In the end, I couldn’t do it.
I know, I know. Yesterday, I told you all that I was going to watch Showtime’s Polyamory: Married & Dating, but I just couldn’t. I honestly intended to watch. Yesterday afternoon, I got home from work, sat down with a yellow legal pad and two sharpened pencils, and I was ready to take careful notes as I watched each episode in preparation for this blog post. There I was, watching Episode One when my husband came home. Looking at me, he cocked his head to the side, obviously puzzled.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Then he saw what was on the TV screen: an overhead shot of a squirming pile of very white people on a red satin sheet covered bed (Really, who has those sorts of sheets? They probably have to be dry cleaned). With that eyeful he got from the TV screen, his curiosity was replaced by alarm.
“What are you watching?”
“It’s a reality show on polyamory.”
He nodded. Of course I was watching a show on polyamory. That does sound like something I would do. Relieved, and slightly bored now, he asks, “Orgies, you mean?” His eyes wander to the day’s mail on the table by the front door that was now drawing his interest.
“Well, no, they’re all in love with each other.”
“They just seem to be having sex.”
And yes, there is a lot of sex in Polyamory: Married & Dating. There’s a lot of women running around in panties, slapping each other’s asses, kissing, pressing their breasts together, rubbing lotion on, and there’s also a lot of pale white asses shoved into the camera. But no penis (and believe me, I was looking), at least not in either of the episodes I saw. Yes, that’s all I could take, just two episodes. I almost didn’t make it through the first episode and considered abandoning this whole endeavor, but I couldn’t think of another blog post topic, so I was stuck. Damn my lack of imagination.
Ultimately, I decided to watch only the first episode and the season finale, as sort of bookends. That way I avoided all the crap in the middle. It was like reading a mystery novel that you’re bored with by the second chapter, but you need to know how it ends, so you cheat and turn to the end to find out who did it. In Polyamory: Married & Dating (which is such a misnomer. They aren’t dating, they’re fucking. No one is holding hands at the movies, or going bowling), everyone did it, and is doing it, all the time, with multiple partners.
So what did I learn? Yes, I’m determined to make this an educational experience, instead of just a wallow in soft core pornography. The series follows the
sexcapades lives of two groups of people: a triad that includes one effete male, Anthony, and two gorgeous women, Lindsey and Vanessa, who are obviously way more into each other than they are into him, and what is referred to as a “pod”: two married couples, Kamala & Michael and Jennifer & Tahl who decide in the first episode to live together communally. Here is what I learned:
- Polyamory is a full time job. Only two of the six people had jobs, and one of those jobs was as a “sex and relationship coach” and I’m not believing anyone actually gets paid for that until I see W-2 forms. The other four were full time students. This sounds about right. There is no way these people could fit employment into their hectic sex schedules.
- Polyamory has lots of rules. My husband and I are monogamous and we have one rule: Don’t fuck anyone else. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe we have two rules: Don’t fuck anyone else, and make sure the garbage gets to the curb on Wednesday nights. Polyamorites (is that a word?) have lots, and lots, and lots of rules for a way of living that they all argue is so “natural” and “perfect.” Here are some of the rules from the triad of Anthony, Lindsey and Vanessa.
- “Honesty. You tell everything to each other no matter how hurtful before it happens.” Apparently, people who practice polyamory not only get to fuck lots and lots of people, they’re also clairvoyant. I may give polyamory a try just for the lottery numbers.
- “Safety.” They don’t elaborate on what this means. Could it be to always wear your seatbelt when you’re in the car? Maybe don’t eat yogurt past the expiration date? How about don’t bring home any fucking disease that makes my lady parts turn black and slimy like that head of iceberg lettuce in the crisper drawer that I don’t even remember buying?
- “Permission ahead of time.” Yes, because as a member of a polyamorous relationship I am in such total control of my sexual impulses I will most assuredly text you from the parking lot of the Shop N Save to ask if it is ok to hump the bag boy who just helped me to the car with my groceries.
- “Veto. No date, no night of sex with someone else. No little romantic moment is worth hurting the partner if one of the partners says, ‘I can’t handle it right now, please don’t.'” See how free we are? Except for that part where I get absolute, ultimate control over you.
There were other rules. In fact, most of series finale involves drama in the “pod” when one of the husbands, Tahl, sneaks off to have sex with the other couple in violation of one of the rules he’s established with his wife. There is much hand wringing and furrowing of brows as to whether or not the “pod” will survive. Such is the commitment of this polyamorous foursome that Michael quickly decides, “I won’t live in a pod that has a lot of conflict.” In the end, Jennifer, a total doormat of a woman, who had misgivings about the living arrangements in the first episode and still hasn’t resolved them here in the last one, agrees to remain in the “pod” on the condition of adding (you guessed it!) one more rule: Tahl can have one night a week to be with Michael and Kamala, but he must get Jennifer’s approval and schedule it ahead of time.
Oh, just go ahead and get divorced already.
You can catch up on Polyamory: Married & Dating on Showtime On Demand through 11/06/12.
Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG. The photo of the cast is courtesy Showtime®.