JT Eberhard tried out the polyamory scene and lived to tell about it. The husband of the woman Eberhard slept with, for example, didn’t decide to change his mind about his consent, get jealous hearing his wife screwing another man in the living room of his own home while he was in the kitchen, and, with a butcher’s knife, kill Eberhard in flagrante delicto. Nor, apparently, did Eberhard wind up with HIV:
Polyamory is pretty rad, and for me it was worth the initial confrontation with uneasiness. It’s comfortable to live without jealousy and to be free to express to others how you really feel without thoughts of hurting anybody for being yourself, without trying to own the actions of another human being and without having your own actions bound by someone else’s sense of ownership over them.
I have an evolutionary question: what would be the genetic consequences for the human species, over time, if most of us started to behave like those in the polyamory movement? After all, almost the whole history of mammalian—indeed, animal!—evolution has been driven by female selectivity and male competition and jealousy. Women have few eggs; men many sperm. In evolutionary terms, that makes for difficulties (to put it politely) in sexual negotiation.
Acting as if such difficulties are readily or easily transcended strikes me as a bit, well, naive. Accompanied by polyamory’s heightened pleasure must also come forms of psychic pain that polyamory’s cheerleaders, like those in religious cults, won’t readily acknowledge to outsiders.
But what say you? Live and let live? Evolutionary history is not destiny?
I like this woman’s honesty, but I also think she’s rationalizing:
Isn’t it curious that aggressive impulses (jealousy and territoriality) are being sublimated while sexual impulses are not? Usually, it’s the other way around. Interesting. Maybe polyamory is Freudian civilizing sublimation by other means.