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Sex and Marriage - Essay Example

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This essay demonstrates that the evidence from a significant subculture, the swingers, shows that the consensual physical infidelity, especially mutual, need not threaten the stability of marriage as long as respect, consideration, trust, and love remain…
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Sex and Marriage
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Sex and Marriage

The essay "Sex and Marriage" demonstrates that the evidence from a significant subculture, the swingers, shows that the consensual physical infidelity, especially mutual, need not threaten the stability of marriage as long as respect, consideration, trust, and love remain. The popular notion is that if one engages in nonmonogamous sex outside the bounds of marriage one is being unfaithful to their partner. The assumption is that this is being done secretly without the consent or even knowledge of the partner. Hence, we have the term “cheating.” Under these circumstances, I would agree that it is an act of infidelity. I partly agree with the mainstream in the following respect. The person is being unfaithful not because of the nonmonogamous sex act per se, but because it is done secretly due to anticipated partner disapproval. Applying this definition of infidelity, any act, whether sexual or not, pursued secretly due to partner expected disapproval would be an unfaithful act since it is a breach of trust. But what if the partner is aware and agrees to participate jointly in monogamous sexual activity? I would submit there is no infidelity involved as there is no breach of trust. Although I would agree that Savage is stretching when he describes monogamous sex as a “need.” I would accept his view that it is a strong desire for many people. I concur with the notion that responsible nonmonogamy that is done safely with the knowledge and consent of the partner does not pose a threat to the institutions of marriage. and the family as claimed by mainstream culture. Swingers I base my argument on literature that shows that swingers have a lower divorce rate than the American population at large and also on my own personal observations of people in this significant subculture (Liberated Christians). Although swingers can include singles of both sexes, most are married or common law couples with children, ranging in age from 20s to 60s. They can be from all walks of life including the clergy. They tend to be middle and upper socioeconomic classes but, otherwise, are indistinguishable from the majority except for their open pursuit of non monogamous relationships. To me the chief characteristic separating swingers from non swingers is that the former draw a clear distinction between “sex” and “love”. My experience is that while group sex does indeed take place it is not as prevalent as non swingers believe nor it is the “be all and end all” of this lifestyle. While it is true that there is more emphasis on the physical erotic aspects of the sex act, this does not mean that friendship and affection are excluded. For example, while I can enjoy sex with a new partner, I do so even more with one I have gotten to know developed some feelings for. On the other hand, if I disliked my sexual partner I would not derive any pleasure having sex with her. Swingers have developed the theory of primary and secondary relationships to distinguish their relationships between their wife or long term partner and their “temporary” partners. If you are interested in a new partner but know that your ... Read More
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