I want MadamJuJuJive & widdershins as my two wives!
July 11, 2003 5:46 PM   Subscribe

The best thing about Polygamy.com is not the educational benefits (for example, did you realize that Polygamy is the ultimate feminist lifestyle?), it's reading the personals, such as this heartwarming story of Adolph & his two wives - they're looking for a 3rd sister wife, if any female mefites are interested.
posted by jonson (36 comments total)
"...Polygamy is the ultimate feminist lifestyle..."

It's true. I often hear my wife saying that she needs a wife, and I heartily concur, being the supporter of gender equality that I am.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:54 PM on July 11, 2003

Hmm... well, I have my doubts, but suffice to say, if they're happy, I'm happy.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:59 PM on July 11, 2003

Hmmm. Can I be Jennifer Connolly's second husband?
posted by namespan at 6:02 PM on July 11, 2003

"my wives are not interested in a bi-sexual relationship"

You just keep telling yourself that, Adolph.
posted by GriffX at 6:05 PM on July 11, 2003

this thread explores some of the issues surrounding polygyny as opposed to polyamory generally.

The word polygamy usually tends to imply mormons, so I generally say polyamory when referring to open relationships. It also seems, at least here, to be specifically referring to polygyny rather than polyandry. Polyamory means whichever partner wants additional lovers can take them on, so long as the primary SO is cool with it.
posted by mdn at 6:06 PM on July 11, 2003

I can't help picturing Adolph as Will Ferrell's 'Lover' character on SNL.

Jokes aside, the bit where they say:

Polygamy.com does not support "polyandry", where one wife has more than one husband at the same time. Polyandry is a practice which has never been prevalent in human societies and condemned by all major world religions.

is really damn creepy. Sure, one man can have as many wives as he wants, but the other way around? CONDEMNED! CONDEMNED!
posted by GriffX at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2003

mdn, not to put too fine a point on it, but, that's *one* definition of polyamory. And not nearly a universal one.

There are several other, more accurate/inclusive definitions out there...

I find that there are nearly as many "working defininitions" of polyamory as there are practicioners... ;)
posted by fnord23 at 6:14 PM on July 11, 2003

The word polygamy usually tends to imply mormons, so I generally say polyamory when referring to open relationships.

I'm not certain, but it's my understanding that polygamous relationships like those sometimes practiced by Mormons are not open relationships. Thus "my wives are not interested in a bi-sexual relationship" -- I think it's more likely that he is not interested in his wives having a bi-sexual relationship. Seems kind of controlling to me, but hey, some boats need saltier water to float. (ba-dum-bum)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:44 PM on July 11, 2003

mdn, not to put too fine a point on it, but, that's *one* definition of polyamory. And not nearly a universal one.

the only definition I meant to give was that it is broader than the other poly- terms which specify the sexes which can be involved. As that previous thread shows, the classic model is still the one thought of when people hear of non-monogamous long term relationships.
posted by mdn at 7:47 PM on July 11, 2003

Although polyamory would not work for me, I have three dear friends who have been together in a poly relationship for years now. Two men, one woman. And no, the two men are not involved with each other in any way sexually. These are three of the most healthy, loving, well-adjusted people I know, and clearly their relationship works for them. There are no children involved, nor is there even a chance that there will be children in the future, so to me the bottom line is pretty clear: they are adults, they are not harming anyone else, and they are clearly happy with their relationship. Good on them.
posted by Lokheed at 8:07 PM on July 11, 2003

lokheed: do they live together or is it just two guys dating the same woman?
posted by delmoi at 10:30 PM on July 11, 2003

Polyamory just seems kind of selfish for the odd-man-(or woman)-out. In Lokheed's case, for example, you've got two guys who are in love with one woman, who are committed to that one woman, but she splits her commitment between the two of them. It sounds like someone's trying to have their cake and eat it, two.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:58 PM on July 11, 2003

