In summary, this month:
Polyamory is a lot more widespread than many think.
Some form of it is practiced by about a quarter of heterosexual and lesbian couples and about 2/3rds of gay male couples.
Polyphobia shames poly-oriented individuals to cheat on their partners instead of being honest about their sexual orientation.
This is in part the fault of the upstanding polyphobes in Hollywood.
Despite it being a normal part of nature and human nature, multi-partner union remains illegal nearly everywhere, and multi-partner attraction continues to be vilified nearly everywhere.
Poly aversion therapy is much more prevalent than ‘praying the gay away.’
Poly people can also be amazing husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, or just friends.
You can’t become poly or become not poly. You either are inclined that way or you aren’t, in the fluid stream of human sexuality.
PS. I have been non-sensationalizing this issue, image-wise, so I chose a nice hot, steamy one this week to wrap things up.
“How do you do it?”
How do I do what?
“When you’re seeing a girl, how do you keep from falling madly in love with her?”
I do fall madly in love with her.
“So then you stop seeing other girls?”
No, because I’m also madly in love with them.
I get asked this regularly.
“I wanna be single, but I keep falling in love. How do you keep yourself from falling in love with just one person?”
How does grass grow.
How are gay men attracted to men.
The answer is: you don’t do ‘it.’ There is no ‘it’ to do.
You ‘are’ it.
You don’t become poly.
You are poly.
Or you aren’t.
Stop trying so hard.
or The Other Woman
Lying is wrong.
And bullying, assaulting, and humiliating someone because of his/her sexual orientation is worse.
When you give regular, timid humans the choice between 1) coming out of their socially-unacceptable closet to face the public opinion monster and, 2) lying,
They will probably choose lying.
It doesn’t make lying any less wrong, but in that context, it certainly makes it more understandable.
I don’t agree with cheating, but look at the context. -It’s a common movie trope where the girl finds out about her husband’s poly orientation, which he has kept hidden from her due to society’s shaming and banning of it, and to get back at him, she puts drugs (laxative, estrogen) in his coffee. He shits himself or grows giant nipples, and it’s hilarious.
If that was a girl and he put something in her drink without her knowing, then laughed as she made a fool of herself, we’d call it rape.
If that was an LGBT-identified individual struggling to come out of the closet, and his partner (beard) threatened and assaulted her/him, we would call it a hate crime.
Polyphobia is as ugly a problem as homophobia has ever been, and here’s why.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states. But multiple-simultaneous attraction remains shameful and vilified practically everywhere, and any kind of multi-partner union remains illegal in all 50 states.
The most common percentage figure for same-sex sexual orientation is 10% (some sources say higher, some lower). The most common percentage figure for people who are attracted to more than one person at the same time is 100%.
Almost everyone watches porn or occasionally thinks about someone else even when they’re supposed to be in a monogamous relationship. We’re encouraged to repress that side of us. We’re encouraged to be disgusted by that part of us that thinks with his dick/pussy and is magnetized by the tits/ass/biceps/cock/lips of people who are not our life partner.
With gays we call this type of repression Aversion Therapy. With polys we call it Being Faithful.
In many modern media mediums, polys are depicted as terrible douchebag people who ignore their kids, abandon their families, and steal, lie, and cheat. Polys are the new Germans/Russians/Japanese. Polys are the new villains of the story, discriminated against like we used to do with the races we were at war with. These poly villains, however, are just regular people who happen to have some really bad habits, not one of which is their poly orientation. The presence of these bad habits are completely apart from and have nothing to do with their sexual orientation. Happily monogamous people have also been known to occasionally ignore their kids, abandon their families, and steal, lie, and cheat (see Regular Human Beings).
What these media depictions don’t want us to realize is that you can be a great mother/father/friend/business partner, and yes even a great husband/wife to your primary partner without abandoning your poly orientation.
Polyphobia is the new homophobia. And even the Bible doesn’t encourage polyphobia.
The slippery slope argument is one of the favorite homophobic tropes, but few people are really afraid of a guy fucking his donkey/dog/car as the next step down on the slope. And besides a few Old Testament fundamentalist, non-shrimp-eating types (very few), I don’t think very many people actually even care if some guy they don’t know fucks another guy they don’t know. What they really mean by this slippery slope is that they’re afraid of their own personal, private, exclusive, pegged, claimed little sweetheart sleeping with someone else who isn’t them.
Because once you’re okay with the ethics of consenting same-sex relationships, being okay with the ethics of consenting multiple-sex relationships is the next logical step.
