Unless you’ve been overseas or under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Showtime series that’s been running this summer about polyamory. I haven’t seen it yet (though a friend in SoCal has sent me some disks of the first three episodes–sweet! Thank you!!), in part because I don’t have Showtime. For those of you also in this position, I’ve been told that it’s possible to view online, but I don’t know if that’s legal, so I won’t make any recommendations. You’re on your own if you decide to do this!
For those who just want to check the reactions of the poly community to this sensation, Jessica Karels of Modern Poly has done some really good reviews of the series. Her review of episode 1 start things off here. You can search for the rest.
Alan M. at Poly In the News has some good reviews and commentary up as well (here’s the link to the Poly in the News review of the final episode. Look in the archives from July through August to find earlier ones).
Kamala Devi and her crew also recently appeared on Dr. Drew, and some interesting commentary about that showed up in the PolyWeekly podcast. Here’s what Alan M. had to say about the Dr. Drew appearance in particular.
No doubt about it, the Showtime series has stirred up controversy and increased awareness about polyamory. To no one’s surprise, of course, the rhetoric and framing about poly is not always favorable to those of us who identify as polyamorous. The Dr. Drew ads, for instance, framed polyamory as being equivalent to “adultery”:
Polyamory: when adultery is the order of the day
Tonight on the Dr Drew Show: It’s been called “shocking,” “titillating” and “cringe-inducing” — Showtime’s new series called “Polyamory: Married and Dating” — real-life couples that seek relationships with other lovers. Dr. Drew asks them how they make their lifestyle work in a world built for monogamy.
Of course, whether polyamory and adultery are the same thing certainly depends on your point of view, and it probably goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that I don’t share that point of view. ;^)
Someone in our local poly community (thanks, Ellen Nichols!) also wrote to me to give her review of the Dr. Drew appearance:
I thought it was an excellent show – Dr. Drew seemed non-biased, as I was saying…and he had a female therapist with him who was similarly non-judgmental and said she had worked with many Poly couples over the years.
Her message was, to put it succinctly, that Poly can work very well, in the SHORT run. But that many couples underestimate the harm they can inflict on each other when they underestimate the hurt feelings that come with jealousy.
Both agreed that the 2 couples on the show seemed to have above-average communication skills, and that’s something that is needed to make this work.
My own response to Ellen about the therapist on the Dr. Drew show:
Mmm. That’s a typical mono therapist response, IMO. ;^) Most [mono] therapists fail to allow for the fact that some people don’t experience jealousy at all, and that for those that do, it’s quite possible to learn how to use the data provided by the jealous feelings, without harming each other at all. The problem is not the jealousy itself–feelings are just feelings. The problem is our interpretation (and often projection) of what the jealousy MEANS. There’s often a paradigm shift that needs to happen when moving from a mono to a poly model, and it can have subtle and profound effects. It can help a lot, for instance, to redefine “relationship success” away from duration+monogamy, and toward things like the fulfillment and happiness of each partner overall.
I’m glad you found the show to be pretty good overall, though. That’s encouraging.
What do YOU think? Is this the harbinger of an impending tidal wave of information about polyamory? And is that a GOOD thing? How “out” are YOU willing to be about who and how many you love?
Wishing you all the best in love and life,
PS: Check my sidebar to the right for a link to a page that can help you diagnose jealous feelings in your relationship! (Or get the jealousy list from the Free Stuff link on my website at www.blog.unchartedlove.com.)
©2012, Dawn M. Davidson