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What is Polyamory?
Polyamory for the Practical
But anyone who takes that book ( Stranger in a Strange Land ) as answers is fooling himself. It is an invitation to think-- not to believe. Anyone who takes it as a license to screw as he pleases is taking a risk; Mrs. Grundy is not dead. Or any other sharp affront to the contemporary culture done publicly -- there are stern warnings in it about the dangers involved. Certainly "Do as thou wilt is the whole of the Law" is correct when looked at properly --in fact, it is a law of nature, not an injunction, nor a permission. But it is necessary to remember that it applies to everyone -- including lynch mobs. The Universe is what it is, and it never forgives mistakes -- not even ignorant ones..."
Robert A. Heinlein
Grumbles from the Grave
I read this in the winter of 1990 when I had just turned 21 years old. I was engaged to be married and was enjoying the fact that my finance was an understanding man who looked forward to having an unconventional wife. I had been a Heinlein fan for seven years or so by that time -- Stranger in a Strange Land in particular appealed to me. I wanted to live in a Nest. I knew monogamy wasn't for me. I wanted to live on the edge of things
This paragraph brought me up short. You see, I had been taking Heinlein's most famous work as answers rather than questions. I thought I had been handed answers -- answers that would serve me far better than the ones given me by the Southern Baptist Church. I believed once. I wanted so badly to believe!
I retreated into my shell for ten years after reading that. I had the nice, white wedding. I pretended to be Suzy Homemaker to the outside world, even though I did live another life privately. I was afraid of those lynch mobs.
I have to admit I am still afraid. The stakes are higher. I have children. I have not managed to convince myself that Heinlein did not know what he was talking about. The ATF fiasco in Waco proved that Heinlein most certainly did know what he was talking about pretty conclusively.
So, why poly?
I've been asked that by people in my life who love me, though disapprove heartily of my quad. When I came to discuss with my parents the fact that I was living in a quad, I objected to them trying to frighten me and turn me against the idea. My father responded. "Punkin', if I saw a bear behind you, I'd try to warn you. And this bear is a pretty big one."
You know what? He's right. Waco proved that my family could be murdered, even though we live far more quietly and harmlessly than most suburbanites. I cannot argue that point.
I can talk about the economic advantages, though they're nothing if my family is murdered. I could talk about the sex -- God knows it's good.
The best answer I can give is that when I am with my family, I am fully and most deeply alive. Building this family and sharing my life with them is the best thing I can possibly do with hands and heart and time and brain. I know what it is to coast through life with no purpose. Building a home and a life with my spice is the best purpose for my life. I will not be swayed from that. Not with guns or threats.
We had dinner early last night, before The Beast got home. During the dinnertime conversation, The Bird asked, "Where's Daddy?"
I pointed to The Prince and said, "Right there."
She shook her head and said, "No, Daddy Beast."
"He's at work, honey," I answered.
She sighed, looked thoughtfully into her spaghetti and said, "There's a piece missing."
As, indeed there was. Not to live with my spice would mean
a piece missing
from my entire life.