Ever since Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage in 1993 (this was overturned by Hawaii Amendment 2 five years later) we’ve been taking legal steps to right the wrongs faced by the lesbian and gay community.
The bisexual community followed at a distance, fighting not only the normal religious and cultural objections but also stereotypes from even the gay community. Bisexuals are either “playing straight” so that they can dive back into the closet at the first sign of trouble, or they’re inherently unfaithful and will leave you for someone of another sex.
The trans community has even greater obstacles to overcome, and they always have, in spite of trans women being credited with igniting the Stonewall riots which is often considered the public face of the early LGBT rights movement.
Every person draws the line somewhere on sexuality. To me, the common sense position has always been consent. Some people can accept LGB and trip up somewhere around the T. There’s still a segment of the population that sees bisexuals as promiscuous. There are still some pockets of the country who can’t think beyond the missionary position.
More and more, I see the line being drawn too early, even among LGBT people. As we move from one step to another, we’re all trying to figure out what’s next.
Polyamory. That’s what’s next.
There’s no law banning polyamory, although there have been infidelity laws in the past and in some countries you can be killed for sleeping around. But, just like anti-sodomy laws, getting rid of them was just a start.
The stigma comes next. Even on an LGBT rights social media page, posts about polyamory are controversial. Apparently that “love is love” idea ends when it comes to “love is love is love”.
I’ve heard people saying “just don’t call it a relationship”. Really? Why is the word marriage defined by the people involved but a relationship isn’t? You weren’t happy with a “civil union” and you were right not to be. So don’t tell someone else that they can’t have a relationship because it isn’t like yours.
“Most polyamorous relationships will fail.” Most monogamous relationships will fail. I’ve had monogamous relationships before and they don’t work nearly as well. People hide more if they have one partner because something is too personal. In a poly relationship, you have to be honest because your boundaries don’t extend to one partner and not another.
“It’s not normal” That sounds familiar. Next to celibacy, monogamy probably looks natural. It isn’t. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not a problem. It’s just not how human brains work. You know when you’re with someone in a monogamous relationship and you meet someone else and you’re generally attracted to them? That’s what polyamorous people do. It’s just that we don’t shut that thought down and turn back to the one person that we’ve decided we’re allowed to be attracted to.
“But what about the children?” Again, this sounds familiar. Kids don’t give a shit. They really don’t. They want their parents to play with them and help them with homework. They don’t care if it’s one parent or five, if they’re taken care of well, they’re happy.
“It’s cheating”. No, it isn’t. Your partners, ideally, know who you’re with most of the time, even if they are monogamous or if you’re in a relationship with someone that they aren’t involved with. You don’t hide things. You don’t tell anyone that they’re your “one and only” or whatever other romanticized bullshit people tell their temporary monogamous partners before they break up and move on.
“Well if you’re polyamorous then what’s the point in even having a relationship? Aren’t you just friends with benefits or one night stands?” That’s not polyamory. It’s not wrong, but it’s not polyamory. Polyamory involved multiple people in multiple fulfilled relationships. I don’t know what anyone else thinks the purpose of a relationship is, but there’s a lot of confusion about it.
The point of a relationship is to be happy. Hell, the point of just about everything is to be happy. Relationships are people deciding that they mutually make each other happy and doing whatever they can to keep that mutual benefit between them. When your partner isn’t making you happy, or vice versa, then you break up, divorce, or separate. It shouldn’t matter because your goal should never be as simple as “I want to spend my life with this person no matter what” or “I want to have kids with this person” If those things happen, great. But if your relationship is successful, that was never the point.
Maybe getting relationship advice from someone who’s happily a fuck-and-move-on advocate seems strange. I’m just one voice on the side of progress, possibly too soon for it to matter.