Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Poly- what?!

I first glimpsed the term two days ago in someone's tweet. A colleague on Twitter let me know that he was attending a lecture on The Rise of Polyamory in the New Millennium. Hmm, I thought. What new psycho-nonsense is this? I ignored it. Then it popped up on one of my news feeds as a new cultural trend and I realized I was going to have to at the very least look it up.

Polyamory (from Wikipedia): is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and free consent of everyone involved.

Polyamory, often abbreviated to poly, is sometimes described as consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy. The word is occasionally used more broadly to refer to any sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as a crucial defining characteristic.

Uh-huh. So I popped over to Newsweek to read the article (it's the new sexual revolution!) and watch the corresponding video which is chock-full of melanin-challenged folks swapping spit with like-minded others, smiling broadly, and talking earnestly about their "lifestyle." Now supposedly, this is not to be confused with polygamy or communes or "swinging" and truly works because all of the partners are aware and okay with the situation. There is apparently a movement underway to allow "multi-partner marriages."

I am so sorry to have to say this BUT I CALL BULLSHIGGITY! Double BULLSHIGGITY! Here's why:

  1. WTF is ethical, responsible non-monogamy?!!? Isn't that a misnomer, oxymoron, some sort of contradictory statement?
  2. We don't need a new sexual revolution, seriously. We need fewer folks out there passing it around like downloaded 2-for-1 KFC coupons.
  3. I don't know a single gentleman that I have dated who would be okay with me sharing the cupcakes… not a one. And know this… I DON'T SHARE… well not my man anyway and don't tell me it's not all about the sex. It's just as bad to share emotional intimacy all over town. OneChele is so not having it.
  4. What's wrong with a few traditional boundaries and rules? What's so bad about A&B, 1 + 1 = 2?
  5. This is immature but may I say, "Eeeewww! That's nasty ya'll." Hello? Communicable diseases?

I have many questions. Does every partner get to vote on who joins the partnership? If a partner is kicked off Multi-Love Island, do they get alimony/palimony? How are kids in the mix with issues of attachment and discipline and custody? If there is a group schedule (and I assume there must be), what happens when one misses their spot in the rotation? Next batter up to the plate? Where does everybody live? NO one gets jealous? NO one plays favorites? Are you really getting the best of someone if they are spreading it across three, five (or seven) different people? My head hurts.

You know, I can't even come up with a fair and unbiased evaluation of this nonsense. Whoever decided to promote this as an acceptable long-term relationship solution to be emulated and glorified is full of you know what (say it with me now… bullshiggity!). Call me old-fashioned… I can live with that. Here's what I will say… this is SO NOT bougie. The whole concept seems like sanctioned skankery (yes, I made that word up).

I have to ease a race card out of my back pocket now, folks. This does not seem to be a "black thing." Yeah, yeah – I know we're all "post-racialicious" and there is no such thing as a "black" thing and a "white" thing but… I'm sorry, I don't know too many of the brothers co-signing on this one and sisters are notorious for going left (think hot grits and cast-iron pans for reference) on their indiscreet menfolk. Is this something that would be more accepted in other subcultures or even nationalities? I really don't know and look forward to some input. I also look forward to someone submitting a positive spin on this; I couldn't come up with one (clearly).

What does this say about our society that multi-partner relationships are supposedly the new hip trend? Is this another nail in the coffin for marriage? What do you think of the polyamory lifestyle?


SpitGameSpeakTruth said...

WTF? I had not read about this but I saw a headline. That's some messed up stuff. Would not be letting Wifey get down like that.

devessel said...

Uhhhh, from my recollection of history, weren't folks doing this back in the bible with the many wives? Exactly how is polyamory 21st century style any different from how the ancients used to do it (pardon the pun)? It's an age-old custom in the Himalayas. Seems to me like this might be a case of Certain Folks acting like it's new, and co-opting it for themselves like it's new-agey or something...

Black Butterfly said...