There are two apartments, but really they spend a great deal of time all together in the same place. There are some days that she spends with one, and some with the other, but ultimately they are all involved together as a single unit. It really is far more than just "two guys dating the same woman". For that matter, the three of them as a unit function pretty much exactly like a married couple does in all the mundane aspects of life. I really don't want to go into more specifics, simply because it is their own prerogative if they want to discuss their relationship in an open forum. I discovered metafilter through one of them, and if he wants to talk about it here he can. Or not.
posted by Lokheed at 10:59 PM on July 11, 2003

Hmmm... a mystery, eh? Someone with a user number lower than 10897, still actively posting here, male... is it... quonsar?
posted by jonson at 11:18 PM on July 11, 2003

Wait a minute. Is one of the wives in The Tate Family named Jeremy?
posted by pzarquon at 11:49 PM on July 11, 2003

Last year at Burning Man, we were neighbors with "Poly Domes," a polyamory camp with an invite-only space for gettin' down.

Entrance to this space was, as I said, invite-only, and validated by specially made medallions. Got a medallion? Come on in!

The leader of my camp was given a medallion for fixing one of the Poly Domes folks' bike. Probably key in the winning of the medallion were his good looks and great personality, as well.

After the person with the broken bike went on her way, the medallion itself was returned to our camp, where it was regarded with extreme suspicion. Anyone who wished to pick it up would hold it at arm's length, and we never even entertained the possibility that one of us might put it on and cruise over there.


Because (if that little community of people is any indication) all polyamorists are obese and unattractive. This remains, to this day, the biggest strike against this lifestyle, in my book.

It was a pretty discouraging look at "plural relationships," honestly. Probably because of the "drive-in orgy" aspect. I guess there were probably other polyamorous circles of people there who were just attractive enough not to have to advertise to bring in people.
posted by scarabic at 1:07 AM on July 12, 2003

My wife and I *are* polyamorous, but not prone to sleep around wildly. We've been together for nearly 15 years, but in the four years we've been openly polyamorous, we've had six external relationships between the two of us, several which were cases of the two of us seeing the same person. Ultimately, it would be nice to find a partner for a stable triad, but it's not easy to find... harder than a good partner for one person would be, certainly.

You may think that being polyamorous is a strange choice to make, but without going into all the details, polyamory makes a whole lot of sense in our situation. It's not for everyone, however.

Tomorrow, I am going to the 5th birthday party of a child whose family we are very good friends with. She is a wonderfully well-adjusted kid who has two mommies, a dad, and an extended family of very supportive friends. Frankly, I think that raising a kid in a polyamorous household is probably superior in most cases to the monogamous alternative.

But I will agree about one thing, having been to Burning Man myself... the Poly Dome camp at Burning Man is scary, and has a kind of "new age hippie pachoulli stink" that makes somewhat younger polyamorists like me recoil. IMHO, too many people in the poly community don't believe in polyamory as much as polyfuckery. That might be fine for some, but it doesn't appeal to me...

I believe in multiple loving relationships, and even though there are strong voices within the polyamory community that support the concept of being an "ethical slut", to me, that just means (quite rightly) that if you are going to be non-monogamous (as many heterosexuals are in a de facto manner) you might as well be honest about it and not "cheat". Being honest about how you handle extrarelationship hoo-haa does not, in itself, equal polyamory to me.

Specifically, polyamory refers to multiple loving relationships... but if you try loving everyone, you'll probably end up not having a real relationship with anyone. Relationships entail love and responsibility, and sleeping around with most anyone you meet just isn't a very safe or respectful thing to do in the context of existing relationships. Woe to the freespirited ethical slut who brings an STD back home to their partners...
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:23 AM on July 12, 2003

I live in the desert west of Lehi Utah. There is a polygamist settlement that I drive by every day. Mormons get excommunicated when they practice polygamy, although they often form splinter groups.

There are also violent gangsta polygamist clans that kill each other.

There's a guy in Moab that blasts caves in the rock and lives there with his wives and family.

