Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Plaint of the Poly Perfectionist

Dear Viny,

Realistically, how GOOD can one get at poly? Arranging a romantic weekend in Italy for your entire polycule, minus yourself, complete with gondolas, violins and high quality lube good? Baking cookies and pleasantly greeting the arriving participants for your partner's imminent gang bang good? Not killing your partner's girlfriend as you sit across from her at dinner while she looks at your beloved with doe-y monogamous eyes good?

For a person who wasn't born with hairy armpits, a natural ability to hula-hoop and an innate desire to share their partners with men, women or beasts, what is realistic?

Super Fractious Earthling


Dear SFE,

My son is musically challenged. He was just born that way. Up until recently, he couldn't carry a tinny tune in a big brass bucket. But he loves music. He's obsessed with it. He decided, at age 13 or 14, to teach himself how to play guitar. He practiced, and practiced, and practiced. Then he started taking classes: guitar, keyboard, music theory, even sight-singing. Instruments began to proliferate in his bedroom. He began listening to artists and genres outside his comfort zone, just to see what he could learn. And he is now – surprise, surprise – majoring in music composition.

I'm sure it doesn't take much of a nose to smell an allegory here. Yes, I'm making a connection between my son, born a little bit off-key, and you, born with baby-smooth armpits. So let me ask you this: how good at poly do you want to be? I'm asking because the only standard that matters here is your own standard. There is no Outside Assessment Team for this particular gig, no Governing Body, no Panel of Poly Judges waiting to hold up their scorecards.

You don't need my permission, or anyone else's, to set the bar as low as you like. Remember: there's no point in breaking your real neck for an imaginary audience. But if being good at poly (however you define “good,” and however you define “poly”) really matters to you, then I imagine you'll want to practice jumping over that bar until you feel comfortable raising it just a smidge, and then practicing some more, until you can raise it another smidge, and so on. Will you ever receive that Poly Paragon award you secretly covet? Maybe not. But you'll definitely be better than you used to be, and probably better than you ever thought you'd be.

Good enough, in other words.

Platitudes and Platypuses,

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