Polyamory on TV with HBO Show Silicon Valley

Young Couple Watching TV

Outside of daytime Springer-style talk shows and Showtime’s informative, yet ultimately frustrating, soft-core titillation-fest that is Polyamory: Married and Dating, you don’t see the poly lifestyle represented often on TV.

Silicon Valley, HBO’s new comedy, skewers the bizarre start-up culture of the eponymous hotbed of tech and for the most part features socially awkward and sexually inexperienced tech geeks, who I had become accustomed to seeing as asexual and hilariously inept at interacting with women. The presence of women is so discomfiting for these social misfits that for the most part, they cease to function when in the presence of a pretty girl. It is against this backdrop that one of these characters, Gilfoyle, is revealed to have a stunningly beautiful girlfriend. Tara’s presence becomes a major distraction for the techies. They will be typing away at their keyboards, but when she passes the rapid-fire clickity-clack of the keyboards drops off to nothingness as the geeks are rendered paralyzed.

Gilfoyle reveals to fellow techie Dinesh that this hot girl wants to have sex with him and gives him a quick education on compersion: “when someone takes pleasure in their loved one getting gratified by another person… sexually.” This offer sends Dinesh into a an anxious frenzy that includes him creating a pro/con list that has over a dozen cons, while the pro side consists entirely of one word: “ejaculation.” In the end ejaculation carries the day for Dinesh. He builds up his courage before approaching Tara to let her know that after due consideration, yes, he is wiling to have sex with her. Of course, this is when everything comes crashing down on him as she has no idea what he’s talking about and has no desire to sleep with him. Even if it’s just part of a practical joke, we’ll give Silicon Valley points for introducing the open-minded concept of compersion to its mainstream audience.

Where have you seen polyamory represented on TV?

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