Polyamory Was Definitely the Problem


Did I miss the place where the author mentioned polyamory? I never saw the word, and this sounds more like a modern-day Gatsby party than anything actually open or poly.
@1: JFC, did you even read the article?

The opening headline was

"Our polyamory disaster- We thought bringing in new people would add adventure and spice up our sex life. We were so wrong"
Anytime somebody makes a statement like "Not since the days of Caligula and the last days of the Roman Empire" you know they are ignorant assholes.
Now in tone, they really didn't get into polyamory (vs swinging*). But this sort of lascivious clickbait seems pretty expected for Salon.

*And Gatsby? Sex clubs aren't a relic of the past, exactly. The references to Caligula in the article were especially funny.
I'm confused. If the article is so dumb, why is Dan Savage linking to it for people to read? That just seems like rewarding bad behavior.
Typical over-privileged straight white people, using a sexuality they know nothing about to flaunt their superiority. And here's Dan giving them an even louder voice, silencing the real sexual minorities in the process.
The homos made us do it.
Or maybe the meth.
@6: Sexual minorities were silenced by this? What, did tumblr shut down?

(@6: well played, it took me several seconds before I realized you weren't actually raku)
@10: damn. Nice @6
It is not a well written piece. He seemed to want a polyamourous relationship with Architectural Digest, drugs and his significant other. He also doesn't come across at all sympathetic, a bit standoffish, given he wants to show he was accepted to this clique, but he didn't belong.

Christ, what an asshole. But at least he takes the blame for causing 911 and the recession. If I read the ending right.
@6: Mandy and Rachel are bisexual, Raku.

In the midst of having sex with an acquaintance, Mandy was proposing a monogamous relationship involving four people, two couples — one of them married — living in different cities, a union composed of two heterosexual men and a couple of bisexual women.

Bisexual erasure is a serious problem. You have erased and silenced two members of an oppressed sexual minority. How could you? Please don't respond. Your job now is to LISTEN to the people you've offended, Raku, and not offer any defense of yourself.

You are a bad, bad person.
Dan@14: YHBT, YHL, HAND. :)
@6 is now my favorite troll on slog. Well done man.

(Small side-note: "troll" has a specific meaning, people, and it is not not not "person who takes a locally unpopular opinion in a comment thread." Trolling is a deliberate action: saying something that's not only over-the-top outrageous but also just evidently non-serious enough that anyone who is actually paying attention will get it, but people who are just skimming will fall for it. The art form was born and some say perfected on Usenet, back before any of you kids were born. Now get off my lawn.)
Melodramatic attention whores gonna be melodramatic.
And attention seeking.
And whores.
Considering that straight people have been swinging since the 70s, at least, you'd think they would have figured out by now how to do it right. But then again, this story was from 2012, maybe they've come a long way since then.
@2 Of course I read the article! However, I often skip headlines and sub-heads because they often (as here) are sensationalized and have little to no bearing on the content/quality of the actual piece.

As to Gatsby, I could've said "raver culture" instead, but nobody mentioned pacifiers, fun fur, or old warehouses. The description of the setting simply BEGS for a comparison to West Egg.

...or didn't you read it? (Gatsby or the article, take your pick.)
@13's comment did literally make me laugh out loud. Well done.

As a rule of thumb, I try not to read the navel-gazing mewling of sexually frustrated, middle-aged couples who can't figure out how to do anything except monogamy right. I'm sorry your tidy little life is so difficult, douche (and douchette). Now go back to the 'burbs and stare blankly at one another until you die.
Ug, this takes me back to undergrad writing workshops. The headline they stuck on it is kind of misleading though, not really the writer's fault.
These people are just bad at life.
"Before I met her, I’d been floating through life, brooding, adrift, like the down-on-his-luck male lead in a film noir, nursing his drink in some saloon, wondering what was next."

The writing did not improve from there.
So I'm thinking about adding a third eye to my face.
@25 - you got farther than I did. I couldn't get past this in the first paragraph - "And with each of Jason’s thrusts, a swell of water cascaded over the lip of the tub to the deck below. The sound of water slapping wood blended with the couple’s moans in an oddly syncopated rhythm. It was a pretty slick groove, actually — somewhere between bossa nova and Barry White."
This isn't so much an anti-polyamory story as it is anti-rushed-relationship-decisions. If you're going to open up a relationship you don't dive in headfirst, you dip your toes in and then talk about it later when you're alone and sober. You DEFINITELY don't bang the next couple on a whim and then inhale teeth-rotting drugs when things go poorly.

