DISCLAIMER: I am side stepping the normal horse-shit polemics that normally plague any discussion of marriage and infidelity, in the hopes that we are all adults. Reader discretion is advised.
“But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it was had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman’s existence.”
― Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
I recently started reading Snow Country by Kawabata. For those new to Kawabata, Snow Country is a stark tale of a love affair between a Tokyo dilettante and a provincial geisha that takes place in the remote hot spring town.
I was surprised to learn while researching that “the hot spring regions of Japan were home to inns, visited by men traveling alone and in groups, where paid female companionship had become a staple of the economy.” This got me thinking.
Paying for female companionship is an ancient business practice. Furthermore sexual tourism is a quite popular nowadays, and not just for men as I reported in this previous post:
When white women flock to Jamaica for a little fun in the sun, the RandR they’re often looking for is not Rest and Relaxation but to Rent a Rasta according to director J. Michael Seyfert. His eye-opening expose’ sheds light on a barely acknowledged form of sex tourism, namely, white women who visit the Caribbean Islands to get their groove back with the help of black locals. Most of those inclined to indulge their Island Fever with wanton abandon are apparently middle-aged and/or overweight spinsters. Ignored by white men, and afraid to date blacks openly due to the social taboo, they look for satisfaction at remote resorts amidst the anonymity offered by a virtual paradise. These decadent dames safely lure their boy toys with money, electronic gadgets, designer clothes, baubles, or whatever material item it takes to get uncomplicated sexual favors in return along with the strict understanding that like in Las Vegas, What happens in Jamaica, stays in Jamaica.
Looking at the history of paid companionship and the prevalence of sexual tourism, I wonder how honest are we about our own sexuality? More importantly, how honest are we about monogamy? The following chart lists some interesting statistics on infidelity.
This data leads me to believe that we have unrealistic expectations for both marriage and monogamy. People nowadays live longer and their lives are not ruled by religion as they were before. There are sites for casual and online dating. I’m not advocating that you unbuckle your pants and look for trouble. I am also not advocating that you spread them Panama Canal style and let all ships that pay a tariff ( usually the cost of a dinner) pass.
What I am saying is that we need to revisit our social attitudes towards monogamy. Sooner or later it will happen the same way it did for marriage.
What do you guys thinks ?
On a side note look at how marriage was defined in the Old Testament back in the day
OMG bad or OMG good ?
Mind = Blown!
It’s a complex and fascinating topic. Looking at just the numbers it seems people arent happy. But they dont say enough. I think we need to revisit a lot of our social traditions. Starting with monogamy, marriage and parking tickets
Parking Tickets > Monogamy (By order of urgency!). It is very complex and thought provoking. I just didn’t have any words after reading this post!
I dislike the current laws of marriage, as they give a gun to the female partner with little recourse for the male. As of now, a man stands to lose a lot more than the woman…so much more that I could never ask a man to marry me, even if I *did* want marriage.
As for this concept of fidelity, I only think it’s an issue if STDs or “illegitimate” children are involved. The idea of essentially “owning” someone else’s sexuality is revolting to me…most people need more spice in their life, and I believe that if a man or woman wants to have a casual fling just for fun now and then it is acceptable. My FwB knows that I’m not the jealous type, and if he has other partners he should just use protection so we can continue to not worry about STDs.
I have many misgivings about the institution of marriage. I don’t think they work and in many cases do more harm than good. Fidelity, well our concept of it is a bit off. It doesn’t take into account how human beings are. I find the idea that you’ll find the “one” or stay in love till your old and decrepit and to broken to fuck, or walk is ridiculous. Maybe for some people it works but not everyone.
I think there is this aspect of possessiveness and control to fidelity which causes a lot of problems. I have more posts coming on this topic. Thanks for your comments I always appreciate them and how similarly we think
It’s scary sometimes, how in agreement we are… 😉
I think that it’s possible to love someone for as long as you know them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always want to *make* love to them. Human beings are a fickle sort…we have changing tastes, and often want to try different things. I find it overly and unrealisticly romantic to believe you’d find complete fulfillment with only 1 person your entire life.
Now, I am for equality in this too…there are groups online that state it’s acceptable for husbands to have mistresses, but blasphemous/disrespectful for wives to have studs. Nope, sorry…I believe what’s allowed for the gander is allowed for the goose.
Actually, my views kinda also match up with (of all things) a comic called ElfQuest. It’s fairly old as comics go, but the characters live with the idea of Lovemates vs Lifemates. It’s interesting, you should Google it.
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People nowadays live longer, but the reproductive lifespan hasn’t changed. Most were monogamous for that reproductive lifespan in the past (though I suppose maternal death rates were a lot higher). Monogamy is longterm interest. Get married, raise kids, live together until you’re old as fuck and (hopefully) you’ll die with your family around you. Or, have multiple partners until you’re old as fuck and no one wants you. Die alone. Perhaps soylent green will be available in this less monogamous and sexually cosmopolitain society.
Really enjoyed that! Have you watched the Ted Talks about how we humans are sexual omnivores? Monogamy is not naturally to us, and in fact, it’s been a part of our cultures for a really short time when you go back to our origins. Marriage turned into an institution with a the start if agriculture, when we began to settle rather than to move around like our ancestors.
Just checked out your site, it’s fucking awesome! When I saw the picture of Hemingway and the marlin and his book on writing I was f’ing sold. I didnt know there were TED talks on that. I had been reading various books and stuff. I bookmarked the ted talks last night and will check em out during the weekend. I did some other posts on marriage as well recently. I believe that 300 years ago is when we started in the “West” marrying for love. It was an offshoot of the Enlightenment and stuff. I totally concur with what you have stated about the start of agriculture, I think it would create the social institution of marriage more so than a nomadic hunter gatherer sorta deal.
Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you more round these parts