Should We All Be In 'Monogamish' Relationships?

Should We All Be In 'Monogamish' Relationships? - Chris Messina invented the hashtag. He also believes it is time to re-invent contemporary sexuality, which is why he practices something he refers to as “non-monogamy.”

"As a child of divorce and an aspiring designer-entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I was suspicious of marriage," the early Twitter employee writes on CNN. “Out here, we’re data-positive and solution-oriented and if your product (i.e. marriage) is failing for 50% of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better… 

There’s an argument brewing that says monogamy is not best for a successful relationship. But is there any science behind it? (Photo: Getty Images)

“Monogamy established itself thousands of years ago, when society was ruled by scarcity and resources and potential mates were in limited supply,” Messina argues. “We’re now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent.”

This past spring a Rolling Stone feature explored this very topic in a story entitled “Tales From The Millennials’ Sexual Revolution,” underscoring a generational shift in thought regarding monogamy, sex, and relationships. 

The story points out that the new faces of the “open relationship” aren’t long-haired hippies in a cloud of patchouli, but, rather, successful young professionals “who do not view monogamy as any type of ideal.” These individuals often seek out a version of polyamory “in which the goal is to have one long-standing relationship and a willingness to openly acknowledge that the long-standing relationship might not meet each partner’s emotional and sexual needs for all time.”

Is non-monogamy the new sexual truism? 

Should we sit our partners down and tell them that it’s time to begin introducing some new faces to the bedroom? Well, for one thing, non-monogamy is not exactly new.

“There is an odd modern sense that sex for fun was invented in the mid-20th century and that before that, sex was acknowledged as fun but was only done within the confines of relationships,” Art Markman, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, tells Yahoo Health. “If you read the Bible, any old literature, or go to the opera, you discover that the world has always been just about as modern when it comes to sex as it is now.”

Indeed, the modern definition of marriage as between “one man and one woman” that is promoted by many religious conservative politicians flies in the face of the fact that most of the male characters in the early Bible had many wives. “All this means is that societies have debated what should qualify as normal for sex and relationships throughout recorded history,” adds Markman.

In other words, maybe Messina isn’t quite as radical as he thinks when he writes, “I’m in a monogamish relationship. We’re committed to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we’ve agreed that it’s OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we’re honest and transparent about our intentions with one another. These things don’t diminish the integrity of our relationship. Rather, they deepen our understanding of each other’s wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.”

Non-monogamy is not equivalent to “cheating” or adultery. 

Since the relationship is agreed upon, it’s not considered messing around. Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, author of The Polyamorists Next Door, uses the distinction “consensual non-monogamy” to refer to situations such as Messina’s. She notes that “not only do consensual non-monogamists try to tell each other the truth, but this greater communication has real impacts” such as reduced rates of sexually transmitted diseases as a result of the “honest communication needed to negotiate consensual agreements that allow a variety of ways to have multiple partners.”

Sheff herself is in a polyamorous relationship and was shocked to discover that she was not jealous when her partner had sex with other people. “I resisted it for 10 years because I anticipated feeling so threatened and jealous with my insecurity that I thought I would not be able to handle it,” she says.

Won’t non-monogamy undermine the bond within a couple? 

Research suggests that men and women both experience jealousy when their sex partners engage with another person. “There is a tendency for men to be a bit more jealous about sexual infidelity by their mate and for women to be more jealous about emotional infidelity,” notes Markman. “But sexual infidelity makes both men and women really jealous.” 

Messina argues that there is no need for such feelings to come into play in what he refers to as the era of “Big Dating.” He claims that “Big Dating unbundles monogamy and sex. It offers to maximize episodes of intimacy while minimizing the risk of rejection or FOMO [fear of missing out]” and that “Big Dating precipitates the rising ambivalence toward commitment,” proving that “that there’s now more than one option for building meaningful and satisfying relationships.” Messina goes so far as to argue that the new non-monogamy has the potential to revolutionize the modern world in much the same way that computers have, and that technology — and the advent of “hook-up” apps such as Tinder — are the key to such a revolution.

Why is monogamy considered to be so hard? 

“Ultimately, a difficulty in maintaining monogamous relationships is that people differ in how often they want to have sex, how much variety they want in sex partners, and in the level of emotional intimacy they need to want to have sex,” comments Markman, “These aspects differ for both men and women. They also differ within a person at different times of life and in different circumstances. So, what a person wants at 20 may be different than what that person wants at 30, 50, or 70. The idea that there is a one-size-fits-all format for relationships misses the complexity of human relationships. That is as true for monogamy as it is for non-monogamy.”