I'm aghast at how much sex took place in about 48 hours. It sounds like Jason and Mandy were shtuping nonstop. Who knows what would've happened if the ancient Romans had access to cocaine and Viagra.
Gay men gathered round a woman? They don't sound that gay. Maybe Bi or something in between, but not gay.



You're talking about satire trolls, like Lord Basil, which are fairly unusual. Most trolls represent the behavior that led to the term being coined in the first place: They write obnoxious, objectionable shit just to get a rise out of people and to derail a thread. They don't mean it as a joke, except perhaps to privately laugh at the people who get angry, and whether they believe what they say or not is immaterial.
@28: You're right! They definitely lose at least five Gayness Points for that.
I've seen dumber.
Yep. I'm sure all the drugs and rampant narcissism had nothing to do with the whole thing crashing and burning. You can be a high asshole all day, but as long as you don't fuck anybody else, things will be fine.
Only an idiot would think a tweaked up straight girl is negotiating a long-term relationship while actually fucking beside a pool.
If you are just opening your relationship, do not stay over the weekend with the other people. BAd things happen in between sexual escapades that you dont really want to be a party to in the beginning, until you have the hang of it.
I think his relationship broke up because he talks like he writes. Seriously, I tried to read the article, but had to resort to skimming. He comes across as so incredibly hard to listen to and so unlikable.

Second, polyamory is supposed to be about having multiple loving and romantic relationships. I'm not sure he was even practicing monoamory. But yeah, maybe he and his wife were trying to. But the sex adventures were specifically not supposed to be significant romantic relationships, which means this is not well-described as polyamory. Free love is probably a closer descriptor, and I think a lot of other models for non-monogamy were created in part because the free love model doesn't work for so many people. Not that non-monogamy is for everyone, it isn't, but the trick to any relationship model is figuring out what is right for yourself and having good communication skills. I didn't see any of that in this article. And, unsurprisingly, none of the relationships worked out.
Holy drug binge! Cause that always solves all the relationship issues.
The whole thing reads like fiction. I don't seriously believe that it is fact. And the word polyamory in the title was probably an editorial afterthought as clickbait for an excerpt from an unpublished work. Of fiction.
Moral of story: Don't be a reckless, methed-up asshole and expect stability. And no, stability and adventure are not mutually exclusive. Neither are sexual exploration and common sense.
@16 - that's actually only partly true. It is true for the particular usenet usage, but very much not a) how the term is used today and b) the only history of the term. Wikipedia tells us, e.g., that US Navy pilots were "trolling for MiGs" in Vietnam, and I doubt that was menat as a form of humor...
@28 - As a 100% gay man who's been around some fetish events like the Folsom Street Fair, I respectfully disagree. If the guy is super hot looking and the only way I get to see him naked is to watch him having sex with a woman, I can cope with the female presence in order to also be able to watch him.
@36 - Also, headlines are often rewritten by editors, copy editors, managing editors, people doing to page layouts, etc. -- often people who are rushed and either skimmed the article or don't have a thorough understanding of it. I wouldn't hold the headline alone against the author. The rest of the article, though, is fair game.
Trip balls on too many drugs to work up the courage to experiment sexually. What kind of moron thinks that's a good idea? Fooling around while intoxicated may be good fun, but don't make decisions about your sex life or relationships unless you're clearheaded.
Protip: if 48-hour, stimulant-enabled Fire Island orgies sound like your idea of a good time, you should probably not be getting married, whether or not your spouse agrees with you.
Mr Kevin - That's a FTWL (FTWCPUWI?) situation, but it still doesn't excise the major anti-gay bias (if not actual homophobia) from that opening paragraph.
Well caught, Mr Savage.
I will say, though, that "Fire Island" gay is a rather weird strain of the orientation, especially when viewed from the outside, and includes a good deal of rounding and/or passing. It's very different (at least from the firsthand testimony I've heard; I do not personally summer) from Provincetown or Ogunquit.
Perish forbid anyone notices the DRUGS. I'm willing to bet that the author is soft-pedaling the actual intake by some huge degree. Any mention of booze at all? Nah! that doesn't count...
@36: Wouldn't be the first time a "journalist" strapped for time and inspiration regurgitated up a crap-ton of cliche.
Out of curiosity, why is that when monogamy or marriage doesn't work, the institutions are flawed, but when polyamory or open relationships don't, it's because flawed people aren't doing it "properly"?

