If you need a surefire way to work up an opinionated group, pose this question: “Is Monogamy The Way To Go?”
It’s likely that everyone will have a strong position, and that most will be in favor of a traditional, monogamous relationship.
But now, young people are rethinking their definitions of how to define monogamy and a successful relationship.
In her article Tales From the Millennial’s Sexual Revolution Alex Morris at Rolling Stone writes that a lot of young people are playing with a new type of monogamy. And that’s not a bad thing.
Morris cites studies, talks to the experts and gets some very entertaining first-person accounts. Here are the takeaways:
“Poly Cocktails” are a thing
Poly Cocktails are social gatherings for polyamorous, poly-curious and poly-friendly people. There’s a large community in New York City (check the NYC Poly Cocktail rulebook here). These meetups even happen in Madison, WI (see here, polyamorous Midwestern readers, the April 14 meetup is right around the corner).
“The New Monogamy” is coming
Psychotherapy Networker, an intimidatingly named academic journal, coined the term “The New Monogamy” back in 2010. Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship expert, defined the new model as: "outside attachments of one kind or another are allowed — as long as they don't threaten the primary connection."
Basically: you’re in a serious relationship but you can cheat if there’s a good reason. And “millennials” are down!
High schoolers are having less sex, using more condoms
“According to results from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the rates of sexual intercourse among high school students decreased between 1991 and 2007, while the rates of condom use increased.”
Marriage among young people is WAY down…
59% of 18-29 year-olds were married in 1960. Today it’s 20%.
…but they still want it to happen eventually
About 90 percent of both male and female college students reported that they wanted to get married, according to a recent study conducted by Paula England, a professor of sociology at NYU and president of the American Sociological Association.
Technology + Dating/Sex = nervous silicon valley nerds
Morris talked to a 25-year old startup founder who wears socks and sandals and has never kissed a girl. Here’s his take on the effects of tech (porn, dating apps) on sex:
“Our bodies are not designed for this level of stimulation,” he says, clasping his hands in his lap and staring straight ahead. “It rewires the brain.”
He has a point.
Virgins are on the rise
“In a 2011 government study of 5,300 young people ages 15 to 24, the proportion who said they’d never had sex of any kind – oral, vaginal or anal – rose from 22 to 28 percent in the past decade.”
There is a popular Reddit group based on a “game-ified” challenge to see who can go the longest without jerking off
And finally: Jo the drummer for Bright Light Social Hour, dropped a philosophical gem which could be re-worked into the new mission statement of a generation
Jo, the drummer for "kick-ass Southern rock trio out of Austin," talked about how The New Monogamy works in his adorable new relationship with a girl who likes vibing to psychedelic rhythms and geeking out on synthesizers. I’ll quote at length:
“I’m not out actively trying to get laid. Even on tour, I find myself getting high and watching Adventure Time or mixing music or doing something introverted and nerdy so I can make better music.” Still, “you find someone that’s just so amazing that it would be irresponsible on your life’s trajectory not to [sleep with them], then that’s what the five percent is for. I don’t want to ever feel like I missed out.”
Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.