August 5, 2019

"Dick (what my friends and I call him) and I have been officially dating for about a month; I’m queer and poly so we’re ethically nonmonogamous...."

"I’d been celibate for the first six months of 2019 — I had been having a lot of meaningless sex and finding myself trying to force feelings for people I didn’t care about. Then came Dick. We met at graduate school. He found out I was celibate and made it clear he enjoyed tempting me. After a month of flirting, I relented. Then a woman he’d been flirting with found out, and caused drama, flirting aggressively and nonstop with him and trying to make me feel like shit about myself. He cut ties with her and apologized profusely. We were good again for a couple days, before he went on a date with another woman and claimed to be in love with her. Two weeks later, that all blew up too and he came crawling back. Against my better judgement I gave him a third chance — and it’s been wonderful so far."

From "The Polyamorous Woman Coming Off 6 Months of Celibacy," a "Sex Diaries" piece at The Cut, i.e., New York Magazine, to which I subscribe and you probably don't. Why am I blogging this? I was interested in the phrase "I’m queer and poly so we’re ethically nonmonogamous." Where do people get the idea of proclaiming themselves "ethical"? There no talk of ethics in this diary. Similarly, when do people proclaim themselves "celibate"? Is it just a matter of going without until something good enough comes along or is must there be some substance to this way of life before the term "celibate" comes along? When do you declare it and why? All I see here is that "He found out" and it put him in a condition of "enjoy[ing] tempting me," which makes it sound like the old playing hard to get.

86 comments:

rhhardin said...

Honest (of women) aj Chaste.

Dave Begley said...

Roman Catholic priests publicly take a vow of celibacy. So, there's that.

Mr Wibble said...

Where do people get the idea of proclaiming themselves "ethical"?

It's just another form of virtue signalling. "We're open-minded and rational, unlike those bigoted, primative religious nutters who insist on monogamy."

Kevin said...

When do you declare it and why?

When you wish to turn your lack of fortune into something ethical.

The ethos of the left is about shunning religion while living a completely ethical life. And you are free to make up much of your own ethos.

It really started going off the rails during the Great Tuna Boycott of 1988.

buwaya said...

The unlikelihood of family formation, stages 1-3, in a not too unusual example.

Mike Sylwester said...

She is a frum celibate queer poly.

Ken B said...

Humblebrag. Frum humblebrag.

Wince said...

I call this amusing yourself on your parents' dime until they die and you get all their money.

Nonapod said...

This article seems almost like satire. It seems like some sort of a cartoonish representation of a vacuous hipster. It's pretty clear that (assuming this isn't just satire) there's little real meaning behind their usage of words like "poly", "queer", and "celibate" in this context beyond just self aggrandizement.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Kevin said...

It really started going off the rails during the Great Tuna Boycott of 1988

Based on the article, it appears that her tuna boycott was only going on for about six months.

mccullough said...

Millennial graduate students. As predictable as a sports interview.

tim maguire said...

I interpret “ethically non-monogamous” to mean they talked about and mutually agreed to it. They are also honest with the other people they sleep with.

Or maybe it means they subscribe to multiple ethical schools of thought. (Whichever is most useful in the moment.)

My question is, if they are non-monogamous, why does she have to “give him another chance” when he fools around? Which code of ethics is she following on those days?

traditionalguy said...

Is this from a Dr Zeus book? It sounds crazy as one.

Michael K said...

The crazy years.

Roger Sweeny said...

"Ethical" is "moral" that dare not speak its name.

bwebster said...

Thus underscoring my repeated contention that Brave New World (Huxley) is far more predictive of our modern society than 1984 (Orwell).

rcocean said...

Polyamourous = nice name for slut.

Roger Sweeny said...

Morals are at best impolite . You should not "impose your morals" on someone else. But everyone should be ethical. Ethics is morality that dare not speak its name.

buwaya said...

