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I know this hasn’t been anywhere close to the experience of all polyamorous people, but it’s my experience and that of the people I’ve talked to most about this.
I sympathize with it because it was exactly my response when Alicorn told me about polyamory two years ago or so (I can’t remember if I got it from IM conversations with her or from reading her essay).In fact, this Know-Nothing would have two strikes against him if he tried to hold onto his philosophy. Whatever his predictions of doom – Irish immigration would impoverish the country, Irish immigration would lead to the US being annexed by the Vatican – those predictions have clearly been disconfirmed. He would be exposed to so many perfectly normal Irish people that his brain would have trouble even maintaining them as a separate category.It’s like the difference between your association for Chinese people being Fu Manchu versus your association being your neighbor John Chang who speaks perfect English and has a job at Google.They are engaged, working on the “getting married” thing, and have every intention of having lots of children and staying together for at least one lifetime.And all this despite Mike having two other girlfriends and Alicorn having three other boyfriends including one who lives with her.I like cuddling people, kissing people, falling in love with people, petting people’s hair, writing sonnets about people, and a few things less blogaboutable, but having sex isn’t an especially interesting experience for me.
I treat it kind of like watching a chick flick – something one might do to get the nice warm feeling of doing romantic things and bonding as a couple, but wait a second why the heck is she kissing him now and that scene made no sense and THIS MOVIE HAS NO PLOT HOW DID IT MAKE $100 MILLION AT THE BOX OFFICE?
If there is a Heaven, I assume compersion will be a big part of its emotional repertoire. I don’t drink much, not because I’m especially virtuous but because I hate the taste of alcohol and the atmosphere of bars and parties.
In the same way, I’m not promiscuous, not because I’m especially virtuous but because I’m sort of borderline asexual.
For a twenty-eight year old, I am really good at sighing and saying “Kids these days! I was going to make an analogy to desegregation here, how white people thought having black kids in their schools would be a disaster, and then it happened, and the world didn’t collapse into a hell dimension or anything, and after a few years it just seemed like the normal order.
” in a despairing tone, and that was about my response to the whole polyamory concept. But that metaphor is too weak: there’s still racism, a black kid in an all white school district probably feels really out of place, there are still even fights over segregated proms. Imagine a space-time rift brings a 19th-century Know-Nothing to your doorstep.
I remember explaining polyamory to my father when I met him in Utah.