## Honest rates of relationship failures

I read and hear all the time: “Every polyamorous relationship I’ve ever known failed.” or “Every couple I’ve known that started swinging got divorced.”

Question: How many monogamous relationships fail?

I’m not simply talking about marriages, but all monogamous relationships, including those leading-up to the marriage.

For example, if someone has five long-term relationships (say of a couple of months or more) and then gets married to the sixth long term relationship they had, than 83% of their monogamous relationships failed. If their marriage fails they have a 100% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

Now I’m no math wizard, but doing the simple math if 100 people average 5 real relationships before they marry their 6th, and 50% of those marriages end in divorce, than the math looks something like this:

5 relationships X 100 people = 500
1 marriage X 100 people = 100
50% of those marriages end in divorce means 100 X .50 = 50

So we have 550 failed monogamous relationships to get 50 successes, or about a 91% failure rate of monogamous relationships.

So how can anyone really hold up monogamous, one man one woman relationships as the benchmark by which to measure alternative relationships, like polyamory, swingers, other styles of open relationships and same-sex relationships?

So when I hear people like 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee say things like:

“I don’t have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life, they have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing.”

Based on the numbers above, I think Mike Huckabee has to prove that one-man-one-woman monogamous relationships should be the yardstick that all other types of relationships are measured with.

## Infidelity reality check

With the Tiger Woods and Jesse James cheating spectacles I thought it might be good to do a reality check about cheating.  It’s not uncommon, and many of those pointing fingers are in the thick of it themselves.  Of course, they get plenty of publicity because they are stars and in the public eye to begin with, but cheating is as common as pigeons under a freeway overpass.

On my street there are 12 homes.  Statistically, 5 husbands and 4 wives on my street have in the past or are presently cheating (then there is Mrs. and I with standing “hall passes”).

A Utah Jazz basketball game has an average home game attendance of 19,400 people per game.  For sake of argument lets say that it’s all heterosexual couples attending the game.  Based on known conservative statistics of those that cheat 3,880 women and 4,840 men in the crowd have or are cheating.  You can basically go down the rows and say 1..2..you’re cheating. 1..2..you’re cheating.

But yet celebrities like Tiger and Jesse get caught and put the “I’m a sex addict who needs treatment” spin on things to be more publicly acceptable, instead of just being honest (like everyone else has to do) and say “I got caught having sex with others behind my spouse’s back.”  And the public loves a spectacle as long as they’re not the subject of it.

As far as the “how is Tiger’s competitors taking it and will they welcome him back?” The other players are coaching him on how not to get caught next time.  It goes like this: “Listen, Tiger. I’ve been doing this whole tour thing since you were in diapers and I’ve banged more golf groupies than I can remember, so let me give you some tips on how to not get caught next time. 1) Don’t hook-up with a psycho…”

## The Marriage Disaster

This is a great opinion piece I came across to day showing the fallacy behind the “protecting the institution of marriage” used against so many groups, most pointedly gays, but also against multiple-partner marriages such as polyamory or polygamy.  As the author points-out, if the State really is interested in following some Biblical ideal of marriage, gays would be allowed to marry as so would polygamy also be legal and there would be legal ramifications for a marriage failing.

THE MARRIAGE DISASTER

First of all, we have to acknowledge that getting married is a privelege, not a right. The state does not issue licenses for things that are a right – i.e. I do not receive a state issued freedom of speech license, a right to happiness license, or a license to practice religion or a birth license. But I do have the ability to apply for  a license to drive, a license to vote, and a license to marry – these are priveleges granted by the state.  It is a right and as such limiting it’s application to certain citizens demands a high bar – i.e. they must be non-citizens, criminal, mentally incapacitated, or in some other way incapable of properly handling the license.

