Note to reader – Please read this thought experiment with an open mind.I am not suggesting we try to follow this alternate world and have sex with multiple partners; I am just trying to decode the impact of default physiological process of sex towards our society, economy, politics and psychology. So take some time and think before calling me a sexual pervert or interpreting on my personal sex life :)
Why sex is so complex in our society? Society is always trying to stop sexuality – we have problems when boys and girls meet. Parents try to have direct/indirect influence on choosing your partner-there is so many fights around marriage (divorce etc.) etc. We have a skewed sex ratio, huge sexual perversion problem (rape, sexual abuse etc.), huge industries catering to alternate sex options (prostitution, pornography etc.) and of course a huge medical industry catering to procreation avoidance (condom, contraceptives, abortion etc.).
Why do you think sex is so special in human interaction? Why we don’t bother if I (as a male) smile or talk to multiple girls (some society has problems with that as well) but society does not accept me having sex with multiple girls? It is special because by default sex can give birth to a newborn baby and it costs (and takes huge amount of time & responsibility) to raise a child. In a society where everyone is having sex with everyone we will have too many newborn babies and very few will take ownership of these newborns. To avoid that problem society created the concept of marriage and single partner and hence extramarital affairs are seen as crimes. But I think it is an artificial solution – as human beings we generally love variety (would you prefer to have same food every day for rest of your life?)but are asked to have sex with only one partner for rest of our life. This sometimes turns into prostitution, rape, cheating etc. Most women will criticize this conclusion stating these are men power-plays/dominations and you are a pervert preferring blind dates (no emotion). But I would request them to think if they will also prefer to have romantic & sexual relationship with multiple partners if that was not a taboo.
Consider a society where the default was different. By default you won’t conceive and you can have any number of sexual encounters with any number of partners without any fear of being pregnant. If you really want to conceive with your chosen partner (who has wilfully agreed to take responsibility to raise the child) you take some medicine for some time and now your lovemaking will make you pregnant.
If you are thinking it is a perfect recipe for AIDS epidemic think again. Nobody is stopping you using your condom but the main problem of not having multiple sex partners is the fear of procreation and associated social cost.
Unfortunately our defaults were different and I am not sure with evolution if our defaults will change one day. There may be a grand plan behind this which I am missing out completely – happy to hear your views...