Sexual Instinct and Monogamy

Hello, my first post on here. Monogamy is laden with innumerable beliefs that always fail to work in the marketplace. For example, most men in relationships still watch pornography and lust over other women. While technically not “cheating”, it virtually is. Yet our society does not condemn this kind of thing. Polygamy cannot be a solution, because it seems the sexual instinct (male, not sure about female) can never be satiated.

What is the actualism solution to this? Surely one cannot live happily and harmlessly with another person in such a compromise? I’m guessing the sexual instinct is part of ‘me’ and in actual freedom this is extinguished entirely? Can any actually free people comment on how their relationships are like now in this regard?


Welcome, Frank!

Until one of the free people can respond:

RICHARD: Yes, the sex drive is an instinctual drive … and, along with other instinctual urges, can be eliminated entirely. Then one is free to act appropriately according to the circumstances and not out of an instinctual reaction. Instincts are not set in stone, they are simply ‘blind nature’s’ way of ensuing survival. With our thinking, reflective brain we can improve on nature in this respect, as we have done in so many other ways. Any instinctual drive can be eradicated.

Then one is free to enjoy the sexual act as a physical, sensual pleasure (not as an emotional or passionate ‘solution’ to loneliness and sorrow via love) or free to enjoy celibacy as an idiosyncratic celebration of singularity (not as a dispassionate or detached way to dissolve the ego via craftiness). It is then an act of free choice to have sex, or not have sex, just as easily in either alternative. No drive means no urge. With no urge there is nothing to have to deny, nor anything to have to indulge. Thus it is neither ‘Asceticism’ nor ‘Hedonism’ … this is an actual freedom.

Yes, the sexual instinct is removed entirely, leaving this body to freely enjoy the sensuous delight that is actual sex.

For my part I have experienced a glimpse of sex without desire and can confirm that it was far, far more enjoyable… the complete lack of possessiveness was notable, as well.

He writes elsewhere that he feels no possessiveness toward Vineeto, that she is free to go sleep with whoever else she may be interested to (though with all care given to STDs, pregnancies, etc… as a matter of practicality.).

This may also be illuminating:

After a while I turn to my partner who is sitting in the shade beneath a wonderfully gnarled and ancient tree on the lake’s edge. There sits a fellow human being to whom I have no ‘relationship’. Any past or future disappears; she and I are simply here together, experiencing these perfect moments. The past five years that I have known her, with all the memories of good and bad times, simply do not exist. It is just delightful that she is here with me, and I do not even have any thoughts of ‘our’ future.”

I am not free, but I have experienced both monogamy and polyamory and can verify that those arrangements - or any arrangement - still contain possessiveness and jealousy, because the faculties which create possessiveness and jealousy are still alive in the individual.

Nowadays I increasingly see a ‘relationship’ as a simple one-on one interaction with another human being, moment-to-moment, which cannot be ‘arranged’ in advance in any genuine way as conditions are changing all the time. What I can do, is exist in those changing conditions as happily & harmlessly as I can.

For example, what if my partner finds someone else attractive, and not me? Perhaps we will stop seeing eachother as a result, but I have set the standard for myself to be happy & harmless regardless of conditions, so that is my aim for that scenario as well.

Whereas, in the feeling-world it is taken as completely ‘justified’ to be upset in such a situation.


Good to hear from you Henry. The answer is something along the lines of what I was expecting. But sex without lust/desire seems unfathomable to me right now. How would one get an erection?

Richard and Vineeto were both on the same page. But how does it work when one’s wife is not an actualist? @Srinath or @geoffrey would love to hear from you on this subject if you would be comfortable sharing.

@frank_otto Welcome. Might be best if you told us a bit about yourself, your age and particular circumstances relationally or sexually as I don’t think that one can make simple generalisations about human sexual behaviour given how diverse and individual it is.

Whether actually free or not individual solutions to sexuality and its intersection with society are probably infinite and I don’t think that the monogamy vs. polygamy opposition begins to scratch the surface. ‘Actual’ solutions to these abstractions then just become further abstractions.

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I realise that sounds pretty agony aunt :joy: seriously though details, details …

Welcome :smiley: my experience has been that the various moral structures in society such as monogamy/polygamy as well as the beliefs that constitute those are essentially forms of control.
It is because of the instinctual passions that we need rules and structures that dictate what is the right or wrong way to behave sexually or when relating to others.

What I have found in my life is that as I began to apply the actualism method and thus started spending more and more time feeling happy and harmless, there is less and less need for those structures. This is because the troublesome and deviant ‘me’ has been somewhat replaced by a relatively happy and harmless ‘me’. Without the need for control there is less and less structure needed in place, whether it is in the forms of morals or just any prescriptions of how I should live my life in general.

Because of this sex and relations are becoming freed from both the control as well as the underlying instinctual passions as more and more of my affective energy is directed towards feeling felicitous/innocuous. So I find myself simply relating in the way that I wish to, for me this means living in intimacy, sincerity, equity and mutual fun, It really is the wide and wondrous path!

I appreciate that this can be tricky to grasp as we are somewhat ‘wired’ by our conditioning to interpret anything and everything through the moral lens. One thing which can help to clarify things for you experientially might be to observe yourself (or remember yourself) when feeling happy and harmless.
You might find that from the vantage point of feeling felicitious/innocuous, those questions almost become irrelevant, that sex and relating to the other is something that is simply here to be enjoyed. I remember something that I think @Srinath wrote a while ago on here…(I am paraphrasing btw) That the only ‘dirty’ thing about sex is ‘me’, and I have found this to be 100% correct in my experience so far :smiley:


I think it might benefit you to read some books on human sexuality and the human sexual response.

When one feels aroused, it causes the muscles in the penis to loosen, which allows blood to flow into the penis. Once a sufficient amount of blood enters the penis, the veins squeeze shut not allowing blood to leave the penis. Increased arousal increases the muscle tension of the erection until it results in a contraction of a muscle at the base of penis resulting in an orgasm.

Sexual stimuli causes that arousal which loosens the blood vessels of the penis filling it with blood. While you may feel lust or desire for a women, it is the feeling of arousal which ultimately leads to an erection.