Monogamy: Social Institution for Sex Addicts

By L. Rigdon

Critics often say that promiscuous people are addicted to sex, but are promiscuous people any more addicted to sex than people practicing monogamy?

Think of it logically. Imagine that you are highly motivated to have sex as often as possible. Which of the following scenarios provides you with better options to complete your goal?

Scenario 1: Promiscuous Person

You go out on the town every night. At the clubs you flirt with whoever catches your fancy. Maybe you buy them drinks, maybe they buy you drinks. You invest your entire evening into potentially finding a sexual hook-up. Depending on the night, your competition, and your ability to impress others will determine the likelihood of you finding a partner for the evening. Realistically, your odds of finding someone sexually are at least 50-50.

Scenario 2: Monogamous Couple

You took the time to invest in one single person and now you have been part of a monogamous couple for some time. Practically every night the two of you are together. Perhaps you’re already married or just living together, but the two of you are inseparable. As long as you are both up for it, you make love whenever you can, wherever you can. Since you’re comfortable with one another, you even experiment with different sexual techniques.

If your end goal is to have sex in order to feed your supposed “addiction,” why would you roll the dice on promiscuity when monogamy provides a much more likely scenario to get sex on a frequent basis?

So if monogamy offers sexual addicts a better option to achieve their goals, the question remains as to why people instantly associate promiscuity with sexual addiction. One argument to explain the socially accepted falsehood includes the ritualistic sanctity of monogamy. In a highly Christian-influenced western culture, monogamy is usually closely tied to the idea of marriage. As marriage represents a religious ritual full of promises to a higher power, people focus on the spiritual aspects of getting married and starting a family versus the carnal reality that getting married allows people to have socially acceptable sex.

As a means for the social order to maintain power and promote marriage, society therefore creates a hierarchy of sexual escapades. Couples who live within the monogamous ideology can have as much sex as they want and be as kinky as they desire, as long as they keep it behind closed doors and only have sex with their monogamous partner. People who practice promiscuity, on the other hand, offend the dominant order’s monogamy ideology and become marginalized as sexual addicts.

The negative stigma associated with the word “addict” instantly villainizes promiscuous people, making it appear as if ‘they’ have a problem with controlling their sexual urges. It would seem that they, the promiscuous people, in fact do not have a problem controlling their sexual urges. In fact, the reverse seems true. Monogamous people seem to lack self-control, else why would they be in a situation where they can consistently have sex as often as they desire?

By marginalizing promiscuous people, monogamous people are in fact projecting their own struggles with sexual addiction onto another target because they can’t admit to their own level of deviancy. In fact, because of the social ideology accepting sexual monogamy as a normative practice, the idea that monogamy represents a form of deviancy does not even register as a plausible possibility.


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