Not long ago, your poly status was something you were somewhat discreet about. It wasn’t a secret, exactly, but not a subject you waved around freely at work or church or at PTA meetings. You had to find an open-minded doctor so that you would receive health care without being judged for your lifestyle. People would at least raise their eyebrows when you revealed the reason why your husband was spotted in a dim bar with another woman.
And now? The times they are a-changin’.
If it seems polyamory is suddenly pop culture, you’re right. It’s a top search term on Google. It’s a frequent story subject in newspapers and every magazine from Teen Vogue to Good Housekeeping. Therapists like Susan Wenzel are prescribing it, or at least recommending it, as a way to rekindle your sexuality and revive your marriage. Wenzel believes polyamory is the cure for ho-hum sex or the inevitable wandering eye.
I say, yay! The less we are looked upon with scorn or disdain, and treated as normal healthy human beings, the better.
That said, it can be a little annoying when the mainstream pounces on what they recently condemned, tries to shine it up for a mass market, and treats it like it was their idea in the first place.
It wasn’t. Polyamory is as old as the hills! Polygamy is the norm in countless cultures and religions. Before it was trendy in mainstream America, it was a cultural norm in numerous tribes and cultures in Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
Polyamory meant all women could have a husband when men were scarce from war, and it meant women with children could have help raising them from their sister wives, along with the security of a provider.
Polyamory for the purpose of sexual freedom isn’t new either. It comes back in and out of vogue like any other trend. Swinging was the name of the game in the 70s, and in the 60s it was called “free love.”
My advice is to ignore what everybody else is doing and live your best life regardless of sexual mores or trends. If your nature is polyamorous, you don’t need to wait for society’s permission. If you connect best one to one and want to keep it that way, don’t follow the crowds just because today they’re acting like they just discovered sliced bread.
Love who you love. Explore your sexuality when and how it feels right for you.
How would you describe your connection to polyamory?