While traditional monogamous relationships and marriage seem to be losing popularity each year, more people are learning about the plurality of possibilities offered by polyamory, or “the love of many.” It’s time to stop treating love as if it were a scarce commodity and instead embrace it like the air we breathe.
TRIADS, QUADS AND FREE AGENTS, OH MY
The most common form of relationship has historically been the pair bond, as it is statistically easier to share a close relationship with one other person (or just yourself) than it is to form a meaningful relationship with multiple people. As such, most marriage and family law has yet to catch up to the modern era to fit with families with more than two parents.
While single working parents have the capability to raise a child alone, children certainly benefit from having two parents of any gender to learn from; if there are three (a “triad”) or four (a “quad”) parents in a family or household, children are almost guaranteed to have someone to play and talk with at all times. Even a mostly monogamous couple can benefit from polyamorous “free agents,” or uncommitted lovers, especially since the intense spark of passion from new love can fade with the simmering effect of long-term companionship.
LOVE IS THE DRUG
Much of the deep emotion associated with motherhood, serious commitment and friendship is based on ambient levels of the hormone oxytocin in both sexes. Oxytocin has been known to correlate strongly between people with high levels who are generally more monogamous and people with lower levels who are more promiscuous.
Similar to many other genetic and personality traits, oxytocin levels exist as a result of DNA and lifelong exposure to environment. For example, it is possible to be born with below average levels of oxytocin, which can then be supplemented by 20-minute hugs or quality conversations with a friend. Being polyamorous is very much a sexual orientation like monogamous hetero- and homosexuality, and the public needs to accept it as a viable alternative lifestyle.
HOW TO BE AN ETHICAL SLUT
The word “slut” conjures images of infidelity, lying and lack of cleanliness, and it typically refers to women. The word also fosters the outdated double-standard that women are pure and should not indulge in pleasure, while men are free to roam and sow their wild oats at their leisure.
In contrast to cheating, which is based on deception and secrecy, polyamory strives to maintain a free and open flow of information between relationship participants to the benefit of all involved. Sex is great daily exercise, pleasurable to all consenting parties and is no longer morally or legally reprehensible. All that’s required to be an ethical modern slut is to be open and honest with everyone you encounter about your dreams, desires and expectations; maybe your partner(s) are just as freaky as you are.
Love truly is limitless, and we must harness this and choose compersion, the act of deriving joy from others experiencing pleasure, over jealousy.