What is missed here is that this person, and the other persons involved, are not odd cases but very typical ones in their milieu.
And that milieu is some level or other of your upcoming master-class, advancing up the cursus honorum.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

polyamorous = I like to sleep around.
queer = with girls as well as guys
celibate = did not come across anyone I wanted to sleep with who was willing to sleep with me
ethical = who are you to judge me?!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

forcing feelings = the people who were willing to sleep with me weren't really turning me on, but I slept with them anyway.

buwaya said...

As it happens, the US has long had a remarkably low rate of social mobility vs the rest of the developed world. There is a substantial literature on the subject. Various suggested explanations but no conclusion.

From another direction, the historical one, the US has long had an upper class, both purely economic as well as social.
The founding fathers were not a balanced cross section of the society of 1775.

Jersey Fled said...

I don't even know what half this stuff means. And I'm not going to bother to look it up.

Freeman Hunt said...

These people need actual hobbies, maybe gardening or ham radio.

Mr Wibble said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
polyamorous = I like to sleep around.
queer = with girls as well as guys
celibate = did not come across anyone I wanted to sleep with who was willing to sleep with me
ethical = who are you to judge me?!


Damn, I needed "sex-positive" and "pro-kink" in order to get the "Lefty Buzzword Bingo".

D 2 said...

My 14th century peasant ancestors used to go on and on with the same sort of dilemma. When they weren't working with simple tools in the Barons fields, trying to salvage enough food so as not to starve, they would often debate whether open polyamorous relationships would be a suitable structure to re-order the village on, once somebody was brave enough to kill the Baron and all his hard assed guards.

Mr Wibble said...

maybe gardening or ham radio.

In fairness it sounds like someone was doing a whole bunch of plowing...

joshbraid said...

Credentialed and uneducated--the only ethos apparent is something like "bored so genital stimulation is good". How sad that being credentialed seems uncorrelated with being educated about basic things.

Comanche Voter said...

I'll go with "easy lay" for fifty bucks.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Freeman Hunt said...
These people need actual hobbies, maybe gardening or ham radio.

You don't consider sexually transmitted disease collecting to be an actual hobby?

chickelit said...

Who cares about these people’s love lives — seriously? Althouse is just clickbaiting here.

Birches said...

My question is, if they are non-monogamous, why does she have to “give him another chance” when he fools around? Which code of ethics is she following on those days?

My thoughts too.

Birches said...

My question is, if they are non-monogamous, why does she have to “give him another chance” when he fools around? Which code of ethics is she following on those days?

My thoughts too.

jaydub said...

How is it that an educated person gravitates to sick articles like this?

Asking for Carlos Danger.

Big Mike said...

Is [celibacy] just a matter of going without until something good enough comes along

Yes

... or is [sic] must there be some substance to this way of life before the term "celibate" comes along?

Not for someone who writes like that.

policraticus said...

If a game has no rules it is very hard to play the game much less feel like you are succeeding in the game. Forget about winning the game. No one wins in a game with no rules. If you set up your sexual life like Calvinball, don't be surprised or complain when things suddenly go awry. The benefit of defining yourself as this hodgepodge of sexual proclivities is that you get to do pretty much what you want with whomever you want more or less when you want. The downside is everything else. There is no safety net. You are on your own and you must be strong enough to be alone, even in the midst of whatever variety of bodies you find yourself. If you are willing to live like that, if that is enough for your soul, well, good luck.

Jeff Brokaw said...

People like this just make my brain hurt.

Plus, time I’ll never get back, trying to do the Algebra on “queer + poly + ethically celibate”.

These people are exhausting.

buwaya said...

"These people are exhausting."

They are just undisciplined and fashionable.
These problems are just variations of ways people have self-destructed for thousands of years.
The only difference today is the rate, which comes as a result of the disappearance of social constraints. There used to be structures that kept people on a reasonably guided path, as far as the community was concerned, in spite of personal tendencies and temptations.

Rick said...

It's revealing she refers to herself as poly but every time her "relationship" is involved with someone else there's a problem.

I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

policraticus said...

Confession: I just read the whole piece.

