Author Topic: Why is monogamy so common?  (Read 2090 times)

satine

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Why is monogamy so common?
« on: December 01, 2017, 05:06:42 PM »
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Given that Zalanthas is a place with broad attitudes towards sexuality, it is common to see Zalanthans have multiple sex partners. While your character may be in a monogamous relationship with another character, understand that as a commoner, this does not deserve (and should not get) formalized recognition by the powers that be. Your character also should not expect anything for deciding to limit his or her current sexual focus to one person. Any commoner relationship is not formalized. This means that there are no such things as inheritance laws governing who gets your character's things if they die, nor are there divorce laws concerning who gets which half of things if the couple splits up. Zalanthan commoners are NOT highborn, and this is one area in which that should be very clear.


So, my question is why monogamy among commoners the default? Why isn't polygamy more of a default?

Discuss.
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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 05:17:37 PM »
I imagine because people have IRL qualms against polygamy, and even if they have 'multiple partners' IC, usually only one is another player, at least in my experience/what I've observed from others.

I personally couldn't give a damn. My characters are usually monogamous, but only because I have attention issues.
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Pale Horse

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 05:32:10 PM »
I'd assume it's a "bleed-effect" from RL.

If you want IG justification, you could reason that since "murder, corruption, betrayal" is supposed to be a common social creed on Zalanthas then developing enough trust with someone to form a relationship that is the type that springs to western minds when we hear "monogamous," would take quite some time and effort, enough so that a Zalanthan may not want to devote more of their time, resources and precious skin to develop a functioning poly-relationship.

If we pull known player-actions to justify this view, we needn't look far or for long.  How many people have been bumped off due to someone being miffed that their significant other is banging or being banged by someone else?  When having an extra relationship with someone that is not sanctioned by their or your current partner can lead to the death of your other partner or yourself...well.  Think twice.
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Delirium

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 06:08:35 PM »
Quote
Given that Zalanthas is a place with broad attitudes towards sexuality, it is common to see Zalanthans have multiple sex partners. While your character may be in a monogamous relationship with another character, understand that as a commoner, this does not deserve (and should not get) formalized recognition by the powers that be. Your character also should not expect anything for deciding to limit his or her current sexual focus to one person. Any commoner relationship is not formalized. This means that there are no such things as inheritance laws governing who gets your character's things if they die, nor are there divorce laws concerning who gets which half of things if the couple splits up. Zalanthan commoners are NOT highborn, and this is one area in which that should be very clear.


So, my question is why monogamy among commoners the default? Why isn't polygamy more of a default?

Discuss.

Good topic.

Even though I am entirely monogamous in real life, and not at all a polygamist, I have researched the topic due to interest in roleplaying it correctly, and I've known people IRL who actively practice it. Since it seems so rare in the game, I feel that it is important to represent it and so almost all of my relationship-eligible PCs are polygamous.

It's very difficult in practice for twofold reasons: one, the extreme bent toward monogamy in game, and two, because often I find that players don't necessarily understand or know how to roleplay polyamory.

In a world like Zalanthas, having large family units of purposefully chosen people who are all in mutually agreeable polyamorous relationships would be a huge boon, due to the harshness of life, the frequency of death, and the ability to pool resources and take care of each other's children and living situations. 

This does NOT mean "sleep with whoever and if one of your partners doesn't like the other partner, they're just being jealous and bad at polyamory". This does NOT mean "everybody's always happy together and there's never any jealousy, tension, or push-pull between partners".

It does mean that generally, in poylamorous relationships which are healthy and are working out, there will be open communication and a lack of possessiveness over your partner(s) - heck, even an expectation that your lover(s) will have other lovers. This shouldn't be seen as diminishing the connection between your character and their lover(s).

It's also codedly difficult to live together in more than a 2-person unit because of the limitation on PCs-per-rented-room. I'd love to see that opened up so that broader varieties of living situations can be explored.

I find the whole "killing your lover's lover out of jealousy" to be a horribly OOC and western-world influenced practice and in almost all situations, ridiculous. In rare situations I can see it making sense, but it's far too common.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 06:10:56 PM by Delirium »
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HavokBlue

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 06:20:28 PM »
Are there any historical examples of early societies engaging in mass polyamory outside of the ruling class?
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Delirium

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 06:35:19 PM »
Many native american tribes practice polygamy, as well as tribes/cultures in Africa, the middle east, and asia.

It's pretty easy to research. :)
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ShaLeah

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 07:00:18 PM »
The helpfile says NOTHING about polyamory.  It's common to have multiple sex partners, that's PROMISCUITY.  Don't confuse the two.  In real life both are looked down upon morally in some way by some faction or another.  On Zalanthas neither SHOULD be but let's face it,  they are. The slut shaming needs to stop.
I believe it's RL bleed 100% BUT I am less prone to understand polyamory on Zalanthas because EQUALITY is virtually impossible. One partner might be better connected,  richer,  a better lay,  a stronger hunter,  less og a threat - someone is always more favored than another in the land of murder corruption and betrayal.  To me relationships are all the more precious on Zalanthas. My emotional characters don't feel the same as most of my characters. Loyalty is earned.  True loyalty and love are rare. The chances of any of my characters LOVING two people the same are nil. I don't believe it's possible and I love all five of my children the same but I -like- them vastly differently.  Pecking order.  It's real.

