Is monogamy viable in the long run?

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The Benefits of Monogamy and the Challenges of Maintaining Sexual Desire

Monogamy is a form of relationship that involves exclusive commitment between two partners, which can vary for each couple. While there are different approaches to relationships, monogamy offers distinct advantages. However, one of the most commonly cited challenges in monogamous relationships is the difficulty of maintaining sexual desire in the long term. In this article, we will explore the benefits of monogamy as well as the challenges that can arise when it comes to sustaining sexual desire in a long-term relationship.

The Benefits of Monogamy:

  • Emotional Security: One of the key advantages of monogamy is the emotional security it provides. In a monogamous relationship, partners have the opportunity to know each other intimately, share their emotions, and build a deep connection. The trust and emotional stability that stem from monogamy can contribute to an environment that is conducive to personal and relational fulfillment. However, it’s important to note that seeking too much emotional security can also dampen sexual desire. Non-monogamous relationship can also create this deep connection, but the jealousy and possessiveness that is frequently tested, can make it harder to achieve.


  • Commitment and Mutual Support: Monogamy is based on mutual commitment between two individuals. Partners can support each other through life’s ups and downs, share common goals, and work together to achieve them. This support and commitment can bring great emotional satisfaction and strengthen the relationship. However, it is important to be mindful of not falling into a dynamic where there is an imbalance between partners. This imbalance, known as borrowed functioning, is a trap to avoid.


  • Sexual Intimacy: While monogamy is not the sole path to fulfilling sexual intimacy, it offers the opportunity to focus on developing a high quality sexual relationship with one partner. Open and honest dialogue, mutual understanding of sexual needs and desires, and exploring new experiences together can enhance sexual intimacy in a monogamous relationship. This exclusivity can add a unique element to sexual intimacy that may not be found in other types of relationships.


The Challenges of Maintaining Sexual Desire:

  • Routine and Predictability: Over time, daily routines can set in and make the relationship predictable. This can lead to a decrease in excitement and novelty in the couple’s sex life. To maintain sexual desire, it is essential to introduce variety and adventure into the relationship, whether through new sexual experiences, role-playing, or creative exploration. This can be more challenging with the same partner, which can be greatly facilitated in a non-monogamous relationship. However, this novelty in such relationships may be more superficial and short-lived. In contrast, monogamy REQUIRES us to create depth to break free from sexual routine.


  • Stress and Responsibility Management: External challenges such as work-related stress, family responsibilities, and social commitments can impact libido and sexual desire. It is important to find a balance between different areas of life and create time and space for intimacy and sexuality within the relationship. Many couples forget to allocate dedicated couple time that goes beyond their roles as parents, roommates, or lovers. Without a specific investment in sexuality, it is difficult to develop sexual closeness.


  • Self-Disclosure and Openness to Each Other: Self-disclosure is crucial for maintaining a fulfilling sex life in a monogamous relationship. Partners should feel comfortable expressing their desires, fantasies, and concerns. They should be willing to take risks and be prepared to face rejection in this process of self-disclosure. Such self-disclosures foster mutual understanding and allow for adjustments in expectations to maintain a satisfying sexual relationship.


So, is monogamy viable or not?

Monogamy offers many benefits, such as emotional security, mutual commitment, and sexual intimacy. However, maintaining sexual desire in a monogamous relationship can present challenges. By identifying these challenges and adopting a proactive approach focused on self-disclosure, exploration, and adaptation, it is possible to maintain a fulfilling sexual life in the long term. The key lies in creating an environment of intimacy and mutual understanding while introducing variety and adventure into the relationship.




sex therapist montreal

Frank Renaud M.A.

sexologist & psychotherapist

Specialized in couple’s therapy