I really feel that monogamy is a concept of whichever religion you were born into, but if you love and respect your partner, should you remain faithful to only them? I think that if you and your partner can agree on an open relationship, or anything of the sort, that is a wonderful thing, but if your partner isn't "down" with sharing, is it wrong to act on your sexual urges that arise outside of the relationship?
EDIT: I was totally misspelling this word lolz! But I also wanna add to this that I see love and sex having nothing to do with eachother. What is your views on the correllation between the two?
I dunno if I'm odd or what it is. But my thought on the subject is as long as its safe it's okay.. Be upfront about it and it's okay.. I myself am not really into the idea of screwing around because I find it kinda pointless and more stressfull than helpfull because of how crazy people are in this world. Putting yourself out there is a sure way to get yourself into more trouble than its worth and very few people are capable of the no strings attached thing..
Awesome, I was just discussing this very topic with my wife the other day. I've been reading a book called The Myth of Monogamy about the study and science of monogamy among humans and other animals. One of the things I think we get hung up on, and I see evidence of this in some of the comments in this thread, is that there are not one but two aspects of monogamy: social and sexual. We tend to focus only on the sexual aspect because, well, that's what we do. Modern science uses methods such as DNA fingerprinting to reveal the truth with regard to sexual monogamy. What they’re finding is that it’s incredibly rare for any animal species to exhibit true, life-long sexual monogamy. There are only a few extreme cases, such as the Argiope aurantia spider which only has sex one time with its partner. The male actually breaks his penis off inside the female so she can’t have sex again. (WTF?!!)
Recent study has proven that sexual monogamy amongst humans is the exception, not the rule. We’ve developed a social archetype that frowns on sexual promiscuity but the animal nature of homo sapiens lends us more to social monogamy rather than sexual monogamy. We instinctively desire a life-long partner in order to render the best possible outcome for our offspring but are known to have sex outside of that pair-bond, just as many other “monogamous” animals do. The neat thing about humans is that we are sapient and sentient allowing us the ability to weigh our decisions with morals and conscience, not restricted to instinct. Our society has defined sex outside of a pair-union as immoral so we treat it as a moral absolute, well most of us anyways. Other animals are incapable of that level of thought or rationale.
But in response to your main questions, is it wrong to act on your sexual urges outside of the relationship if your partner isn't okay with it? Yes, I believe it's wrong. One thing we, as atheists, are often challenged with is the subject of morality. Most theists can't figure how it's possible to be moral without a deity to provide and define it. Aside from the pleasure of proving them wrong, don't you think acting on your urges behind your partners back would be a conflict of morality? Past the sex, it's a matter of trust and honesty. Trust is the most important thing in a relationship; without it the relationship will quickly fall apart. As an evolved species of higher intelligence, we're equipped to overcome our instinctive urges, to go against our carnal nature. I find it highly respectable for someone to devote themselves socially and sexually to their partner because it means they are using an ability that no other animal has: self-control.
If you wanted to use "instinct" or "nature" to excuse being promiscuous then you're just kidding yourself. You're only trying to justify a behavior you really know is wrong because it betrays the trust of your partner. Think of it this way, say your partner finds out you had sex with another person and you're excuse it, "But it's okay! I was just being a Homo sapiens. It's my nature!" You think they'd honestly reply with, "Oh, I gotcha. Well in that case never mind. Why did I get so worked up for?" Doubt it.
I do not see the point in a "relationship" if there are more than two people in it. Otherwise, its just "friends with benefits."
Relationships are built on mutual trust and satisfaction with each other. I have both in my relationship and would not ever consider being with someone else. If people do feel they need more, then perhaps they were not meant to be together--in a "relationship" that is. Perhaps they should stick to just being FWB.