But this is where polyphobia is different from homophobia,
And here’s where the crunch comes because:
Everyone wants to be poly themselves,
But no one wants to let other people be poly.
polyphobia – definition: An extreme and irrational aversion, fear of or antipathy toward polyamory or polyamorists.
A polyphobe is someone who hates or fears polyamorists or treats them badly.
This month, let’s turn our attention to our own fear of or aversion toward the polyamorous people in our life, or the polyamorous side of our own self. Let’s see if we can make a little progress toward clearing up the centuries of hatred and misguided fear that society has directed toward people who love more than one person.
Polyamorists are beautiful, loving, honest people and responsible and productive members of both families and society in general. If we continue to denounce them in our minds and condemn them in our media, we will be closing ourselves off to large, lovely swaths of humanity. Polyphobia compels the millions who form part of this sexual minority to live in ostracism and exclusion – for the timid, in their polyamorous closets, and for the bold, in smoldering and covetous rejection by the small-minded.
Recent statistics demonstrate that some form of polyamory is practiced by 15-28% of heterosexual couples, around the same for lesbian couples, and up to 65% of gay male couples.
It’s time to quit being petty about other people’s sexual lives.
There are a lot more sexual deviants than you might think.
Of the Unbearably Long Joke
So last week we realized (ha ha) that life is long and becomes tiresome.
Life is a tangled popcorn string that goes on for miles, and the happy man’s only solution/recourse is to waste it on happy little things.
Don’t spend your time under an assumption of scarcity, hoarding it like a college kid’s coins. Spend it like the tower of breadcrumbs that it is. Toss it to whichever featherbrained sparrow crosses your flight of fancy; scatter it to the wind or let the pavement take it; spend it like Netflix spends its TV shows.
(Life is better binge-watched. -Not nibbled at like an HBO series, but gulped down entire seasons at a time.)
You will live an average of over 2.5 billion seconds.
There’s a hella lot of them.
In the end, working your ass off to make money, working your ass off to create a legacy, working your ass off to improve yourself or just sleeping, reading, or staring at a screen will all get you to the same place, one breadcrumb at a time. And that place is: bored and full of regrets on your deathbed about not having done the opposite of what you did.
If this sounds to you like it’s coming from a place of pessimism, look closer. Fatalism is actually at the root of the most indomitable types of optimism. (The kind that sings about the sun always shining behind the clouds. It’s always going to be there, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s raining or pouring or night or nothing.)
Life is more beautiful when you take the pressure out of the equation.
Because the best kinds of beauty are never immortal…
With No Punchline
When you think about it, life is extremely,
For the intents and purposes of this thought, there are two types of people- the satisfied and the unsatisfied.
If you’re a malcontent, brimming with ambition, always pushing to go further, and never satisfied about your lot in life or your rung on its ladder, life may seem short to you. There’s never enough time to do all the hurrying you want to do, to shoot for all the stars you have it in for.
The malcontent’s legacy is stuck in a perennial race against his/her timeline, a mad dash to immortality one way or the other, and when you think about life in that way, there’s never enough time. Yes, life is too short to become immortal.
If, however, you’re a happy man, thrilled with what the universe has laid in your lap, content to just sit back with a beer and watch the tide roll in, and satisfied with the bounty of beauty that it washes up at your feet, life can seem a bit too perpetual.
For me, the best pleasures are ones that don’t overstay their welcome. They pop into your window, brighten your livingroom, wrinkle all the covers, and then leave you with a smile still ringing between your ears.
A two-minute song. A 1:15 movie. A wave.
A friend’s child. A meal that isn’t supersized. A one-liner.
Life, on the other hand, is like the guest who just won’t leave.
She made you laugh at first with her irreverent antics, and his carelessness was kinda cute I guess the first few times he left his dishes in your sink and his clothes on your floor. But then she took all your blankets one time too many and he puked all over your car seat again, and you began to want just one night to yourself and just one day without driving him around. You kind of began to wish he and she would just leave you alone for a bit.
I don’t want to ever write her off entirely though. To me, the ideal existence would be a period of life, and then a period of not-life (whatever that might be), followed by another period of life then not-life, and so on.
I would rush into life with an unparalleled exuberance and then sink happily into not-life, and then burst into life with vigor and then lay exhausted and cloyed and grateful into not-life. And then leap up and bearhug life and hold it close and then let go and drift contentedly and relieved into not-life. And then back again.