Humans are in a constant state of flux and development. Attempting analytical deconstruction of one’s psyche is like trying to hit a moving target. Feelings and perceptions are always changing. Decoding my own psyche to reach new realizations sometimes yields unexpected insights.
Polyamory is a subject I’ve taken up with a heightened level of interest after realizing that suppressing this aspect of myself had resulted in negative effects, as does suppression of most any need. Yes, “need.” We all need several things to survive – water, food, shelter, warmth, sex, and love are a few. Of all the needs we have in common, sex and love are perhaps the most perplexing.
And we need these things in varying amounts and degrees; for instance, some need warmer clothing than others while another has higher water intake requirements. These aren’t necessarily matters of choice – these are conditions that exist with everyone, and everyone has their own particular combination of needs.
Whither polyamory? Why not? Traditional dogma requires us to successfully select a single (opposite sex) life partner while suffering from the dual handicaps of being both young and inexperienced, just one person from a pool of approximately 3 billion, and somehow be completely compatible with the chosen one. Deviation from this “approved” approach is often met with disdain, with reactions ranging from gossip to name-calling to outright ejection from the family. Or even death, in some cultures. All this for trying to meet one’s basic, innate needs for love and sex.
Whither polyamory? Why? Look within yourself for the answer to this one. Do you have the capacity to love more than one person at a time? Of course you do. Most of us deeply love several individuals, usually relatives but often including a small number of close friends. Do you have the capacity to be in love with more than one person at a time? Of course you do. But this condition is verboten, taboo, off-limits to good little acolytes. Woe be to the person with more than one love.
And why should that be? What makes it “wrong” to feel authentic love for more than one other soul? It is within our capacity – why should anything we can potentially do be necessarily bad? Somehow the rest of the world manages to suppress, ignore, or simply stuff all that extra, unchanneled love they are capable of, and they do this as a matter of course lest they fall off the path and (gasp!) have an affair. How horrible it would be, to feel love with someone who isn’t your designated sole love beneficiary. What a sin!
It’s about what’s right for you, not about what conforms to others’ expectations of you. Fortunately for me, I’ve always been hostile toward societal norms and social convention. This made it easier for me to understand and embrace the state of polyamory. It used to almost tear me apart when I would find myself in love with two girls. I generally did not hide this – for amorous relationships, I believe in openness as a default policy, yet frequently the girls insisted that I choose between them – only one per customer, mister. And I, not understanding their possessiveness of me, would ultimately end up breaking up with both of them.
And while I never strayed during 12 years of marriage, I was still in love with at least one woman from my youth and, though not as frequently, I continued to fall in love with new women from time to time. My wife never knew. She would not have understood. I had to just stuff it.
Only in recent years did I begin to realize that I’m not a philanderer or womanizer, nor a slick seducer, nor a Stud Muffin from Pussy Pasture. When love comes over me it’s not because I went out looking for it, it’s because it found me. I don’t seek to be intimately involved in the lives of multiple women simultaneously and usually am not, but it has happened before. The problem wasn’t that I loved woman A and woman B and possibly woman C at the same time – the problem was that one invariably thought that somehow my love for the others negated my love for her or inferred it was impure in some way.
Jung suggested that our needs must be met or the creature suffers. I do not have a burning need for multiple lovers. I do, however, freely admit to loving sex and wanting as much as I can get. My problem is that I can’t turn off the “love center” in my brain. When love finds me I recognize it and do not fight it any longer. It actually harms me to not explore that love and takes away from my life force, diminishing me as a human.