I'm looking for any writing on the rise of "ethical non-monogamy" as part of the same late-capitalist scarcity ethos that fuels the growth of things like Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash and "affordable housing". Something along the lines of Žižek on Caffeine-Free Diet Coke
I'd be surprised though. Those of us who think about ethical non-monogamy philosophically tend to approach it from a anti-capitalism abundance perspective
The essay you linked to gets into levels of philosophy way over my head, but speaking personally one of the appeals for me has always been as a way to build a non-nuclear family in a capitalist society that isolations & maintaining punishes extended family ties
And that essay's discussion of how Coke keeps one perpetually thirsty is a direct contrast to polyfidelity, polysaturated, ambiamory, and many other concepts that developed early in non-monogamous communities.
I'm most familiar with polyamory and D/s based non-monogamy. If you were going to see something like what you are looking for, I think you'd most likely see it focused on the swinging end of the non-monogamy spectrum...
Yeah that's my point. I am thinking the "anticapitalist abundance" narrative is a capitalist lie. The same as, "Work whenever you want!" is a capitalist lie
I don't know of m/any ENM arrangements that are/have become family. And if they do it is probably more just to stave off poverty not to cultivate abundance.
The current neoliberal line is, "You'll own nothing and you'll be happy". I think ENM might be part of it https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/youll-own-nothing-and-be-happy
I can tell you that my poly family was torn apart in large part BY capitalism. We didn't come together to stave off poverty, but poverty (and associated lack of medical care) made it impossible for us to stay together.
@olamina @jessmahler @danielscardoso many of the ENM relationships I see among my friends do indeed resemble extended family structures (and sometimes are explicitly labeled/coded/legalized as families) without as heavy of a poverty angle as you might think.
The fundamental basis I see is less that "full ownership" is superfluous a la a Spotify subscription instead of a record collection, and very explicitly a rejection that anyone should own another human.
@olamina @jessmahler @danielscardoso the philosophical underpinnings I hear are also grounded much more in "pre-capitalist" history than I'd expect. Stuff like how formalized marriage with a single partner, a lack of lovers on the side, and a focus on "nuclear families" is quite ahistorical: commoners generally didn't formalize relationships like royals did, marriage was a property deal and not for love (cough Disney), and homes were mixed until midcentury.
That doesn't mean some folks aren't using historical dressing to push a capitalist agenda, intentionally or otherwise.
The more I think about it, the more complicated I think it is, with some folks doing exactly what @olamina is suggesting, and others drawing on other philsophies.
I was on the periphery of those circles a while, well known but not publicized or supported, and I walked away from them AND any public discussion of polyamory for years because of the toxic environment they created.
Daniel is pretty much the only person I'm still in touch with from that time.
And it's becoming a fad. That doesn't mean that the folks who have been an active part of the polyamory community are like that. If you go to meetups and such youll see a very different picture, more folks like @wilbr and myself.
@jessmahler @olamina @danielscardoso to be clear I'm pretty much a normie but I'm also not ENM just on the outskirts. And yeah I'm sure many people especially on dating apps will use it as a term to make hookup culture seem sophisticated.
I don't think any of my practicing friends have time for meetups outside their own circles, and they seem just as frustrated by chasers and sleazebags in the dating scene.
@olamina @jessmahler @danielscardoso my friends seem to use the word polyamory a bit more often, I wonder to what extent you're encountering people who are basically like "my husband/wife says it's ok for me to see other people" whether that's true or not and call it ethical but might not be very versed in making sure everyone involved is actually comfortable. Which to be clear is a huge and difficult undertaking even for people dedicated to it.
@olamina @jessmahler @danielscardoso I just saw a post by another person who said they don't feel comfortable when asked to keep a relationship a secret, or when they can't meet or know about the person's other partners. No shit, where's the ethics in that? Someone may transparently not wish to meet their metamours but there shouldn't be secrets in ethical relationships. Just the opposite, I'd be like can I see all of your metas' STD results?
I'm not comfortable naming specific people. Just talking about it at all is spiking my anxiety. But if you don't already know at least one of the people I'm referring to, than you don't know enough about the history of polyamory and the development of ethical nonmonogamies in English-langauge cultures to build a useful philosophical analysis.