It is just erotica. The chances of even 25% of it being factual are 0. It is just a fantasy for New York Magazine readers stuck in Hoboken, or Madison WI, to imagine themselves as the sexually free, smart, hyper-aware mid-twenties urban jetsetter who gets eaten out from behind while watching Veronica Mars they wish they were.

I call #bullshit.

gilbar said...

ethically nonmonogamous
But WAIT! it get's even More Better

another woman he’d been flirting with found out, and caused drama, flirting aggressively and nonstop
So, She MADE him break up with the other woman; AND APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY

THEN!
he went on a date with another woman !!!!!!!!
BUT!
he came crawling back. Against my better judgement I gave him a third chance — and it’s been wonderful so far


So, Poly means SHE can screw who she wants to screw
On Account of Because, they're ethically nonmonogamous
But he'd better be keeping his eyes on her, and his dick in her pants: On more messup, and she's through!

daskol said...

The "ethical" comes from books like this or maybe this very book which is or at least was a poly bible.

daskol said...

The poly community seem as interested in the finer points of the ethics of their sexuality as in the sex itself. What a snorefest.

Richard said...

Why am I blogging this? I was interested in the phrase "I’m queer and poly so we’re ethically nonmonogamous." Where do people get the idea of proclaiming themselves "ethical"?

According to Wikipedia: Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy".

Marcus said...

Probably would do me for a gram of coke. Or anyone else. Very ethical.

THEOLDMAN

JAORE said...

Monogamy for THEE, but not for me.

My wife ain't buying it. But then we are simple folk....

Ann Althouse said...

"Humblebrag. Frum humblebrag."

Frumblebrag.

(Somebody had to say it.)

Fernandistein said...

Then came Dick.

And Jane! Don't forget Jane, and little Spot!

Kevin said...

It has been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy".

I'm going to sleep around with your consent, or I'm going to find someone else to sleep with until I find someone who doesn't mind me sleeping around.

It really doesn't seem to require an ethical component at all...

Yancey Ward said...

I will take "Fiction" for 500, Alex.

Iowan2 said...

Yea. celibate. Like any addict, they are done, until they aren’t. “That’s it, I’m swearing of sex!” Of course they mean that, about sex. The act of sexual satiation. But what about relationships? Ending those too? The alcoholic is serious they are done with booze. But take no action. Then they are dry until they drink.
What I’m saying is, swearing off sex is no more celibate, than not drinking is recovery.

Marc said...

The incredible libertinage is offensive enough as it is, without forcing Spot to participate.

tim in vermont said...

I bet if she didn’t brag so much about his “Dick” to her friends, they wouldn’t be throwing themselves at him so much. Well, next time.

tim in vermont said...

Women have a hard time perceiving the consequences of their words and actions. Religion gives them rules that work so they can get by though, once those customs and norms are out the window, well, see the article in question.

Krumhorn said...

As it happens, the US has long had a remarkably low rate of social mobility vs the rest of the developed world. There is a substantial literature on the subject. Various suggested explanations but no conclusion.

From another direction, the historical one, the US has long had an upper class, both purely economic as well as social.
The founding fathers were not a balanced cross section of the society of 1775.


Buwaya,perhaps I don't understand what you mean by social mobility, but income tax statistics produced by the IRS every year show a very robust pattern of vertical financial mobility over relatively short periods of time. Those in the top 5% of earners this year will not be the same individuals in the top 5% 5 to 10 years from now. And the same can be said of those in the bottom 5% of earners. The US has a very vibrant movement between earning quintiles both up and down. Which is why it is patently absurd to argue about the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. For the most part, they aren't the same people when measured over a statistically meaningful time period.

- Krumhorn

Jamie said...

Huh. Funny, I was just volunteering at my kids' school and musing on the evergreen subject of, "I wonder why people are so crazy."

buwaya said...

There has been a good bit of research on economic mobility.

Just one example of many studies - this one vis-a-vis public perception

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/02/14/americans-overestimate-social-mobility-in-their-country

buwaya said...

