November 15, 2005

Mommy, Daddy, the two Franks, Lorna and Sparky

Trust my favourite fishwrap "The Al Guardian" to print anything like that uncommented:
Forget monogamy and swinging. We're seriously polyamorous
A new frankness about simultaneous relationships is sweeping the US, reports Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 13, 2005
The Observer

...Welcome to the world of the polyamorous, where the family is bigger than you might expect. Polyamorists do not limit themselves to one relationship but maintain numerous relationships, straight or gay. A key element is that they are all serious emotional commitments, not just casual sex.
[...]
Many polyamorous people, who call themselves 'polys', liken their emergence to the struggle by gays and lesbians for equal rights, 'coming out' as poly in a society prejudiced against their lifestyle. 'Most people in the poly community are very closeted. The community is where gays and lesbians were in the Sixties,' said Justen Bennett-MacCubbin, the founder of Polyamorous NYC.

Bennett-MacCubbin, who is in two serious gay relationships, says he has had to come out of the closet twice: first as a homosexual at 16 and three years later as polyamorous too. 'I realised I enjoyed being with two people in two relationships. Monogamy has no interest for me at all,' he said.

Polys face deep prejudice, he says. The most common reaction from non-polys is that polys have chosen their lifestyle to have lots of sex with different people.

Nothing could be further from the truth, he says. 'It is extremely important that people realise it is not just about sexual encounters. What distinguishes the poly community from swingers is that we want to make multiple emotional bonds. Most people in the poly community won't have casual sex,' he said.

It does result in complicated sexual and emotional patterns. Some polys are in 'triangles', where each person in a threesome has a relationship with the other. Or they can be in a 'vee', where one is involved with two others who are not involved with each other. Or polys can be in 'primary relationships', such as with a spouse or partner, and have one or more 'secondary' relationships. Through it all the sexes can be mixed, as polys can be straight, gay or bisexual.

But being a poly can be tough. Brigitte Philippides, an artist in Greenwich Village, has a primary relationship with a boyfriend, a serious relationship with a secondary girlfriend and several secondary relationships with other men.

To bored husbands or wives who might think being a poly means uncomplicated, carefree sex with multiple partners, Philippides has a stern warning. 'If you can't manage one relationship healthily, you are not going to be able to manage two. For polys, relationships are like a consuming hobby: they take up a tremendous amount of time,' she said.

Polys say that for many people, monogamy is unnatural. They point to spiralling divorce rates and widespread infidelity among monogamous couples. Polys, they say, are honest about the human condition. It is monogamists, they say, who live in a fantasy land.

'People divorce often not because of the cheating, but because of the issue of trust being broken. For polys, everything is open and it's all about honesty. All my relationships are working,' Philippides said.

Jealousy is the key emotional issue to be overcome. 'We are taught that jealousy is hardwired into us and people can then justify their jealous rages at their partner's need for others. Polys move beyond that,' said Wise.

Philippides was even more frank. 'We talk about jealousy openly. It is not a taboo word for us,' she said. In fact, polys have a term, called 'compersion'. This is the opposite of jealousy and involves taking pleasure from the success of your partner's other relationships. A hefty dose of compersion helps make polyamory work. That and a deft hand at scheduling so that no partner in a poly set-up feels unfairly treated.

'We want a change in perception of what's possible. By and large people are not naturally monogamous, and we should be able to talk about it without prejudice,' said Bennett-MacCubbin.

Certainly some polys have changed the perceptions of those nearest and dearest to them. Wise tells of her in-laws' shocked reaction when she and her husband came out as polys 11 years ago.

There were concerns for their marriage and their children. Now those concerns are gone. 'They see that our kids have grown up great and that our marriage is great, and that's all they really cared about in the end,' she said.

And the secret of success? 'Communicate, communicate, communicate,' Wise enthused. 'It is just honesty and working on being a better person. When we first started we took very slow and deliberate steps towards being poly. And you know what? The world did not implode.'
[...]
Now here are MY news:
Welcome to the world of the omniamorous, where the family is bigger than you might expect. Omniamorists do not limit themselves to one relationship but maintain numerous relationships, straight, gay or four-legged. A key element is that they are all serious emotional commitments, not just casual sex.

