Your assessment about polyamory is completely wrong. I don’t have the patience to go through point by point, but I know plenty of happy poly couples, including me and my husband. There are not lonely men sitting at home in large numbers while their wives go off and have sex. Poly isn’t just about sex in the first place, and who do you think they are getting together with? Go read about it from people who actually live that way before you pronounce what it’s like.

The theory being, if monogamy were not socially enforced, just a few elite men would have harems of women and most other men would have no partners, which would lead to unrest. It seems to be men who are the most sure that this is how it would go.

This is a classic case of somebody trying to overlay the paradigm they understand on top of a different one that they don’t really understand. I’m looking at you, Jordan Peterson.

By contrast, polyamory is about freedom, equality, individuality, and integrity. It doesn’t turn out that way in practice every single time, but it’s enough of a part of the dynamic that there is simply no way that this fear of exclusive harems would ever be a significant element in a polyamorous culture. The zero-sum thinking of patriarchy just doesn’t apply. It is theoretically possible that a man might have 30 partners, but they would all be free to have their own additional partners as well and most of them would have multiple partners. In fact, more men would probably be involved in intimate relationships if women didn’t have to choose only one man at a time.

Polyamory is a mindset. It isn’t just sanctioned sexual infidelity. It’s a way of thinking about relationships that is expansive, rather than restrictive and it doesn’t work well with either co-dependence or controlling behaviors. Most of the time when I hear about trouble within a polyamorous relationship, it’s because monogamy-oriented ways of thinking are in play.

And that’s how I feel when I’m intimate with Tamara — like a person interacting with one of the people I love, who just happens to be a woman.

And I feel like I have polyamory to thank for that. After many, many years of fairly traditional monogamous marriage, opening up our relationship wasn’t without it’s bumps, but once we got through those places where our programming was running us, rather than our authentic desires, we found a place of expansion and growth for us as individuals and for us as a couple. Spring of 2015 blew the doors off of our old life, and although this Spring is not quite as dramatic, it’s another significant step into a world where who we are and what we do is informed solely by our hearts and minds, and not the relationship structures designed for us by others.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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