Conventional wisdom dictates that nonmonogamous sexual relationships are morally bad, even if they are consensual. Today on The Provocateur, I talk to Nick Harding, a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Southampton, to discuss his case for why the conventional wisdom is wrong. We explore common objections to consensual sexual nonmonogamy – for example, the threat of falling in love with another sexual partner, the risks of sexually transmitted infections, the challenges of multiple parents – and why in Nick’s view these objections all fail. We also touch on the ethics of sexual infidelity and Nick’s argument for why in certain circumstances it may be morally permissible (if not morally required) to cheat on your partner.
You can listen to part one of the podcast here:
Part two is here:
Part three is here:
Anderson, E. (2012). The monogamy gap: Men, love and the reality of cheating. New York: Oxford University Press
Buss, D. (2016) The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. Basic Books
Easton, D. and Hardy, J. W. (2009). The ethical slut: A practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures, second edition. New York: Celestial Arts, Berkeley
Fisher, H. (2017). Anatomy of love: A natural history of mating, marriage, and why we stray. New York: Norton & Company Inc.
Taormino, T. (2008). Opening up: Creating and sustaining open relationships. USA: Cleis Press
In the second of a short run of episodes focusing on LGBT topics for LGBT History Month, The Provocateur talks to Philip Freestone, a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Reading, about discourses of marriage and sexuality among men who have sex with men (MSMs) in contemporary mainland China. In particular, we focus on Philip’s interest in the recent explosion of matchmaking websites that set up marriages of convenience between non-heterosexual men and women and the ways in which this phenomenon reflects culturally ingrained understandings of homosexuality. Among other things, we discuss Confucian ideals of marriage and how they restrict non-normative sexual expression; the tension between public indifference towards homosexuality and private shame; the consequences of the one-child policy for the marriage market; and the potential for homosexual and bisexual men to exploit the traditional archetype of the effeminate scholar in Chinese conceptions of masculinity in order to contest heteronormativity.
You can listen to the podcast here:
If you are interested in getting in touch with Phil, feel free to email him at: P.J.Freestone@pgr.reading.ac.uk.
Altman, D. (1997) ‘Global Gaze/Global Gays’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 3(4), pp. 417-436.