Dr. Marianne Brandon on Making Monogamy Easier

[ 0 ] November 10, 2010 |

Monogamy is quite the controversial topic these days. On one hand, we adore the ideal of a sexually satisfying monogamous marriage.

Who doesn’t want passionate love to last a lifetime?

On the other hand, men and women are finding this goal increasingly difficult to realize. Politicians and sports figures offer examples of the challenges of monogamy on an almost daily basis. And the statistics speak for themselves – about half of marriages end in divorce, and some experts suggest that over 50 percent of men and women have had an extramarital affair. Of those marriages that remain intact, is it estimated that a full 20 percent are sexless, meaning that they have sex less than six times a year. These are harsh numbers, and they give us some indication of the amount of emotional pain and turmoil that intimate relationships bring to people’s lives. And they beg the question – are we really meant for monogamy? Having just celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary, I find this question fascinating.

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that anthropologists and zoologists have been telling us for decades that less than 3 percent of mammals are naturally monogamous (click here for 6 other sex tips we can take from animals by the experts at Women’s Health). Wow. Nonetheless, there is some variability in the tendency toward monogamy, in that some men and women have a harder time being faithful than others. What makes monogamy easier for some people?

This is a great question that scientists are working hard to figure out. And the answer is quite complex. First of all, there is probably a genetic component to monogamy. That is, some people are just genetically wired to find monogamous intimacy more pleasing, and thus easier to achieve. Of course, there are physiological factors that play a role as well. For example, people with higher testosterone levels may have a harder time remaining monogamous. Then there are personality variables –traits like impulsivity can negatively impact a person’s attempts at fidelity, while conscientiousness can positively impact this goal. Of course, without opportunity, a person cannot stray. Modern technology, such as the internet and cell phones, have changed the face of monogamy in just the last few decades by providing opportunities for affairs unlike anything humans have experienced in history.

So what’s the good news? In spite of all this, you can learn to highlight your sexual instincts to work for you in a monogamous relationship, rather than against you. That is, highlighting your innate masculine qualities if you are a man, and feminine traits if you are a woman, will make monogamy feel more compelling for both of you. That’s because nature wants us to like sex so that we’ll procreate. As a result, she has designed us with innate traits that heighten our sexual desire while enticing the opposite sex at the same time.  So, when a woman allows herself to tap into her innate femininity, thereby being open, vulnerable, and responsive to her man, everyone benefits. She enables herself to reach deeper levels of sexual fulfillment, while her man is fed by her feminine essence. Likewise, when a man offers his tender yet assertive masculine presence to his partner, she feels safe and able to let go into him, while he enjoys the thrill of a trusting, loving, responsive partner. Note: tapping your sexual instincts have nothing to do with your appearance – instead, it’s all about letting your deeper self shine through. The bottom line: when we allow ourselves to connect with our innate sexual instincts, intimacy becomes more exciting, and monogamy becomes easier to achieve.

Try it.

Ladies, the next time you make love, privately coach yourself with words like “open”, “surrender” or whatever phrase helps you let go into your man. Gentlemen, make your partner feels cherished and safe by the way you lovingly gaze at her, tenderly but confidently touch her, or guide her with your words.

Have you ever cheated on your partner?

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Category: Dating, Marriage, Relationships

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About Dr. Marianne Brandon: Dr. Marianne Brandon is a clinical psychologist and Diplomat in sex therapy through AASECT. Dr. Brandon is Director of Wellminds Wellbodies LLC in Annapolis, Maryland. She is author of Monogamy: The Untold Story and co-author [...]
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