Friday, February 25, 2005

Love, Liberty and Sex.



Back to our discussion about monogamy/polygamy

I want to address Teri's comments from the "Under the Moonlight..." post.

Teri said...
In my extremely unscientific, stereotypical, and biased opinion (although there is lots of scientific evidence to support it), by nature women seem to tend more toward monogamy, and men toward multiple partners. This is absolutely true. These seemingly opposing strategies actually create the optimal situation for propagation of the species: Men are driven to fertilize as many eggs as possible, while women are driven to create a secure "home" with a reliable "provider" to ensure the welfare of her offspring. It can lead to animosities between Men and Women, but it's a great plan for the species as a whole.

Evolutionarily and biologically this makes sense in terms of parental investment. Now, ‘marriage’ is a societal institution, mostly outdated, but even without its existence people tend to gravitate toward some form of partnering. Once again, I agree. The "gravitation" is the pull of our genitals being pulled toward one another by our future offspring as they gather at the exit doors of the Astral Plane.

I studied relationships and marriage in depth in my anthropology classes, and learned that even in societies where everyone is raised to believe that polygyny is the norm, that the women continue to be jealous of their husbands’ affection for his other wives even though the presence of other women means less work for them. Not to mention there are no known polyandrous societies, as far as I know. How surprising. : ) In some societies there are group marriages and alternating marriages that seem to work pretty well for both partners, but even in those there is a very established, understood commitment (marriage) between the various members, so one could say that that is also a form of ‘possession’. Anyway, the point of my rambling is that I see this “utopia” as being more of a utopia for men, not for women. I also fail to see how commitments or agreements equal an attempt to possess. But perhaps I’m missing your point. I think you have missed the point a bit. I am not interested in having 5 wives any more than I am interested in 1. I also find that "polyamorous" relationships with "primary partners" is just some silly swinger bullshit with a better lexicon. One aspect of my point is that most of what we have just mentioned regarding natural (concious/unconcious reproduction driven) human sexuality, is pretty much the same thing that makes any other animal seek out a mate. Most of what you see in a bar on a Saturday night is the same thing you'd see in the forest in the Spring. I am arguing that we can aim beyond that. We can overcome jealousy and arrive at a strange shore where people, freed from the sexual repression of monogamy, can short-circuit the quid pro qou of the capitalistic commodification of objectified female bodies traded for the promise of "love" from a "good man". In this brave new world, a man could find his true heart (and maybe decide to be in a long term monogamous relationship) and understand his emotions as he will not be distracted by his unsatisfied drives. In this Golden Eden, a woman would have as many providers as there are men in the community (paternal bloodlines would be indecipherable in such an orgiastic community and "the children" would become "ours" communally and not "ours" personally) and would no longer need to possess a man to care for her children and could likewise choose as many lovers as her red mind could dream.

Once again - big point here - I am not saying "monogamy is wrong". I really do think that kick ass concious people can get it together with true style and integrity and make babies and live long and prosper til death do they part. I am just saying that most of what usually motivates this is very base and beastial and I don't want the little lizard in the back of my head to make my decisions for me and I feel a special intolerance for people who act on the advice of their brainstems and then expect me to treat it as a sacred union between twin souls. I'm workin' on it. :)




a few words from Jack Parsons:

Therefore lift up your hearts saying, "I am a man" or "I am a woman, and the Power of Life is mine!" And in the Power of Life you shall live and love, accepting no restriction and placing no restriction, freely and granting freedom. And it may be in the bounty of life you shall see the love of life shine in the eyes of another, and the lust of life burn upon his brow, and thus you shall take great joy together. And it may be in good fortune you may find a number such; and share your joy in secret feasting and rejoicing and all manner of lovemaking and festival....And this is well so long as you remember one thing. There can be no restriction. The Power of Life is not restricted; it knows its own way, but no mind knows that way. Therefore in yourself practice all the giving and taking of freedom that is consistent with life, for thereby alone can you remain in our joy. Pain is. Terror is, loss and loneliness and agony of heart and spirit, even unto Death. For this is the gateway to the kingdom of Pan.

If you are reading this, please take a second to comment and add to this discussion.

Only the humble believe that love is all you need.

Be humble in your sleepy hands on this world.

Be a Killer in Heaven.

Love, Joe Nolan


Anonymous tumi said...

Your orgiastic community sounds pretty great. Namely because it's a world devoid of fear.

In it, a child is loved equally by his father and a man who isn't his father. HIV likely doesn't exist, women can choose to have as many love affairs as her red mind can dream without castigation, and men can choose to be love's fool and stay with his true love only.... without a slight sneer from the rest of the world.

And that's not the world we're in.

Im a romantic. And honestly, I think monogamy in its true core is probably one of the craziest, romantic, and anarchic ideas we have; it flies against this Darwinian idea that men just want to fuck and women just want to fertilize and raise good homes.
Because monogamy I think creates this space where we're not just bestial (although I think the animal kingdom is great) but it brings us into a spiritual realm as well.

But that's just me. Most, actually everything, Im saying draws from my Christian faith. I don't think love is supposed to be always comfortable. Think of a relationship you have with a sister or father or whomever.
But it's those relationships-one that call you to love another as passionately as you love yourself(and hopefully self-love does exist), be patient and kind... those are the ones in the midst of sometimes muck, jealousies, mundaness,and selfishness, that we truly find grace.

I think sex can be beautiful and it can be destructive, powerful or meaningless. And it certainly doesn't have to translate into love.

I guess what Im trying to say is that this manifesto against monogamy you have makes more sense as a manifesto against fear. There are many many people who have lots of sex with lots of people for not very pretty reasons. And there are many people who chose not to have sex for likewise reasons that are based more on archaic ideas about the roles we should be playing.

