The Illusion of Polyamory

We've come long and far since we defied Revolutionary Road...perhaps too far now.

We’ve come long and far since we defied Revolutionary Road…perhaps too far now.

Look, I’m not here to judge. Seriously. Who am I to say what is right, wrong, correct, or special? This post is no more or less like any other post, critique, or counsel I give:

I throw a bunch of words at you. It’s up to the reader as to whether or not they’re worth anything.

many piecesI believe in celebrating the individual because it truly takes many parts to make up a whole. I believe this is true in the macrocosm as well as the micro. And now more than ever, I believe that we all need to be as whole as we possibly can, especially in this day and age of ADHD multi-tasking demands and lifestyles — even more especially in my own Pagan community — which is actually one of the reasons why I feel so compelled to voice my views here.

There have been many discussions, forums, articles, and journals regarding the “natural” behavior of polyamory and swinging. Many of these reports point out that “cheating” is really just an acting out of primal instincts and jealousy is “learned.”  Furthermore, the ritual of marriage is really nothing more than an empty gesture at high expense designed by monotheistic, oppressive societies to control property, and so forth. And guess what — who’s to really say that these arguments may or may not be truly be valid? These articles claim they were designed and ultimately aimed towards making the lifestyle more acceptable to the general public. Whether or not these motives are more personal than socio-political, I can’t say. And to be honest, sometimes, I just can’t tell.

But, I know what I’ve seen and how I understand it.

The “King of Swing,” Larry Levinson, founder of the infamous swingers’ club, Plato’s American swingRetreat in New York in 1977 died of a heart attack, alone, in a basement apartment after 3 divorces – the latter two were “open marriages.” He was last seen driving a cab.

Friend of mine, married to a bi-sexual, in an “open marriage” for many years, glowed when she learned that her husband expressed that he wasn’t interested in anyone at the key party because he was in love with his wife.

I would be out of a job if I didn’t get calls from clients (mostly women) who were in “unconventional” relationships who wanted to know when they would have their love to themselves…and I could go on. And on…


Yes, we are animals.

Yes, when we strip away the name, the material, and the complications, we are merely animated organisms. Though many species, such as birds and aquatic mammals, have one mate at a time or mate for life, when humans evolved, we had to put those complications in place to keep ourselves organized and responsible, so we can continue to evolve within our innovations as a species. We created or recognized the existence of an omnipresent Creator, found it necessary to craft our own shelter and clothing, adapted and designed more sophisticated methods of obtaining food, irrigation, transportation, communication, etc. And yes, we created politics, therefore codes of morals and laws, methods of entertainment and so forth.

lovers marseilleBut, the point is: Yes, we’re still animals. But, even in third world countries, no one can deny that we’re much more complex in the human existence than in the non-human.

Obviously, if you’re bi or pan-sexual you’re going to have different needs than those who identify with one sexuality or the other. Therefore, in those cases, of course I can see the need to be “open.” However, though I do not believe it’s anyone’s business to determine what should or shouldn’t be identified as “family,” in my experience and from what I’ve learned, as well as being in touch with my own nature, I just simply cannot understand why the multi-partner lifestyle could be considered natural or glamorous.

Polyamory just simply does not compute.

I find it very difficult to believe that any emotion is ‘taught.’ True, there are some who are more demonstrative than others or experience emotions differently than others, and we may learn how to express those emotions by observing others, but jealousy is based on fear. Fear is universal. It is a tool to alert us that there is a risk to our sense of security or even survival. As communal animals, we consider another human being as “home” as much as the roof over our heads, which is inherently learned directly from Mom and Dad as soon as we’re placed into their arms for the first time.

So, when we find ourselves turning green at the idea of risking a disconnection from our partner, we’re actually experiencing fear of homelessness.

As to whether or not it is in our “nature” to be polyamorous, it is contested that  biologically that the “killer sperm” system  is indicative that in the Grand Design, something bigger than us (whatever you may believe), decided by selection that it would be best for our gene pool stay as simple as possible. (Incidentally, when I researched the dispute of the “killer sperm” behavior, I only found random quotes or lack of backup material, so this is pretty much more or less proven conjecture). Having simpler DNA composition would ultimately be an efficient method to keep evolution at a steady pace, rather than have a multitude of genetic codes just merge and purge all at once within a single creation en masse.

Nature always has a way of balancing itself, because that is how She is able to survive.

"Every sperm is sa-cred...?"

“Every sperm is sacred…?”

And a natural sense of monogamy is also incredibly ecologically efficient in keeping the population from getting out of control, too. Right now, with several billion people in the world, it’s hard enough to distribute the food, drinkable water, and resources as it is. If nature had everybody banging everybody, regardless of precautions taken, we’d all be the Duggars. So, with a polyamorous lifestyle, the risk of pregnancy is higher as well as…



Did we forget about AIDS? Remember herpes,  genital warts? herpes-mouthSyphilis, gonorrhea? And on top of which, I also believe it was publicized recently that certain types of cancer can be caused by oral sex, too. What do you think? Do you think these risks just disappeared with the red ribbon fad in the 80’s? Just because less people are talking about it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter anymore.

The equation is very simple: The more you do it, the more partners you have, the higher your risk. Period.

Am I against kink? Oh, hell no — No way! In fact, one of the reasons why I can’t understand the “mystique” of multiple partners is because I have found there’s nothing sexier in the world than finding someone who makes you feel divine, challenges you, lifts you up, and looks you in the eye. People may or may not change completely, but they should grow. One of the most erotic experiences is to grow with them, find something new with this person you’re with, and uncover mysteries and keep playing. Keep growing, keep exploring and you’ll find you can stay interested, stay young, and enjoy more.

But, it takes time, work, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. It takes trust…


Something that seems to have become increasingly unattractive in the digital era where we can hide behind avatars and spell-check. Frankly, I believe polyamory to be nothing more than fear of intimacy disguised as “freedom.”

And incidentally, it’s not as popular as you would think. Aside from the, “When will I have my love to myself?” calls, I also get, “I only said it was okay because it makes my love happy and now I don’t know what to do.” 

Yes, animals fuck. And we are animals. But, human beings have evolved into something much too complex for Nature just simply allow us to backtrack now.

I have said this many times and will never relent that people do not come into this world in bits and pieces.  We’re whole packages. And when we’re playing with this one, playing with that one, loving on this one, sexing on that one, and spreading ourselves too wide and too thin, we end up with scraps and leftovers in a farce of human connection.

Two-of-Cups-TarotA sense of “Home.”


About T. Ray

Writer, visual artist, student, musician, and "armchair nutritionist." She currently resides in Vegas with her jenday conure and two beloved rescue cockatoos. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). While pursuing her degree in Journalism/Media Studies at UNLV, she continues to contend that all things come down to food and Star Wars. Contact:
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One Response to The Illusion of Polyamory

  1. Tim says:

    Home, yes. I can find no better way to express the desire for commitment. Thank you.


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