Can we want what we already have? 

The renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel, a professor at both New York University and Columbia University in New York, continuously addresses such issues in her work, including her now seminal book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. In her TED Talk “The Secret To Desire In A Long-Term Relationship,” Perel asks the question at the core of all discussion of non-monogamy, that is: “Can we want what we already have?”

Perel notes in her talk that contemporary monogamy is under a great deal of pressure, as partners come into the relationship asking one another “to give …what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given.”

Furthermore, Perel points to the “paradox between love and desire” — that is “that the very ingredients that nurture love — mutuality, reciprocity, protection, worry, responsibility for the other — are sometimes the very ingredients that stifle desire.” 

A happy relationship is about commitment.

Perel concludes that maintaining an erotic connection in a relationship has nothing to do with monogamy or non-monogamy, but rather with a deeper understanding of the concept of commitment. Successful relationships of any length are committed.

“People need to communicate their expectations with their partners,” Markman adds. “That will not solve every problem, but it is a key ingredient to a healthy relationship of any form.”

Successful couples understand that passion waxes and wanes, like the moon. But those who have a good sex life know how to resurrect it. “They know how to bring it back, and they know how to bring it back because they have demystified one big myth, which is the myth of spontaneity,” says Perel. “They understood that whatever is going to just happen in a long-term relationship already has. Committed sex is premeditated sex. It’s willful. It’s intentional. It’s focus and presence.”

So heads up to Messina and his fellow non-monogamists: Call it what you will, but apparently commitment — both sexual and emotional — is key to any successful relationship. ( yahoo.com )

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Woman Born Genetically Male Gives Birth to Twins - She was born without ovaries, fallopian tubes or a uterus

Woman Born Genetically Male Gives Birth to Twins - She was born without ovaries, fallopian tubes or a uterus - At just 19 years old, Hayley Haynes from London, England, was told she wouldn't be able to have children. After passing puberty without ever getting a period, she checked with doctors, who gave her shocking news. Even though Hayley never felt different, she didn't have ovaries, fallopian tubes or a uterus. 

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Specialists also informed Hayley that she was born with XY chromosomes, making her technically male, and diagnosed her with androgen insensitivity syndrome. “When they told me I had no womb I was so confused I felt sick. My biggest fear was never having children. Suddenly a huge piece of my life was missing," Hayley said. 

Hayley eventually married her childhood friend Sam, with whom she shared her infertility struggles early on. They both had their hearts set on having a family, and that finally became a possibility after a doctor discovered something others had missed in the past—a small uterus. “It was only a few millimeters, but it was a start. He was optimistic it would grow. I still couldn’t conceive naturally, but I could have the option of IVF,” she told the Mirror. 

After rigorous hormone treatment, she started IVF treatment in 2011, three years after her uterus was discovered. "I was so nervous. We only had one shot and couldn’t afford to go through it all again. I desperately wanted to be a mother and knew if there were no viable eggs or the implantation wasn’t successful I’d be distraught." Only two of the 13 eggs harvested were viable for implantation, and she had only a 60% chance of getting pregnant. 

The IVF proved successful when the couple discovered what they never thought possible—they were pregnant. They got even better news when scans showed they were expecting non-identical twin girls. The couple met their miracle babies on Christmas Eve, when Hayley gave birth to Darcey and Avery. "Becoming a mother was the single most amazing moment of my life. When I held the babies in my arms for the first time I was overwhelmed. I had spent nine years coming to terms with the fact this might never happen, but in that moment all the pain just washed away." [via Telegraph.com]

READ MORE - Woman Born Genetically Male Gives Birth to Twins - She was born without ovaries, fallopian tubes or a uterus

Understanding Zoloft Depression Better

Understanding Zoloft Depression Better - Always feeling under the weather? Always not in the mood to be around others and have a good time? If you’re suffering from prolonged sadness for quite some time now, you should face these bouts of depression and get yourself diagnosed by a psychiatrist, they’re doctors who can actually help you out with your problem. Also, with the introduction of Zoloft depression, the number one, most-prescribed medicine for depression treatment, the problems concerning depression can easily be gone.