In the case of voting and driving for instance, the state checks a few criteria – my citizenship, my criminal record, and specifically in the case of driving my skill.  The state has a vested interest when issuing a driver license to ensure that I do not cause accidents or fatalities.  Given that nearly 50% of marriages die in America – ending in divorce  – were the state to issue driver licenses with the same rate of “fatal crashes” we would declare state of emergency and demand an overhaul. Marriage as a “sacred institution” that must be “protected” is a bit of a farce, considering the statistics of how many end in disaster. If marriage was an airline, you wouldn’t buy a ticket on it.  If it was a presidential candidate, it would almost lose to divorce.  If marriage was a surgeon you wouldn’t let it near you with a knife, given the rate of failure.

It’s pretty clear that the state is not really interested in protecting the institution of marriage, or steps would have been take to keep the success rate of the licenses much higher – there would be criminal or financial penalties for defaulting on the license or marriage vow, if there was truly an interest in protecting the institution, rather than accommodating people on a case-by-case basis.  I.e., if the supporters of Prop-8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act – both laws that limit the rights of homosexuals to marry – were really motivated by a desire to protect the institution of marriage, rather than motivated by unevolved fear and power-grabs, they would also introduce laws criminalizing divorce.

To be clear, I am NOT advocating for criminal penalties for those who seek divorce, but simply making the point that to protect an institution by making marriage illegal for some, while allowing others to divorce, is beyond hypocritical, and those who support Prop-8 and other similar legislation should also be advocating for the criminalization of divorce in order to further use the law to, as they say, “protect the traditional institution of marriage”.

But that’s okay, because “protect the institution” is not the point of issuing a license. There’s really no institution left to protect.  An institution with a failure rate of nearly 50% is no longer sacred, protected, or successful, or really much an institution.  The argument that the state must protect the institution by preventing certain classes of citizens from marrying falls apart on a casual examination of the reality of what the state is doing – issuing licenses to anyone who meets certain criteria such as passing blood tests, non-relation, and certain body parts. There’s no profiling to determine if these people will be a “credit to the institution” as evidenced by the fact that half of the licenses issued are to people who turn out to not have the ability to successfully carry out the action that the license demands.  It’s like half of the people with hunting licenses accidentally shooting their hunting partners in the head.

## The fallacy of the University of Pennsylvania’s abstinence study

Conservative Christians are hailing a “landmark” study that “finally shows that abstinence-only education works”.  This study was done by John Jemmott III, a University of Pennsylvania professor and is titled: Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months. Blog posts about this have been all over the Internet in the last couple of weeks, all of them on Conservative Christian sites and written by primarily one-track-mind imbeciles.

As usual in these types of arguments, the result was decided then they designed the study to mirror the answer they wanted.  In this case, they picked a bunch of really young kids as their sample, something no one mentions when citing the study.

Objective To evaluate the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents.

Design Randomized controlled trial.

Setting Urban public schools.

Participants A total of 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7.

So let’s get this straight, you took a sample of 11 to 13 year old grade school and first year middle school students, gave them 8 hours of “sex ed” then followed-up with them in 24 months when they were 13 to 15  and in 8th and 9th grade, still middle school, to see if they had had sex yet.

First another study, in Pennsylvania, looking to determine when adolescents first start having penetrative sex found that the average age is 16.4 years of age.

Second, how many 13 to 15 year olds are going to be honest about having had sex?

This study was FAIL from the beginning.

So by looking at a group of 6th and 7th graders, where sexual activity is very low (though not unheard of), and following-up with them before the age where they start having sex, John Jemmott III was able to determine that abstinence-only education works and education revolving around real information such as condoms, STI’s and the like doesn’t.

The author of the linked article then goes on to say that those that want to teach real sex education to educate and protect kids from disease, unwanted pregnancies and promote sexual health are not doing it to actually protect them, but to indoctrinate them into polyamory, and sites that wingnut Patrick Fagan.  Chuck Colson quotes Patrick Fagan:

That’s why the culture of polyamory attempts to control childhood education, sex education, and adolescent health programs. This control, Fagan warns, “enables the polyamory culture to reach into the traditional monogamy culture and gradually dismantle it.”

Everyday it appears that the Conservative Christians new holy war is against a new specter, a new devil here to steal your soul: Polyamory.  I mean really, are they running-out of stuff to champion and to scare the Jesus into their sheeples?