Many omniamorous people, who call themselves 'omnis', liken their emergence to the struggle by gays and lesbians for equal rights, 'coming out' as omni in a society prejudiced against their lifestyle. Most people in the omni community are very closeted. The community is where gays and lesbians were in the Sixties.

An expert (name known to The Editrix), who is in two serious gay relationships, one two- and the other four-legged, says he has had to come out of the closet twice: first as a homosexual at 16 and later as omniamorous too. 'I realised I enjoyed being with two people of various leg-counts in two relationships. Two-legged monogamy has no interest for me at all,' he said.

Omnis face deep prejudice, he says. The most common reaction from non-omnis is that omnis have chosen their lifestyle to have lots of sex with different critters.

Nothing could be further from the truth, he says. 'It is extremely important that people realise it is not just about sexual encounters. What distinguishes the omni community from swingers is that we want to make multiple emotional bonds. Most critters in the omni community won't have casual sex,' he said, 'not even my dog.'.

It does result in complicated sexual and emotional patterns. Some omnis are in 'triangles', where each critter in a threesome has a relationship with the other. Or they can be in a 'vee', where one is involved with two others who are not involved with each other, irrespective of the number of legs. Or omnis can be in 'primary relationships', such as with a Great Dane or other partner, and have one or more 'secondary' relationships with, say, lesbian Siamese cats. Through it all the sexes can be mixed, as omnis can be straight, gay, bisexual or into sex with our four-legged friends, who may be, in turn, straight, gay, bisexual, or all of the above.

But being an omni can be tough. XXX (name known to The Editrix), has a primary relationship with a boyfriend, a serious relationship with a secondary girlfriend and several secondary relationships with a kennel of lesbian German Dachshund bitches.

To bored husbands or wives who might think being an omni means uncomplicated, carefree sex with multiple partners, XXX has a stern warning. 'If you can't manage one relationship healthily, you are not going to be able to manage two. For omnis, relationships are like a consuming hobby: they take up a tremendous amount of time,' she said and adds: "actually, walking the dogs can be a bit tedious, but it's really worth it in the end. It's a bit of a bore that they are always hysterically yelping and hiding under cupboards and wardrobes as soon as they see me (I wonder why), but that doesn't really influence the wonderfully open and loving relationship we have. We are really deeply commited to each other, although Daisy tends to growl at Rosebud over a bone, but I am sure they will get over that sort of petty jealousy soon.'

Omnis say that for many people, monogamy and being limited to creatures with two legs is unnatural. They point to spiralling divorce rates and widespread infidelity among monogamous couples limited to sex between critters with two legs. Omnis, they say, are honest about the creature condition. It is monogamists with a fixation on two legs, they say, who live in a fantasy land.

'Critters divorce often not because of the cheating, but because of the issue of trust being broken. For omnis, everything is open and it's all about honesty. All my relationships are working,' XXX said. 'I always take titbits with me when I visit my Dachshunds, because otherwise they won't come near me. I wonder why.'

Jealousy is the key emotional issue to be overcome. 'We are taught that jealousy is hardwired into us and critters can then justify their jealous rages at their partner's need for others. Omnis move beyond that.'

'We talk about jealousy openly. It is not a taboo word for us,' she said. In fact, omnis have a term, called 'compersion'. This is the opposite of jealousy and involves taking pleasure from the success of your partner critter's other relationships. A hefty dose of compersion helps make omniamory work. That and a deft hand at scheduling so that no partner in a poly set-up feels unfairly treated. I and my two-legged gay partner always take the Dachshunds to long walks in the wood. On the lead, of course, because otherwise they will run away. I wonder why.'

'We want a change in perception of what's possible. By and large people are not naturally monogamous or fixated on two-legged persons, and we should be able to talk about it without prejudice,' said XXX.

