"Hers, hers, his and hers"
Prompted by "Big Love," and not to be outdone by its rival the Chicago Tribune (see this article from February), the Chicago Sun-Times went prospecting for local polys and came up with a decent general-interest article:
For a sliver of America, HBO's "Big Love," a Sunday night television show about a man "married" to three women, isn't just a weekly hour of drama. It's the way they live.
They call themselves "poly people" or "polyamorists" people who say they have marriage-like commitments to more than one person.
The idea conjures up images of group sex, though it's not always a free for all: Not all of the partners necessarily sleep with each other, but they do have what they call deep emotional connections. It's negotiated non-monogamy where the goal is falling in love. A lot.
...Ten years ago, [Manelqua Hinton] met Mary, who had also previously lived in poly arrangements. Hinton said his promise with Mary is "for eternity." The promise to Kristi is to stay with her "as long as love lasts."
They share one bedroom. He's sometimes asked by the women to leave them alone together, he said.
The secret, Hinton said, is to "be totally open and honest. If something bothers you, you have to say it now and not later. It takes a lot of love and trust."
Kristi declined an interview. But, said Mary, "I'm lucky to have two very supportive, good friends."
For balance, the article quotes Christian right-winger Bill Maier, a vice president with Focus on the Family:
"It's all about 'my wants.' It's radical individualism."... Maier said the polys who consider themselves married are anything but, because marriage is about "putting the other ahead of you."
"Polyamorist relationships [are] about 'me-me-me.' And that's why they're bound to fail," Maier said.
In poly arrangements "women are objectified they're collected like a commodity. Women always lose in a poly society," Maier said.
Sheesh. Successful polyamory requires exactly the opposite: unusually good antennae for the feelings of others; generosity and readiness to put others first; compromise; willingness to work a whole lot on communication; and readiness to sacrifice (when you've all worked out what's best) with a smile. To suck it up for the good of all. If Maier's is the quality of criticism we're going to face, our debate muscles will get flabby.
Read the whole article (from the issue for April 2, 2006). The writing did strike me as rather flat, and the reporter committed a howler: calling Minx, the Chicago-based hostess of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, a "he"!
Never mind. We should do all we can to facilitate this sort of article. Each one introduces thousands of new people to the concept. A few who have been longing for our community will discover us and perhaps lift their lives out of the mundane forever. The rest will at least become aware of the concept before they run into us and will know that some people find it a glorious life that works for them.