Chuck.  Patrick. You two don’t mind if I call you by your first names, do you? As someone in the polyamorous community I can tell you we are far too disorganized to do anything of the like as attempting to control childhood sex education.  Nobody is recruiting anyone.  We don’t have time, and quite honestly, we don’t care.  Our’s is a lifestyle of live and let live.  And it harms none, do what you will, and don’t judge others because they choose to live differently than us.  On top of that, any polyamory-minded person will tell you that it’s almost impossible to bring a monogamy-minded person into a polyamorous relationship, and when it does happen (because they fall in love with someone who is polyamorous, not by recruiting), it rarely ever works-out.

This kind of rhetoric from you simply drives people to alternative lifestyles: they find us, we don’t look for them.  In fact, many of the people I know in the swinging, polyamory and BDSM lifestyles came from very strict Christian homes and families and as adults couldn’t reconcile what was brainwashed into them as children (such as your anti-polyamory bullshit) with what they were seeing and experiencing in real life outside your protective bubble.  They seek alternative lifestyles to escape the sexual repression and stifling of self-expression of the culture they were raised in.

So John, Chuck, Patrick: believe me when I say, we don’t have to recruit anyone, you’re doing a fine enough job of driving them our way to begin with.

Note: In all fairness I’ll state that maybe John Jemmott III was looking for some other kind of data in his study and the Conservative Christian wingnuts like Chuck Colson are extracting and twisting the data that supports their agenda to turn America back to an idealized way of the past because the present and unknown future is just to scary for them.

AshleyMadison.com, the dating site for married people looking to cheat (do you hear ‘Escape’ [the Pina Colada song] playing in the background? I do.) did a survey of the 1.9 million people who signed-up with them last year to see who cheats the most.  Here is their results:

For Women:
1. Teachers
2. Stay-at-home Moms
3. Nurses
5. Real Estate Agents

For Men:
1. Physicians
2. Police Officers
3. Lawyers
4. Real Estate Agents
5. Engineers

This really came as no surprise.  From being in the swinger lifestyle for many years we’ve noticed that teachers, those in the medical profession, Realtors and law enforcement personnel are highly overrepresented.  Over course swinging isn’t cheating, and our conclusion was that these are high stressed jobs and these people need to blow-off some steam.  They work hard, they play hard.  Niel Biderman of Ashley Madison mentions the same.

In a study of 1187 swingers done by Bellermine University in 2000 they found:

The typical swinger in this study was 39 years old, had two years of college education, had been married 1.5 times, was in a current marriage lasting 10.5 years, and had been involved in swinging for 5 years. The subjects were predominately white at 90.4 percent of the sample.  African-American’s were 4.1 percent of those sampled, Hispanic’s were 3.0 percent, and 1.5 percent indicated “other”. Gender differences were minimal on all of these characteristics. Included in the sample were ten physicians, fifteen attorneys, sixty-five upper level managers or owners of businesses, twenty-seven engineers, twenty-two teachers, forty health professionals including nurses…

Sound like the typical Ashley Madison member?

My point here is that you can’t judge someone by the sex they have behind closed doors.  Everyone has a kink.  Anyone’s sex life, if it were made public, would shock and horrify someone else.  One person’s kink is another person’s vanilla sex.  What gets one person off does nothing for someone else.  Neither is more ‘right’ than the other, it’s just ‘right’ for that particular person.  Saying that one person is ‘better’ than another, or is more ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ in their dealings with others in business or public based upon their particular sexual preference in private, is simply stupid and a grossly inaccurate picture of who someone really is.

When (as mentioned in the previous post) as many as 20% of Americans have an open relationship some kind or another, chances are you come in contact with a swinger, a polyamorous individual, a cuckhold, a sadist or masocist, etc. on a daily basis and never know it.  Your doctor, your kid’s teacher, the police officer that just responded to the break-in call at your neighbor’s house, your neighbor, your best friend, a family member and those American soldiers you support all could be one of the above.  Their sexuality in no way dictates how they relate to their fellow men in a professional or social environment.