The truth is that we live in a world that is rife with greed and acts of pure evil (fear grossly realized), where women in places are buried to their neck in sand and stoned if they "smell" like they cheated- read "the story of soraya m" and where men are valued sometimes more for their financial worth and less for opening their hearts. It's amidst this that each of us have to find honest expressions of love, whether it be through "polyamory" or monogamous sex or just a good old fashioned kiss.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Marriage" as it is now means relatively little economically, politically, socially, etc. Modern Western marriage stems from ancient and early Judeo-Christian unions which served mainly to unite two families for the purpose of 1)property, and 2)heirs. There is no need in modern society to create a pact of property and heirs. "Marriage" now is a sort of code for "safe place", or "normal". It's something that's supposed to unite two people in a comfortable place so that they can suppress natural instincts and live a "normal" life, creating children and buying homes and having dogs and living the American way. For some people, it works. For some people, it really does transcend and become a deep, trustful friendship, a mutual sexual attraction and need, and a pure monogamous union. For most of modern society, though, "marriage" doesn't work.

I agree with what Teri said about women having a tendency to gravitate more towards monogamy, and men more towards polygamy. I think that's just basic human nature. That's how we're built, and it's woven into our minds by both nature and nurture.

In the end, I think it comes down mainly to choosing how much of oneself each person feels he/she can devote to a partner. If a person feels like he/she has the ability to appreciate, respect, nurture, and love (both sexually and spiritually) more than one person, they should go with that and enjoy their ability to give a lot of themselves. I think for a lot of people, though, and a lot of women especially, it's hard to devote that much of one's emotions and time and energy to more than one partner. I think that's why monogamy is seen as the societal norm. That norm has been bastardized and trampled and manipulated by so many religions and creeds and tyrants now that it does seem trite and "over", but I think it's a fairly natural human state.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Guinevere said...

i could sign you up for participation in the Eugenics Farm i'm starting if you'd like. I'll basically be like a queen bee. Lemme know if you're interested, cuz i don't want too many white guys involved in The Project, so those positions will fill fast.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Aleta said...

I would like to say a number of things, but it may take more than one comment to get it all in. I have known Joe my entire life, he is my younger brother. First, and foremost, he is not afraid of commitment. In fact, I know only a handful of people who work at relationships as hard as he does. However, he is also one of the most educated and spiritual people I know. As a result, he is able to rise above an issue and see it from several different perspectives, sometimes offering insight that not many people have thought of, or that they may have been reticent to think of. Do I personally, believe polyamory is possible - no. But, mostly because of the reasons Joe has sighted already. Our culture is stuck on monogamy - though it tends not to practice what it preaches. For example, where do heterosexual so-called "Christians" get off claiming that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry because it degrades the union of marriage? There is statistical proof that heterosexual marriages more than 50% of the time fail. Are heterosexuals, therefore a good example of monogamy, of keeping sacred vows, of honoring the union of marriage? In my mind, absolutely not. It also offends me terribly that the majority of these heterosexuals, identify themselves as Christian. Christ surrounded himself with sinners, forgave them and embraced them. Part of a Christian's calling is to be "Christlike" - would Christ persecute people who chose a different lifestyle than His? He did not and He would not. But I digress...

I have been married for almost 10 years. Have they all been happy, fulfilled years - no. Have they been pure hell - no. Marriage, and therefore, monogamy is a great deal of work. So much work in fact that I do not believe that we are all up to the task - myself included. Did I marry for the wrong reasons - possibly. I wanted children - desperately. I loved and still do love my husband. I did not however, want to begin a family as a single mom - though I did give it serious thought at one point in my young life. My husband also wanted children, we even took steps towards having a family before we were married, as we knew there were fertility issues with both of us. I can only speak for myself, but I think people's expectations of eachother is what messes things up the most. You CANNOT have expectations of anyone but yourself: you are the only person you have ultimate control of. To have expectations of anyone else is to literally set yourself up for disappointment - which I have done countless times. Since I have learned this, and have let go of my "Prince Charming" fantasies and have fortunately married a man who loves me for who I am, not what he wants to turn me into, life is much better. But, again, it has been tons of work - more work than I ever imagined. Would I marry again - should something happen to my husband - it is doubtful. I took my vows very seriously: as one of the commenters said "a promise is a promise". However, I caution anyone who is contemplating making that promise: it is meant to be a LIFELONG commitment, one that is difficult and hard, and wearisome. In the end, with that hard work, hopefully you will have your bestfriend at your side, helping you with the struggles of your relationship and whatever else life throws at you. If not, you have serious decisions to make, that will most assuredly affect many more people than just you and your mate.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many things wrong with the "points" your posters have brought up.

1) There certainly are polyandrous societies in the world. Women commonly take more than one male partner in Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka.

2) Bestial relationships are not all polygamous. Many species mate for life.

3) Many men, especially past a certain age, want to be fathers, and husbands to just one woman. Is this going against their natural urges? Please.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with anonymous. Marriage is about family. I see no reason to get married if their is not intention to raise children. Raising children in a commited relationship between two people (preferably man/woman)teaches respect, discipline, selflessness, commitment and yes, love. For all you swingin' singles, go join Joe's concubine. But, when you decide to have kids, for pete's sake, choose a partner that you are willing to weather the storms with. Find me a kid raised in your orgy village and I'll show you one selfish, fucked up kid.

Jason Nolan

While you're at it check out the "Lynddie" site at
Scroll down to "pregnant woman with bag on head, wateford mi. That's me.

10:40 PM  

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