There are many theories about the US social mobility problem.

The one that seems likely to explain at least part of it best is that the US lower class is in the main not white, and has been not-white for the decades needed for mobility stats.
Granted the lower class in European countries isn't white in the main either, these days, but this is a rather new phenomenon that is not captured by multi-decade statistics.

Race may explain the whole thing. Why race explains it is another question.

Szoszolo said...

Explaining, not approving:

I believe they're calling it "ethical" because they are open about the other relationships and aren't deceiving anyone; the openness is agreed to by all parties at the get-go. I.e., it's contrasted with an extramarital affair in which the innocent spouse believes he or she is in a monogamous relationship and would, presumably, be unhappy to find out that that wasn't the case.

Personally, I wonder how many of these relationships begin with the expectation of monogamy and then one partner unilaterally decides he or she is poly and the other person unhappily goes along with it so as not to lose the cheater.

Jersey Fled said...

I don't know. It just seems strange to me that some people (read lefties) put so much effort into defining and then justifying their sexual "identities".

Was it Popeye that said "I yam what I yam"?

Smart man, Popeye.

Sydney said...

The Cut is pretty much New York Magazine's porn department. The Sex Diaries are fiction. They're like those letters to Penthouse of Playboy or whatever. Smut.

PM said...

Sydney:

The Playboy Advisor was even better. Praise for the McIntosh MC 2002 200 Watt Dual Channel Power Amplifier would be followed by the best anal lubricant.

tim in vermont said...

Things unsaid would be a good tag too.

Charlie said...

"Then came Dick."

Sebastian said...

"Where do people get the idea of proclaiming themselves "ethical"?"

From anywhere they damn well please. In gnostic America, mostly from within. God is dead anyway, so who cares?

But as with any other prog move, proclamations of ethicality are just a tool--in this case, to legitimate sexual deviance and the further undermining of bourgeois sexual morality.

Rabel said...

Bob Guccione was a man ahead of his time. How long before "The Cut" goes pink?

Krumhorn said...


here are many theories about the US social mobility problem.

I'm having a hard time identifying "problems". If you look through the details of the IRS statistics and analysis. There is a very considerable economic mobility in the US. I have no basis to make comparisons with other countries, but there can be many explanations for the chart in the Economist link that make the comparisons inapt. It's entirely possible that the economic space between the bottom quintile or earners and the top quintile is much wider than in other countries. That would certainly complicate comparisons of mobility using absolute percentages as the measure.

There are similar problems, for example, in the WHO evaluations of healthcare systems in various countries, but their numbers ignore and completely overlook the differences between how countries report live births.

Here are a couple of reports, one from the IRS and the other from the Federal Reserve about income mobility. Given the extraordinary disparity, in large numbers, of backgrounds, both educational and cultural, in US earners, I'd say the US does a decent job of providing economic opportunity to anyone who wants to advance themselves if these reports are to be used as facts.


https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax.../Report-Income-Mobility-2008.pdf

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2015/files/2015061pap.pdf

- Krumhorn

JohnAnnArbor said...

"I’m queer and poly so we’re ethically nonmonogamous."

Well aren't you pretentious, precious.

lgv said...

Similarly, when do people proclaim themselves "celibate"? Is it just a matter of going without until something good enough comes along or is must there be some substance to this way of life before the term "celibate" comes along?

This is a good question. This is analogous to fasting. The act of fasting is to deny oneself food for some period for some purpose, e.g. sign of faith in God. Skipping a meal to lose some wait or because you think you are fat, or the menu sucked is not fasting. It is just going without food for a while.

Phidippus said...

As I've noted before, these sexually messed-up people won't stop talking about it. Part of the syndrome, I suppose. As though any of us care.

Naturally, the Usual Media Outlets, as part of their Gramscian March, publicize it. And, the Usual Readers [cough, ahem] share it with the rest of us, by way of normalizing the pathology.

Thank you, Usual Media Outlets! Thank you, Usual Readers! But I've already had my shower today and don't need to be encouraged to take another one.

