Lifestyle

The pitfalls of polyamory

I can’t say that I’ve always identified with the polyamorous life; as a younger person I often spent time imagining a future life as a father and husband.  With time and experience though, I became skeptical about the prospects of long-term pair bonding.  The lack of positive role models in this regard, coupled with my own personal experience left me somewhat crestfallen as to the plausibility of a lifetime union.  My leery attitude towards marriage shouldn’t equate with it being ‘unnatural’, because I don’t believe that monogamy (or for that matter monoamory, the practice of exclusive sexual relationships) is unnatural either.  However,  in its current configuration it may be highly impractical.  I can’t make any claims as to the natural position of the human animal when it comes to romantic intimacy, either.  Many intellectual pursuits have failed to identify the ‘natural’ human instinct towards love and family.  If any ‘natural’ or original inclination can be surmised, it is that human behaviors and cultural practices change over time as we adapt to meet the demands of a constantly evolving environment.

Choosing a polyamorous life enabled me to find solutions to many of my interpersonal problems.  It helped me to resolve the plethora of uncomfortable emotional experiences that typically come along with traditional monoamory, i.e. jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness being among the worst offenders.  The genesis of such feelings likely arose from the historical tradition of ‘taking a partner’, wherein that person becomes the property of their mate, thereby unintentionally resulting in the fear of loss, and the desire to protect and defend ownership.  By giving up the illusion that the person I chose to sleep with or confide in was ‘mine’, I found immeasurable freedom in my relationships.  Polyamory has its practical applications as well; long distance relationships and hectic schedules are made more manageable by an ‘open borders’ styled approach to dating.

I also believe that a polyamorous approach to intimacy honors the human animal more honestly because it takes into consideration our internal experience of desire, intimacy, and sexuality.  At any given moment, I could engage in sexual fantasy about a coworker, a commercial advertisement, a passerby, and if I’m feeling particularly imaginative, an inanimate object.  My body will similarly respond to external stimulation whether I desire to be aroused by it or not.  In a certain sense, the body has a mind all its own.  To acknowledge and accept these physiological and psychological truths, and not resist or agonize over them because of societal pressures is ultimately healthier and more fulfilling.

And then of course, there is the biological perspective: A monoamorous relationship (I’m choosing to use this word rather than monogamous because I’m mainly interested in discussing relationships that are neither legal nor religious unions) is antithetical to the biological imperative for men.  My DNA wants me to procreate often, and with as many different women as possible.  Unfortunately for me, in 21st century America this is not a socially sanctioned life strategy.  Even with the escalating divorce rate, the practice of marriage is a still thriving cultural device.  And to be clear, I’m not making the argument that marriage is a meaningless or useless institution.  Rather, that the union of two people remains a culturally preferable lifestyle choice.

With that being said, polyamory is a difficult, challenging lifestyle that demands self-knowledge as a deeply held virtue and is not just a way to get your rocks off.   Polyamory is not a vacation from the challenges of emotional and physical intimacy.  To the contrary, I would argue that it requires a greater capacity for honesty, maturity, and self-ownership than is found in traditional Western relationships.  Polyamory is primarily about radical autonomy and emotional self-awareness.  In monogamous/monoamorous relationships, it is all too easy to expect one person to fulfill our needs.  Freudian theory suggests that we seek romantic partners that help us to heal wounds generated by our early interactions with our familial partners; this sometimes results in our parents being replaced by our lovers.  This unconscious process can govern our sexual selection, leading to disastrous consequences.  Practically speaking, that is too much stress and expectation to place on a single person.  Given these unconscious motivators, it’s no wonder that long term relationships are increasingly more difficult to sustain.

From the outside looking in, there is a ‘sexiness’ to the polyamorous lifestyle; depictions in the media, and associations with hedonistic communities like those found among kink, BDSM, and swingers inevitably attract more people than does the self-ownership component.  I believe this is misleading, not because I disprove of those communities, but rather because I think that the polyamorous lifestyle is for some people a kind of badge they can proudly display to their peers –  a way to earn social brownie points.  For some people, the polyamorous lifestyle is nothing more than permission to be a shitty person.  These are not people who’re interested in the self-discovery component of polyamory; they simply want an excuse to go all id.  Such people seek to have their every desire fulfilled in an idealistic way, without considering the consequences.  There is a considerable amount of forethought that should be undertaken before deciding to open up a relationship.    Some questions need to be answered beforehand, such as “What is my value in the sexual market place?”; “How will I feel when my partner meets someone else?”; “What if they like that person more than they like me?”; “Can I share in my partners experience through dialogue?”; “Can I balance my life schedule while continuing to meet new people?”

