Have you ever thought about what it would be like to make love to as many women as you meet; to be able to have any woman that you find attractive? To have multiple sexual partners like the rooster has hens in the barnyard? Is that your idea of a perfect life? It is for many men. Younger men especially think they need to have sex with as many partners as possible. With time, hopefully comes wisdom. Seriously though, isn’t managing a relationship with one partner complicated enough? For some men, wealth and status allow them to indulge in this type of polyamory, free love and having sex indiscriminately with as many partners as they choose. This is known as “The Coolidge Effect”.
The name if this behavioral phenomenon comes from a past President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge was President in 1923-29 during the “Jazz Age” of the roaring ‘20’s. Divorce rate was climbing and if you can believe the films that depict that time period, people drank a lot of alcohol, smoked a lot of tobacco and had a lot of sex.
The story goes that Mrs. Grace Coolidge was being shown around the chicken yard when she noticed that a rooster was mating conspicuously with a hen. She asked the aide if he did that often. The reply was that he did it dozens of times daily. “Tell that to Mr. Coolidge” she said.
When the aide relayed the story to Mr. Coolidge, he asked whether it was with only one hen. The Aide replied that it was with many hens. “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge!” was his reply! That old joke is the basis for what has come to be known as The Coolidge Effect. There are many species in nature that have come under scientific study where males of the species have shown the desire to mate with as many females as are available to them. It’s been found in females to a lesser degree in hamsters for example.
In ancient times there was the harem, wives and concubines were common and a man with wealth and status was able to have multiple partners. The more wives he had the more prosperous he appeared. He had to pay a dowry or bride price for each woman so the mark of his wealth and status was tied to how many women he could support.
Modern marriage until the 19th century was for the purpose of family alliances, for wealth status or property. The Old World view was that you married for those reasons. You had a wife and then you took a mistress or lover to satisfy your sexual desires. Monogamy is a modern concept; a new world view if you will.
Are we meant for monogamy? Society over time has evolved to the place where monogamy is the norm. It’s expected for you to have your life partner and to be true to them while you raise a family and have a life together. Do people still have affairs? Of course they do. That’s why I do what I do. I absolutely believe that we are meant for monogamy and that it’s absolutely possible to be faithful to one person for a lifetime. If you honor your partner and your promises to her, you can put all the clichés to shame and have a successful monogamous relationship.
The Coolidge Effect doesn’t need to affect your relationship. There’s no such thing as the “7 year itch”, you can make your partner your only partner for life. You can grow together and connect on a deeper level as time goes by.
If you have a roving eye and monogamy is difficult for you, think of all the benefits. Make your love, your partner, the most important person in your life. You control how that works. You alone can be the one who makes the difference. Be strong, be mature. Be an adult and show that you honor your love and commitment to your partner and you make this the lifetime love you’ve always dreamed of.