"What Rolling Stone didn't get about 'Millennials’ Sexual Revolution' "
Remember last week's Rolling Stone article Tales from the Millennials' Sexual Revolution? And remember Emmett Rensin, the young author who on Valentine's Day published a striking literary account of his stormy poly life? Today the latter criticizes the former on the opinion blogs of the Los Angeles Times:
What Rolling Stone didn't get about 'Millennials’ Sexual Revolution'
By Emmett Rensin, guest blogger
Even after reading Rolling Stone’s recent article “Tales From the Millennials’ Sexual Revolution,” you might not have realized it was about polyamory. It was easy to miss. In several thousand words, the term appeared only one time. And no one could be blamed if the phrase that author Alex Morris chose in its stead caused even more confusion: “The New Monogamy.” Huh?
...While well researched and amply quoted, Morris’ article engaged in an old, ugly trend of mischaracterizing polyamory as some kind of newly emerging phenomenon, discovered by Morris while investigating a “new sexual revolution.”
...So, if I may temporarily take the dangerous step of speaking for my community, here are some common misunderstandings that have come out of these stories, and some clarifications for future stories:
Polyamory isn’t [just] a trend among young people....
Polyamory doesn’t entail a particular relationship structure....
Polyamory is not [all] about sex.... Polyamory, at bottom, is about love, and about the idea that love is not a zero-sum game in which one partner’s gain is another’s inevitable loss. If sex comes into that, then it comes into it, but sex as an expression of love isn’t anything unique to us.
Finally: Polyamory is not a revolution. We are not rebels. We are not trying to delegitimize monogamy.
Sorry if all of that is less exciting. But hey, who knows? Maybe once the real stories are out there, this whole polyamory thing won’t seem to be “new” or revolutionary after all.
Emmett Rensin is an author, essayist and political activist in Chicago, Ill. His previous work has appeared in USA Today, Salon and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Read the whole piece (April 11, 2014).