David Thompson
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June 18, 2016

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Hal

What I can't fathom is a 21 year old girl - or even somebody like Penny - choosing polyamory with people who - let's be honest, I've seen the pics and skimmed the biographies - are not exactly a girl's dream, and then defending these choices a decade later.

Um. Noting the first hand anecdotal commentary, and noting the instances of a long term, married, monagamous, male and female couple with no offspring, based on people I know personally---and thus more first hand anecdotal commentary . . .

From what I've observed, the issue with poly is not what the hell is wrong with every single instance, but very much a matter of, so, which individual(s) are being cited?

I'm commenting because when regarding the rather emphatic practitioners that I know, the very definite overall issue that is brought up is The Rules.---and on . . . some several occasions . . . I've heard the very direct comment of pretty much the same quote over and over of Look, we practice polyamory, not polyfuckery.

From the same sorts of extremely organized people, I've also heard the assessment of, basically, Oh, Bloody Hell, the amount of situational logistical overhead I have to go through with this!!!

For all of the claimed outrage, with the noted rather emphatic train wrecks, I very much expect that the only truthful, workable, all instance bottom line is a comment I've encountered regarding those doing very obscure, very subtle, very individualistic esoterica . . . Basically, something to the effect of; There really is nothing that one can claim of How Dare someone do such, the only universal observation is that any individual who can screw this up is someone who will also completely screw up reading Alice In Wonderland.

Jonathan

Sometimes Laurie sounds really lonely.

Tim Newman

I'm actually going to disagree with this, because in my experience it's not strictly true (or rather, it's not that simply binary). I believe many PD sufferers both know they are lying and believe what they say. Yes, that's paradoxical. In the heat of the moment of the lie they believe, but on some level they're also consciously aware that they're lying.

That makes sense as well.

Case in point: if you present a borderline with ironclad, unimpeachable evidence that they're lying - an audio recording, video, what have you - they'll cling to the lie to the point of paranoia, insisting the recording is fake or that you're persecuting them.

Oh God, this is depressing. I actually did that with Angela, right at the end. I asked her a specific question, knowing the truth in advance, and she lied. I asked her some follow-up questions, and she lied again. Not wanting to bring about an angry confrontation and humiliate her, I sent her an email with a screenshot demonstrating beyond question that she'd lied and words to the effect of "You've misrepresented the situation" and that we probably need to talk about this when we next meet, i.e. as gently as I could. I got no response, and 3 days went by before I got her final phone call telling me not to contact her again. Before she rang off I asked her if she had any comment on the email I'd sent. She scoffed that it was "ridiculous" and that "we'd have to agree to disagree". At the time I suspected she didn't have any idea of what the real truth was, but looking back I think my having caught her out might have been the final straw for her.

Tim Newman

I've heard the very direct comment of pretty much the same quote over and over of Look, we practice polyamory, not polyfuckery.

Yeah, I can imagine that is the case for those who genuinely make it work. But I think a lot of people - certainly the ones I have briefly encountered directly or indirectly - are engaging in polyfuckery while claiming to be practicing polyamory. The way she described how she practiced it, despite the claims of it all being based on real love, seemed little more than an attempt to put a veneer of respectability on promiscuity. Her obtaining a US green card in the process didn't exactly help to convince me otherwise.

Basically, something to the effect of; There really is nothing that one can claim of How Dare someone do such, the only universal observation is that any individual who can screw this up is someone who will also completely screw up reading Alice In Wonderland.

That is a very good point: polyamory probably attracts the kind of people who fuck up everything they touch.

jabrwok

@Darleen: I agree that the State does not own the individual's money, and that estate taxes are an abomination. My point in that regard was that as long as that tax exists, exempting anyone from it needs to be justified in terms of social utility, which I think can be argued in the case of couples with children, but not regarding people without.

In any case, that was hardly the only example of relationship-based preferences, just one of the more obvious. Insofar as the State is going to be involved in recognizing marriage at all, any preferential treatment of the institution needs to be justified in terms of social utility. Dicentra's point that the domestic unity of the sexes is, itself, justification for State and societal recognition of marriage is plausible, but I don't think it's sufficient, or historically defensible. Absent children, there seems little reason to care whether men and women cohabitate or not, and little reason beyond sex for them to do so.

I doubt whether a general agreement on this point will be reached in this comment thread though, so on that note I'll (try to) bow out:-). Thanks to everyone for an interesting, and polite, discussion.

Geezer

Insofar as the State is going to be involved in recognizing marriage at all, any preferential treatment of the institution needs to be justified in terms of social utility.

Indeed. If "the equal protection of the laws" is the highest rule, why does any government, at any level, discriminate between people who are married and people who are not? Is there a rational basis for such a distinction? A compelling governmental interest?

Fred the Fourth

In light of the thread veering into a discussion of taxes (my wife claims that every class discussion at her MBA school devolved into a tax discussion with a mean time around 10 minutes) let me toss this in.
I read an essay many moons ago which claimed that in the Old Days, Big Water Projects were the medium of exchange for Congressional favor-trading. Later, came Highway Projects. Then, came Tax Code Preferences.
This was offered as explanation for the rococco nature of the tax code, and I think it has great explanatory power.

redlonghorn

why does any government, at any level, discriminate between people who are married and people who are not? Is there a rational basis for such a distinction? A compelling governmental interest?

Marriage isn't just about sex or even emotional companionship. From a state perspective, the benefit is increased financial security. A married person has someone to support them if they have health problems, or if they are unemployed. A single person in those situations - or numerous others - is much more likely to end up needing state benefits to get by. In other words, marriage reduces the chances of dependency, and that's why it makes sense for the government to encourage it. It's essentially a cost saving measure (of course, that assumes the people in charge don't want people to end up helpless and dependent on government, which is not always a safe assumption).

Geezer

Marriage isn't just about sex or even emotional companionship. ... state benefits ....

In a nutshell:
First the politicians stick their hands in my pockets, and then they use that as a rationalization to stick their noses in my business. Why not just eliminate "state benefits" which encourage people to become dependent on government ‒ an even better cost saving measure? (As you note, the people in charge are probably not really interested in that.)

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