"When One Box Closes..."
Stephanie Sellars, the sex columnist for the weekly New York Press, is signing off and in her last column she muses about whether her polyamory has kept her from the deep primary relationship she sometimes dreams of:
“What can I give you that the others can’t?” asked the guy with the funny name.
“Something akin” I stuttered, trapped in his intense gaze. “Something akin to the first love I want to know you without the constraints of keeping you at a distance. I don’t want to put you in a box, to be opened and closed at my convenience. I want to lose control, let go”
“That’s scary for you, isn’t it?”
I admitted that it was. “It totally conflicts with my principles, my modus operandi, not to mention my reputation.”
“I wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation,” he said. My reputation! Allow me to define, dear readers, what I think you think I am: the urban orgy queen, the sanctimonious slut... living a life of blissful freedom or emotional self-deprivation, depending on where you’re coming from. [But] if you read my column regularly, you’ll know that beneath the polyamorous, bisexual bravado is a hopeless romantic.
...I spilled my thoughts: “I want to be with someone with whom I can totally let go... polyamory is very controlled. Each lover is in a box, to be put in or taken out at my convenience.”
...It comes down to a catch-22: monogamy limits the variety of sexual and romantic experience, while polyamory limits how far you can go with one person.
...Monogamy may be an impediment to one's sexuality, but polyamory is a form of emotional insurance. If one relationship doesn't work out, there are others to fall back on. I'm never, always alone.
Read the whole article.
I'm of two minds about this. Part of me wants to shout, "Hey, poly isn't about limiting how far you can go with one person! You can have a lifelong primary relationship as deep as you want, and still be poly. Sheesh!"
Another part of me notices that quite a few longterm polys do tend to settle into steady primary relationships over the years even into what Sellars calls "relative monogamy" (a good term that deserves to enter the language) if only, perhaps, out of accumulated exhaustion.