Have you ever struggled to keep that rascally boyfriend or husband of yours from running off and sleeping with other women?
Well good news, ladies-- CNN knows how you can keep him, and keep him happy to boot!
In an exaggerated case of "if you love something, let it go," author Holly Hill advocates that in order to keep a man in a long-term relationship, women should open up to the idea of "Negotiated Infidelity," allowing their man to sleep around, but with established boundaries. (In her own relationship, Holly lets her boyfriend of two years have intercourse with other women, but he is forbidden from spending the night or "spooning" with them afterward.)
This is necessary, Hill argues, because men are "hard-wired to betray women," and are thus incapable of long-term monogamy. It's useless to fight this biological imperative, and women should simply adapt to keeping their men "on a leash, [rather] than let it escape through an unseen hole in the back fence." If we would just lighten up and let our men wander off from time to time, she says, we could live in a world free of cheating, where a new, more realistic version of monogamy could thrive.
Now aside from the obvious contradictions embedded in this kind of thinking (talking about freeing the world from infidelity by introducing more of it) this argument is riddled with misandry. Her demeaning comparison of men to dogs who are unable to control themselves is a startlingly bleak portrayal of the sex, only allowing for a few "heroes" who are able to maintain monogamous relationships. Additionally, if she truly believed men were unfairly programmed by nature to stray from monogamous relationships, why does she still refer to it as "betrayal"?
But, how does one form a lasting relationship with these men, if Holly considers them all to be dirty rotten scoundrels?
If you can't beat them, join them! Hill suggests: "Ideally, the woman will want to stray as well." Women should indulge in a little something on the side just like the boys, "because that will generate her man's competitive nature." So, by cheating on him too, I can make him want to cheat on me less?
Ok, ladies, did you get all that? Here's a recap:
To maintain a lasting relationship you must first: 1) find a worthless man you'd like to be involved with; 2) let him know you're totally okay with him cheating on you (as long as he doesn't cuddle with her, of course); and 3) get busy sleeping around yourself to make him jealous. If all goes to plan, this too could be your happily ever after!
I don't know about you guys, but that sounds like an awful lot of work to me, so here's an alternative:
Instead of assuming the worst of our men and trying to follow suit, why don't we form relationships based in mutual trust and admiration? Instead of establishing complex boundaries of what does and doesn't constitute cheating, why can't we hold our men and ourselves to a single standard of respect among the sexes? Instead of demeaning men and calling them dogs, why don't we give them a reason to want to stick around?
I guess it's clear what I think of this argument (malarkey comes to mind), but I'd be interested in what you guys think. Does negotiated infidelity have a place in the world? If both parties agree on the boundaries is it possible to cheat on someone without actually cheating on them? Sound off!