The Case Against Polyamory
Duff McDuffee

I’ve been in the poly community for a few years (tried to be poly but ended up “monogamish”) and I completely agree.

There are certainly people for whom the cost/benefit analysis is worth it, and people should be free to do that without censure if they want.

But this idea that we should *all* be polyamorous as a way to solve the problems of monogamy is a bit off. The literature about it is often portraying just the good sides of polyamory but none of the potential costs.

Polyamory is often advertised in the media and books on its practice in a completely uncritical way, only highlighting the benefits, similar to advertising monogamy as this great solution where you always have a partner, you always have sex, you feel accepted, someone loves you, it’s reliable, you can focus on your work and friends since you know you have a partner, etc. Sure — both relationship styles have benefits and can be described as glorious utopias if you want, but they both have costs and risks, too.

We can’t necessarily achieve a cost-free, risk-free relationship style; it’s an oxymoron. If you are being intimate and interfacing with other humans there are going to be some sacrifices and compromises or some hurts.

One thing that is not commonly recognized about polyamory is just how little advice there is on doing it and how much you are on your own for it. There are fewer potential partners, fewer types of counseling to help you with it, fewer books on it (compare the ~10 books on it to all other millions of books in existence on marriage and dating), and less length of time people have been practicing and figuring it out. Much of the advice/books is very theoretical and seems good on paper but doesn’t always work.

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