"Sex At Dawn" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha - The merits of Polyamory

  • Smiling_Eyes

    Posts: 197

    Nov 17, 2010 6:14 PM GMT

    I'm hoping to engage RJ members in an honest, serious, meaningful discussion about love and relationships. Sex At Dawn is a groundbreaking book dealing with many topics including the natural human desire to form multiple loving relationships at the same time.

    To get this discussion started I'll share first: I'm 40 and have loved my husband for over 15 years. We were monogamous for the first 14 years of our relationship (through last summer).

    The number one question I get is why change? Was there something wrong with your relationship?

    I suppose I've known since the first year of our relationship that something in my life was missing. I've always been a hopeful romantic and cherished close friendships and meaningful connections with others (above superficial acquaintances). I believed that once I fell in love and found my "soul mate" everything would be grand. It wasn't. For many years i wondered internally if the man I loved and married wasn't ultimately the right man for me.

    What I've discovered over the past two years or so is that my relationship is terrific. While every relationship has its issues and can be improved in certain areas, we have and have always had an honest, joyful, nurturing relationship based on trust, intimacy and a mutual desire to be together.

    What's always been missing for me is more love, more intimacy, more joy. I've never been a person to hookup or find joy in sex as a physical activity. Sex has always been an act of love for me. Therefore having a typical open relationship, where I have sex with men on the side has no appeal. I have been searching for another intimate relationship (to no avail to this point).

    My experience is that people can't understand me; polyamory is not a concept that is easily explainable in today's world. I have a sense that this will change in time but probably not in the near future.

    For me the principle and concept of polyamory feels and seems so natural and obvious - how can love bed unwise or harmful?

    "Why is romantic love the only kind of love in which it could only be
    possible to love one person at a time? Romantic love does *not* cauterize
    something inside you. It does not cause you to be unable to conceive that
    kind of emotion for any other and it does not immunize you from being able
    to feel those special feelings for another. Why would only the sort of love
    that is generally associated with sex, be the one, the only, the single kind
    of love that is so fragile and crippled that it can only bear a single point
    of focus?"

    I'd love to hear other people chime in on this (especially those who have read Sex at Dawn).


    Toronto, Canada
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2010 10:22 PM GMT
    I agree with a lot of this and that is why I don't support gay marriage. Gay marriage supports monogamy which is a cultural inhibition not relevant for many.
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    Nov 18, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    Marriage in and of itself does NOT inhibit culture. What inhibits 'culture' is the opinion each person has ABOUT marriage and other types of relationships. I am of the opinion that not everyone should get married. Nor am I of the opinion that I would ever be open to polyamorous relationships. However, that is my opinion and my rules for me, not for everyone else. We all should decide what is best for us as individuals and search for it. If we settle for less, it is NOT culture's fault, it is our individual fault. What baffles me is the continuation of EVERYONE, gay, straight, far right, far left....who try to put marriage or monogomy or polyamorous into a single box and say that is all that is available. I will always support and seek monogamy and marriage, but that does NOT mean I will stop you or someone else from pursuing a relationship different from the one I seek. Frankly, it is neither of the other's business. But when it is put into the public view, that is were the singular minded bigotry comes into play from BOTH and ALL sides.

    If polyamity is for you, great. It ain't for me. If monogamy is not for you, great. It is for me.
  • Smiling_Eyes

    Posts: 197

    Dec 17, 2010 8:25 PM GMT
    Anyone read Sex at Dawn? Love to generate some discussion on this amazing book.

    Some of the themes they explore include:

    • why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many;
    • why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens;
    • why many middle-aged men risk everything for an affair;
    • why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and
    • what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality

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    Dec 17, 2010 8:34 PM GMT
    Oddly enough, I've just begun reading this book; in fact, just finished the first chapter. So I can't yet intelligently discuss it. But, speaking from experience, life is never Black & White. Grey areas exist everywhere, whether you want them to or not. It seems highly illogical that love and relationships would not have grey areas, too.

    I'll be reading on and looking forward to discussing this with you!
  • Shiv66

    Posts: 55

    Dec 17, 2010 8:56 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI agree with a lot of this and that is why I don't support gay marriage. Gay marriage supports monogamy which is a cultural inhibition not relevant for many.

    You should support gay marriage on principle alone; it is a violation of our civil rights: we aren't equal under the law. If we can't marry, nor should they. Not to support gay marriage because of some vague, half-baked intellectual reason that has no basis in law, much less meaningful empirical data, is at best a specious argument.

    As for polyamory, I'm all for it in theory (and if you want to practice it, go full steam ahead), but few people are confident enough, few relationships strong enough to withstand the vagaries of another ego, another fate woven in. The reason we uphold the ideal of romantic love is it is a fairytale that helps us get through, which quells our lack of confidence, which shores us up against those vagaries of life which will do us all in one day or another. Almost all cultures uphold the notion of romantic love, yes, even the polygamous Muslim culture; their tale of Leila and Majnun makes our Tristan and Isolde/Romeo and Juliet seem boring and suburban.

    As a tangential side note, the earliest recorded romantic love story is actually gay: "Gilgamesh." Check it out. It's still a pretty good read, even translated from Sumerian. Long-haired muscle bears in eternal love. Awwww.
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    Dec 22, 2011 3:54 PM GMT
    Polyamory makes me think of non-religious polygamy. I'm not all the way through Sex at Dawn yet but I was getting more of a "free love" vibe from it. Which I feel like people would be all about were it not for the threat of diseases!

    Keep it classyicon_smile.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 22, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    i haven't read the book, but i proudly identify as a polyamorous person.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2590

    Dec 24, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    It sounds an interesting book.
    I think it`s significant that the overwhelming majority of human societies have been(and are) polygamous. Many run parallel systems of polygamy and monogamy where the former is preferred. But the latter(and polyandry) are definitely in the minority.
    Polygamy seeks to satisfy the different needs of men and women; and provide stable parental relationships/families for children.
    Polygamy is also tied in with the more robust 'extended' family form.
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    Dec 27, 2011 11:03 PM GMT
    I'm very curious about this book, and the OP's story as well.