Polyamory: My Take?

Polyamory – it’s the new bi, man. Everyone’s doing it, so why aren’t you?

Oh, you haven’t heard? All right, then. Polyamory’s basically the “new” polygamy, ‘cept polygamy’s against the law, and since no one’s getting hitched, polyamory’s legal.

I’ve been asked, oh, a few times now to weigh in on the topic. So, you wanna know what I think? You really, really wanna know?

Yeah, me too. I can’t truly decide. Personally, that’s not a cookie I’m ever gonna sink my teeth into. It’s just not my taste of the month, and probably never, ever will be. I’m a one-guy gal, always have been.

But what do I think? Hmm. I’m torn. I think there are merits to both sides of the argument. Let’s start with the opposition, shall we? That’s always a fun ball to get rolling.

One of the things I absolutely loathe about our modern society is our inability to commit to anything, let alone anyone. We live in the On-Demand Age. Download the TV show you just watched, TiVO and pause. Single much? Log on to any chat site and find someone willing to cam with you, sans all the relationship bullshit. Hungry? Just around the corner there’s a 24-hour Mickey D’s drive-thru waiting to solve your woes.

We’re a society of spoiled brats. We want what we want and we want it when we want it. We honk our horns, rage our way down the street, ignore each other through our iPODS and portable DVD players, do whatever the hell we want, and seldom consider consequences.

And here’s a contingent of society saying, “Hey, let’s disconnect even more. I’ll get the sex I want when I want it, but I won’t have to actually, you know, be in, like, a ‘relationship’ type relationship.”

Is it really what we need? More disconnect? The easy way out?

Or is that oversimplifying what is, perhaps, one of the more ingenius ways of dealing with the stresses of modern living? Should you really have to decide between being with someone and being alone? Is the secret to balance found in distributing the weight more evenly, rather than off-setting it? Can you not have your cake and eat it, too?

There are those who argue that humans aren’t built for a lifelong commitment, so why are we trying to seek just one? Stats show the average pairbonding succeeds for only 4.5 years. Then what? Try it again, and fail again? Repeat the cycle of hurt? But is more cooks in the kitchen really a productive way of combatting that problem? Doesn’t a greater human element mean greater probability of arguing and hurt?

There are those who state that what they love best about polyamory is the not needing to be there for one person 24/7. I’m in an interesting situation where I’ve just met a great guy, and whammo, he busts his leg, and suddenly the dynamics of this new relationship have become far more complex than I could have foreseen just 48 hours ago. And that’s life. Me, I’m prepared to deal with that. Others, maybe not.

Relationships are hard. They take work. Lots of. When you spread that responsibility around, perhaps it takes some pressure off of you, but it also weakens the bonds you share, whether you want to admit it or not. I could absolutely relate to those who may have gone through hard marriages, who want the practicality and safety of being in a committed relationship, but never, ever want to be that solo go-to person again.

Hell, shit happens, and so does cynicism. Is polyamory cynical? No, I’m not saying that, but it’s certainly self-serving. But aren’t all relationships, to a degree? We wouldn’t be in them if we weren’t getting something out of it, don’t you think? With polyamory, there’s more control over what you’re getting out of it (and putting into it), and when, than is offered in nearly any other kind of relationship.

Control can be pretty attractive when the threat of being hurt enters the picture. Committing to one person, that’s giving a single soul an awful lot of power over yours. Opting to be one of seven women in a relationship with two men, on rotating shifts or however the hell you’ve managed to divvy your time, well, you know you’re one of a number, you know where you stand, and you know you can always pass and protect your own ass.

I don’t disapprove of polyamory, and sometimes I even get it. Maybe when I’m in my late 40s and love has fucked me around and I’m past needing whatever the hell it is a single, committed relationship gives me, maybe then I might drink that Kool-aid when it comes around.

But likely not. I may not be a fan of marriage, but I like commitment. I like knowing who’s going to be in my bed, and I like knowing all the little peccadilloes. I like not having to stack up against competition. I just like it. I don’t have a musical-chairs heart, and probably never will.

If you do, and you’re cool with it, then all the power to you.

Just don’t expect everyone to understand, and don’t get your panties in a bunch when they don’t, ’cause most won’t.