Languishing desire in a relationship actually results from all the factors people look for in love and marriage: commitment, closeness, meaning, continuity. Partnerships are supposed to provide a defense against the evils of life and all the emotional connections that the greater society (church, community, family) can’t provide. But habit, continuity and certainty always kills sexual desire. (Think RUT!)
So how can a couple live comfortably with the necessary elements of unpredictability and risk that are necessary for healthy eroticism?
There appears to be three key elements: 1) Cultivating periods of separateness (e.g., autonomy) in the relationship, rather than constant closeness (sense of entrapment); 2) Exploring dynamics of power and control and the sharing or shifting of those elements between the partners; and, 3) Learning to surrender to a "sexual ruthlessness" that liberates us from shame and guilt resulting from upbringing, and societal or religious influences.
Two new reports from the National Survey of Families and Households indicate that couples actually become bored and unhappy sooner than was previously thought: more like three years into their togetherness, rather than seven.
Monogamy and domesticity, and even the concept of love, is not an evolutionary legacy but "a new form of mass conscription," a lockstep drill like organized religion, performed under "marching orders" from nefarious overlord forces that don't want us to notice our " individuality. “Thou shalt marry and get a job and have 2.5 children, blah, blah, blah. We blindly adopt the straitjacketed roles that such familiarity predicates, with the boredom and the rigidities which cannot possibly be transcended in this or any other lifetime, and under the guidance of every authority from our parents to the government to the Pope we all inevitably submit to these social institutions that subsume and dominate their unknowing victims.
How to escape that evil grip?
"Adultery ... is at least a reliable way of proving to ourselves that we're not in the ground quite yet," Kipnis writes, "especially when feeling a little dead inside."
In a society that really values monogamy," such as the mainstream West, "promiscuity will always be defined as a problem," Slack says. Yet both of those opposite-direction urges keep species healthy, and are programmed into each and every one of us.
Because children take so long to raise, men inherited two needs," Quirk says. "They need to impregnate a fertile woman, and they need a good mother to raise the resulting child. These are separable needs." Male wiring reasons: "Just because I invest my love and labor in one woman to make sure our offspring survive doesn't mean I don't have spare sperm. Can't hurt to toss a couple extra out there and see if they take. Some of my ancestors succeeded at the fathering strategy. Some succeeded at the fornicating strategy. They've passed on their desires to me."
It's much the same for women. "Again, because children take so long to raise, women inherited two needs," Quirk says. "They need a good nest to raise the healthy baby with a stable male to protect and provide that nest. They also need good genes to raise a strong, healthy baby. Those two needs are often best met by two different men. The best nest might come from your husband. The best genes might come from another man. It can be a challenge to find both in the same guy."
If we inherited a falling-in-love gene, Quirk adds, "we also inherited the desire to sneak hot genes on the side. We come into this world tormented."
The solution to that torment can come only at the price of disgarding the modern-day, patriarchal structure and societal mandates that encourage lifelong pair-bonding and monogamy. Human genealogy cannot adapt rapidly and the fact is that our naturally honed reproductive instincts cannot and will not be bridled by such artificial nonsense.
AHHHH... I feel vindicated! I KNEW it wasn't just me! I knew others were fucking around. We aren't built to fuck one person every night no matter how hot you are or they are. You can't get wet (or hard) for the same person forever. So why fight it? Why not accept it and understand it and deal with it? Work with it? Have fun with it.
We do. And it works!