I live in a world that has become set on morality, one where monogamy is the standard model for relationships. I should have one partner, one soul mate, one and only one. Why is this the normal accepted standard for us North Americans, and when did it become such? Also, why is it still considered the standard when we so greatly lack at maintaining it? Although many species practice monogamy it is especially uncommon among mammals, humans included. Less than 20% of the world requires or practices monogamy. Most human cultures allow polygyny (one man with multiple wives), while less than 1% allow polyandry (one woman with multiple husbands). Polygyny has been one of the most common and prevalent forms of marriage worldwide and has been present in all human cultures through history. North America, as big a force as it is, is not a part of the majority regarding it’s thinking on this matter.
Let’s go back to the bible here. I know not everyone believes in God but it is a historical book that we can learn from regardless. It is telling of the times and is used as the foundation for much of the world. It has greatly influenced both believers and non-believers alike. We’ve all heard of “an eye for an eye” or “the blind leading the blind.” Those sayings come from the bible. As does “by the skin of your teeth”, “a fly in the ointment” and “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Atheists debunking the bible often use its sayings in their arguments without realizing that is where they come from. I’m not arguing religion here, theism versus atheism. I’m not for or against it. I am simply using a document to help show a point. At least I hope there will be a point at the end of this. One never knows where things will lead.
If we look at the bible and we can find the story of Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel. He married both, who were sisters, then proceeded to have children with each of them as well as each of their servants. Having relations with the servants was done to produce children when his wives were unable to bear children themselves. This was apparently a custom of the times. Jacob fathered a total of thirteen children, twelve sons and one daughter, with these four women. He did all of this openly and with blessing, although dubiously it may seem, from his wives and their family.
“If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights”, so says one bible verse. It doesn’t say to not take another wife, it says that if a man does take an additional wife that he should be sure he doesn’t take from one to give to another and that he doesn’t treat one any less than the other, or others. Neither wife should be lacking in comfort or affection and neither should be denied any marital rights simply because they are not the first.
There are many examples of polygyny in the bible, yet I could not find any examples of polyandry. It would seem that it is acceptable for men to have multiple wives but not for women to have multiple husbands. At first glance it seems a major double standard but there is a logic to it. The logic of this goes back to who was first and who rules who. According to the bible God was first so he leads Jesus, Jesus leads man, and man then leads woman as she was the last created. There is another bible saying that comes to mind, “man cannot serve two masters.” A master, or leader, can have many followers, hence the reasoning that a man can have several wives, but a follower cannot have multiple masters. If man serves Jesus, he cannot then also serve his wife. She is to serve him and in doing so ultimately serves God.
However, saying a woman can not have multiple husbands does not mean she can’t have sex with multiple partners. The rules, even in the bible, refer to marriage and husbands and wives. There are many women who have multiple partners but no husband. There were prostitutes and concubines in the bible. Some people thought lowly of them, as many do today, but Jesus didn’t. He talked to them and spent time with them just as he did with anyone else. He treated women, regardless their marital status or sexual promiscuity, the same. He treated them with honor and respect and he showed them unconditional love. If it’s okay for Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Messiah, the Holy One, the ransom that was given so that we mortal humans can have a chance at going to heaven for everlasting life, to love a promiscuous woman and for her to be allowed to go about her business why is it not okay now?
There are numerous television shows and specials that showcase the lives of families made up of one husband and multiple wives. People are captivated by them. Though there has been much talk about how these families are ruining our society we still watch them and promote them. If we didn’t they wouldn’t be as popular as they are. Do we watch simply because we want to see what heathens they are? I doubt it. We watch because we want that too. We want to have more than one partner, to love more than one, and know that it is not just okay but accepted. We want to be supported in our choices and joined as well. We all have an inherent desire to fit in and be accepted by our peers. That never changes regardless of age.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t subscribe to the one and only partner ideal. I am for Polyamory, regardless of the design. No matter how many partners I have or my love has, he is my primary and the one who allows or disallows any other. He is my leader, my master, and I serve him. (See how D/s follows right in line with what the bible teaches about a man and wife? Interesting right?) We are not married so my relations with other men would be okay. Even if we were married though, it would still be okay because it would be his decision, not mine. Having sex with other men is a part of our dynamic. We both enjoy it, though obviously in different ways and for different reasons.
Back to that bible though. Regardless if you call yourself a Christian or atheist or anything in between, we all follow some things from the bible and don’t follow others. We all pick and choose our own beliefs and what we consider acceptable. The difference with the Christian versus the non-Christian, is that one does it with forethought and a desire for what comes after this life while the other does it based solely on what they want and the thought that this is their only life. I can’t really say either is right or wrong.
I do know that the kind of sex life I have does not dictate whether I am a good person or not. It does not negate the love and compassion I have for others or the “good” life I live. I don’t kill people or steal from them. I don’t cheat. I don’t lie. Do I not do those things because the bible tells me not to, because I was simply raised that way, or because I don’t see those things as being a good way to live my life? Honestly, I think it’s a bit of all three, and that’s okay.
NOTE: This was written back when my love was my primary partner. He no longer is, but I chose to keep that paragraph as I still subscribe to that ideal. Although I may be living a solo polyamorous life for a while, and one as an s without her D, I know that having a primary partner is right for me and that primary partner should also be my Dom.