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Thursday Feature: Freaky Deaky Ducks

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This is another one from Anesidora, writer of the often funny and thought provoking Adventures in Divorce and a fellow Twitter user.

I won’t ruin this one for everyone … but I am not more convinced than before that I really need to be a swinger once I get married … in order to save the marriage that is …

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Not So Monogamist Mallards

I used to admire mallard ducks. I’d heard that they are one of the very few species in the world that mates for life. You always see the little duck couples together…. swimming, waddling across the street, looking for food. They’re just so CUTE, knowing that they are together forever. One of the saddest sights I’ve ever seen was a male mallard duck standing over the body of a female mallard who had apparently been hit by a car. You could just see and feel the sadness in the little duck…. lost, lonely. I once strived to be like the mallard duck, faithful and true for all my days.

But then I did a Google search, and found out everything I didn’t want to know about monogamy. Turns out these mallards– and the 97% of other bird species who are supposedly “monogamous”– are NOT. Scientists did DNA samplings on the birds’ offspring, and it turned out to be a classic Maury case of “momma’s baby, daddy’s maybe”. The male birds were raising some other dude’s chicks…. momma bird had been messing around on the side after all! The articles I read termed this as “social monogamy”, meaning that the birds stayed together for life, building nests, raising baby birds, keeping each other company… but as far as sexual monogamy, they were not. I was so heartbroken… it just tainted my image of those mallards out there in the courtyard.

See Also:  The Young Misogynist

The articles went on to discuss how monogamy is not natural for the vast majority of species on earth… including homo sapiens. Another article proffered that the few animals that are monogamous are that way basically due to a chemical addiction and that they are more likely to become in danger of extinction than polygamist animals. But still, there are plenty of animals that adopt a social mate, even if they may dip out biologically. It’s all about the offspring, man (reminds me of a t-shirt I saw once that said “Sex: Do it for the Kids!”)…. the whole goal is to produce the best offspring.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) it doesn’t work that way for humans. That’s because humans are one of 3 species of animals on earth that have sex for recreational purposes (the other two are bonobos (pygmy chimps) and dolphins). Sex creates positive feelings, which we equate to intimacy, which leads to jealousy, which often leads to death (ok, not often, but sometimes). For all other animals, it’s strictly business… something that’s gotta be done just to keep the world going around. Animals don’t have fertility treatments and invitro fertilization…. so just gotta spread it around to improve their odds.

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But that leaves us humans in an ugly pickle: sex = intimacy, but we’re not wired for monogamy. That kinda sucks and makes things very challenging for the human race. Reminds me of Al Pacino’s monologue in Devil’s Advocate:

“Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha.”

I’m not going to go into the whole religion thing, but I think because the structures of human interaction are so complex, yet our instincts are so simple, there had to be mechanisms put in place to make folk act right, which include religion and the child support system.

I don’t think there’s a point to all this besides my disillusionment with mallard ducks…. and maybe a teeny bit of sympathy for Shantiqua on the Maury show.

Comment(19)

  1. good morning family!

    first let me say I tottally agree with this. fidelity is a learned behavior. we are infidels by nature. I say if a man and a woman have no problem seeking intimacy outside the marital bed then that's their choice and understanding. they say women stray for lack of emotional affection and men stray for the thrill of "new [email protected]&&(" not that I agree with that but I honestly think that if people were more cogsnisent(spell check?) of the ramifications of their actions when they cheat then people would be doing less of it. because there are soooooo many diseases u can get with a condom ON! ok I digress..(getting down off my soap box). I really think that's why I'm in the "club" now because if I give another man my heart my soul and my body, and u step out on me with a nasty stank heffer ( ie the color purple : You's a Heffa!!!!) I'm a have to kill em dead!

    I loved the debate last nite…Barack the VOTE!!

    who's making breakfast? I'm starving?

    I have my first child support hearing in 9 years with my sons father today. this should be fun!!!

  2. Hey Akua! Good Luck on that child support..

    Sorry, at work already, didn't cook… ate oatmeal… (Blah!)

    I can't say that I agree or don't agree with the topic… I think every case is different. Some people simply can't be faithful (and need to be hanged [j/k]) for whatever reason and some people are faithful to the very end (that's me!) If there is a reason for me to cheat, I'm walking away. I expect the same loyalty from my mate…. even my friends.

    I remember once, I found out this guy I was seeing got some stank B pregnant in Atlanta… didn't find out from him, OH NO! From a friend of mine, who knew him and his friends… I saw red.. drove over to his house READY to bash some windows and his scull in but he wouldn't bring his punk A outside.

    Right along with the thought of him being with someone else, was most pissed b/c dude could've gave me something. I'm now in the "club" with Akua and I don't have to worry about diseases! (pats myself on the back).

  3. Yeah, I don't know about the entire mallard thing. Anyway, I think men were made to e with multiple partners just like wild animals. The men do everything to be the alpha male and then all the ladies want to do the do with him so they can pop out babies. Our natural setup is no different, we just have rules and guns for that type of thing.

