Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

January 20, 2009

Fumbling it in Oklahoma


First: everything came to a halt today and we crowded around a TV to watch what will be, I dearly hope, the greatest and best turning of the page for America in my lifetime so far. Sparkler and I are headed off to a local inaugural ball soon. Next to this, all else seems trivial.

Nevertheless life goes on, so....


The website of The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's largest daily newspaper, has a factual question-and-answer column called "Strange but True" that today fumbles a question about polyamory. After a reasonably accurate definition (quoted from Helen Fisher), readers are informed as follows:

Polyamory is utopian and perhaps ultimately impractical. It may sound good to receive attachment from one partner, romantic love from another, physicality from a third. But we are a jealous people, and not surprisingly, polyamorous couples spend many hours every week sorting out their feelings of jealousy and possessiveness.

Kinda begs for comments? Add yours at the end of the full article (Jan. 20, 2009).

The column also appeared in the Deseret News, the Utah newspaper run by the Mormon Church, on January 21.



Blogger Guilain Omont said...

> Polyamory is nothing but utopia
> because of jealousy (time lose +
> bad feelings).

I would say that this statement is not as poly-unfriendly as it may seem. The author only does not know that:
- many people cope easily with their jealousy
- having bad feelings because of jealousy is painfull, but it is most often bearable (and it can even teach a lot) especially if the partner can listen to it in a non-defensive way

I often hear some more poly-unfriendly statements, as: "polyamory is for selfish people who do not care about others, they will quit their partner when they meet the first problem"... Here, it is not a question of people's "ignorance", it is a question of personal beliefs :-|

I live in France, and polyamory is more and more known, little by little :-)

January 20, 2009 4:45 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

So strange how they compartmentalize it so strictly, separating out attachement, romantic and physical love. Weird.

I would say that yeah, in the beginning stages of transitioning from a mono lifestyle or relationship to a poly relationship there are many hours spent figuring stuff out. Are those wasted hours? Heck no! I am so happy to have learned so much about myself and felt so close to my main squeeze. And I do expect that we will need to spend less time hashing stuff out as we get more experienced in understanding how poly works for each of us.

June 26, 2009 7:32 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I know it's awfully belated, but I did respond to the "Strange but True" column.

In "The Oklahoman" I posted as follows:


A number of polyamorists have already responded, and I'm a little late posting here, but I also want to say something. I've shared a polyamorous life with two other persons for about 3½ years now. We had some rough going during our first year, but things have steadily improved since then and over the course of this last year, things have been as smooth as glass -- smoother than most monogamous marriages I know of. We have problems, of the same ordinary kind that most monogamous couples have. We also have plentiful rewards and good feelings -- not at all unlike a successful monogamous marriage.

I take exception to the cynical and condescending way that polyamory was addressed by Dr. Sones. It reminds me of high-tech gay bashing, only this is poly bashing. Just because polyamory isn't the best lifestyle for everyone doesn't mean it's best for no one. Not only from my own experience but also from the experience of many poly people I've gotten to know over the past few years, I can assure you that the number of "partners each person has" is quite satisfactory; polyamorous couples do not spend hours each week sorting out jealousy, and above all, yes, humankind can and does share love gracefully. Polyamorists like my two companions and me are living proof of that.

Polyamory is no pipe dream. It's nuts-and-bolts reality for a wide range of highly responsible people. Most people, when they first start out on a polyamorous life, have struggles with jealousy. This has everything to do with social conditioning and little to do with genetics. We are inundated with media, parents, relatives, teachers, peers, and clergy, all asserting that monogamy-versus-polyamory equals right-versus-wrong, responsible-versus-irresponsible, healthy-versus-unhealthy, realistic-versus-unrealistic, selfless-versus-selfish, and loving-versus-unloving. It's not easy to overcome a lifetime of that kind of conditioning. Nonetheless, after an early period of growing pains, polyamorists can and do overcome that conditioning.

For many of us, the "sorting out of jealousy and possessiveness" becomes a few-minutes-a-year expenditure, much less many hours a week. In my own particular poly family, I'd say that the "sorting out" process has dwindled to virtually zero. We simply do not have the kind of problems that Dr. Sones is suggesting.

I am one man in a man-woman-man arrangement. The woman I am in love with, and committed to for life, divides her time between me and the other man. I do not feel cheated; I am blessed with a deep and lasting love from this woman, and it is reciprocated. I share a warm friendship with the other man, and I don't think he feels cheated either.

Polyamory doesn't fit into a cookie-cutter mold. My particular poly family doesn't have isolated chambers of love that are assigned to us separately. There is no strictly physical relationship between any two of us ... nor any strictly romantic relationship, nor any strictly attachment-based relationship. Attachment, in fact, is not a correct word for what we have. What we have is a loving commitment towards each other. Yes, each two-person relationship is unique. Just as no two relationships are identical in monogamous life.

I am glad polyamory is being talked about in the public eye. Now I hope we can talk about it in a more open and better informed frame of mind.


I also posted in the Deseret News. They only allowed 200 words, so I had to condense my comments. What I did post there, though, was drawn straight from the post above.

October 23, 2009 4:40 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Well put, Kevin. :)

October 23, 2009 7:02 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


October 27, 2009 1:26 PM  

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