Thursday, June 5, 2008

All you wanna do is ride around Sally...

I’m surrounded by relationship talk of late. My own, others, men, women, married, single. Somewhere in between. One topic comes up again and again; monogamy and/or the lack of it. The desire to dine out (wink wink). It started with an article on The Huffington Post and my introduction to polyamory (a word, btw, not found in spell check).

Main Entry: polyamory
Part of Speech: n
Definition: participation in multiple and simultaneous loving or sexual relationships

It’s not merely sleeping around. It’s not even cheating. The concept of polyamory is shared and known physical and emotional connection with others outside a primary relationship. Doable and sounding suspiciously like the definition of “Dating after 30”. Or 40. I’m polyamorous. The buffet is stocked, and I like to eat and try new flavors. Don’t confuse the lifestyle with casual sex. The physical is easy and it takes surprisingly little effort to fall back on the couch. Adding an emotional element may be more satisfying in the long run, so behave. Try to. Work in progress.

But I’m single and polyamorous; I’m not 100% certain I’d engage if-and-when I committed to one someone seriously.

Marriage, like any other kind of relationship – friends, work, religious – requires work and faith. But people freelance, people are agnostic. Fidelity may be fully possible, but I know of few to no relationships where one or either partner has not strayed. Flirting as a married, fine. Putting you mouth anywhere on someone other than your spouse, probably cheating. With both partners on board, polyamory sounds a more truthful way to go.

Or maybe I’m just greedy and want all the happy endings.


Don said...

Sally ain't the only one I wanna ride around.

A question is always, do we really want what we want? In other words, if I wanna ride around Sally do I also want all the travel costs, i.e. loss of a committed one on one lifetime partnership with Juliet? So there's that "maturity" angle (though how someone alive for half a century could be considered immature is beyond me).

We're serial monogamists mostly. Why? Because in the jungle, shit happens. Now that we live so long, different shit happens, not usually fatal. The young should live polyamorously, in my opinion, until they find someone they truly want to mate with. But society still frowns on promiscuity and sees STDs as just desserts. So we're also set up to be good little moralists according to the dictates of those ancient desert nomads (Moses, Jesus, Muhammad). So much internal conflict! So much stress!

Maybe that's the mid-life crisis: Too old to put up with any more bullshit, too young to settle.

Cheryl said...

Ya know, they actually lived WAY longer in early Old Testament days--many lived longer than 900 years. But somehow I can't see a 564 year old guy having a fling with a woman half his age!

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