More of my friend Sarah: She is also “polyamorous.” We’ll cut to the chase on this one: Per Wikipedia, Sarah has “intimate relationships that are not exclusive with respect to other sexual or intimate relationships.”
“I just don’t believe we were designed to be monogamous,” Sarah says. Her sugar daddy knows. So did her last boyfriend: He also was part of “The Lifestyle” as it’s also known.
This is brought up by the recent hacking of “Ashley Madison,” an internet site for those seeking to have affairs, a site for adulterers, if you will. The hackers threatened to release information on “clients” unless the site shut down. To those who think adultery is sport, or that you won’t get caught, all I have to say is: “Seriously?”
Sarah is honest and open about her engagement with others. She speaks of dating a “couple,” both very attractive, “he is verity sweet, she’s really beautiful.” She likes them both, and they both like her. She wouldn’t participate with them “if they weren’t both completely good with it.”
“They” were her “date” to an event just this last weekend.
Another point of view: Alice called me this morning. Because it’s Sunday, I asked why she wasn’t in church.
“I’ve not been to church in a while. It’s a conscience thing.”
“You!?” I said. Alice is one of the more devout people I know, and one of the most truly moral, not one who just wears it on her sleeve.
“I struggle with hypocrisy. It’s probably a temporary state, but living a double life doesn’t suit me well,” she said. The “double life” is caused by a new relationship — Alice and her new boyfriend have sleepovers. “I enjoy sex, but the church says I should not until I’m married.”
“I think you are more ‘Christian’ than a third of the people in church who ‘sin’ but don’t think twice,” I said. “You walk your talk.”
Alice wasn’t prepared to judge, but in our discussion of morality when I mentioned Sarah’s point of view, Alice said, “I think you just made my head explode.
“For me, having sex with someone I love is the ultimate intimacy, the ultimate gift we give each other. We give and receive a piece of each other. I don’t know how you share that.”
“We are able to separate sex from love,” said Sarah in a later conversation. “Sex is just sex. Enjoyable, wonderful, erotic, intimate. But it’s not love.”
“No. To connect two lives into one, to commit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, completely to one’s life mate is immeasurable by any word …” says Alice.
Sarah’s split with her recent boyfriend wasn’t about sex, it was about emotional boundaries, and it appears to me she still loves him. They are just like other couples, except when they run into each other at parties, they may be having sex with mutual friends.
Obviously, I don’t have Sarah and Alice over at the same time for tea. Maybe I should, because each has the same kind of emotional and intellectual honesty I respect. I think they might like each other.
But here’s my point. Many in the “poly” community have said that the openness of their marriage actually made it stronger. Certainly, many of those not of that point of view have had relationships shatter because of infidelity.
Many of us have made love with someone we are not with today, and been in love with someone who did not satisfy us sexually. I don’t know where the gain or loss might be. Do those who favor the poly lifestyle have more or less than others? More sex but less attachment? Or are the monogamous constantly fighting their biology, denying a perfectly natural excitement of multiple couplings?
I don’t know the answers. But I do know that the responses we have go deep to the core of our lives.