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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fidelity and monogomy are not the same

We have a problem at this university: boys in relationships who secretly sleep around.

Many of the boys of old Florida have taken to making mistresses of its girls. While the girls are no doubt the fairest, such behavior leads me to wonder what part of the boys is the squarest — for it is not the content of their character (or, I hope, their shorts).

This problem is by no means limited to our campus. Even the great and wonderful enchantress Ke$ha once sang-talked to one such man, “I never thought that you would be the one acting like a slut while I was gone.”

Neither did we, Ke$ha. Neither did we.

Quite a few of my lady friends have told me of their sexploits with taken men, and most of them knew of the men’s in-relationship status.

Each time, the men made the approach, soliciting these ladies for sexy time — and did so while they were sober, mind you. The ladies obliged, and — more often than not — the men came back for more. The worst thing: The men asked the girls to keep quiet about it.

This bothers me, and not because I’m someone who can’t imagine people violating stringent rules on human sexual behavior. People always resist rules on hanky-panky. Don’t believe me? Ask the pre-2000 Texas gay community or the Catholic Church.

What gets to me is that the men’s behavior stems from unexamined monogamy. Having sex with someone other than your current partner isn’t always cheating. So many people put themselves in a quandary to cheat or not to cheat, but really, that isn’t the question.

Instead, these men should ask themselves why they’re accepting that monogamy and fidelity are the same thing. In our sexually enlightened age, why not define the rules for yourself?

And that goes for everyone.

Ladies, why do you care if your boyfriend has sex with other girls? And dudes, why do you care if your girlfriend sleeps with other guys? Preventing each other from getting your rocks off isn’t strengthening your relationship or making it any more honest. All it’s doing is building resentment and introducing deceit.

Monogamy is a definition of a certain type of sexual behavior; fidelity is about being faithful and true to your partner. The latter can easily exist without the former, and trying to link them drives a wedge between couples.

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If a horny boyfriend flirts with a girl and has sex with her, he isn’t necessarily demonstrating love, intimacy or passion for her. If love, intimacy and passion remain between a couple, no amount of outside sex can make a relationship any less open and honest.

This is not to say that all relationships need be open and all partners should boink anyone they want while dating.

But couples need to have the discussion about whether or not they are OK with dropping monogamy. They need to recognize what monogamy is, and they need to know that fidelity isn’t the same thing. If one or the other isn’t cool with it, that’s fine — but the reasons matter.

If it’s out of jealousy or discomfort with the idea, those are some pretty big fish to fry because both reasons arise from greater trust issues. Do not let fear become the reason for your exclusivity.

Couples should define their relationships for themselves, laying out their own ground rules. For instance, I do not care that Taco Bell sells its delicious goods to other customers, for I know that it doesn’t affect the love and intimacy we have. And if selling its goods to others bothered me, that doesn’t mean it should only serve me or that others should stop eating at Taco Bell.

Form your relationship at its most honest state, and it will be one worth having; otherwise you can almost count on getting hurt.

Chip Skambis is an English and telecommunication junior at UF. His column appears on Mondays.

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