Media rush in France continues
After a late start behind the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia/NZ and Germany, France continues its catch-up rush of media attention to polyamory. Our Paris correspondent, polyactivist Guilain Omont, has just been profiled on the back page of the venerable lefty paper Libération (co-founded by Jean-Paul Sartre), which claims a daily circulation of 170,000:
A lover who doesn't lie
Profile: A 29-year-old Net entrepreneur, in a couple, defends polyamory: relationships that are simultaneous and unhidden.
Love is a high-performance sport. Training, discipline and good spirit may not be enough to prevent failure among doubles-athletes.... The proof is in the killing statistics: in the Paris region, one in two [married] couples will separate; one in three in the rest of France. Among those who risk it anyway, daredevils complexify things: these are the polyamorous. They lead from the front, having several relationships with the agreement of the various protagonists. Guilain Omont, 29, is one of them.... He's a bit of a Usain Bolt running the 100 meters with feet tied and still crushing his opponents.
...This guy, sitting at a Parisian terrace sipping a mint tea at the cocktail hour, doesn't exactly look like a beast of the gyms. Tall, short dark hair, three-day-old beard (a must for under-30 males in 2011), his facial features are as slim as his figure.... not the kind of guy to turn girls' heads....
Guilain prefers to speak of "plural love" rather than "polyamory," a term he considers too "technical". He gives his definition: "It's the freedom to live in several loving relationships with the consent of the various partners."... He tried exclusive love once, for two months....
Today he is in a relationship with Gabrielle, an architect of 28, also polyamorous. Together for a year and a half, they live in a little two-room place he rents for peanuts from his parents. Since the beginning of their relationship the young man has had four or five parallel idylls, but right now, apart from Gabrielle, there's no one. She's his "primary lover".... In his life a hierarchy has taken hold: "Before, wishing to be egalitarian, I wanted all my relationships to be at the same level, but I quickly realized I did not have the same desires with my various partners."
...Born in Pontoise on his parents' farm, he grew up with his three brothers in Montherlant, a small village in the Oise....
It closes with a sudden twist:
And in the end, what does he want? "There's one thing that annoys me, that I'm going to die." Yeah, like everyone else. This calm and poised boy: would he be a hypochondriac? No. But "in 60 years I'll be 90, and it's over." Ultimately, then, it comes back to the good old clash between Eros and Thanatos. Or how this bulimic [compulsive overconsumer] defies death with ever more love.
Sartre might have written that last bit. Read the whole article, in French (20 Sept 2011).
Omont liked the article regardless. He writes, "Polyamory is still getting more and more mediatised in France :-) ...And in few weeks there will be a TV show about polyamory on one of the five main TV channels."
Meanwhile, in Le Soir, the French-language newspaper-of-record in Belgium:
Polyamory: or multiple loves as the default choice
...In Brussels, "poly-cafés" are held every first Wednesday of the month.... "It's nice to know we are not alone in this life choice," confides Mathilde, 36, accompanied by her husband. Mathilde, married to Bastien for ten years, spends two nights a week with her husband, one night with another lover and sometimes a third. Dirty minds, stay away: sex for sex is not the heart of things here. "The saying 'You'll only love one man like you'll only love one God' always made me angry," she says. "I can love two people without feeling guilty. These aren't one night stands. Why is it more shocking to say I love several people than it would be if I said I'm deceiving my husband? The world is upside down!"
Read the whole article (6 June 2011).
This one cropped up on a big health-advice site: When love rhymes with plural.
Here are all my posts about poly coverage in French (including this one; scroll down). See the many community links and websites in the post previous to this.
Here's an article I missed earlier, from the French Glamour magazine (9 Sept 2010):
I have two lovers, maybe three...
Websites, gatherings... the polyamorous, as they call themselves, talk a lot among themselves. A marketing slogan for open relationships? A metaphor for swinging? An investigation into the world of multiple loves.
And another, in l'EuroMag: Etes-vous prête(s) pour le «polyamour»? (6 Aug 2010):
Are you ready for "polyamory"?
...At the heart of the concept is the idea of breaking the norms of love; a questioning of exclusivity. Proponents of polyamory think that one person is not sufficient to meet all emotional, sentimental, and sexual needs... as the perfection of the human does not exist.