Certainly some omnis have changed the perceptions of those nearest and dearest to them. XYZ (name known to The Editrix) tells of her in-laws' shocked reaction when she and her husband came out as omnis 11 years ago.

There were concerns for their marriage and their children and whether they might be kicked by the two Scottish Highland heifers who are partners in that loving, caring, responsible relationship. Now those concerns are gone. 'They see that our kids have grown up great and that our marriage is great, and that's all they really cared about in the end,' she said.

And the secret of success? 'Communicate, communicate, communicate,' XYZ enthused. 'It is just honesty and working on being a better critter. When we first started we took very slow and deliberate steps towards being omni. Started with straight field mice and moved on via some bi-sexual chihuahuas and two black labradors of doubtful sexual orientation to those lovely, caring, understanding, compassionate and openminded bi-sexual Scottish Highland heifers. And you know what? The world did not implode.'
Satire and reality are hardly discernable. Frightening, isn't it?

And we can't even blame Islam for that one. Destroying our civilisation -- THAT we are well able to do ourselves.

3 comments:

AllenHoward said...

How widespread is this supposedly new lifestyle? The focus here appears to be on a single set of relationships in Greenwich Village in New York but it ignores the rest of the vast USA and offers no empirical data to support its thesis. Did Al Guardian interview any academic researchers in the field of sociology, itself a field of a most liberal tolerance for the new and the untried? The article attempts to empahasize that these "omniamourous" experimemnters are not in it merely for newfangled means at tosses in the hay but are seeking "serious emotional commitments, not just casual sex." Does it explore the incompatibility of these open and surely unabashed simultaneous "relationships" with such serious emotional committments it claims are at the foundations of these new entanglements?

It attempts to justify these tumultuous couplings and triplings by citing the high level of divorce in society and by stating that monogamy is "unnatural", arguably correct, but does it explore the emotional ramifications and dire loss of self-esteem for the "concubines" {both male and female} tossed to the side in the name of liberation? I won't argue that monogamy is necessarily the correct path for all but it surely bests the emotional roller-coaster experienced by the omniamourous who seem to have little time to self-analyze whether their EMOTIONAL needs are being met before the demands placed on them from their next-in-line free agent-excuse me-"emotional partner".

If you favor free agency, that is fine, but don't pretend that you are seeking simultaneous emotional attachments when one alone is more than 99% of the population can handle now.

The_Editrix said...

My personal belief is that monogamy was fine as long as ("Till Death Do Us Part") people died young and women even younger, giving birth. So matrimony has become a stony path. Religious aspects aside, as far as I am concerned, what two healthy, mature people do behind closed doors is nothing but their own business. But (big BUT!) monogamous matrimony was and is and will always be the only sane and healthy way to bring up children. Isn't it frightening how well the animal aspect I added for my travesty is blending with the "progressive" humbug of the original article? And there are, indeed, people who want to sell us sex with animals or children as "normal" and "healthy".

But that wasn't my point entirely. My point was, that a major newspaper like the Al Guardian publish that gushing bit of immorality without a single comment or critical remark.

allenhoward said...

Your points are valid and common sensical. The emotional requirement for a father figure who is respected both by wife {not wives!} and child would naturally seem to lend itself to a more stabile family unit as is brought out by the De Winter commentary and the lack of father figures among many of the children of the polygamous African rioters in France.

Of course, we mustn't criticize the differences between cultures or be judged politically incorrect. Heaven help us should we criticize certain customs of the third world as preternatural and incompatible with a modern society! For modern civilisation to find itself afraid to defend its traditions and cultural mores from incompatible customs from less-developed regions INVITES further social disintegration and decay of our own precarious predicament as occurred in Old Rome with its extreme hedonism and pursuit of pleasure. They became so proud and self-satisfied that it was soon too late to stop the invading hordes and barbarians from overrunning Rome. Perhaps AL Guardian has such disdain for all aspects of modernity that any discordant force or forces that further threatens our social cohesion is seen as welcome news and not to be criticized or judged improper?

This all is so depressing to consider!