Dispelling 5 Myths of Polyamory (Podcast)

Episode Two speaks to some common myths about polyamory.

Dispelling 5 Myths of Polyamory

Original blog post here.

~ by omgrey on June 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Dispelling 5 Myths of Polyamory (Podcast)”

  1. I had to stop listening after, “while they’re high on testosterone, all reason goes out the window. They are not themelves.” I have to respectfully (yet strongly) disagree with the anti-feminist/anti-woman view that testosterone prevents men from exerting control over their actions or desires and that women must subsequently allow men sexual freedom to partner with whomever they wish because their hormones make them do it. Note that women are rarely afforded a similar my-hormones-made-me-do-it justification for “abnormal” sexual behavior (but thank you, Olivia, for providing an example of placing women’s sexual urges on more equal ground with men’s). Often, when a women deviates from societal “norms,” she’s shamed by society and branded as a “slut” or a “whore.” This whole rationale is grounded in societal stereotypes (as is much of Sex at Dawn), not biological study that employs the scientific method; erodes the case for polyamory by portraying it as taking advantage of women in the way that many forms of polygamy do; insults men by reducing them to little more than animals who can’t keep their hands or penises to themselves; and insults women by demanding they be subservient to men’s desires. Are men not themselves when their testosterone spikes in response to attraction to an existing committed partner? To avoid hypocrisy, wouldn’t men have to give up ownership of the positive feelings and actions resulting from elevated testosterone levels in order to blame it for any “misbehavior?”

    Note: I am disagreeing with a point of view; with ideas. This is in no way meant as a personal attack on your character, Olivia, or anyone elses. I am known to become very spirited in discussion and debate. I sincerely hope you don’t take that as a personal offense. Furthermore, I hope I made it clear that my disagreement is not at all with polyamory. To the contrary, I vigorously support the freedom to practice polyamory on the grounds that nobody has the right to tell other people what to do in their hearts or bedrooms.

    • Thanks for you comments, David. I don’t feel attacked at all, but how kind of you to be aware of that possibility.

      I don’t think that testosterone prevents men from exerting control, not at all! I do think that when sexually aroused, both men and women’s rational decision making abilities are skewed. Hormones cloud judgment. They don’t prevent reason, but they do make it easier to ignore said reason. That certainly does not excuse infidelity or other types of deception. Not by any means!

      And I certainly did not mean that women must “allow men sexual freedom to partner with whomever they wish because their hormones make them do it.” Quite the contrary, actually. You’ll recall a recent post entitled “No Means No” in which elevated testosterone mixed with a rather predatory nature resulted in coercion and ultimately abuse, and there is no excuse for that. Hormones or not. My point, as well as the point of SEX AT DAWN (which I found to be grounded in biological and anthropological research, not societal stereotypes), there is a basic biological need for sex, for both men and women, and a need for variety, for both men and women. However, even biological need doesn’t excuse deception or abuse. Ever.

      Agreed about the societal branding of women. Shameful, really.

      I think hormones makes rational decision-making abilities more difficult under the state of sexual arousal, but it shows a weak character if one allows their hormones to trump reason. I’m greatly ashamed to say that my hormones have clouded my reason on more than one occasion, and I’ve paid dearly for it.

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