About monogamy, this pure ideal of irrationaly romantic souls, statistics say it is not worth it. It is not worth the trouble, nor the importance assigned to it. In an attempt at defending their right to fly from flower to bloom as (opposed to the obligation to play in one bed only), some embrace it formally, though they play at their own will without the knowledge and consent of the partner... more precisely, they are lying (“some” meaning “an overwhelming part of adults involved in long-term commitments”).
Why would the “classical” variant be superior to an open, non-exclusivist relationship, in which the lovers are not confined to themselves only in order to achieve their peace of mind and orgasms?
In the eyes of the conservatives, breaking traditional boundaries (meaning prohibiting sex with “others” - be it male or female “others”) means an act of betrayal and is punished according to the “legislation” specific to each couple (sleeping on the couch, screaming, tears, emotional blackmail or even separation... depending on temperament).
On the other hand, such borders kill the charm of the relationship and should not exist in any way. Not even in the worst nightmares. For this reason, more and more of the bold and smart individuals are going for the alternative of plurality, being willing to engage themselves in erotic experiments with other people and not just with the official “team-mate”. Shockingly as it may be, the ones displaying this “deviant behaviour” live a better and more peaceful life. That's according to what all statistics show.
Who are the bold people with what they want from life?
There are women and men who perceive the sharing of partners as an easy-going, social activity, devoid of complications. They are lovers, or even married people, who practice recreational sex with other couples without giving up their own crystallized life around a stable emotional bond.
The swingers (as defined by their “user manual”) have a common, conventional relationship (can have “set their own home” or not, go to the market together or not, get bored in front of the TV, argue about socks thrown here-and-there or because of the toilet lid placed upwards), with the distinction that, unlike other equally conventional pairs (couples), they accept to engage themselves into various amorous escapades, yet remaining dedicated to one other.
The choice of taking one’s partner (male or female) by hand in search for individuals willing to cross-share their intimacy is not appealing to anyone. The possessive people and the jealous ones alike disapprove of it most vehemently; the romantic ones devoted to the idea of fidelity reject it as an “offense”. But guess what? It is even they, themselves, who go wrong, but they keep their secrets well hidden.
As far as swingers are concerned, everything is transparent. Studies show that, besides curiosity, they also show a reassuringly honest attitude. They would deserve a small prize. Although not easy at all, they first admit it facing the mirror, then admit it to the soul-mate, that in order to be happy they must not inhibit their intimate desires or the need for variety. A terrifying confession in “normal” couples, triggering strain, broken plates or contempt.
The unconventional ones start from the assumption that the opening to the outside reciprocally assumed (translated into hot nights spent with people having similar concerns) strengthens the relationship, gets it out from routine and saves it from a slow, but sure death. Gone are the times when expensive jewelery or permission to go to striptease made such a promise.
The interesting part is that research in the field gives them right. In addition, swingers have a much better balance and mental health than their “counterparts” of a rare goodness and exemplary behaviour. What a surprise!
At the same time, in the case of “libertines”, the risk of getting divorced falls abruptly. They easily adapt to change, and the image of the “fluffy bear” or the “cute little kitty” cuddling up around another body does not instantly “break them down”. They are creative and have a more abstract thinking, qualities that positively influence their mental state. They also enjoy a flexible, enthusiastic sex life. How can they not work almost perfectly?
By comparison, many monogamists have no confidence in themselves or in their halves, constantly living with the fear of being deceived. And last but not least, in a hallucinatory hypocrisy. The therapists label their infidelity as uninspired attempts of “self-validation”. The vanity, the possessive spirit, and conformism prevent them from seeing in the “outside the box” experiences a suitable way to be fully satisfied. They prefer, therefore, to settle their needs by resorting to the “back door” approach.
None of the two options can be condemned. Everyone builds their happiness as he/she thinks fit. But only some methods are successful. If the figures themselves reveal that the swingers are one step ahead of all, why contradict them? We may eventually test the waters on our own.