The Problem With Polyamory



Well, polyamory, hey!  This is what the industry refers to as ggb (girl-girl-boy), or bbg (boy-boy-girl), and it has been a staple in adult films for decades.  But now the real world is catching up.

No one can criticize Willow Smith for making a perfectly valid lifestyle choice.  She doesn’t like having sex as often as her partner.  Be my guest:  I’ve got another partner right here ready for you.  If we are trying to sort out whether poly is a good idea, this is one plus: someone who’s a sexual alternative.  More interesting mealtime conversation, more sexual experimentation:  these are all plus-es.

Here’s the Problem

But there is one big minus.  Willow is only 20, and her big concern right now is her boyfriend’s sex drive, or sexual incompatibility.  But a decade on, her big concern will be childbearing .  Children require a stable household arrangement.  Poly is not stable.

This is the problem:  Relationships based on sex tend to be unstable, because desire itself is fleeting and fickle.  You fall out of lust with someone and what, actually, is the point of staying together at that point?

This is one of the main causes of the instability of postmodern marriages and relationships: falling out of lust.  This was not really a problem for Ozzie and Harriet in the 1950s because, even though they were totally bored with each other in bed, there were many other reasons for staying together: relatives, children, the church, the bowling club.

Social Isolation in Modern Times

But girl-girl-boy and boy-boy-girl combinations don’t go to the bowling club.  We know from studies that postmodern couples are socially much more isolated than the modern couples of the 1950s.  They live in a kind of cocoon of pleasure, but when that cocoon unravels, it’s so long.

I described all this is my book, Making Modern Family (1977).  But polyamory didn’t exist then.  Now, in 2021, polyamory has started to become a large-scale phenomenon.  And a lot of people might not have thought this through.



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