Tell Me, Who’s that Writing?

1.  Y’all may remember that I have been seeing a therapist for my issues with my “horse.”  Well, big changes on the way, I think, on that front.  I don’t want to go into it here, obviously, but, if you find yourself knocking on wood for any reason today, give it another knock for me.

2.  Is there a good anti-polygamy argument?  I kind of think we should decriminalize it and prosecute the hell out of men who “marry” children.  But I don’t know.  It’s not my thing, but if everyone’s consenting and over 18, who cares?

3.  It’s all I can do to not decide I’m sick and go home and spend the afternoon on the couch with my dog.

4.  Along with 1., I’ve started another large project.

5.  The Tift Merritt song I’m listening to right now is making me cry like a baby.

6.  Bleh.  I kind of feel adrift.  It’ll be okay, but I’m feeling a little sea-sick about the whole thing.

7.  I need to get me a polygamist marriage where my husband and sister-wives work while I stay home with my dog and write.  That would be awesome.

8.  I think “John the Revelator” is just about the coolest, creepiest song.

71 thoughts on “Tell Me, Who’s that Writing?

  1. The biggest problem with polygamy is that our current legal system cannot accomodate multiple spouses in cases of inheritance, divorce, and so forth. Marriage is much more about property rights, legally, than it is about social niceties like, “I lurbs him and her and her wif all my heart.”

    Given the speed of change within our legal system (glacial usually, but with perplexing rapidity in certain cases), I don’t think that this particular morass will be solved any time soon.

  2. Oops. Yeah, I would be staying home “working” while they bring in the bill-paying funds. That’s the arrangement I want. I also want to know if the three of us are all allowed to cuddle together or if not.

  3. Since when is marriage “much more about property rights”? Does “lurbs” have anything to do with it anymore? sheesh.

  4. Well, Ginger, it’s a contract, at least to the State. Nothing sacred about it. You and your church (anyones) can deem it sacred and holy, but to the State, its a legal distinction. Rightly so.

  5. Ginger, the parts the gov’t regulates are all about the property and the financial benefits/deficits.

    But we could (1) rename civil marriage ‘civil union’ or whatever the phrase is, (2) allow civil unions to cover any consensual grouping of adults, (3) limit the insurance benefits and the like associated with civil unions to one additional adult, but also limit the benefits of civil unions to those obtaining a ‘civil union license’, and (4) make the issuing of a ‘civil union license contingent on everyone involved drawing up a will.

  6. Hello TCP:
    Girl, I like the way you think……you just may have hit on the answer for my current crisis
    in your #7 comment……tell me what you like in men and maybe we can come to some arrangement…which poses the next question….”How many rich women does it take to screw in a
    polygamist?”…..may not have phrased that correctly but you get my meaning…i hope.
    jinks….p.s. come for a visit.

  7. Also, there is a version of “John the Revelator” by the Fairfield Four that I particularly like. I also have a couple of buddies who used to be in a band together. It was an alt-countryish sort of band, so one of them came from a deeply-immersed-in-bluegrass kind of background and the other only knew punk and those country tunes deemed worthy of coverage by Uncle Tupelo and Gram Parsons. The diib guy taught the rest of the band a bluegrass version of “John the Revelator”, and the punk guy went around for a while enthusing, in writing, about the new song he had learned: “Who’s that riding? John the Revelator.” It all had to get explained to him…. Anyway, I hope you’re riding a new horse, or get a better stable for the one you’ve got, or something, pretty soon.

  8. I volunteer to be on of your wives, if you so wish. Of course, and I know this will thrill you and Mack, SQ is part of the deal.

  9. Again…does love have anything to do with it anymore?

    Not really. Love has only had very precious little to do with marriage for a small part of history. And love has nothing to do with marriage as sanctioned by the state.

    1. Y’all may remember that I have been seeing a therapist for my issues with my “horse.” Well, big changes on the way, I think, on that front. I don’t want to go into it here, obviously, but, if you find yourself knocking on wood for any reason today, give it another knock for me.

    Woot! I’ve done a lot of knocking for alot of folks lately. Consider yourself knocked up. ;-p

  10. I know this will thrill you and Mack, SQ is part of the deal.

    So, I’m gathering that the harem is Mack’s? ahahahahahaha

    But seriously folks, wow. There are people here who are serious about wanting polygamy to be legal… wow. I will ponder on this for awhile.

    In the meantime, what does that say about the whole feminist idea of wanting respect from men? I do not see how giving a man free reign to fuck any of his wives he wants when he wants at the expense of another one not getting his attention should he choose one over the other. No, that idea flies in the face the idea of wanting to be treated respectfully as a woman. A complete contridiction.