There has always been a smack of no true scotsman when it comes to all of these identities (traditional ones included).
"more Animal Planet than Spice Channel"

I just couldn't get any farther than this -- the second sentence. Who defines anything (purportedly) meaningful through the terms of media?

Is there really a Spice Channel?
@46 Because people shouldn't be making those arguments. Sometimes the correct argument is, "monogamy doesn't seem to work for you", but that is very different from "monogamy doesn't work.". Just as for some people, polyamory doesn't work for them. But that means nothing about whether or not polyamory works. If you know people and pay attention, it's pretty obvious that both monogamy and polyamory work for some people. Just as monogamishamy works for some people. And no one relationship style works for everyone. Although, I suppose, there are probably some people out there for whom no relationship style works at all - and they need to learn more about how to interact well with others.
Fuck that was awful on so many levels.

@48 FTW
I think I stopped at the Caligula paragraph, or maybe when the author wrote that it was her idea. But I did jump to the end: Nicholas Garnett is a teacher and freelance writer who lives in Miami. His memoir, "In the Pink," remains a project in search of a publisher.

Maybe he should self-publish.
@47. There is a Spice Channel. There you will find R-rated Porn "lite." Animal Planet is way sexier.
@51 Ugh. Meerkat Manor might be something without the sappy narration, but Animal Control: Special Redneck Unit or whatever it's called is the ultimate boner-kill.

Though, admittedly, I've never seen the Spice Channel, so I'm disputing your comparison from ignorance. I imagine it's better with the sound turned off, or maybe replaced with the audio from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life?
@46: Some people suck at absolutely anything they attempt.
@uncreative: You really should register. Your comments deserve to be read.

The long-winded airbag who barfed, um I mean wrote this stupid piece and got Salon to publish it, not so much.
@37 - Well said.
@54 Thank you, but I like being unregistered. And nothing I say is so vital that it'll be a huge deal if people miss it. I like that sometimes the screened comments aren't all masses of bigotry and trolling.
Sure. Couldn't possibly be the drugs. Nor the lack of actual discussion. Nor the non-existant 'vetting' of their partners. Nor the rampant, self-important stupidity. Nope. MUST be the swinging.
Uncreative, I finally bowed to the pressure of being hidden from most users by registering, but I applaud you stand in not doing so.

As for the story... Um, it reads like something from "Penthouse", only depressing instead of hot. I couldn't keep track of who was coupled with whom, while taking which substance. It didn't sound like there was anything like polyamory going on, just an orgy. And I found it awfully hard to feel sorry for a guy who is jealous that he and his wife aren't "the hot couple everyone is watching". Poor babies.
@58: "As for the story... Um, it reads like something from "Penthouse""

Check out the other writing samples on his site, Z-grade and intolerable Bret Easton Ellis knockoff porn.
And another dumb thing: Sex in a hot tub is AWFUL. The chlorinated water rinses out all the lube (natural or commercial) which, ironically, means that fucking in a pool is a dry, friction-y fuck. No disrespect to _Showgirls_, but that shit is the worst.
The article was really dull (not sure why Dan even bothered to mention it or link to it), and contained nothing of value for anyone who has any significant emotional intelligence.
@40: Exactly. The author himself did note in the comments that he never used the term "polyamory." It apparently was added in by Salon after the fact. He apologized for any offense that editorial decision (which was not even his) may have caused to the polyamorous.
My (longish) poly essay, in case anyone happens to be interested. http://teafaerie.tumblr.com/post/2179984…

Um ... just noticed that @6 was posted by someone using the same avatar as Raku, who calls him or herself "Ragu". Ragu just joined slog a few days ago, and his/her Stranger profile says "Ragu is on top of psghetti", hence this person has a sense of humor, hence this is not Raku, apparently.

This seems legit to me, it's a story about a guy who fucked up his life, and I don't think he choose to put the word polyamory in the title. The way he blamed the gays for his lifestyle is a little weird though, and I have no idea what the economy has to do with anything.
@uncreative, stay unregistered if you wish, but please keep commenting. The amount of insight you've displayed in the few comments I've read is quite remarkable.

Also, this article really was the worst. As punishment for that horrible Caligula line, I think he should be forced to eat all six volumes of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.