Depression or prolonged sadness is actually quite common in the United States, around 9.5 percent of the American population actually suffer from this illness, however, not all of them get to be treated, thus, depression and its ill-effects continue to be a burden to some individuals. This illness may seem quite simple to treat but in reality, it takes more than a little cheering up to actually cure depression. Constant visits to a cognitive behavior therapist is a must as well as taking all the prescribed medicines that the doctor will ask the patient to take – none of these exactly come cheap, but the amount of suffering that a person is going through because of depression is enough reason already for others to start taking notice and face depression head on. Here’s where Zoloft depression actually steps in, proven to be a safe and very effective treatment for various types of depression as well as anxiety, Zoloft depression has actually been around for around 12 years. Patients have been proven to respond well to treatments from Zoloft depression while doctors favor Zoloft depression’s availability in various strengths, this way, someone who’s suffering from depression doesn’t have to settle for something else just cause they don’t have the right dosage available, with Zoloft depression, it’s hard to not get the right dosage for you.

In a nutshell, Zoloft depression is actually a type of antidepressant which is known to people as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” or SSRI. It’s well-known to be a good treatment for patients over the age of eighteen that are being treated for the following: depression, posttraumatic disorder or PTSD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD.

Some commonly asked questions about Zoloft depression are the following:

How long does it take before the effect of Zoloft depression actually kicks in?

How important is it to follow the doctor’s prescription for Zoloft depression?

To be frank, Zoloft depression is actually not for everyone, those patients who are taking pimozide or MAOIs are strictly discouraged from using Zoloft depression. Various side effects can stem from actually using Zoloft depression such as: diarrhea, nausea, sleepiness/insomnia, dry mouth and sexual side effects. Although according to studies, a lot of people actually didn’t care about the side effects and still opted to continue on taking Zoloft depression.

Some good points to consider though is that Zoloft depression is actually in no way addicting unlike other medication and it is not in any way, can be associated with weight gain.

Since Zoloft depression actually comes in various dosages (25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets), it is definitely best to consult your doctor first before taking any Zoloft depression tablet. This is one of the main reasons why Zoloft depression was actually created in various dosages, since each person is unique, one’s need for Zoloft depression may actually differ from the other and that is why we need professional doctors to assess how much or how little of Zoloft depression does one actually need. Self medication has always been a problem of doctors since their patients usually just end up in worse state than usual whenever they self-medicate and conduct their own diagnosis.

Depending on a person’s body makeup or ability to respond to treatments as well as one’s willingness to actually help him or herself get better, the effects of Zoloft depression can be felt in as early as 2 weeks, just continue on following the doctors prescriptions as well as showing up for every therapy session, Zoloft depression will seriously work for you.

READ MORE - Understanding Zoloft Depression Better

Helping Yourself with Depression Help

Helping Yourself with Depression Help - If you're currently feeling so out of it, totally out of your normal system and just basically hating and ignoring almost, always everything and anyone that comes along, try to get yourself checked by a psychiatrist because you those little mood swings and erratic Ally McBeal-ish behavior that you're trying to ignore for some long may actually be symptoms of depression. Act fast because if you do, it'll certainly be a lot harder for you to be able to have yourself cured from this illness, especially once self-delusion starts to kick in.

Actually start by hauling your depressed ass into the hospital and get yourself diagnosed by a reputable psychiatrist, one that'll actually help you with your depression concerns, answer all the possible questions that you may have when it comes to depression as well as provide you with the best available to depression treatment that'll make you give yourself some good-old, yet extremly effective depression help. All it needs is the right attitude.

After actually being honest with yourself when it comes to actually being a patient who is suffering from depression, quit turning youself into a victim and find out from these various types of depression the actual one that you're suffering from: Manic or Bipolar depression - characterized by sudden and extreme changes in one's mood wherein one minute he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling to be in a personal hell, Postpartum depression - characterized by a prolonged sadness and a feeling of emptiness by a new mother wherein physical stress during child birth, an uncertain sense of responsibility towards the new born baby can be just some of the possible factors why some new mother go through this, Dysthimia - characterized by a slight similarity with depression, although this time, it's been proven to be a lot less severe, but of course with any case, should be treated immediately, Cyclothemia - characterized by a slight similarity with Manic or Bipolar depression wherein the individual suffering from this mental illness may occasionally suffer from severe changes in one's moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder - characterized by falling in a rut only during specific seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall) studies however, prove that more people actually fall in to a rut more during the Winter and Fall seasons and lastly, Mood swings, wherein a person's mood may shift from happy to sad to angry in just a short time. But in spite of how scary or how daunting a task is the road towards a sound mental health is, depression help abounds and is just up to you if you’re willing to take in some of that depression help, may it be from your family, friends, support group and mainly starting from yourself, there really is a lot of depression help to go around.