  11. There are people here who are serious about wanting polygamy to be legal

    Philosophically I have no issue with any individuals of legal age entering into a contract for the purpose of legal recognition by the state. I don’t care if three guys and a gal go into the carpet business together. Why should I care if they go into Civil Union together?

    I believe that various religions have parameters for marriage within that religion, and those parameters should be respected. (ie. Catholics being married in The Church, etc.) The grey area comes when certain religions believe that a woman’s sole fulfillment of faith is to be of service to a man, and so it’s to a woman’s salvation to marry at 15 and have babies. I have issues with underage marriage, as I believe it’s a form of pedophilia.

    In the meantime, what does that say about the whole feminist idea of wanting respect from men?

    I say that it’s an individualist notion of wanting legal parity within the construct of The State. Now I personally feel that a polygynist (one man, many women) marriage is disrespectful to women, treats women as chattel, etc. That’s why I will not participate in a polygynist family. BUT…if you want to throw your chips in with a bunch of women and some guy, I think it’s your right as a free adult to do so.

  12. I dunno about polygyny being inherently disrespectful of women. A system that allowed only polygyny, yes. But polygamy is not only polygyny — it’s polyandry, too (which seems wonderful to me in theory, but would probably be exhausting in practice*), and polygynandry (more than one of each sex). And it seems to me that if all those options were on the table for everyone (within the strictures of each individual’s religious and social beliefs), then those who chose to enter a polygynous marriage would be doing so because it fit their own needs, which aren’t necessarily the need to be disrespected. (For instance, I can imagine a woman who loves a man but doesn’t want to have to spend all that much time looking after him, emotionally; another wife might be a perfect solution for her.)

    *For everyone but Ginger, that’s emotional exhaustion. For you, Ginger, it’s whatever form of exhaustion you’d like to make a joke about. You can’t say I don’t serve you straight lines on a plate.

  13. Uh, no, it isn’t your right…it’s against the law.

    Yes, it presently is. Although I don’t understand why. Abortion used to be against the law. Intterracial marriage used to be against the law. Drinking alcoholic beverages used to be against the law.

    Why?

  14. *For everyone but Ginger, that’s emotional exhaustion. For you, Ginger, it’s whatever form of exhaustion you’d like to make a joke about. You can’t say I don’t serve you straight lines on a plate.

    I’m not following you.

  15. Drinking alcoholic beverages used to be against the law.

    Well thank god it isn’t anymore…Karaoke would have never been invented! hehehe

  16. I just thought you’d have something to say about how exhausting it would be to be married to a lot of men, that’s all. I admire your way with a double entendre.

  17. Ginger,
    Nope. They both are just doggone smitten with her.
    I just get to be Aunt B.’s wife. But, ummmm… I don’t want to do anything either but dick around on the tubes.
    Damned conundrum.

  18. Kat, even in this benighted country, drinking alcohol was never against the law. Buying and selling it was, but possessing it (if you came into possession of it before Prohibition took effect), serving it to guests in one’s own home, and drinking it were never illegal.

  19. I just thought you’d have something to say about how exhausting it would be to be married to a lot of men, that’s all. I admire your way with a double entendre.

    ah! Exhausting?!? Why, they couldn’t keep up with me!
    ;)

  20. Ginger, I just wanted to come back and tell say that lurbs have a whole lot to do with my marriage. ;) As a matter of fact, my husband and I use that word, said in just that way, every day. Along with love, wubs, lurbles, and so forth. ;)

    But as has already been said, marriage in the legal sense is mostly concerned with property rights. There is no room for love in the law.

  21. Love is good, Ginger.
    As I’m not allowed to get married, it’s not a concept I’m very versed on.
    Would I get married if it were an option? I’m not so sure.
    It works for a lot of people and I have seen a lot of people marry for love.
    I’ve also seen a lot of marriages filled with love dissolve due to other things unexpected like financial issues, etc.
    I don’t know. I’m not the person to be pontificating about the whole thing.

  22. Perhaps I’m not either. I married for love the first time, and look where it got me…

    But there is still a part of me that is the idealist, ya know?

  23. I do not see how giving a man free reign to fuck any of his wives he wants when he wants at the expense of another one not getting his attention should he choose one over the other.

    If this is what a “marriage” boils down to for you, then I could see your point. Again, marriage is not about sex. It’s perfectly OK for you to want a one on one marriage wherein your husband thinks you are the world and everythinbg in it. Clearly, though, we have raised people’s expectations of marriage to the point where roughly half of them fail. I personally like the idea of multiple wives, or multiple husbands, and they can work the sex out between them. At some point, I think, everyone benefits, espescially any children. Work is distributed as evenly as possible. Anyway, I think more and more people will be entering into these types of arrangements because they will be economically forced to do so. Love? Thats for teenagers and television.

