A substantial minority of women, as well as men, are not, in practice, monogamous but are likely to claim to be. Occasional ‘lapses’ are explained as one-off events of little significance…Many heterosexuals say, for example, that it is better to ‘stray’ with someone you don’t care about than with someone you do care about and that they could cope if their partner had a one-night stand that ‘means nothing’ but not if it was a meaningful relationship. We find this perplexing. Do women really want to have relationships with men who treat other women like this? Would they not rather have relationships with people who cared who they were intimate with? Are new ‘meaningful’ relationships really so threatening; do they necessarily invalidate an existing relationship? Is it time we questioned anew the contradictory, and often disturbing, ideas that support monogamy.
Why is ‘sex’ considered the special glue which keeps people together (or not); what’s the potential of having sex with friends, and for destabilising the primacy of the ‘the couple’ in our everyday lives? How can we challenge ‘compulsory sexuality’ – where all romantic/intimate relations are expected to be sexual between adults? How can we find freedom and fulfillment within a range of personal relationships, which complement rather than ‘complete’ us?