No, you do not need to know the history to be suspicious, and I've said that I think your suspicions may have some basis.
But you've also made some very sweeping statements while clearly knowing very little about many of the people doing different types of ENM.
I've given you the best resouce I can for the analysis you want, and if you really want those big names, you can find them easily enough by looking at...
I will not be tearing open my wounds further. The way i set that boundary was intemperate, but that was the best I could manage at the time, and I won't apologize for being harsh while in trauma response
If you want to discuss ENM or polyamory stuff not involving those people, I can probably do that after I manage some sleep
You've broadly got three types of folks using the enm or one of the labels under it's umbrella.
Folks who've vaguely heard about and think it's a good way to justify doing what they want to do anyway. Sounds like those are who you are running into
Folks for whom it is an identity/life style who dig into how to make it work right.
Of that last group, some are passionate for the wrong reasons and use the platform they gain as educators to be shitty. The rest of us tend to get pushed out or burned out after dealing with their bullshit for a few years.
@jessmahler @olamina @wilbr
Hi all, I am not sure if I'm still wanted/needed here. Overall: contemporary critiques of monogamy are rooted in marxist-feminist analysis. Critiques of "polynormativity" are also rooted in intersectional feminism. Simultaneously, many lived experiences of CNM (esp those made visible by mainstream media) have been coopted by neoliberalism. As everything has.
What's queer about non-monogamy now?
M. Barker, D. Langdridge, Eleanor Wilkinson
In case I'm allowed to toot my own horn (some more), here's some preliminary findings that have been published about what activists say they want to see changed in political terms in the UK and Portugal
Exactly. I only mentioned Žižek because I like his style and because I think there is something to this lie that people (mostly cis straight men) are essentially seeking women out for what previously were paid services by claiming they are offering the women some opportunity under the umbrella of ENM as some sort of subversive "movement"
But CNM practice is more prevalent among the non-het and non-cis population, so in my mind at least it makes sense to distinguish between different lived experiences and to carefully note on the historical origins of CNM practices (and also ofc of their coopting by cis-straight-white)
People, being not owned, should be free to craft the type of relationship that works best for them. The way monogamy has been socially structured in the US has long had elements of ownership, not just in historical laws, but present custom.
People should be free to be in monogamous relationshpis or not as they choose.
@jessmahler @olamina @danielscardoso yeah I think there are a loottttttttttttttttTTTTTT of monogamous and married people who think and say things like "MY wife," "MY woman," and think they can dictate or prohibit their partner's behavior with coercion and threat if necessary, and they do, and they get away with it.
Like a lot a lot, and it's coded as romantic and dedicated and virtuous and our legal/moral system will generally agree with it.
@jessmahler @olamina @danielscardoso there's certainly shades of grey, there's certainly ways to do ethical and unethical monogamy and nonmonogamy and everything in between, but like we have women promising to "love honor and obey" their men in 2022 and it takes a conscious effort to chart a path outside of that. There are definitely moral, virtue and freedom implications there, down to joke handcuffs at bachelor parties and the sad state of family court.
@olamina I'd be interested to read it, but in reading this I'm struck by things I agree with (if you always want something more and are never content with what you have, you'll never be satisfied) and things I don't (I'm not sure if the veiled appeal towards Real Art And Products That Mean And Do Things against Deviance and Sexual Frustration is really a good and valid one, seems more of a reactionary longing for an imagined better past; medieval and classical people were plenty lewd.)
I don't think this is saying people should be "content with what they have" more like "sometimes people are content with (or even desirous of!) having nothing when the nothing is packaged as something".
@olamina it's good philosophy but idk if it really fully applies to artificially sweetened products, multiple romantic relationships, or gig apps. They seem more united by the fact that they're all providing instant gratification/dopamine in ways that support unlimited consumption. If cocaine had no negative side effects it'd be legal and popular, the Diet Coke analogy neglects that people want sweet tastes & fluids. Ethical nonmonogomy (hopefully) yields human connections of substance.
A private server for Olamina.