How many different sexual partners have you had?
This is not a question that someone asks you while standing around the water-cooler at the office. But on a blog, we can be a bit more daring and bold. Let’s reflect on a simple question: What is the optimum number of different sexual partners for you? One? Several? Dozens? Hundreds? or Thousands? Is one the ideal (monogamy) or, is it several thousand, as in the case of many celebrities in Hollywood, the NBA, rock music etc.
I once listened to a debate in Seattle at Eastlake Church between one of the most famous men of porn, Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross, Christian pastor. These two men have had dozens of public debates, many on YouTube. Link: ABC News, XXXchurch: Nightline Porn Debate.
Is one better than many? I do believe that it generally boils down to either “A” or “B”, but many do not neatly fit into “A” or “B”, so we’ll lump them into an extra category: ”C” for confused.
- ”A” Promiscuity: More is better; strive to have as many sexual partners as you can, or as many as you want, without the constraints of social convention or religion or out-dated cultural traditions. We are mammals, and it’s acceptable to act like bonobos (apes, our closest DNA relatives) who are extremely sexually promiscuous. Most in the “A” camp are not greatly influenced by religion, or a higher value system based on a belief in God. Hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure, is often followed. And of course, Ron Jeremy is in this camp.
- “B” Monogamy: One partner is the ideal: Humans, in terms of biology, are extremely similar DNA to apes and chimpanzees, but, are extraordinarily special as they are created in the image of God. Most in the “B” camp feel that they’re more than a monkey, and should ascribe to a higher value system than apes. Group B generally feels we are eternal beings, and are dancing on this earth for a very short time, and therefore, suppressing biological drives is often the “right thing to do.” Clearly, Pastor Craig Gross (let’s not be juvenile and laugh at his surname) is firmly in camp B.
- “C” The Confused: Nobody really knows what goes on in their thinking processes, but we can readily observe their inconsistent behaviors. In other words, their world views do not jive with how they behave, what they want is not what they get, or they do not practice what they preach.
- For some, perhaps they go to church on Sunday, and also go to nightclubs every weekend. When they meet somebody at the club, it’s often sex that night. Clearly, these people were sleeping during Sunday school, and failed to learn a simple lesson: what you believe should have some application to what you do.
- For others, they want to have lots of sex, and think it’s OK to be promiscuous, but never have sex. Quite sadly, many men live the life of male deer, moose, elk. The rut begins, the strongest bucks fight, and the winner takes all. King Buck gets all of the ladies, and the losers (every single male except for King Buck) run off into the forest. If any bucks venture close to any of King Buck’s does, death or serious injury may be imminent for loser buck.
- Perhaps “the guy” (who calls himself a believer in God) likes to watch porn while having sex with his girlfriend. Even though his girlfriend thinks this activity is not too cool, he gets his way. In fact, he often reminds her that there’s nothing wrong with porn and that maybe she should go to therapy to overcome her irrational porn phobia.
- Perhaps a pastor, teacher, priest, or therapist sexually abuses someone under their care.
I don’t really have a lot to say for group “C” They live lives inconsistent with their ideals. (Of course, all of us, at times are inconsistent, but group C takes this to a higher level)
I do respect those that formulate a world view, and then live according to that world view. While on the one hand, I respect my atheist friends, I reject their world views which may include: God is not dead because there never was a God. While I am personally against pornography, I do not reject Ron Jeremy. He, unlike many in group “C”, is not a hypocrite. His actions are congruent with what he believes. Similarly, Hugh Hefner is consistent with his world view. I can categorically state that I disagree with the world views of Hefner and Jeremy. I feel that much of what they do is degrading and very harmful to women (and men) but again, they do practice what they preach.
So what is it, A or B. (ignoring C)
Either Ron has it right (many, thousands of sex partners in his life) versus Craig Gross (one sexual partner, his wife, many, many, many times) … note, for Craig, I avoided thousands of times with his wife so that you don’t get distracted with calculations.
This blog will explore this profoundly important question, looking at arguments from both sides, but of course, as is the case for most writing, the writer argues a specific position.
Monogamy/Relationships: From the Perspective of Others
1) Couple Married 72 Years Dies Holding Hands ABC News:
Married 72 years, Norma, 90, and Gordon Yeager, 94, died in the hospital holding hands last week, one hour apart. The couple was hospitalized after a car accident …. and were given a shared room in the ICU where they held hands in adjacent beds….They worked as a team. They traveled together, they were in a bridge club together and they worked in …. businesses together. ”They always did everything together,” Sheets said. “They weren’t apart. They just weren’t.”
2) Is Life-long Monogamy Possible? Huffington Post: Heather Magee, Lifestyle & Entertainment Blogger
“Whether you’re up for an open relationship or prefer one partner, I don’t think we’ll ever really know if human beings were built for monogamy or meant to mate for life. Monogamy, to me, is an ongoing conversation you have with yourself and more importantly, with your partner.”
3) Monogamy: One is Better than Many? Warren Beatty Reveals Highest Level Of Sexual Excitement (Huffington Post 2010)
Maybe they grow out of it and realize there’s something beyond one-night stands and serial dating. Warren Beatty was the biggest playboy around, but he seems to have figured it out. In a 2007 story in The Independent, he said of his 18-year marriage to Annette Bening, “She has a great capacity to be happy, which is a great gift to me and an even greater gift to her children … For me, the highest level of sexual excitement is in a monogamous relationship. I would hate myself if I failed to live up to it.