Women and Non-Monogamous Relationships
Female sexuality is incredibly complex and varied.
Dual Mating Strategy
According to several studies, human females, like other female primates, have a dual mating
The first and primary mating strategy is rooted in the need for a safe and stable environment to raise children. That’s why females will often choose males that offer emotional and domestic stability. It’s a trade-off, basically. And women have been paying its toll for centuries, trading their rights and autonomy in exchange for stability and protection, including financial.
The second mating strategy is more animalistic in nature and has to do with females’ ability to assess genetic superiority among males, including but not limited to an attractive physique. This might also be linked to female estrus, another unconscious, wild instinct that appears in females’ peak fertility, making them more receptive towards smell, taste, and other sensory messages.
Early approaches tended to consider males as the ones who had more mating opportunities than females, but it has been found that in nature, both sexes mate in equal measure and that both can mate with multiple partners. Polyandry, the practice of females mating with more than one male, has also been found to reduce sexual conflict.
Women have therefore evolved to have multiple male sexual partners for the purpose of reproducing and reducing conflict. In nature, females can mate with many males or indulge in sexual activities with multiple males and females (as it happens among bonobos), and nowhere are they punished for that. This suggests that women are naturally keen to have multiple sex partners, be they male or female. And that the shame and guilt some women feel when living a sexually empowered life are not natural but inculcated by a patriarchal, sexist society.
In many cultural practices and religions, it’s considered legitimate for a man to have more than one wife. The opposite is perceived as unusual. However, polyandry is not as rare as we’ve been led to believe. In a recent paper published in Human Nature, anthropologists Katherine Starkweather and Raymond Hames identified 53 societies, apart from the classic fraternal polyandry among Tibetans in Nepal, parts of China, and part of Northern India, that allow polyandrous relationships. This seems to prove that polyandry is deeply rooted in human history, and polyandrous societies were not at all rare in the past. Although most of these societies used polyandry as an adaptive strategy against adverse environmental conditions and didn’t include women in the decision-making, the survey shed new light on women’s sexuality and sexual behavior.
Fast forward to 2021, and we can see many profound changes in the way humans approach relationships, with non-monogamous arrangements becoming more and more popular. In a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, researchers surveyed nearly 9,000
participants. The sample was composed of single heterosexual males and females in the United States. These people were asked whether they had ever previously had an open sexual relationship. Over 1 in 5 respondents answered yes, which proves a deviation from past sexual and social norms.
And it seems that it’s women leading the change!
After years of media and biased scientific studies trying to convince us that monogamy comes somehow natural and easy for women, we finally have proof that that’s not the case. Author and researcher Wednesday Martin reports that at least six longitudinal studies, involving tens of thousands of adults between 18 and 70 years old, have shown that in a long-term exclusive relationship, women stop wanting to have sex in year 1 or 4, while men are happy to keep having sex with the same partner for 9 to 12 years. And it’s not because women want less sex, but because they get bored. They need variety, adventure, and novelty more than men.
This completely changes the narrative around women’s sexuality, as Martin writes in her book Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free. She discovered, in fact, that in heterosexual long-term relationships, it is women who are primarily asking for polyamorous and open relationships. Interviewing experts and ordinary women living non-monogamous relationships, Martin traces the history of women’s sexuality from Darwin to sexual liberation, studying cisgender women taking a break from their married life to explore homosexual sex and polyamory. She dismantles the idea of women being passive and disinterested towards sex, depicting a portrait of women carrying a fire within, a passion, a voluptuous pleasure that cannot be tamed or contained.
The still prevalent narrative that women would not or should not choose non-monogamous relationships or that women are naturally more loyal, passive, and not interested in sex is old and plain sexist. There’s no scientific proof to support this belief. On the contrary, abundant proof has shown that women have sexual needs and desires that one partner alone can rarely satisfy. As we, at Fusion Movement, like to say: “My heart has a place solely for my life-companion; the same cannot be said of my vagina.”
Fusion Movement is deeply committed to helping women explore unconventional relationships and express themselves beyond the rose-tinted lens of romance. We want you wild, untamed, fierce, and maybe also a bit kinky. We want you unapologetically whole!
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