My Grandmother's father was in a non-mormon polygamous setup. We don't talk about it much.
posted by mecran01 at 7:11 AM on July 12, 2003

Nobody looking for another wife in Chicago but there is a group in Bloomington, IN, where I went to school. Woo hoo!

What is the Amenite faith?
posted by SisterHavana at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2003

Being honest about how you handle extrarelationship hoo-haa does not, in itself, equal polyamory to me.

Once again, as many definitions of Polyamory as there are Polyamorists. I'm Poly; in my case, it just means that I have a (long-term) girlfriend and that my wife's OK with that.

I have heard it said that Polyamorous is basically just a way of saying "relationship hobbyist" -- someone who loves to tinker and experiment with their relationships the way others love to tinker with old cars or computers.

The basic problem is that our culture currently only sanctions one relationship model: serial monogamy. There are many more, and it is perfectly possible to invent your own. All it takes is time (lots of time) and a willingness to discuss your relationship pretty much continuously. Forever.
posted by hob at 8:43 AM on July 12, 2003

Heh. My girlfriend needs to read this thread
posted by shadow45 at 9:00 AM on July 12, 2003

Me and My 5 wives have 32 children. We want one more wife to come and live with us so we can have more. We love God and the outdoors. We have 3 ferretts and 4 dogs.
Please respond.

posted by Fabulon7 at 2:58 PM on July 12, 2003

Three favorite quotes (from different personals):

We do not believe in homosexual relationships! Although we believe that the 'two women' are okay as long as it does not take the place of the male.

We are both heavy-set individuals and are seeking the same. But that doesn't matter too much. (Don't worry, you can't be too big to love.) Please don't let your weight stand in the way of what could be a beautiful relationship.

We also love music of all forms. (One exception, no rap!)

posted by jonson at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2003

Polygamy.com is just the tip of the iceberg. I've been looking around, and the "spiritual swinger" subculture is a strange thing.

Have a look at this discussion forum (including threads on sex among sisterwives). At 3coins.com, read personals from couples seeking (highlights: #534 = bizarre "Buddhist" rant "He allows me to seek my sister wife/sub....I lost 20 pounds as Tom property in just 18 months!", #127 = "We live in a cave but are extremely happy and have space in it for more...We live in a cave out of choice. We don't want to be caught in Babylon in these last days."), female seeking, widowed seeking (says he lost 5 wives and 11 children in an accident).

Las Vegas Weekly 2001 story: Jesus loves polygamy, this I know: Christians use Internet as polygamy tool.

See further lovenotforce.com, truthbearer.org.
posted by Zurishaddai at 3:56 PM on July 12, 2003

*waves* To out myself here for a minute, it's my family that Lokheed is talking about.

Civil_Disobedient: Sure, her commitment might be "split" between the two of us -- but it's no less strong for that.
posted by webmutant at 6:50 PM on July 12, 2003

I always thought that love is about the one thing we can make as much of as we want, and loving one person doesn't in any way diminish our love for another.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:09 PM on July 12, 2003

One thing I wonder about such relationships is how do people deal with jealousy. I mean, jealousy has an adaptive advantage in evolutionary terms, so it's pretty deeply wired into us.

I don't deny that some people can suppress this tendency, I just wonder how people who do feel jealousy end up dealing with it.
posted by beth at 10:25 AM on July 13, 2003

I mean, jealousy has an adaptive advantage in evolutionary terms, so it's pretty deeply wired into us.

well, that's one theory to explain a fairly common tendency among us, but evolutionary advantage as the cause of certain traits is never really "fact" (it's explanatory, not empirical). I think some people have a greater propensity for jealousy than others; personally, I'm a lot more likely to be envious of other people's accomplishments than of the object of a partner's wandering eye.