  24. As long as the wives can have sex with whom they want to as well, don’t you think?
    I am not opposed to open marriages.
    Seriously.
    Fortunately, I got the love, just ain’t got the marriage.
    And I’m actually cool with that.

  25. Lest I give the wrong impression:

    I married for love. I plan to be married until one of us dies. I will not allow another person into my marriage, which I hold sacred.

    But that’s my religion. I don’t expect the rest of the world to have daily devotions, communion, or cover their heads for prayer. I don’t expect the rest of the world to abstain from eating certain things. I don’t expect the rest of the world to stay virgins until they’re married.

    I do these things because of my religion. Which is NOT controlled by the State.

    I do not expect to use the State to enforce the terms of my religion upon strangers who do not otherwise adhere to those religious beliefs.

  26. Wow, this has turned into a thread that has given me a lot to wrap my head around.

    1. I am not in Mack’s harem. If Mack wants to be in my harem, he can fill out the application and turn it into my secretary, just like everyone else. He gets extra points for being a shrewd businessman, but loses some points for assuming I can’t cook.

    2. I think love makes marriage more palatable, but I guess I don’t think that romantic love is a strong enough fuel for a long-term relationship. At some point, it has to become more about a decision and a desire to build a life together with a person, right? That’s also love, but it’s more and deeper than just “Oh, look at that person I want to fuck right this second! I hope s/he thinks I’m cute!”

    3. A lot of folks can’t do monogamy. They maybe can do serial monogamy, but not a life-long commitment to sex with just one person. I think it’s got to be better to talk about these things up front and have rules and structure that everyone can live with. I know a lot of women in my mom’s generation that put up with a lot of catting around under the understanding that there would be no outside children and no steady other woman (just a series of sexual conquests). I know a lot of women also put up with there being another outside woman with other kids. Muddy Waters, for instance, kept his two families right around the corner from each other.

    Those kinds of arrangements might not be ideal for everyone, but if they are ideal for folks, who are we to say that they can’t work things out that way?

    I honestly think the problem with such arrangements remains when one person (the man in the cases I’ve mentioned) uses his behavior as a way to abuse and wreck havoc on people he ostensibly cares about. But if everyone was equally empowered, invested, and protected, you could have all kinds of arrangements where everyone was happy and felt loved and safe and supported.

    4. Newscoma, I love you and am proud to have you as my polygamous wife, but you’ll excuse me for a second if I have to do some pelvic thrusts in Mack’s direction as I gloat about my acquisition of the Squirrel Queen. How’s that work, Mack? You thrust your pelvis at your opponent and then talk smack to your partner about how, if only she’d tried harder, you could have won by even more? Does that mean I have to talk smack to Newscoma as I pelvic thrust in your direction? Teach me, master, teach me how to mock those I defeat!

  27. If this is what a “marriage” boils down to for you, then I could see your point. Again, marriage is not about sex.

    Well, duh, Mack…of course I don’t think that. (Yes folks, I played the “duh” card.) Sure, if everybody in the situation agreed that nobody would get jealous of the time the dominant member spent with other members, that would be wonderful. But people are human and you can’t pretend like human emotions are not going to play a part in an arrangement like that. While it would appear to be a simple solution for many problems in relationships these days, I see it as complicating it even more.

    Oh, and fwiw, I see your point Kat…you’re looking at this from the “State controlling relationships” viewpoint.

    So, I tell you what, Mack. Let’s build a commune on your farm. You can be the farmer, B can write her novel and sew our clothes, Trace & SQ can cook, I’ll provide entertainment and sex, and we’ll kidnap Sarcastro to be our janitor. Sound like a plan?

  28. But seriously folks, wow. There are people here who are serious about wanting polygamy to be legal… wow. I will ponder on this for awhile.

    In the meantime, what does that say about the whole feminist idea of wanting respect from men? I do not see how giving a man free reign to fuck any of his wives he wants when he wants at the expense of another one not getting his attention should he choose one over the other. No, that idea flies in the face the idea of wanting to be treated respectfully as a woman. A complete contridiction.

    I’m serious about polygamy being legalized. Nothing inherent in multiple relationships says that they have to be abusive. Granted, the form I’m for is not one that is male-centric… any configuration of consenting adults who are willing and able to get everything straightened out legally, should be able to be together. Not just one man and his many servants wives. That’s not the same thing at all.