One of the problems is the use of the word "mate". This is my main bitch,  all others are below him.  The pecking order is implied.  The mate is the one with a title.

So while multiple sexual partners are normal and not looked down upon and marriages are contractual having a tribe of orgy having lovers is NOT the norm, hell, they're not even mentioned.
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satine

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 07:07:05 PM »
i wanted some other opinions before I posted my own, but I have to say I agree heavily with Delirium.

Having a family functional unit larger than two seems like it would be a selected for advantage.

In Zalanthas there are large terrestrial animals, which can potential give large amounts of meat. Having a functional family unit would allow for more efficient hunting strategies, greater protection, more assistance with raising young -in a world where it is probable that one or both parents will be killed, etc.

People take ic relationships -very- seriously, and I feel like it is almost too seriously. Yes you want someone you can trust, but you have to think about function. I find it hard to believe that in a world where a given partner can be removed at any time, people would be more fluid with relationships.

While noble houses have relationship agreements that are official, it seems silly to me that average commoners wouldn't also be manifesting relationship agreements in order to improve their lot in life -though these would clearly be less political-. People would want to reproduce and have a next generation. It would be easier to make an agreement with a functional family unit in order to reproduce x children between x people, then to win over a desirable mate, keep them alive, and live to raise offspring.

Just some thoughts.
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jmordetsky: so I reckon, before 1750, people were fuckin retarded

The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 07:13:58 PM »
For the same reason that many humans are nice to elves and breeds. I suspect a lack of reading, or caring about, the docs.

Monogamy is only the norm by the most vocal of characters who tend to rp relationships as they are in America. The lovey and sweet cuddling at the bar is pretty unrealistic for the Zalanthas setting, imo.  It is hot, sand is everywhere, people are dirty, most people have no idea where their next drink of water comes from, people are brutally murdered in the street, poverty is the norm....I could go on. It isn't a very romantic setting unless you're into gloom, depression, and hatred.

People may get together to get freaky but I don't think that jealousy over physical interaction would exist (maybe over who you gave some water to). Sex is everywhere.

The only time I feel that a monogamous is realistic in Zalanthas is when a noble is in a child-producing contract.

Edit: * intentionally monogamous
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 07:15:55 PM by The Lonely Hunter »
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ShaLeah

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 07:20:56 PM »
Just some thoughts.

That's a tribal mentality where everyone is family, whether they are sexual partners or not. 

Nothing is stopping anyone from playing it like you suggest.  It's just not the norm discussed in the docs.  Even the tribes I've played in may mention wanton libidos but don't specify POLYAMORY.
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Delirium

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 07:24:12 PM »
Polyamory is a lot like having a small tribe! I don't think that this "tribal" mentality is out of place in the cities or in smaller civilizations, or even just among groups of hunters, traders, etc. A fluid (cough) exchange of lovers seems far more practical and normal than getting into constant battles over who gets to sleep with who.

Maybe I just really don't like Days Of Our Lives-style romance-fueled conflict because it is so overdone.

This is Zalanthas. Who cares if Amos is boning Talia and Malik? There are other things to worry about.
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Kankfly

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 07:29:06 PM »
Polyamory is a lot like having a small tribe! I don't think that this "tribal" mentality is out of place in the cities or in smaller civilizations, or even just among groups of hunters, traders, etc. A fluid (cough) exchange of lovers seems far more practical and normal than getting into constant battles over who gets to sleep with who.

Maybe I just really don't like Days Of Our Lives-style romance-fueled conflict because it is so overdone.

This is Zalanthas. Who cares if Amos is boning Talia and Malik? There are other things to worry about.

+1! I couldn't have agree more!
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ShaLeah

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 07:46:26 PM »
This is Zalanthas. Who cares if Amos is boning Talia and Malik? There are other things to worry about.

+1! I couldn't have agree more!

+2
But who is boning who isn't what's under discussion here.  Monogamy is.

In near 2 decades here I haven't seen a single polyamory relationship.  What does that say?  I've seen lots of pcs banging each other without jealousy but not a single "These are my mates,  Amos, Thalia and Marcos and our children George Forman,  George Foreman the second,  third,  fourth fifth and Georgina".



Be the change.


Quote from: Ourla
I would slather you in sin and roll you out the other side.
Quote from: Oryx
Shal is on point.
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And ShaLeah's evil, by the way.

Pale Horse

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 08:06:42 PM »
This is Zalanthas. Who cares if Amos is boning Talia and Malik? There are other things to worry about.

+1! I couldn't have agree more!

+2
But who is boning who isn't what's under discussion here.  Monogamy is.

In near 2 decades here I haven't seen a single polyamory relationship.  What does that say?  I've seen lots of pcs banging each other without jealousy but not a single "These are my mates,  Amos, Thalia and Marcos and our children George Forman,  George Foreman the second,  third,  fourth fifth and Georgina".



