“Perhaps you’ve been hearing more about non-monogamy of late,” HuffPost recently wrote. If so, that’s because the media – such notable outlets as the New York Times, Time, and The New Yorker – seems to be making a coordinated push to normalize yet another perverse offshoot of the Sexual Revolution: polyamory, the next frontier of family-destroying sexual narcissism and cultural decline.
“Open relationships are having a moment,” USA Today titillated its readers. “Open relationships are having a moment,” echoed The Wall Street Journal. “Polyamorous relationships are having a moment,” chimed in The Guardian UK. “Plenty of folks would be more satisfied in a non-monogamous relationship,” blithely asserted HuffPost, which then pointed helpfully to “6 signs a non-monogamous relationship might be right for you.”
Polyamory, also known as “ethical non-monogamy,” means “love of many” and used to be known less formally as cheating, or unethical non-monogamy. But in a post-Christian culture that has elevated the narcissistic pursuit of “expressive individualism” to the highest moral good, being so judgmental is unfashionable and non-inclusive. So there is a movement afoot to legitimize sleeping around and openly admitting it, as a way to liberate oneself from stifling romantic exclusivity and to rip away the already-shredded fabric of conventional, middle-class morality that has sustained our civilization.
“It’s part of a whole modern trend of sexual and romantic expression,” gushes Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and paid consultant for the dating site Match.com, which owns the sex hookup app Tinder. How big a trend is it? The Wall Street Journal notes that
A 2022 survey of more than 14,000 Bumble users globally found that 16% of Americans have recently considered an ethical nonmonogamous relationship. And around one-third of Americans describe their ideal relationship as something other than complete monogamy, according to a February 2023 YouGov poll of 1,000 respondents.
And of course, there is a whole new cutesy lexicon to go with this burgeoning, soulless subculture. From The Guardian article “Still searching for The One when polyamory is more fun?”:
To be “polysaturated” means you’ve no bandwidth to take on extra lovers. A “one-penis policy” (OPP) indicates that a man is on board with his female partner sleeping with anyone who doesn’t have a penis. “Compersion” is the pleasure you derive from your partner’s sexual satisfaction with another, OPPs notwithstanding. (Here’s hoping that’s a word your “metamours” – your partner’s other partners – know the meaning of too.) There’s also “solo-poly”, which it’s tempting to translate as cad, albeit minus the gendered connotations.
Now you know. I research these things so you don’t have to.
New York magazine published a cover story called “Polyamory: A Practical Guide for the Curious Couple” in which the authors spoke to nearly 40 people who are in open relationships, some for decades. It’s tragic reading.
“Julia,” for example, told her partner “Matt,” the father of her child, that she wanted to act on a crush and explore her sexuality more. “We talked and cried for hours,” Matt told New York. “But I knew it made no sense to hold her back. I was like, I’m not going to get in your fucking way.” Eventually, Matt surrendered and told his wife, “I don’t want to hold you back from being yourself.” This depressing tale reveals quite a bit about relationships and masculinity in America today, none of it good.
Another couple told New York that they opened up their relationship after “Ari,” who previously had been “very territorial and heavily monogamous,” came out as “nonbinary” and “Misty” came out as “pansexual.” They then decided to “honor” each other’s “queerness” by openly sleeping with others. Call me old-fashioned, but it doesn’t sound like either of them is being “honored” in this so-called relationship.
And what about the children of those who are dishonoring each other in this way? Writer Molly Roden Winter said she and her husband never planned to tell their kids about their open marriage, but one day their 13-year-old Daniel found his dad’s online dating profile open on his laptop, and freaked out. Winter admitted to their open relationship but lied, “I don’t do it very often.” Four years later her younger son Nate similarly discovered cell phone pics of his father with a girlfriend, and panicked. Your dad “isn’t cheating on me,” Winter explained. “Cheating means you lie, and Dad and I always tell each other the truth.” Oh, well, that must have comforted Nate.
Winter later revealed that her son Daniel, who is now an adult, “recently confessed that back when he was 13, he’d been more upset about the open marriage than he’d let on.” And he had every right to be. Imagine how that disturbing revelation will shape Daniel and Nate’s lives and relationships going forward. Whatever “consenting adults” decide to do (and it doesn’t sound like some of these so-called adults were enthusiastically consenting), faking a solid marriage is an unconscionable betrayal of your children. Good parents put their children’s welfare first; bad parents put their sexual peccadilloes first.
Proponents of polyamory admit there is at least one caveat to all this selfish bed-hopping: HuffPost cites such “sex experts” as Zachary Zane, author of something called Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto (which sounds like the kind of book gender ideologues want to make sure is in every school library), who warn couples that are curious about embracing polyamory to “be sure your relationship is on good footing” first. In our benighted past, wanting to have sex with others outside your relationship seemed like a bright red flag that it was definitely not on good footing, but we’re much more evolved now.
The previously-mentioned Guardian article points out that all the media attention surrounding the New Sluttiness – er, ethical non-monogamy – means there has been a “key change in the positioning of consensual non-monogamy: what was once seen as a threat to the bourgeois institution of marriage is now being presented as its saviour.” As Daniel Frost and Robert P. George observe at First Things, this ludicrous approach to strengthening one’s marriage is akin to saying we have to burn down the village in order to save it.
The good news for our cultural sanity is that “there still is a huge stigma,” complains “Dan,” co-host of The Swing Nation podcast. “We’re trying to push back against the stigma, but it’s really hard to get things moving if you’re constantly battling that censorship.” News flash, Dan: if you have a podcast dedicated to your edgy sexual proclivities and you’re being quoted favorably on HuffPost, you’re not being censored.
What does all this shallow gallivanting mean for the institution of marriage, which is already under heavy assault in America today? It’s worth quoting Frost and George at First Things again at length on this:
As Western law and culture historically recognized, marriage is a two-in-one-flesh (“conjugal”) union of husband and wife. As a distinctive human good, marriage is an all-encompassing union. It unites a man and woman at every level of their persons: heart, mind, and body (for the body is part of the person, not just a tool). In this vision, sexual intercourse is not just a way of feeling closer to someone, different only in degree from other gestures of affection. It alone can seal a marriage, a comprehensive bond—by extending a total union of heart and mind (including total commitment) into the bodily dimension.
Pursuing sexual pleasure without total commitment undermines this human good many times over. It dishonors marriage by seeking a kind of illusion of total union—the connection of bodies without the total commitment of wills; a depersonalization.
Polyamory may be the new sexual frontier, but it is not the last. It is just another stepping stone toward culturally affirming even more degrading and satanic practices such as bestiality and pedophilia. It is a sad truth about humanity that we are light-years more technologically advanced than ever before, but we still wrestle with our basest, most atavistic desires. In the absence of a healthy spirituality and sacred understanding of the purpose of sex and marriage, our culture has tragically degenerated from merely “secular” to “neo-pagan,” and now rivals that of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah – and you know how that story turned out.
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