The old adage, slowly but surely greatly applies in trying to treat depression, as the patient continues taking the prescribed medicines for his/her depression treatment, as well as the corresponding therapy sessions with the cognitive behavior therapist, a patient being treated from depression needs all the support and depression help that he or she can get.

While being treated for depression, the patient as well as his or her family and other loved ones are advised to make realistic goals concerning depression wherein, to not assume that their depression can be easily treated in a snap. Depression help begins with trying to understand the patient’s situation and continue on being patient as well as always extending your help because depression help is never easy nor is the depression treatment itself, which is why both patients and loved ones need to help each other out through every step of the way. Never set goals that are high above your reach, give yourself some depression help by not being too hard on yourself, believe that you are good and strong enough to achieve your goals but only one step at a time.

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Five Foods That Can Help Boost Fertility

Five Foods That Can Help Boost Fertility - Let's talk about baby-making foods. No, not the aphrodisiacs that will get you and your sweetheart in the mood -- that part's on you (though it wouldn't hurt to flip through the "chocolate Viagra" chapter of my book “Eat It to Beat It”) -- but the foods linked to increased fertility in both men and women.

Infertility affects about 12 percent of couples, a statistic attributed partly by some studies to an increasingly Western-style diet, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Adding these five foods to shopping cart can help you to pivot away from heavily processed food choices, and find your path to optimal health, and perhaps, Babyville.

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Walnuts

Fertility discussions usually focus on women's aging ovaries, but we all know it takes two to tango. And research suggests that for men, a couple of handfuls of walnuts every day may be the ticket to stronger, faster, even prettier sperm.

The study printed in the journal Biology of Reproduction looked at the effect of added polyunsaturated fatty acids on the sperm health of 117 healthy men aged 21 to 35. Sure enough, those that ate 75 grams of Omega-3 rich walnuts (about 2/3 cup, or 2 man handfuls) experienced improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology. The nut-free control group experienced no changes.

Most of us, men and women, can benefit from additional Omega 3s, so consider making walnuts a staple on your weekly grocery list.

Ice Cream

Ladies, you can now add "reproductive health" to the list of reasons you need to keep the freezer stocked with ice cream.

A study published in the journal Human Reproduction suggests full-fat dairy may increase a woman's chances of ovulating. Researchers found that women enjoying a scoop of full-fat ice cream at least twice a week had a 38 percent lower risk of anovulatory infertility compared with women consuming ice cream less than once a week. Low-fat dairy, on the other hand, had the opposite effect.

The results may seem to contradict standard nutritional advice, but researchers suggest skimming the fat from dairy alters its balance of sex hormones in a way that could tip the scales against ovulation.

While more research is required into the relationship between dairy and fertility, you can check out a list of some of my favorite full-fat, minimally processed ice cream brands in “Eat It to Beat It.”

Carrots

A study by Harvard researchers printed in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that produce rich in beta-carotene can improve sperm motility (its ability to swim toward an egg) by up to 8 percent. Carrots were singled out for their sperm-boosting properties.

Luteine, an antioxidant found in leafy greens, had a similar effect, according to the study. So make like Bugs Bunny and get snacking. When it comes to male fertility, that’s what’s up, doc!

Lentils

An inexpensive form of vegetarian protein and fiber, lentils are also a rich source of iron, a mineral known to play a key role in reproductive health.

In a well-cited Harvard School of Health study, women who got most of their iron from plant sources reduced their risk of infertility by 40 percent. Moreover, the higher the dose of the iron supplements, the lower the risk. Women who took the highest doses, more than 41 milligrams a day, reduced their risk of ovulatory infertility by 62 percent. Iron from meat didn't show the same benefits.

While researchers don't recommend popping iron supplements as an aid to becoming pregnant, supplementing a well-balanced diet with a whole-food multivitamin may improve your overall health and, consequently, your baby-making prospects.

Spinach

Get the man in your life to start channeling Popeye, and you may soon have a baby on board.

A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that supplemental folic acid and zinc to increase sperm counts in men with reduced fertility.

You can find sperm-boosting folic acid, the B9 vitamin, in leafy greens like spinach and kale. And lentils are a good source of zinc; one more reason to add them to your shopping list! Good Morning America )

READ MORE - Five Foods That Can Help Boost Fertility
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