    Granted, I identify as poly, so that probably part of it… but even without the selfish bits thrown in, I’m philosophically there too. I think that a stable multiple partnership or an open partnership with stable principals can be better/healthier/more moral than a bad ‘normal’ one. I think that the way we have (legally) constructed marriage in this country is deeply flawed (you can get drunk and wake up with a host of rights and obligations to a person you’ve never met in your life if you have complimentary genitalia, but two people who’ve known and loved each other for years have to expend tens of thousands of dollars and move to another state to get a shadow of those same benefits?), and that it needs some serious investigation.

    And whenever it does become legal? I’m totally going to marry Aunt B. We will have adorable curly-headed blogger babies, and endless discussions about random stuff, and lounge around while the gorgeous husbands lavish us with attention. ;)

  29. See, Newscoma, that’s one of the reasons I think the gov’t ought to get out of the marriage business for anyone and into the civil unions business for every consenting adult. You wouldn’t get to duck out of these discussions by saying they didn’t apply to you.

  30. So, I tell you what, Mack. Let’s build a commune on your farm. You can be the farmer, B can write her novel and sew our clothes, Trace & SQ can cook, I’ll provide entertainment and sex, and we’ll kidnap Sarcastro to be our janitor. Sound like a plan?

    I know you’re joking, and I’m not calling you out on your joke. I’m just using this joke as a springboard for my thoughts on the reason why polygamy of any sort–especially polygyny–is not my cup of tea.

    I think Polygamy relies too much on role-playing, and discounts the wholeness of every person in the relationship. In every polygamous relationship I’ve seen–including that of my grandparents–, there’s always the “sex wife” and the “mom wife” or “the breadwinner partner”, “the sex partner” etc.

    I guess, like any other business, if you want to structure your life that way, far be it from me to tell you not to. But I can’t see how it’s healthy to say “okay, Ginger is the Sex Partner; B is the Domestic Mother Partner; Trace is the Hearth Goddess” etc.

    I mean, suppose the day comes when B wants sex or Ginger wants to be taken seriously when she attempts to sew a dress? How does any compartmentalised relationship allow the members to grow into the fullness of themselves?

    ::Again, Ginger, I’m just using your joke as an example::

    Oh, and fwiw, I see your point Kat…you’re looking at this from the “State controlling relationships” viewpoint.

    Yeah. That’s my Default Annoying Libertarian Position on most issues.

  31. Gah! Aunt B, Akismet ate my reply.

    But hey, Ginger said something else, and I should respond to that too…

    Sure, if everybody in the situation agreed that nobody would get jealous of the time the dominant member spent with other members, that would be wonderful. But people are human and you can’t pretend like human emotions are not going to play a part in an arrangement like that. While it would appear to be a simple solution for many problems in relationships these days, I see it as complicating it even more.

    Why on earth would there be a ‘dominant’ member? In a ‘traditional’ polygamous relationship, I’ll grant that the man has a lot of power, and that all (or nearly all) of the participants are straight… which gives rise to that kind of hierarchical construction. But that’s an artifact of the setup, not an inherent issue with multiple relationships.

    And that’s a problem in singular relationships too. How much time do you spend with your friends? How much time do you spend at work? How much time do you spend with your family? People always have to juggle commitments and affection, and the fact that romantic intimacy is involved doesn’t mean it suddenly becomes impossible.

    Not to mention some other things that are made structurally possible by the type of poly relationships I advocate… those other members might have secondary partners of their own. Or they might be attracted to each other. I, personally, would be happy as a clam in a relationship with a man and another woman, or a woman and another man, if we all liked each other equally (or similarly, anyway).

    And as Kat (I think) pointed out… you don’t necessarily all have to be doing the same thing at the same time, in the relationship. The members with higher libidos might have more sex, but others might go in for the emotional intimacy or nurturing. Not everyone wants to be the absolute object of the other person’s regard all the time, especially if there are differing libidos involved. If one person is horny all the time and the other isn’t, well, it might be nice to know there’s someone you like, appreciate (and trust) that can satisfy that need while you curl up with a good book or get ready for work.

  32. See, Newscoma, that’s one of the reasons I think the gov’t ought to get out of the marriage business for anyone and into the civil unions business for every consenting adult. You wouldn’t get to duck out of these discussions by saying they didn’t apply to you.

    Ayup.

  33. I guess, like any other business, if you want to structure your life that way, far be it from me to tell you not to. But I can’t see how it’s healthy to say “okay, Ginger is the Sex Partner; B is the Domestic Mother Partner; Trace is the Hearth Goddess” etc.

