Watching Mad Men last night, set me to wondering if everyone cheated on their spouse in the 50s and 60s. Must have been because it was before the sexual revolution, I thought. But looking around, it seems that many people I know, here in 2013, have either cheated or been cheated on. We thought we obviated that now by getting married later, but that doesn’t seem to work either. Is monogamy doomed no matter what? Are we no better than animals when it comes to our sex drive, as the infamous sociobiologist Helen Fisher posited? Truly, if Don isn’t happy with Megan, who stands a chance?
Sex is the opposite of death, so immortality seekers tend to pursue more sex. Most of us don’t want to die. Still, that seems too simplistic. On a chemical level, nothing, I repeat, nothing compares to that first rush of falling in love with someone. And it makes sense that can be addictive. But not everyone is falling in love with their sexual partners: look at Pete. He made a hideous mistake not making sure the woman he dallied with was on the same page. If you fuck everyone, you’re bound to get some negative feedback in time.
Still, as a society, we cling to the idea of monogamy. Not just because it makes it easier to raise kids and be taxed, but also the romance of loving just the one person for all time. I was recently at a wedding and was struck at the fairytale notions of love being espoused. One look at Mad Men calls all that into question.
So if we are doomed to cheat, are you a Don or a Pete? Are you into numbers or into quality? Do you fall in love or do you fall in lust? Do you feel guilty or do you give yourself a pass, saying it’s biology? Do you admit it, or do you lie about it?