Be the change.

Now we're going to see a spread of polyamorous relationships popping up like we've seen the spread of twins, magickers, every other male being named Amos, every other female being named Talia and every Aide having "tress" somewhere in their s- or m-desc (and for sure in their s&m role-play)  :P
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Grapes

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 08:07:28 PM »
Already on it, ShaLeah.
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sleepyhead

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2017, 08:11:49 PM »
I played a PC with a polyamorous family in her background. Lots of "uncles" and "aunts." But I've never actually played out a legit polyamorous relationship IG.

nauta

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2017, 08:13:33 PM »
So, my question is why monogamy among commoners the default? Why isn't polygamy more of a default?

Discuss.

Maybe it's because of my milkshakes, but I haven't really seen that many monogamous PCs.
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KankWhisperer

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 08:26:26 PM »
In my mind, the problem with polyamory is the players are representative of too many different groups. It might be possible if everyone involved was a member of the same tribe/group. If you gather more than a few players in a group, then likely they would all have competing loyalties due to their jobs and nature of the game. How can you really trust all these people who blatantly and obviously have significant and likely competing/antagonistic loyalties? I am sure it would make some interesting drama, but like a reality TV show where people of different background are forced together just for drama's sake.

Namino

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2017, 08:57:29 PM »
I can't speak for everyone, but when my PCs are involved with another PC, that relationship takes up a chunk of my PCs time. While relationship RP can be entertaining, there's also other objectives and things my characters are interested in that that chunk of time eats into. I can only imagine how trying to maintain two or even three PC-to-PC relationships would restrict my ability to advance my PCs other agendas. I don't mean promiscuity, as someone up here referenced -- one and dones take no time at all. But TRUE polygamy means multiple relationships. That's a big time investment. One PC, max, then as many vNPC side chicks as is appropriate for my character.

The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2017, 09:04:37 PM »
Except in a tribal setting I don't believe Amos would care about Malik unless he could use him for something significant. Helping someone else raise a child or giving them resources takes away from your own resources. Amos would likely rather sell Malik's child or, if the child took resources from Amos, just kill it.

Back on main...I don't believe that the western reasons for monogamy exist in Zalanthas. Like others, Ive seen some things that /seem/ rather ridiculous lately pertaining to monogamy and jealousy.
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Delirium

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2017, 09:08:06 PM »
There's absolutely no reason why 90% (or even 100%) of your relationships can't be virtual, and either way, they don't have to be that much of a time sink. Yes, developing relationships with other PCs (regardless of friendly, romantic antagonistic) takes time, but it's not like you have to spend all of your login time together.

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I don't believe Amos would care about Malik unless he could use him for something significant. Helping someone else raise a child or giving them resources takes away from your own resources. Amos would likely rather sell Malik's child or, if the child took resources from Amos, just kill it.

Collective good. Not everyone in Zalanthas is so short-sighted to forget the adage of "scratch my back, I scratch yours."
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The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2017, 10:11:37 PM »
It is a harsh planet where only the fittest survive, and competition over extremely scarce resources causes constant strife, struggle, and bloodshed. Deserts cover most of its explored surface, and the great red sun can bring daytime temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most citizens lead lives of extreme hardship, struggling to survive and get ahead.

Resources are too scarce NOT to be short-sighted.
"People survive by climbing over anyone who gets in their way, by cheating, stealing, killing, swindling, or otherwise taking advantage of others."
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KankWhisperer

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2017, 10:14:12 PM »
Stop prude shaming me.

Pale Horse

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 10:42:07 PM »
It is a harsh planet where only the fittest survive, and competition over extremely scarce resources causes constant strife, struggle, and bloodshed. Deserts cover most of its explored surface, and the great red sun can bring daytime temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most citizens lead lives of extreme hardship, struggling to survive and get ahead.

Resources are too scarce NOT to be short-sighted.

Shenanigans, I say! *rabble, rabble, rabble*

The mere fact that there are towns, farming fields, cities, cities with sewer systems says that long-term planning and/or cooperative mentality exists in enough of the population of the small section of the planet called the "Known." 

It doesn't mean that MCB doesn't exist or that the world isn't harsh or that the majority of folk don't live anything but a pitiful life as compared to what we know (or like to think). 

But with several points of civilization in such a small area with tens of thousands of people living in them says that there's enough trust going on to even have that many people alive at all.

And by people, I mean humans.  Everyone else isn't "people."  And tribals are pushing it *sniff.*
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The Lonely Hunter

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Re: Why is monogamy so common?
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 11:25:04 PM »
My previous statement is directly from our game documentation. So is this...

Allanak is possibly the richest single civilization in the Known World, in total wealth. This prosperity is, however, very unevenly distributed across the population. The life of the average Allanaki citizen is one of strife--expensive and degenerate living conditions, coupled with a nearly omnipotent ruler who watches every move his subjects make.
"People survive by climbing over anyone who gets in their way, by cheating, stealing, killing, swindling, or otherwise taking advantage of others."
-Ginka

"Don't do this. I can't believe I have to write this post."
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