    I mean, suppose the day comes when B wants sex or Ginger wants to be taken seriously when she attempts to sew a dress? How does any compartmentalised relationship allow the members to grow into the fullness of themselves?

    Ha! I just used you as part of my argument for this kind of thing. I don’t think it has to be that simple. I’ll defer to your experience, of course … I don’t actually know anyone who’s had a multiple partnership over any significant amount of time, much less a marriage. But I do think that at least some of that is a structural/cultural issue (including the problematic construction of ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ as roles rather than as people).

    I think that absolutely, people should ‘play to their strengths’ in and out of a relationship. But I also think that everyone should be understood as a whole human, with different facets. If a person wants to step out of their primary role, that should be loved and encouraged… whether you’re with one person or with many people, whether you’re talking about your best friends or your grandchildren, your congregants or your employees. I think that’s an absolute basic part of human respect and decency, and if you can’t do that in your relationship, you’re doing something wrong.

  34. Shoot, like I’m not going to dig a marriage proposal out of my spam filter?

    In the real world, I’m not sure if I could work a polygamous relationship. As people are repeatedly shocked to find, I’m not as brave in real life as I am online. But I like the possibility. I like the idea of surrounding yourself with people who care about you and not cutting yourself off from physical affection from any of them. But I like the idea of it precisely because I have such a hard time with it in real life.

  35. But I like the idea of it precisely because I have such a hard time with it in real life.

    I, on the other hand, cannot imagine finding more than one person on this earth who wants to see me naked.

  36. Mmm, I think that the threshold for thriving in such a relationship is higher than the one for dyads, that’s for sure. And I honestly don’t know that I’d do very well either, not having had the chance to try it. (Not for lack of looking, though! Possibly for lack of sociability, but that’s a different issue entirely.) But I’d like to give it a shot. And if it worked out for me, I’d like to be able to cement it in a way that would provide my partners and any children we might have with the most protections possible.

  37. Ooh, I have lived in a commune-like domicile before. I would like to be in charge of inventory and ordering and making sure things get done. And also meetings. Y’all need to learn how to make a knocking motion to signal agreement. :)

  38. But I like the idea of [polygamy] precisely because I have such a hard time with it in real life.

    Me, too. Exactly.

  39. Interesting, interesting. How’s this:

    Assumption #1: Single people of age can live with whoever and however many people they want to.
    Assumption #2: Single people of age can have sex with whoever and however many people they want to.

    If these are true, then the question is what kinds of living and sexual arrangements the State should recognize/grant legal rights to. So thinking about it, my reaction would be based on what kinds of recognitions and legal rights would be granted and their implications.

    Recognition. This reminds me of the marriage vs civil unions thing. The fact that people don’t want to be labeled second-class, even if (in theory) they might have all the same rights otherwise. That’s such a fuzzy subject I’m going to table it.

    Legal rights. The relevant ones are probably taxation treatment, child custody and guardianship rights, inheritance, and medical. Those jump to mind anyway.

    Taxation: if you ignore the marriage penalty (in disfavor anyway) we could say no tax differences for anyone. Easy enough. One down.

    Child custody and guardianship. You’d probably have to treat the non-biological parents like step-parents of divorcees. Not unworkable, but since each family may divide the roles up differently (tip of hat to Kat Coble), it could be thorny to put gov’t respect for those roles into law.

    Inheritance. Easy if no kids and/or detailed wills. Split evenly among all spouses like among multiple children. Once kids come in though I think it’s a problem. Husband dies. Wife A gets half and Wife B gets half. But Wife A has one child, Wife B has 4. Should Wife B get more? It wouldn’t be the first contested estate, but I think the likelihood is higher.

    Medical. The Wife (Terie Shyfo) is comatose, Husband A wants to disconnect feeding, Husband B disagrees. Fill in the blanks.

    So thinking it through, the main argument against legal sanction of polygamy (if that’s the right term) is that the government is encouraging you to pick the one person who is there for you, who looks after you, your kids, etc. Having two (or more) may be great, but it complicates things and arguably is less stable. So the government may not want to incentivize it. (Another aspect is whether those incentives can/should be viewed as rightful entitlements to any committed relationship.)

    To answer B’s question then, I guess it’s a matter of how you ask the question. Should the government punish people who live together as a threesome? Libertarian Jebbo says No. Should the government allow 3+ to file for special legal rights? Depends on the rights. Hospital visitation? Yes. Inheritance in absence of will, child guardianship? Maybe. Should the government require that all legal rights accorded to twosomes be available to threesomes. Probably not. Businesses provide same health etc benefits to all partners? Don’t think so. Etc.