  4. First, thank you SBM for featuring my post today! *big kool-aid grin*

    My point (that I've come to fully appreciate after the fact) is that monogamy is truly a CHOICE that we have as humans possessing God-given free will (even if our hardwiring says otherwise). The fact that monogamy is not biologically natural is NOT an excuse to cheat (so don't go quoting this argument to your boo and expect not to get cut). People should and do refrain from cheating out of RESPECT (notice I didn't say LOVE) for their mate and the desire not to hurt them. Love does not keep people from cheating….instead of saying "If you love me you wouldn't cheat" I say "If you RESPECT me and my feelings you wouldn't cheat." Animals have no such concept of respect for feelings.

    I'm not even gonna go into the topic of swingers/open relationships, SBM. I have some rather unconventional views on it and may get chased out with torches and pitchforks. I have some friends who are swingers and have a very solid marriage. Then there's always Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis (tho they later said that later in their relationship it ceased to work….but hey, relationships should be adaptable).

  5. "Then there’s always Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis (tho they later said that later in their relationship it ceased to work"

    yeah i heard Ms. Ruby wasn't down with it all. Some of these "open relationships" are lead by the men..co-signed by women who would rather have the behavior than be without the man.

    and that doesn't take anything away with how much I adored and still do Mr. Ossie. but i think some of his early trysts were purely ego drive.

    "I’m not even gonna go into the topic of swingers/open relationships, SBM. I have some rather unconventional views on it and may get chased out with torches and pitchforks"

    im really not understanding people's fear in having healthy discourse. Its a good THING really it is. No body wants to be provacative anymore? that stuff is good for the world. blogs. books.

    Controversy has kept many a person PAID. please believe.

    its not that serious.

  6. well

    lets see here

    first and foremost, cheating has little to do with lack of intimacy or a biological urge ….cheating is a mostly MALE EGO/FEMALE EGO booster. We get "off" being wanted, desired etc. Men feel "better" when they can accomplish gettin yet another round of booty ..women feel "wanted" cause a man desires them…

    The URGE or AROUSEL is the only biological thing about sex…being AROUSED cause you see a huge weiner..being physically AROUSED cause you see nude breasts ..but choosing to LIE, be DECIETFUL (sp), SNEAKY, SLEEP AROUND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING BIOLOGICAL. its not in our biological nature to LIE, CHEAT, STEAL ETC…

    In this type of argument, we make the mistake of confusing a biological urge (sex) with our effed up mentalities and desires.

    you dont have to be in a relationship to have mutiple sex partners. If you feel like you can't control your urges, dont agree to be in a whats supposed to be monogamous relationship with someone

    It doesn't make sense to blame "biological urges" on cheating because you can take ur biological ass home and screw your wife, girl, man or your damn self.

    secondly…swingers ..hey..if thats how they get off fine…but swinging should be agreed upon and desired..not NEEDED to keep the sex alive in a relationship. Swinging is about being greedy..and hey..if thats what you like..thats what you like.

    Dont set yourself up, if you aren't done sampling different booty, dont put that girl on lock…LYING isn't a biological NEED or WANT..its just well…EFFED UP

  7. A greedy man/woman doesn't lie about mutiple sex partners, a selfish man/woman does. Lying has nothing to do with the biological urge to have sex when aroused.

    my man wouldn't need to "swing" and we wouldnt have a need to have an open marriage

    unless he was just plain greedy

    then ..well he wouldn't be my man

  8. i also must add

    I fully understand how hard it is to be monogamous. Especially for men. Women are like candy. The body parts are all different, the faces, the legs everything. ITS HARD to just be with one female when there is so many to sample from…

    Like I always say, my theory is men stop cheating and screwing around when their d**k gets tired….

  9. @true: The scientific basis for the argument that we aren't hardwired for monogamy is rooted in biology….namely we, like other animals, are hardwired to reproduce, and that means let the best seed (or egg) win. There are also studies about how women's attraction to different physical features of men changes throughout their menstrual cycle (if I wasn't on the crackberry I'd look it up for you). But even with all that, I agree….lying is not biological, and we've developed societal structures that make the impact of these hardwirings negligible.

    I guess rather than saying we're hardwired to cheat, its more like we're not totally hardwired to be monogamous (from a purely biological primitive perspective). But God gave us the emotion of jealousy for a reason, and humans are just WAY more complex than that.

  10. Anesidora

    true..comparing ourselves to animals and their instincts well..its just not that simple

    its like comparing…well..apples and oranges

  11. Ok, here's my brief take on swingers/open marriages…. Assuming that everyone is safe and protected (drop that out of the equasion) the bad thing about cheating is the deceit and jealousy factor. But those relationships are consentual, meaning that Sue knows and doesn't care that Bob gets it on with Betty….in fact, this may be a turn on for Sue. So that removes the aspect of cheating that makes it bad.

    As far as swingers are concerned, they have rules and its all shared activity….its all transparent to each person. Most people can't stomach it, and I think that it's tricky terrain to navigate (it takes 10 times more discipline and trust and HONESTY with your partner, but even moreso yourself), but I'm not gonna be mad at someone else if it works for them in their relationship. I couldn't do it, but I understand the logic of those that do.

    (And this was a very simplistic explaination…I know. But again, I'm on the crackberry today.)

  12. While I have never actually done it … I have been interested in this whole "swinging" lifestyle for some time. I do believe that it might really be healthy and help a relationship … but there has got to be some serious rules about it all.

  13. I tried "sharing" my man..and welp..it didnt end well..lucky I missed

    wont be sharing anyone else ever again

    oh and SBM..you just GREEDY….why be in a serious relationship if you want to screw other people…

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