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

February 14, 2014

"On the Kinds of Love We Fall Into: Polyamory in Theory and Practice"

Los Angeles Review of Books

Emmett Rensin
For Valentine's Day, here is a small masterpiece of relationship autobiography just published this morning: deep, writerly, engagingly perceptive, and 12,000 words long, by a young person who has seen enormous life.

It appears in a literary magazine that was founded three years ago and has become a big deal in the literary world.

On the Kinds of Love We Fall Into: Polyamory in Theory and Practice

By Emmett Rensin

...She indulged me; listened to me complain about my girlfriend, about long-distance fidelity, about not wanting to be the kind of man who rationalized his desire to betray, but who still couldn’t understand why love was proved by exclusivity. She listened to all of it, and when I was done she said, “Don’t worry. You’ll grow up one day and find a girl you can love who’s OK with polyamory.”

At the time, I don’t think she meant herself.

...Nearly five years later, the term is far more common than it was when I first heard it: case in point, this likely isn’t the first time you’re seeing it in print. But despite greater visibility, the meaning of that word and the culture that accompanies it remains confusing to most people, even threatening.... Even for the genuinely curious — like I was, back then — it’s difficult to get a handle on what precisely “polyamory” means, beyond it involving relationships in the absence of traditional fidelity, beyond it being antithetical to everything we’re taught about love....

By winter, I’ve effectively moved into Lou’s apartment, a second story coach on Chicago’s north side. One of the bedrooms is a storage closet. Lou has a roommate, an archly hip sort of southern girl who loves to cook for us despite possessing the skepticism toward me of a lover’s roommate. The pressure of close quarters is relieved, most nights, by the porch.... Contemplating the color from a string of Christmas lights hung year round, refracted off cheap plastic and through cigarette haze, falling on Lou’s mostly naked body, becomes my private ritual, acted out on any number of winter three a.m.’s, when we go there to escape the stuffiness of her room that is too much for languid, post-coital comfort.

Cigarettes are so frequently an affect, in writing and in life. She smokes because she likes it, and I like this about her.

I say so, one night.

“I’m just better at performing my identity than you,” she says.

I find this inexplicably funny....

Read on. But don't start until you have lots of time to be drawn in.




Anonymous Barry said...

Thanks. Very nice piece, well worth reading. Partway through I had the thought (and I mean this in the best way) that it would make a very fine segment of This American Life, and would likely be very much appreciated by their broad audience. Polyamory and poly-ish practices by other names (or no name, just do it) are entering the mainstream faster than anyone thought possible even just a few years ago. Mainstream, for good or ill, here we come...

February 14, 2014 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author is an excellent writer. He also seems to be someone who will be perpetually dissatisfied and unhappy with life. Good luck kid.


February 15, 2014 2:15 PM  

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