What does this say about our society that multi-partner relationships are supposedly the new hip trend? Disease...Disease...Disease

Is this another nail in the coffin for marriage? I definitely hope not.

What do you think of the polyamory lifestyle? Straight up stank nasty!!!!

JaymeC said...

@devessel - so true, nothing new under the sun but it's still a bad idea all the way around

RiPPa said...

"We don't need a new sexual revolution, seriously. We need fewer folks out there passing it around like downloaded 2-for-1 KFC coupons."

I'm so dead after reading that.


I wasn't around in the 60's, but it sounds like some folks are trying to bring back that old hippy free love shit.

Dat Dude said...

First, lemme cosign on the bullshiggity, next lemme steal that word as my own. Got so much to call out for the shiggity, you not even knowin

Oli said...

No, not for polyamory, or polygamy at all.
I'm not a believer in marriage either, I just think that TWO people should stay faithful when together.

A.Smith said...

It's a new coat for an old idea.

Some people just don't wanna be with one person and so they give it a fancy name and suddenly it's completely socially acceptable.

I, like you, OneChele, call BULLSHIGGITY.

I cannot, will not with a fork.

Brandi said...

I know a few people, black people, who live a polyamory lifestyle. It seems to work because they are all tested, all agree on who's brought in, etc. Nothing happens w/o everyone talking.
It's not for me, but many things aren't.

natural nubian said...

this is so sad and the devil is indeed a liar. we are so cerebral our minds will reason and validate anything nowadays. saddest part is these individuals involved have settled on some level for the attention and "love" they're getting from their lovers, instead of wanting to put in the work to make a one-on-one relationship work. complacency will always rob you of your content.

MusicLover said...

I see nothing wrong with people having polyamory relationships as long as everyone is a consenting adult. Why should i care about what others do in their bedrooms. It doesn't affect my life or anyone else's. People should do what works for them. I'm tired of people trying to dictate and force their morals and values on everyone else. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's wrong and no one should do it.

FWET said...

I am amazed.
As much as I don't want to pin the "white folk" label on this ... it just doesn't jive with Black folk logic. This is like taking the low out of the down-low or removing the creep from creepin. Those are two unfortunate hallmarks of the Black community. I mean baby momma drama wouldn't quite be the same if baby momma and current girl were 'friends'

This is most definitely not 'old school' ... However, using my children and their experiences as a barometer, the rules are wildly different in the younger generation. Sex just isn't the end-all be-all of the relationship these days. Friends and friendships are very disposable, and sex is easily acquired. So much so that I can see where a thinking teenager would come to believe that sex isn't really that important. Following that logic ... if sex doesn't matter ... then all that really matters is the love that we have for each other. And, given that friendships are disposable and temporary, we must live in the moment with no regrets ... hence, polyamory. I love the word, by the way, it jives with Greek roots so well.

Oh, and with respect to my teenagers, it would seem that they will both make it to sixteen without having experienced that experience. Very different reasons for both of those two. At this point, I am hopeful that neither of them choose to cross the line, but if they do, I've given them the maturity to understand and respect the gravity of the choice. I no longer cling to the hope that it isn't possible. I now just hold on to the knowledge that my kids aren't knuckleheads and they know how to handle themselves responsibly in relationships. Which is something I've yet to learn how to do.

I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.

blackpolygal said...

I'm Black, he's Black. all our friends and family are Black. We both grew up in Black neighborhoods. We love hiphop and I have nappy hair.
We're poly. No diseases, no mental issues, together 10 years thus far, and we're happy.
We're few, but we're out there.
I missed the 60's.

Mr. Jay said...

I'm confused how this isn't accepted but a cheating baby daddy is? I'm confused how a woman can say i willow my baby dad and still love my current guy I'm dating. People always see what they want to see, so if the only thing you see is sex, then the medias normal practices of sex sells has properly been executed. Based on definition, polyamory is focused on love not sex. Don't be so biased when learning if something new. Most of you already are, but just hide from the label.


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