"When the sum is greater than two"
The alternative newspaper of Greensboro, North Carolina, included a long and occasionally interesting ramble on nonmonogamy in its Valentine's week issue.
By Jordan Green
...At the outset, he wants to put across this aphorism: "Non-monogamy is wasted on sex."
It would be easy to mistake non-monogamy for sexual infidelity. Take away sex, and what do you have? A rich variety of liberated human experience, my friend suggests. While some people obviously enjoy multiple sexual relationships, my friend says he needs only one. What non-monogamy gives him is the freedom to spend time with other people, to become close to other people, and to not worry about what his partner is doing when they're not together. Rather than mourn or avoid the recognition that no one person can meet all our needs, my friend embraces it.
...."The people who I know that are polyamorous, meaning that they have sex with a lot of people, they spend a whole lot of time taking care of those relationships and themselves," my friend says. "I'd rather be making music. I'd rather be doing community organizing. I'd rather be in my garden.... I'd rather be able to say, 'I want to sleep alone for a week.' That's an example of a desire that's not illicit; it's just a desire to be alone for a week."
...The matron saint of non-monogamy would have to be Emma Goldman.
"Marriage and Love," from Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays, the second revised edition of which was published in 1911, gives no quarter to defenders of monogamy.
"Marriage and love have nothing in common," rings the first salvo. "They are as far apart as the poles; are in fact, antagonistic to each other."...
The grand social ideal of non-monogamy... comes in the finale of Goldman's essay: "Some day men and women will rise, they will reach the mountain peak, they will meet big and strong and free, ready to receive, to partake, and to bask in the golden rays of love. What fancy, what imagination, what poetic genius can foresee even approximately the potentialities of such a force in the life of men and women?"
Read the whole article (Feb. 12, 2008).