    And as for recognition… don’t care either way. Lean to No, on the basis that it might encourage people to “try it out” at much emotional risk… but I’m aware some people use that argument against rights for homosexual couples. Without going in to that sidetrack, I’ve learned to lean towards, “if it doesn’t hurt me, do what you want.” So I’d go along if others would.

  40. yeah, I was totally being light-hearted in my “arrangement”, but I expected the exact response I got of “Why would “x” be the sex provider and “y” the cook? This proves my point precisely that it wouldn’t work…there would be some thinking something was unfair, or that another had the better end of the arrangement, or whatever. It sure sounds like utopia on paper, but in the reality of daily living, it would be SO complicated.

    ok, I’m going back over to my place to respond to the guy who told me to close my legs because I am pro-choice.

  41. I’m going back over to my place to respond to the guy who told me to close my legs because I am pro-choice.

    Well, since I favour legalising drugs and prostitution I’m the wrong person to respond to Mr. Legs Closed.

  42. I think this is the kind of thing (like the communal living) that may sound better than it turns out to be in actual practice. As for me, I need a sufficient quantity of alone/me time that living with more than one other person is wearing after a while.

  43. That’s a pretty good breakdown, Jebbo. I lean the other way on a couple of things, but you’ve definitely got the bones of the argument there.

    I think my personal position is pretty out-there in that I think that people should be able to direct things where they will, even if those directions don’t take traditional forms. I think that Aunt B. and the Butcher should be able to co-parent a child, should they both choose to take on that responsibility, even though there is no romantic relationship in place.* I think that my friends I and A should be able to designate each other for medical and legal things even though they’re unrerlated straight women (granted, they’re unrelated straight women who bought a condo together and live like domestic partners, despite being in no way attracted to each other). I don’t think that either type of relationship should be termed marriage, but I do think it should be easier to a) have people in long-term romantic relationships be able to be awarded those benefits, and b) for people who are not in long-term romantic relationships, but who are in long-term relationships of a different nature, to avail themselves of the protections and responsibilities involved therein.

    I think, much as certain health things are a part of getting a dyadic marriage license, working out those legal things should be a criterion for multiple joinings if/when they ever happen. (I know there are a lot of embedded class things in there, and since I’m such a liberal treehugger, I want those things to be free or low-cost or sliding-scale… but that’s neither here nor there). Rather like pre-nuptual agreements are done now, only with more people and more items. (And, of course, the health stuff. That should always be there… though if I remember aright the health things were kind of odd)

    * Although I think it’s clear, I just wanted to make sure – I don’t mean that I want them to have a child together, or that I want to create any sort of automatic arrangement of the type involved in a marriage, where any child of one is the child of the other barring intervention. Rather, I mean that they should both be able to adopt a child, like a couple would be able to, and have the same legal relationship toward said child that a romantically paired adoptive dyad would have.

  44. Ooh! A poly thread, and me too busy working to notice!

    Rachel said:
    I need a sufficient quantity of alone/me time that living with more than one other person is wearing after a while.

    One of the advantages of a poly relationship (when handled well) is that it can give you the alone time you need. Your other partners and your partners’ other partners have their own lives, and the whole dynamic of one person relying solely on one other person for complete emotional and social fulfillment is lessened.

    That’s not to say that your observation (that it may sound better than it turns out to be) is necessarily incorrect. In a lot of cases I’ve been part of been witness to, that has been the case. But it’s still a worthwhile relationship paradigm and there are still significant advantages to it over monogamy, for some people in some circumstances.

  45. Ginger said:
    does love have anything to do with it anymore?

    Sure, it can be about love if you want it to. It can also be about sex, or about friendship, or about companionship, or about financial support, or whatever motivator brings you and yours together in a meaningful way.

    As for myself and Karsten, we married for money. Sure we were committed because of love, and we felt that we would have spent the rest of our lives together, married or not, but the only reason we went through the legal whatnot was to be able to file jointly for bankruptcy when we went through the most financially desperate times in either of our lives. (And by the way, we ended up not having to file after all.) We didn’t want to do it because 1) I hated taking advantage of “heterosexual” privilege (I put it in quotes since I’m not heterosexual, but the privilege is a result of the mixed-gender nature of our relationship, not to the sexual orientations of the people in the relationship), and 2) neither one of us felt any burning need to get married anyway. But we did it anyway, and although he is the love of my life and I am the love of his life — all that aside, technically, we married for money.

    Marriage is a great shortcut to a whole lot of relationship rights. I remain committed to lobbying for the broadening, immediately, of those relationship rights to same-sex couples who opt in to the madness of marriage and, eventually, to relationships involving more than two adults. (I say “eventually” because that one could take a long while.)

