Well, yes

When I told my editor that I wanted to write about polyamory, she adjusted her monocle, puffed on her pipe and said, “In my day, young lady, we just called it shagging around.”

17 comments on “Well, yes

  1. My dirty mind wants to imagine polysex people as willowy 19-year-old nymphettes with magnificent boobies. But I’ve seen them, and – like the swingers who went before them, but much, much worse – they’re mostly flabularly fugly fornication failures.

    The women are typically beefy-armed, sweaty, tatted-up 2/10’s in Cat Lady specs who look like they want to lecture you on The Patriarchy. They may or may not have been born with a penis, and it’s often hard to tell.

    The males – “men” would be over-egging it – mostly look like they came straight out of central casting for a 1970’s Public Information Film warning kiddies about paedos.

    You half expect Charley the animated cat to appear and meow an incomprehensible feline admonition that you’d better run and tell Mummy, then reward him with a fish skeleton.

    To look at these genetically hilarious circus rejects gives one a horrible feeling that maybe Hitler had a point. I’m not saying they should all be rounded up and have a pounce of blood-maddened Scottish wildcats set on them.

    But I’m not not saying that either.

  2. But I’ve seen them, and – like the swingers who went before them, but much, much worse – they’re mostly flabularly fugly fornication failures.

    To be fair, my acquaintance in Paris wasn’t so bad looking, and nor was one of the other women involved, and nor was one of the guys in his younger days. And I only mean “not so bad”. But the rest? Jesus wept. I stumbled across her wedding* photos on Flickr (since taken down), featuring the exact same bunch of misfits and weirdos you describe standing around in a park in New York reading homemade vows off scraps of paper while chugging on cigarettes. Your description of both the men and women make me wonder if you’ve not seen the same pics…

    *She married one of them twice her age for a visa so she could stay in the US, but the whole “network” turned up to the wedding. But not her family. Unsurprisingly, the marriage didn’t last 5 minutes.

  3. Er, polyamory is not ‘shagging around’, that’s swinging. Polyamory, as the name suggests, involves relationships, not just fucking.

    TIS and Tim Newman just sound a bit jelly – I can tell you from personal experience that they’re wrong, and there are lots of hot young people enjoying a lot more sex than those two ever got.

  4. @Dave: I think you’ll find its one of those irregular verbs: I am a polyamorist, you are shagging around, he is an evil fornicator.

    Same behaviour, different name, to make the individual concerned feel better about what they’re getting up to.

  5. The supposed difference between polyamory and shagging around is the presence of “ground rules”. Only *the* most common cause of distress and conflict in polyamorous relationships is the ground rules being broken. In other words, it’s shagging around.

  6. @Dave – when I came in to the apartment I got this distinct whiff of shit. I looked all over the place and found nothing. Then I logged on, tuned in to TW and came to this thread.

    Stench explained; I’ll put the bleach away and apologise to the dog.

  7. “Only *the* most common cause of distress and conflict in polyamorous relationships is the ground rules being broken”

    Also the most common cause of distress and conflict in monogamous relationships.

  8. Dear Mr Worstall

    “…she adjusted her monocle, puffed on her pipe…”

    The article must have been a long time in the making; smoking in the workplace was banned ages ago. Not sure about monocles, though.

    Maybe Ms Penny needs some creative writing software.

    DP

  9. You lot certainly haven’t got a clue what polyamory is.
    There’s monogamy, and there’s non-monogamy.
    Polyamory is a sub-category of non-monogamy, just as shagging around, (multiple) friends-with-benefits, open relationships, and plain old cheating are.
    But poly isn’t necessarily about sex at all – it’s about having many loves, some of which may be asexual relationships.

    Comments about ground rules being broken kinda miss the point that this is also how so many monogamous relationships fail, and why so many marriages end in divorce due to cheating.
    Poly relationships have to have better communication of needs and wishes, and trust, and ethics.

  10. “Poly relationships have to have better communication of needs and wishes, and trust, and ethics.”

    Quite so, the ones that survive do have them because they need them to survive.

  11. But poly isn’t necessarily about sex at all – it’s about having many loves, some of which may be asexual relationships.

    Correct. But my point was that people practicing what they call “polyamory” are doing no such thing: they’re practicing polyfuckery, i.e. shagging around. One of the best tests for which is being practiced is whether it is done discretely by people who are otherwise normal (i.e. only close friends and family would know about it) or broadcast for all to see by people with serious personality issues.

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