Things I Learned From Showtime’s Polyamory: Married and Dating

Polyamory: Married and DatingPolyamory: Married and Dating is a reality show on Showtime. I accidentally watched it last week because it was on after The Real L Word, and this week the same thing happened. Like The Real L Word, Polyamory is a reality show on a mission to educate us about different lifestyles while giving us lots of gratuitous nudity and real-life bedroom action. (I think this genre needs a name — how about edutitillitainment?) Anyway, editor-in-chief Bill Simmons demanded (DEMANDED!) I investigate this brave, patchouli-scented new corner of the realitysphere. Here are some observations:

  • Polyamory is not the same as swinging! Swingers have random, NSA party sex. These people make themselves hang out with each other all the time.
  • Polyamorist groups often refer to themselves as a family even if they don’t have children. I suspect this is because an unusually high percentage of them behave like spoiled 8-year-olds.
  • If you’re a straight dude and interested in polyamory, but worried you’ll be asked to have relations with another dude, don’t worry — apparently only the girlfriendwives are under any kind of obligation to swing both ways.
  • It’s actually a pretty sweet deal to be a polyamorist dude, because usually the women you’re involved with have such a voracious sexual appetite that they don’t even care that you haven’t gotten a new haircut since 1995.
  • But, if you’re a polyamorist dude, be prepared to share your razors and other personal care items, because gendered objects are so mono.
  • And be prepared to talk about your feelings a lot. Like, basically all the time. Wanna talk about last night’s Breaking Bad or that weird lady you saw in line at CVS this morning? No time, we have feelings to talk about.
  • If you find yourself in any kind of group that refers to itself as a “triad,” RUN.
  • If you are dating someone who says they have to consult with their “triad” before they can continue their relationship with you, RUN.
  • If the third member of your triad is dating someone else, definitely go crash her date with your other girlfriendwife to show the audience at home how committed you are to having a healthy three-way relationship.
  • If you find yourself in any kind of group that refers to itself as a “pod” and isn’t made up of whales, you might find yourself suddenly drawn to the “namaste” section at Pier 1 Imports. Don’t fight it, and while you’re there, we’re running low on pillar candles and useless shit to tack to the walls.
  • While engaging in coitus with your “pod” among your pillar candles and exotic sheets and useless wall shit, be sure to frequently verbally reaffirm the sexiness of the situation, lest the audience at home (understandably) get confused.
  • If you have a sudden urge to high five the other male in your pod while watching your wives go at it, try to channel that energy by repeatedly, creepily cooing about how “beautiful” they are. It will go over much better, trust.
  • If you’re going to bring (actual) children into the equation, you’re probably going to need a healthy babysitting (and also therapy) budget.

In conclusion, I will respect polyamorists’ right to love in whatever fashion feels natural and harmonious for them, so long as they respect my desire to, after watching this television program, never come in contact with any human again, ever.

Filed Under: Reality TV, Showtime, Summerwatch, TV

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Emily Yoshida is an editor at Grantland.

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