Monday, October 10, 2011

The Past and Future of Marriage

Paemela Haag was interviewed about her book Marriage Confidential.

What are the "secretly transgressive" marriages you describe in your book?

If you're at a cocktail party with 20 married couples, chances are, one or two are in openly non-monogamous marriages. They're the marriage next door. They pay the bills, go to Little League games, recycle -- and maybe on the weekend go on swinging holidays.

Chances are, someone close to you in your daily life is in a marriage in which the nonmonogamy is by mutual agreement. It may be a an ongoing polyfidelity situation, the occasional threesome, an open marriage, or they may swap or swing, or have some other arrangement.

How does non-monogamy fit into the future of marriage?

More marriages will have a conversation about monogamy, rather than just assuming it is the default. It seems to me that non-monogamy might become a more accepted option, much as premarital sex has shifted from largely scorned to widely tolerated today.

In my book, I look at the entire gamut of extramarital sex -- from conventional cheating to "affair tolerators" who look the other way to monogamy "agnostics" who don't care as much about marital monogamy as they thought they would to deliberately open, ethically non-monogamous marriages and even "asexual" marriages, where one or both spouses really doesn't have an interest in sex.

If we want people to keep getting married, we’ll arrive at full marriage equality sooner rather than later, because if more people can be true to themselves while getting legally married, they will. There are people in same-sex, polyamorous, or consanguinamorous relationships that will go get legally married the first day they can.
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