  46. Ginger wrote:
    I expected the exact response I got of “Why would “x” be the sex provider and “y” the cook? This proves my point precisely that it wouldn’t work…there would be some thinking something was unfair, or that another had the better end of the arrangement, or whatever. It sure sounds like utopia on paper, but in the reality of daily living, it would be SO complicated.

  47. My plan is that unless George Clooney knocks on my door, I do not plan to marry anybody ever again. However, sometimes a sistah just needs some help, ya know? With having primary custody of my daughter and with all of the work that entails, the idea of having a communal type existence where everybody could help each other out and share in the raising of our children is very appealing to me!

    Jebbo points out a lot of the complications that can occur legally, and I pointed out complications that can occur emotionally.

    Again, it isn’t as easy as it appears to be on the surface, which is why I think it has never become a “norm” in most societies.

  48. Whoa, nm and Katherine. I haven’t ducked out of this conversation. I’ve been having dinner in my non-virtual world.
    Dinner. I had to eat. :)
    Okay, Here I go:
    My mother married for love. My sister is going to be celebrating 18 years of marriage to a man she adores and because he was Catholic and she was Presbyterian, there was some major shit that came from that but they persevered and there marriage has been one of joy.
    For me to sit around contemplating a white wedding is self-defeating. Yes, I’m active in the background politically and I must say, last November when the Marriage Amendment was all screwed up and people voted so overwhelmingly to make sure that folks like myself weren’t given the rights that others have and I had to sit and smile at a post election party I was covering when the results came in, I was hurt and a wall just shut for me. People I know and respect said things like “We like you, but this is just wrong.” or my favorite “You’re alright and I hope you can make your peace with God.”
    That one came from someone I’ve know my whole life.
    It is what it is. I’ll keep fighting but I’m not losing out on the part of love. In that department, things are wonderful but there are things I have to do that others don’t.
    I don’t comment on the marriage thing very much because of a lot of reasons and I tend to get very melancholy about it all and both of you are right. Civil Unions, in my opinion, are the way to go. But, in all honesty, I don’t have to have a piece of paper as an extension of love and respect. And it would be nice to have the option.
    I have thought about a commitment ceremony. But in this day and age, marriage/civil union would mean to me the option of shared insurance, the knowledge that I don’t have to have legal documentation that is VERY specific on my care should I ever be in a position where I couldn’t take care of myself, and an ironclad will that I had to go to two lawyers to make sure it was ironclad that SQ would have certain rights.
    But SQ and I are all up to be in B’s Harem.
    Biggest problem, we both can’t cook for shit. SQ can juggle and I look pretty dandy in a hat.
    Yeah, mad skillz we have.But we have them together and that is a wonderful thing. That we are willing to share these talents with the harem makes us even groovier.

  49. However, sometimes a sistah just needs some help, ya know? With having primary custody of my daughter and with all of the work that entails, the idea of having a communal type existence where everybody could help each other out and share in the raising of our children is very appealing to me!

    I think there’s a lot of validity in these types of familial groups where sex doesn’t even enter the picture. I know of several “families” comprised of two, three or four single mothers raising their children jointly in a communal setting, while seeking sexual satisfaction from outside partners.

    I also know of several families who “childswap”–each mother keeping all the kids one day a week–to allow each family one childfree day a week.

  50. Yeah, mad skillz we have.But we have them together and that is a wonderful thing. That we are willing to share these talents with the harem makes us even groovier.

    nc, there are no words to express how watching the two of you warms my heart. You inspire me as I am working through the deprogramming of the crap I was taught for years. I know you both are in my life for a reason (as well as so many of you here), and I’m thankful. I just wanted to say that publicly.

  51. Kate O tells Rachel:

    I need a sufficient quantity of alone/me time that living with more than one other person is wearing after a while.

    One of the advantages of a poly relationship (when handled well) is that it can give you the alone time you need.

    This is what I would have thought. It’s part of what makes the idea of polygamy so appealing. Of course, I would be sure to mess it up in practice, and let several people down instead of muddling by OK with one other. But as an idea to play with, it’s the variety of relationships you get to have within one family and the emotional help the family members would all give each other that sound so cool.

    Of course, you all have read Ursula K. LeGuin’s stories about O and the social system there, right?

    Newscoma: well, some of us voted for you. And it’s gonna happen some day, you know. There are very few things that I’m sure of about the future of this country that also make me happy, but that’s one of them.

  52. Aw, sheesh. I don’t know how my comment back up there got cut off. I really did submit a thorough reply but it must have been cut off. Oh well.

