Monday, April 09, 2007

Can Men Be Faithful?

At dinner the other night, the topic of conversation turned to the question: "Can married men and gay men in monogamous relationships be faithful"? Half the table answered in the affirmative; the other half did not.

My answer was (and is) YES. I'm not sure this is true of most men, and I suspect that it's not, but it's absolutely true of most of the men that I know, whether they are friends or family, gay or straight.

But is this segment in the minority?

Tom Junod wrote a mini-essay in Esquire one year ago this month titled, "How to Stay Faithful." I love every word of it, particularly these:

The choice, as he [The Faithful Man] sees it, is not between cheating and not cheating; it's between love and the utter desolation and meaninglessness of lies. He has had to draw the line in order to walk it, and he has had to give up some part of his volition in order to keep himself whole."

Here's the link to the full piece.

The "hottie" pictured above, by the way, is Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, who looks a little bit like any number of middle-aged women you may bump into at Walmart.

It makes me thankful that I'm no Casanova.


Asher said...

I believe that the idea of men having a harder time with monogamy is a social construct. When you look at it biologically women are capable of having sex much more frequently than men. The questions shouldn’t be “Is it possible,” but rather “Why does society have that stereotype?”

jercwe said...

Amen brother!

Bobby M. said...

I am a bit suprised by the reaction of friends of TCOJmentioned in the original post. How could roughly 50% question whether it is possible to be faithful? Everyone that enters any relationship has the potential to be either faithful or unfaithful- male or female. This is a choice.

To state that it might not be possible to be faithful removes this choice. I wonder if this is just not a question of wording, and the question should ask if it is probable that 50% of men would be faithful.

To remove the choice, however insults men as humans. We are, in this instance, Masters of our own domain, not just sexual automotons. It does boil down to a question where we place the value of the relationship.