea3d-cd95b6784b90/9c5a33a23f1fbb5289d371b376fb1e40

    February 2, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    May I just say what a comfort to discover a person that really knows what they're talking about on the net. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people have to read this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you aren't more popular given that you surely have the gift.

    http://adamtibbs.com/elgg2/blog/view/788088/slots-the-easiest-way-to-beat-the-household-edge

    February 2, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Best Social Media Subscribers

    Very clear website , appreciate it for this post.

    https://bonuslikes.com/product-tag/buy-500000-instagram-views/

    February 2, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. CBD Dog Treats

    Love the manner you cover this topic.

    https://www.sfweekly.com/sponsored/cbd-dog-treats-cbd-for-pets-the-ultimate-guide-for-pet-owners/

    February 2, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 먹튀사이트

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://xn--d1abamebfd0avbpdfcx6e.xn--p1ai/user/c7xexuu097

    February 3, 2021 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Visit Website

    wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you've a great readers' base already!

    https://www.chilterntraveller.co.uk/members/trialeditor68/activity/1057842/

    February 3, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 메이저사이트

    Great info. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!

    http://ormanov-baidybek.mektebi.kz/user/y3nsyvp698

    February 3, 2021 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 먹튀검증사이트

    https://my.desktopnexus.com/goldshark3

    February 3, 2021 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 먹튀검증

    https://wikidot.win/wiki/French_Boule_How_to_help_Develop_a_Wonderful_French_Boule_Recipe

    February 3, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Visit

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely fantastic. I really like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific website.

    https://www.instructables.com/member/screwhope7/

    February 4, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 출장마사지

    Hello there! I just wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information you have got here on this post. I'll be returning to your website for more soon.

    http://pixelscholars.org/engl202-022/members/iranbronze30/activity/580992/

    February 4, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 마사지알바

    https://checkpointforarts.com/members/schoolfruit34/activity/157053/

    February 5, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. xemkqxs.com

    Excellent web site. Plenty of useful information here. I'm sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks on your sweat!|

    https://xemkqxs.com

    February 6, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 마사지알바

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and practice something from their websites.

    https://dangerpastor77.werite.net/post/2021/01/12/Improve-Your-Quality-of-Life-With-Craniosacral-Therapy

    February 6, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 출장

    Great post! We are linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    https://snakeramie63.werite.net/post/2021/02/02/Fixing-Care-Can-Assist-Lymphedema-Patients-To-Recover-From-Your-Nation

    February 6, 2021 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 마사지구인

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.

    https://www.liveinternet.ru/users/herbert_witt/post479611975

    February 7, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 마사지알바

    https://rakehoe93.mystrikingly.com/blog/sports-entertainment-massage-how-it-can-help-you-have-in-the-zone

    February 7, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. laweekly.com

    Precisely the kind of material that enhances the internet. Thanks!

    https://www.laweekly.com/5-best-cbd-oil-companies-to-buy-from-in-2019/

    February 7, 2021 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. CBD Sex Lube

    What an outstanding manner of looking at things.

    https://www.laweekly.com/a-list-of-the-5-best-cbd-lube-and-cbd-lubricants/

    February 7, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 마사지알바

    After checking out a handful of the blog posts on your website, I really appreciate your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me your opinion.

    http://isms.pk/members/boardwoolen46/activity/388408/

    February 7, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. SF Weekly CBD Lube

    You have covered this subject expertly.

    https://www.sfweekly.com/sponsored/cbd-lube/

    February 7, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. SF Examiner CBD Lube

    Your way of addressin this subject is both wonderful and inspiring.

    https://www.sfexaminer.com/marketplace/10-best-cbd-lube-and-lubricants-for-sale-in-2020/

    February 7, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 마사지구인구직

    There's certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I like all the points you have made.

    https://www.openlearning.com/u/startpastor53/blog/WhatSCraniosacralTherapy

    February 7, 2021 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Safe Mutual Fund

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i am happy to convey that I've an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to do not forget this web site and give it a look on a constant basis.

    http://millenniumtechnology.in/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=4406920

    February 8, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 출장

    After looking over a handful of the articles on your web page, I seriously like your technique of blogging. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me what you think.

    http://adamtibbs.com/elgg2/blog/view/811679/therapeutic-massage-in-taiwan

    February 8, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 토토사이트추천

    Itís difficult to find knowledgeable people for this topic, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    https://www.bonanza.com/users/47435602/profile

    February 8, 2021 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. frolep rotrem

    I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :).

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    February 8, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 메이저사이트

    http://www.satechhelp.co.za/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=seedshark2

    February 9, 2021 at 01:45 | 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

Leave a Reply to House Clearance Barry


 

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.

Advertisement
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.