Technology and its Effect on Modern Relationships “Monogamy isn’t realistic” (Trainwreck) is a recurring theme in Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Ansari’s argument is that with the ever growing influence of technology in modern relationships/dating it is ridiculous to expect you and/or your partner to remain monogamous. Here enters the idea of monogamish relationships; “the couple is deeply committed to each other, but there is room for outside sexual activity” (Ansari 228).
Relationships based on trust that leave room for the natural need for sexual variety allow individuals to meet both their emotional and physical needs without fear of backlash from their partner. Polyamory is natural; according to psychologist and TED-talk presenter Christopher Ryan, humans are not wired to be monogamous. Ryan believes that “before the dawn of agriculture, humans were quite promiscuous. ” Humans, according to Ryan, are just like all other primates, such as baboons and gorillas, in that we have evolved to mate with multiple partners in order to bond and procreate effectively and efficiently.
Thus, it is only natural that people be involved in open relationships to fulfill their evolutionary need for sexual diversity. Monogamy is a relatively new concept; the women’s movement of the twentieth century is what caused the shift in how people approached sexual encounters outside of relationships. Before this shift “men were quite open about their extramarital escapades” (Ansari 225).
Just last year more than 100 erotic love letters written by 29th president Warren G. Harding to his longtime mistress were publically released (Klein). Before the switch in the mid-1900s men having affairs outside of relationships was commonplace, while women were expected to remain monogamous. According to journalist and sex columnist Dan Savage, “the decisive shift [to monogamous relationships ) came when, rather than extending to women the leeway men had always enjoyed to have extramarital affairs, society took the opposite approach” (Ansari 226).
As we are engulfed in what many refer to as the new wave of feminism, it makes sense for partners to extend each other the sexual leeway that was once squelched by a dominating patriarchal society. The average person meets about 3 new people sin person] per day (Vital ); with technology people have the ability to meet millions. Social media sites such as Facebook, 1. 49 billion users ( Company Info ), and Instagram, 300 million users ( Instagram), allow users to connect with more people thar an ever imaginable even just 30 years ago, and with this new onslaught of social interactions comes a problem. With so many options, how do you choose just one? This answer is that modern monogamish romances partners are not expected to ignore the countless interaction opportunities brought to them through technology; instead they are able to explore all of the options of sexual partners, while continuing to maintain a relationship in which they are deeply committed.
The dating hookup app, Tinder is another option for those looking to have new and sexually stimulating encounters; the app allows you to connect with only people that you have a mutual interest with, thus allowing users, particularly women, to more easily avoid sexual harassment that can be prevalent on other services that do not offer the “mutual interest requirement” (Ansari 113). Social media and dating apps allow people ease of access to a whole world of people that they have the opportunity to bond with both emotionally and physically.
Monogamish relationships allow people to take these opportunities. Polygamy is not always consensual in the case of affairs, which are made easier by technology. Ansari argues that “The privacy of the internet and phone world has also led to a rise of settings where people can be adulterous without any judgment” (191). One of the main examples used in the book is the website Ashley Madison; a dating website specifically designed for people looking to have an affair, their slogan being “Life is short. Have an affair” (Ashley Madison).
Recently the security of Ashley Madison was breached and hackers leaked the user profile information for “over 37 million Ashley Madison accounts” (Schwartz). Over 37 million people felt the need to use the anonymity of the internet to hide their need for sexual adventure outside of the monogamous relationships that they were in. If these users were in monogamish relationships they (and their partners) would be spared any heartbreak that may have been caused by this breach in the trust of their relationship.
Monogamish relationships allow for deep connection and trust between partners, while continuing to allow them to fulfill their need for sexual diversity; it is the best of both worlds. “On average 26% of American men and 18% of American women report being involved in a sexually open relationship” (Ansari 227). In time, with both the influence of technology and a more culturallyaccepting generation, this number will only begin to climb.
Polyamory is a natural and healthy part of committed relationships. Monogamish relationships are all about finding the best situation for both you and your partner to have your emotional and physical needs fulfilled, and the definition of monogamish may vary from couple to couple. The rapper Pitbull summed it up best “People are stuck on what’s normal, what’s right, what’s wrong. Maybe what’s right to you is wrong to me… What count’s at the end of the day is everybody being happy” (Valdes).