New York Times advocates for open marriage, desire-driven lifestyles over traditional bonds

The New York Times recently interviewed sex therapist Emily Morse, providing a platform to someone who believes that nonmonogamous relationships are a healthy choice for couples. The outrageous interview seemed to suggest that one’s own desire and pleasure should outweigh almost every element of a long-term, committed relationship.  

The interview centered around the concept of “nonmonogamy,” a relationship model that pushes back against the nuclear family. Morse claimed that in the nearly 20 years she has been talking about sex with people, questions concerning nonmonogamy have become more prevalent. 

When the NYT asked Morse why she believed nonmonogamy is gaining ground, she replied: “If you are in a long-term committed relationship, it can be exciting to experience sex in a new way that is equitable, consensual and pleasurable but doesn’t take away from the union of marriage.” It seems that Morse is pushing a pleasure-driven lifestyle that keeps the semblance of marriage, despite the traditional understanding of marriage is that two people are exclusively committed to one another. 

Morse also made the claim that those who are in “ethical nonmonogamous relationships'' generally have a “healthy relationship” to their own sex life “and their own intimacy, their own desires.” She continued by saying that couples who suggest bringing in someone else into the relationship to “spice things up” “don’t have a deeper understanding of their own sex life and what they want from a partner.”

Morse appeared to center all long-term, intimate relationships around the concept of sex, and whether both parties in a given relationship are happy in their sex lives. She did not appear to suggest that a long-term relationship is about much more than merely sex, which prompted the interviewer, David Marchese, to pose the question: “Obviously sex ties into one’s overall sense of self and well-being, but is there any way in which making it as central as you do also makes it more daunting? Or sets people up for disappointment? Because maybe sometimes sex is just OK, or sometimes it’s disappointing, or sometimes it’s great. Does it always have to be a referendum on one’s holistic well-being?”

Morse doubled down, saying that she believes sex to be important, and that she wants people to “think deeply” and “prioritize sex.” She also mentioned that it is important to communicate with one’s partner, saying that “don’t yuck the yum” of one’s partner if they enjoy anal sex. Morse seems to suggest that the success or failure of a long-term, committed relationship is contingent upon the quality of sex between the parties. 

While the overall divorce rate among Americans is falling, the prevalence of divorce among those aged 50 years and older are on the rise. It is also true that more young people are living with the person they are in a relationship with, without getting married.

Image: Title: nyt emily morse
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