Hot Trends in Polyamory

open marriage is a flat circle
a paper collage depicting three lasciviously intertwined speech balloons
image: Jim Cooke

Polyamory is absolutely not for me. This isn’t for lack of trying on the part of its ardent defenders, who have done an admirably energetic job singing its praises and preaching its gospel. Now, a recent spate of books and magazine articles about poly relationships is reviving an aggressively titillating version of the same old discussion; the most talked about is Molly Roden Winter’s book More, which describes, in lavish detail, all the men who wanted to sleep with her, and their various personal failings, after she and her husband decided to open their marriage.

Winter’s book is, to be rude about it, the worst of the newish spate of polyamory books, although its shortcomings seem quite deliberate. Winter has been in a polyamorous marriage, at this point, for at least a decade; the book opens as she and her composer husband Stewart first decide to open their marriage. The mention of two “new” websites—Ashley Madison and OKCupid—clue the reader in to how much time has passed. Another clue is that no one else in their Park Slope parent bubble has any apparent interest in prying their own marriages open; currently the practice is threatening to become so de rigueur that soon the whole neighborhood will have to come up with a fashionable new way to avoid being alone with their spouses.

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