Letter to a polyamorist friend

You know I’m the type of sentimental guy probably best suited for marriage, but that’s a difficult proposition in the Brave New World. I don’t really have a problem with hypothetical polyamorists far removed from my own vicinity and social resources, but often feel much like the Unabomber, in that all I want is a decent marriage (isolated shack in the woods), and yet Babylon won’t let me have it, instead sucking all available resources into conquest, or liberty, or whatever you want to call it. Also, I believe that such people can be socially over-privileged, which leads to the trampling of other peoples’ rights and opportunities. Much like the conflict between conservationists and oil industry, I do not feel as though I am the aggressor in that situation. My family was probably a little involved in the privilege orgies of the 80’s Texas oil boom, and I am the spawn of that reptile pit, determined to succeed, morally, where my parents failed. I know for the boomers, the questions were “Why can’t I be weird/have excess?” As a Generation Xer, my lamentation is that I never had a normal family.

I totally understand different strokes for different folks, but I feel as though as long as these cultures belittle and look down on eachother, it will always be an adversarial relationship. Also, I am a bit of a perfectionist and don’t buy into body type acceptance social politics, mostly because the social institutions who run these sorts of games tend to be total hypocrites who take the best of everything for themselves, and try to stick guys like me with leftovers and factory seconds. Then you get into misinformation wars waged on me by romantic competitors. There are no honest introductions between classy people here, no high society. Just everyone for themselves, badmouthing everyone else. The fact that I have been a cannabis user has not helped, creating legal problems and social class barriers between myself and those with whom I might actually be compatible.

Anyway, I had plenty of options to screw around or compromise, but I have deliberately alienated most of them. Really I’m just not willing to play their games or be aggressive, and that’s enough to get left out of the reindeer games. I guess the hypothetical perfect princess is who it will take to stop me from being completely anti-social. But I don’t see how I could appeal to such a woman in my natural state, nor do I have any drive to devise a fake personae with which to do so.

For the past four years, I have basically been a monk, leading a very monastic lifestyle. K was a disaster, the type of which I have no desire to repeat. She lied, cheated, stole, backstabbed and controlled me, during AND after our relationship. As that whole thing wore on, she got dirtier and dirtier, all the while keeping me clean, just for the purpose of providing her with an exclusive intimacy that others could not. Ultimately, I was tainted, not just in my own mind, but in the minds of my community, by that whole experience.

Of course, the minimal baggage I have continues to drag me down, ruin my reputation, and taint my opportunities. Negligent family hasn’t been helpful either. I try not to be judgmental about sexuality, but living in Austin has driven me to the other side of the fence. Especially when promiscuous people judge me for drug-related issues.

Anyway, I tried real hard to be open-minded about being single for the first year, and just got fucked around. Now I don’t really find anyone attractive, and would rather be alone than with the wrong person, whose values and priorities don’t match my own. Maybe if my youth had been different, I might have a better attitude, but there is no rewinding that trauma now. Triggers cause me to relive it all the time.

Mind you, none of the thoughts I’ve just expressed to you were what I thought when I lived in Dallas. During those times, I had far fewer preconceived notions. But I think life ultimately beats everyone’s lofty ideals out of them. I started out optimistic and open-minded. My prejudices are not inherent, they were learned in adulthood.

Sex is like drugs or money or oil or anything else people want. It can be used to corrupt them and subvert their higher wills. Doesn’t mean I think drug use is wrong, sex is wrong, or rich people are necessarily bad, but simply that there are ethical ways to go about fulfilling one’s needs.

Modern times are darker than I expected. We see mass abandonment of religion, and in terms of the dogma of biblical literalism, and the bigotry it drives, I think this is a good thing. But too many people discard religious morality without taking up an academic study of ethics.

Politically, I see both sides’ rhetoric being used to rationalize selfish, unethical, abusive behavior, often by the same person at once. Mass media and psychiatry have become the new church, and they are just as exploitative and tyrannical.

But I’d rather not preach. There are too many I care about on the other side of the line it would draw. I try to avoid ideological prejudices, but I still wish Hell on all of those who put me there, personally.

Anyway, friendships in this town are rare. Its far more likely that shady gypsy con artists will use your ideals to exploit the new kid on the block.

Her Response:

“You shouldn’t be judgmental about anything… especially when speaking of hypocrisy. I know it’s been ages since we’ve been around each other, but I’d hope you know me well enough to understand, unequivocally, that I say that in the most positive sense and not derogatorily.

As I read all of that last email, I can’t help but feel that you lose any moral high ground due to contradiction. You speak of those who are judgmental, and how terrible it is… and then you speak of being pushed into being judgmental. That kinda fails in its credibility. “Monastic” living (Buddhist) would certainly point out that problem, not to mention logical fallacy.

I’ve known you a long time. You take all things personal very close to heart. You’re very bitter about past transgressions, and that affects you in everything you do. I certainly can’t change your perspective, nor would I presume to tell you what is right. I can, however, tell you what I have told countless other people in the hopes that it could provide insight into a core problem.

Lamentation poisons you and your future. You can’t hate someone or hate what they have done without hurting yourself in the process. Poison easily spreads through the circulatory system that is your consciousness. It detrimentally affects you both physically and psychologically, and that carries over into everything you do.

We’ve both been through countless lectures in academia about psychology and neuroscience… I honestly don’t know how far you took either major, but I was into my MS before moving. So yeah, we’re both well aware of the implications of psychological state, HPA axis response/detriment to physiology, abnormal behaviors outlined via DSM V, etc. I know you are knowledgeable about the minutia.

We’ve both had our share of traumas. Patently preposterous past pernicious problems (the alliteration I just went with after unintentional word use, sorz). Some of mine you know about, others you don’t… same can obviously be applied to you.

Pointedly, positive progression vs. stunted development is all contingent upon how accepting one is of the human condition. You’ve studied it. You have first-hand experience of all the various determinants that invariably lead to problems. Why should it surprise you?

Idk. I know who you are, and I know why you are who you are… but I just wish you wouldn’t dwell on the past to the point of hurting your future. Accepting the possibility of spending your life with someone means you accept that you may lose them, for whatever reason. There is so much good that exponentially outweighs the bad… why remove the possibility of so much good entirely?

And btw, polyamory != promiscuity. Polyamory is the act of staying with static partners with whom you share intimate feelings, sometimes completely exclusive of any sexual relations. Promiscuity is definitively open and independent of emotion.

Anywho, sorry if any of this sounds pretentious or whatever.



About nonya beeznas

A little light in the darkness. View all posts by nonya beeznas

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