Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House, Sex, Open Marriage, and Polyamory

Last night on the television show House the main character the medical posse was trying to cure was a woman in an open marriage. And though there was plenty of questioning and debating between the staff and the staff’s personal connections with people outside the hospital I have to give the writers of the show props (this time) for not making her sexuality the reason for her illness, which is rare for a mainstream network. Usually when a person falls off the sexual “norm” path they ostracize her or him for their actions by being murdered or dying because of the “abnormality” or sexual choice that doesn’t fit within the networks capitalistic advertising focus (monogamous heteronormativity).

On the show the woman character finds sexual pleasure outside of her marriage, yet stays with her husband because she loves him and she believes they are not only open about their sexuality but are open and honest about other issues in their lives. Of course she finds out he is not trustworthy for reasons outside of the bedroom, which almost destroys their relationship, but it proves a point.

For a relationship to be strong there needs to be honesty and communication on all fronts (sexual, financial, spiritual, mental, etc), whether it’s a “regular” marriage, an open marriage, a partnership, a bf/gf, gf/gf, bf/bf, or whatever combination, or experience you’re personally going for. It’s not going to work out unless you talk to one another.

But, beyond that, I would like to take a moment to talk about monogamy because I do not believe it’s discussed enough as an option. Yes. An option. Everyone assumes it’s the only way to live. It’s more of a norm than heterosexuality. And I would just like to remind people that there is more out there if you so choose to discover it.

Monogamy works for many people and there is nothing wrong with it, as long as you’re not in a monogamous relationship just because you feel you need to be to fit in with the rest of society. But along with monogamy, there is of course, non-monogamy—which is pretty self explanatory and polyamory. Which I’d like to give a quick shout out to since it’s not so well understood. Poly (more than one) amory (love) = being in a loving relationship with more than one person. There are many combinations to how this can work—which would be a whole other blog post, but if you use your imagination I’m sure you can come up with some good ones.

Most people probably feel that they already have to put so much work and effort into just loving one other person, but that is often based on the capitalistic notion that you only have so much love to give. If we could move beyond our jealousies we would find many benefits to polyamory. To name a just a couple: the connections (mental, spiritual, emotional, sensual) with other souls and the deeper understanding of our own selves; which can develop in monogamy but can develop even further when we reach out to more people. It’s not so bad. We just have to work really hard to erase the notion that we all have only one “soulmate,” that we can only love one person at a time. Surely parents understand this as they have more children and realize that that type of love is endless—why can’t endless love be realistic in our personal relationships?

*On a personal side-note I am not in a polyamorous relationship…but that does not mean I have completely discarded the option…it’s definitely something worth discussing with your partner from time to time just to see where each of your needs; if they’re being fulfilled to their greatest potential or if one of you (or both) could use some assistance: )


  1. Very smart. I've been against monogamy as the "only way" for a long time and much more from a biological standpoint. I'm glad someone else can take the time to mention that there are indeed other options.

  2. Hi Krystal I found your blog through twitter. Actually it was this exact article that was linked by @mlmerotic

    I'm not a fan of House, wife loves it though, with that said this is definitely an episode I'll be watching because of the poly-amorous story.

    I also agree with monogamy being an option.

    It was an option that me and my wife, she was still my girl friend at the time, decided not to exercise.Neither of us wanted to be monogamous but that didn't mean that we didn't or couldn't love each other. So we talked about it...alot, set boundaries we were both comfortable with and off we went.

    7 years and two kids later, well what do you know? Still together and still living the dream.

    I actually wrote a little bit about this at my blog, not sure if you allow links but I'll include it none-the-less.