    I think it was something about how all it would take to overcome the stuff about the default roles would be a healthy dose of assumption questioning, along with a healthy dose of emotional maturity. And I pointed out that, granted, maturity is hard enough to find in one partner let alone multiple, but that’s a different complexity from the one where people aren’t locked into preconceived notions of household roles.

    Or something like that. Dang it.

  53. WHAT A GREAT THREAD! Thank you all. I think that you collectively have proven that LOVE is the most important thing of all … followed closely thereafter by sex, cooking, and sleep. Religion and money compete for the number 5 spot. You’d think that child rearing might have ranked a little higher, but maybe that is a sub-item of love.

  54. I don’t know where you got the idea that your so-called “love” is more important than cooking. Crazy! Crazy, I tell you.

  55. I appreciate reading all the different thoughts on this thread. In particular, Magniloquence makes a lot of interesting points. I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said, but as a single mom with 3 kids, I worry about the future a lot. I wish I had more time to cook, clean, spend with the kids, develop my job skills, walk the damn dogs, be alone, go out for fun.

    With the way costs are going up, retirement becoming more precarious, health care is iffy, a 2-adult family even has a hard time making it without scraping for time AND money. A group with a healthy dynamic that pooled time, resources and committment could be hell of a relief, from where I stand. And if one person gets sick or laid off or just needs a friggin’ break, it’s not a disaster. Again, sounds real good from where i stand.

    Great post.

  56. For reals, cowbell…the more I’m thinking about this post, the more I’m starting to be, like…”Hey, yeah…let’s do it…let’s all be hippies and form a partnership!

    btw, your sunburn is wicked…I hope you heal quickly!

  57. Ha, no, let’s be honest. The post was not so great, but the comments turned into something amazing.

    Newscoma, I’ll just say this, anyone who could see you and your gal together and how well you fit and want to deny you an easy, basic way to protect and provide for each other has something wrong with them. They are wrong and history will bear that out. I know it doesn’t make it any easier to have to live with that, but I really hope that, when we tell our children about what y’all endured, it will seem almost like a joke or a fairy tale, something unbelievably outlandish.

  58. Thanks. Just throwing some real life stuff in the conversation.
    And we have already bought gingham and new juggling pins for our life at the harem/community.

  59. One of the advantages of a poly relationship (when handled well) is that it can give you the alone time you need.

    Kate,
    I can definitely see your point on this. After living in a variety of arrangements, though, I simply don’t like to have multiple people around, competing for the shower or toilet or making messes. I’m getting cranky in my old age. :)

  60. I simply don’t like to have multiple people around, competing for the shower or toilet or making messes.

    Yet another reason I’m making my peace with the no-kids thing.

  61. I think for polygamy to work, the people involved would have to be familiar and comfortable with larger family group dynamics. Just like growing up with several siblings (lets say 4+) the family decision process gets much more complicated. 4+ opinions on everything, 4+ arguments about why they want something done that way, 4+ different ideas about everything and the teaming and dividing dynamics that will go on within any group. Add in sex, love and life responsibility and the group becomes even more complicated. It just does not work the same as a single or double child family person is used to. Despite their best intentions people are difficult. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

    For a lot of the help and support that single parents are missing, the extended family unit used to provide most of that. Multiple generations, cousins and aunts all used to create the network necessary to get everything done and not lose your mind. I do think that single parents need to build and create some type of network for support(like Kat pointed out) to replace that extended family unit that just isn’t around anymore.

    Sometimes you also just need two rockin’ Aunts (NC&SQ)or Uncles to pitch in and help as well.

  62. Hah. Yes, I do think that all this practical stuff is important to think about. I also do think that there’s a much higher chance of it failing spectacularly because of the number of people involved. But I don’t think either of those are a reason it should be illegal, or even discouraged. (Kat, have you been sending libertarian rays at me or something?)

    I am definitely in favor of the extended-family/tight-knit community model (even though mine has personally driven me batty). I have at least four women I call “Mom” or “Mommy so-and-so” that aren’t related to me at all, and a handful more who serve in the same position but get called other things. Again, I’m not the most sociable person and spent a lot of time hiding, so my networks aren’t nearly as close as the ones I advocate and grew up with … but when it’s working well, it’s really impressive.

    (Of course, this winds up being incredibly uncomfortable for people raised in highly individualistic, westernized families… like Breviloquence. Every time I relay my family’s sadness at not being closer, he gets all muttery, because he already thinks we spend too much time together.)

    I guess when all is said and done I just want more available choices in everything, and for our social (and legal/institutional) structures to stop being so stupid.

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