I very much like the idea of open relationships, but meeting people in the regular world (as opposed to through some kind of club or something) means I haven't had many partners so far who share my attitude. I don't mind monogamy either, and considering that I like to have a certain amount of alone-time, it's not especially likely that I'll ever be in a position to have two serious relationships at once, but I could see myself ending up as a #3 somewhere and being pretty content with that, as long as I honestly felt like I belonged. Or maybe I'll end up with someone married to their work. I definitely don't think I need to be at the center of someone's attention to be happy to be with them, as long as the time we spend together is exciting and productive and loving, and we appreciate each other etc...
posted by mdn at 11:40 AM on July 13, 2003

A woman who wants to make a career of her husband, children, family, and home
Does that make her a part-time wife in a 3-way relationship?

beth, I would in no way be able to handle a relationship that had to be shared with someone else. As evidenced by my jealousy score. I salute those, however, who are able to compartmentalise their feelings well enough to do so. Sort of. My view is that the ideal relationship is one-to-one and that is the way I like it. As for using the Bible to justify lifestyle choices (The Bible is very clear that God ordained marriage, sanctioning polygamy just as He did monogamy), that is hardly a new trick, is it?
posted by dg at 3:56 PM on July 13, 2003

I salute those, however, who are able to compartmentalise their feelings well enough to do so. Sort of.

you obviously don't really, considering you described non-jealous reactions as compartmentalization. For some people, someone's actions with someone else do not massively detract from the meaningfulness of their own relationships with that person.

People manage to accept best friends, pets, dedication to career or hobbies &c., without getting jealous (or if they do get jealous of such things, recognize the silliness of it) but when another sexual partner is involved it suddenly becomes strange and somehow based on unhealthy mental trickery to accept it without serious jealousy.

To me, every person is different enough that I know other people will fulfill different needs / desires / facets of personality for any given partner. That doesn't make me any less valued. I can't be variety, because I'm consistently me (which is a good thing). No one has trouble accepting that their friends have other friends; extending the boundaries of the acceptable to sexual interaction and even to love / long term commitment seems like a natural option to me (obviously one which would require a similar orientation from my partner).

Being upset by flirtation, dancing, and fantasizing about other people, as that quiz from the previous thread tested, seems weird to me. I'd be fine with restraining those activities on my part if it somehow viscerally bothered a partner, but I can't imagine feeling the need to ask a partner to tighten the boundaries there. I just don't "get" what's upsetting about it.
posted by mdn at 5:42 PM on July 13, 2003

I just don't "get" what's upsetting about it.
I don't get how people are not upset by it but, hey, different strokes...

People manage to accept best friends, pets, dedication to career or hobbies &c., without getting jealous ...
It is just that, in choosing a "life partner", I take the "forsaking all others" part very seriously (whether or not you actually utter that vow does not matter to me, it is part of the process of accepting someone as "the one"). If you can manage to work things out so that you share those feelings with two or more people, good luck to you. It is not my cup of tea, though.
posted by dg at 9:31 PM on July 13, 2003

okay, webmutant, I've tried to refrain from asking, but my worse nature has got the better of me: do you three all live together? Multiple beds? What does one of you do when she's sleeping with the other? Do you all sleep together all the time? I have five billion other questions as follow ups, so you may want to just ignore these rather than engage me on this issue...
posted by jonson at 11:19 PM on July 13, 2003

It's okay, I'm used to these questions. Riff and tree have an apartment together; tree is over here quite often. As for what one of us does when she's with the other, it varies; we either sleep alone or find other company.
posted by webmutant at 11:23 PM on July 14, 2003

And there's never trouble? Never "hey, but I wanted to see you tonight, but you're with him...." etc?
posted by jonson at 6:31 PM on July 15, 2003

Nope. No trouble. We generally plan things out about a week ahead of time, and allow for emergencies. (As in, "I know this was supposed to be your night with him, but I got fired today / found out my Aunt Matilda died / a meteor hit my cat, and I really need to see you.")
posted by webmutant at 12:54 AM on July 16, 2003

I cannot fathom the stress of multiple spouses.
posted by mecran01 at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2003

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