Polyamory: Yes or No?

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on polyamory? For those not in the know, polyamorous folk have multiple relationships. This can be in a group situation, which may or may not be bisexual, or they may have primary and secondary relationships – you know, a husband, a long-term lover and a casual boyfriend as well.

Polyamorists aren’t swingers and they don’t generally have open relationships – it’s not as simple as shacking up with whomever you fancy. Instead it’s more like an exclusive club and often any potential new member will be vetted to see how he or she will get on with the others.

Love is important, monogamy isn’t. Polyamorists believe that monogamy is an unnatural social system, and that the concomitant deceit and betrayal are what’s really destructive so they try to bypass all the heartache, divorce, custody and legal battles that serial monogamy often entails. They also believe that love is an infinite resource and it’s unfair to expect one other person can supply all your needs. Equally important, polyamorists often function as an extended family, sharing domestic and childrearing duties.

As a lifestyle choice, it’s not one many people would consider, but I wonder why that is? Would jealousy and favouritism inevitably occur? Are human beings programmed to form pairs? Could sex become routine even with a number of long-term multiple partners anyway? How would you decide who shares your bed at Christmas, New Years or your birthday?

OK, it wouldn’t be for me. I’m not a jealous person in general, but you never know. I’ve had a partner who was equally involved with someone else (well, as far as I know…) so it’s hard to predict.

Mostly though – and this is going to sound terrible but it’s the truth – it just sounds like too much hard work. But that’s probably because I like to spend a fair amount of time alone. Polyamorist groups often draw up schedules so that everyone gets plenty of quality time with each other – kind of like sexual and non-sexual playdates. Company and conversation are lovely, but not too much of it, thanks. If you haven’t seen one of your partners for a week, you probably couldn’t ignore them (in a loving, companionable way of course) and read a book.

I am curious though. Has anyone tried polyamory or another alternative lifestyle? If so, how did it work? Does it sound appealing or disastrous? Opinions please!