So disgusting! Here's an idea for the writer: Go get a life, you sorry bitch. Consider thinking about someone other than yourself. Really! Some people do that, and even like it.

You may find it liberating in a way that you cannot imagine.

Achilles said...

These people make arranged marriage seem like an appropriate social convention.

wildswan said...

It isn't that people do these things; it's that they get written up in New York papers as "The Annals of Our Betters"; and there's a pretentious jargon about it all. Once upon a time you read of how Our Betters went to Key West in February to get away from the blizzards in NYc. They played tennis in the balmy weather till it was time to drink margaritas looking past the palms to the Atlantic. Then they went out and had pompano looking past more palms at the Gulf. Glances flashed at each other. Would the ties to deep things hold or would they ship out for islands in the Stream? Our Betters didn't sit around in the August heat in dirty bars saying "I'm ethically polyandrous and he's polyamorous" and "my friends" get him to polyamortize and, and, and then I debilitate him till the music stops and I'm the chair he sits down on and then the music starts again. It doesn't sound like something you wish you could do yourself; it sounds like a roll in the poison ivy. And such authority as Our Betters still have includes the idea that they know how to have a good time.

tim in vermont said...

6 months is a “dry spell,” not “celibacy"

Marc said...

"... (A)nd 'my friends' get him to polyamortize and...."

'To polyamortize' really ought to mean something in this context, yes. Made me smile, anyway.

Peter said...

When I first started cheating on my wife, I felt pretty shabby about it and tried to hide it from everyone. But then when I started running two affairs at once, I figured it reflected my higher ethical sensibility and wrote a long article for the New Yorker about it so everybody could share in my depth.

gerry said...

They are just undisciplined and fashionable.

Weimar Republican.

These problems are just variations of ways people have self-destructed for thousands of years.

Do we get to vote on whether to go with National Socialism or International Socialism?

Or is it just the usual crap shoot?

buwaya said...

"Do we get to vote on whether to go with National Socialism or International Socialism?"

Socialism has little to do with it.

I suggest a look at the Satyricon of Petronius.
There is a very great deal in that which should seem familiar.
Decadence is a recurring state, common to all civilizations.

Gospace said...

"Dick (what my friends and I call him) and I have been officially dating for about a month; I’m queer and poly so we’re ethically nonmonogamous...."

Shorter version: I'm insane but harmless and allowed to roam free.

tim in vermont said...

“Mom! Dad! I finally got published! In the New Yorker no less!”

"That’s great honey! We buying copies for everyone! Grandma will be so proud!"

gilbar said...

seriously,
IF you and your 'Dick' are in an 'ethically nonmonogamous' relationship, WHY does it upset you if/when your 'Dick' plows other fields?

IF Miss SixMonthDrySpell got lucky with one of her 'Dick's friends; And her 'Dick' got bent out of shape because of it... Can we ALL Stipulate that she'd be writing a different letter?

TO: Cut Editors@New Yorker Magazine
I never thought that the Sex Diaries letters were Real,
But you will NOT believe what happened to ME!...

Unknown said...

They can't just have a life and relationships, it all has to be part of the revolution. bleh

Oh, and "polyamorous" just means slut. It never ever works out.

alanc709 said...

Why do they pollute the newspapers with this nonsense? Only the anarchists and radical degenerates really care.

ken in tx said...

Originally, celibate simply meant unmarried. It was assumed that if you were unmarried, you were not getting any.

Marcus said...

Yes, "celibate" meant unmarried. Chaste meant no sex.

Priests take a vow of celibacy. That means they forgo marriage. And, no marriage, no sex.

THEOLDMAN

But words are what current usage dictates....tsk tsk tsk

Phidippus said...

gerry said:

"Do we get to vote on whether to go with National Socialism or International Socialism?

Or is it just the usual crap shoot?"


Yes.

McCackie said...

I'm sure they find the minutia of themselves and relationships fascinating. But for most, a boring waste of my time, do as you will, just do it quietly.