Polyamory suffers a bit from ‘the-grass-is-always-greener’ syndrome because outwardly it appears to be an easier, more desirable alternative to the current standard.   All the sex you can think of with as many people as you want? What person in their right mind would turn that down?  It is on this point that I’d like to share a quote from the author Timothy Ferris, “There’s no free lunch.”  In essence, there is no solution that doesn’t offer new challenges.  For every action has its consequences, each decision will lead to but another series of problems yet to be solved.  If you’re considering breaking out of a monoamorous lifestyle, be sure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect yourself.  For many people, going from an exclusive relationship to an open one is a lot like the novice swimmer who has only swam in the kiddie-pool his whole life, who then one day dives into an Olympic-sized swimming pool.  It’s always a dangerous prospect when taking a new direction in life, as there is no certainty of its outcome.  The best we can do to defend against such unknowns is to arm ourselves with knowledge; be informed and make educated decisions.

 

 

Photo Source: huffingtonpost.com

Comments 42

  1. I simply want to say I am newbie to blogging and site-building and absolutely liked your web blog. Likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with really good well written articles. Appreciate it for revealing your webpage.

  2. I simply want to say I am just all new to blogs and seriously savored you’re web-site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You surely have terrific posts. Thank you for sharing your blog.

  3. I just want to say I am all new to blogging and seriously savored this web-site. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You surely have very good posts. Cheers for revealing your web site.

  4. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to offer one thing back and help others like you helped me.|

  5. It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I¡¦m happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Great write-up, I am regular visitor of one¡¦s site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  7. Hello everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and article is really fruitful for me, keep up posting such posts.|

  8. I wanted to post a small comment in order to thank you for all of the great facts you are giving out at this website. My extensive internet investigation has finally been paid with beneficial information to exchange with my relatives. I ‘d express that we visitors actually are definitely blessed to live in a notable site with many awesome individuals with very beneficial tricks. I feel very much grateful to have seen your website and look forward to really more exciting times reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

  9. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!|

  10. wonderful publish, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  11. Hey there! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!|

  12. This actually answered my downside, thank you!

  13. Specifically why almost everything you found out about video is simply false and exactly what you need know.

  14. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  15. I don’t unremarkably comment but I gotta say thanks for the post on this amazing one : D.

  16. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers|

  17. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.|

  18. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.|

  19. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!|

  20. What’s up colleagues, its enormous piece of writing about educationand entirely explained, keep it up all the time.|

  21. You could certainly see your skills in the article you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.|

  22. Hi there, this weekend is fastidious for me, since this point in time i am reading this fantastic educational piece of writing here at my home.|

  23. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity for your submit is simply great and that i can suppose you are a professional in this subject. Fine with your permission let me to seize your feed to stay updated with impending post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the rewarding work.|

  24. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers|

  25. I was recommended this web site by way of my cousin. I am no longer certain whether this put up is written by him as nobody else understand such targeted about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thanks!|

  26. Good information. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!|

  27. I feel that is among the so much important info for me. And i am glad studying your article. But wanna statement on some common issues, The site style is ideal, the articles is truly nice : D. Good task, cheers|

  28. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with your site. It seems like some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Appreciate it|

  29. Keep working ,great job!

  30. great issues altogether, you simply gained a emblem new reader. What may you suggest about your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?|

  31. As I site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  32. Wonderful web site. Plenty of useful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your sweat!

  33. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  34. Awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your article. Thank you a lot and I am looking forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?|

  35. I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  36. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  37. These are in fact impressive ideas in about blogging. You have touched some fastidious points here. Any way keep up wrinting.|

  38. I think that what you published made a lot of sense. However, think on this, what if you were to write a awesome headline? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, but suppose you added something that makes people want more? I mean %BLOG_TITLE% is kinda vanilla. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news titles to grab people to open the links. You might try adding a video or a pic or two to grab people interested about what you’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it would bring your website a little livelier.|

  39. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.|

  40. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve have in mind your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely fantastic. I actually like what you’ve got here, certainly like what you’re saying and the best way through which you say it. You are making it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to learn much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.|

  41. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!|

  42. I’m not positive the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.|

Comments are closed.