Jun. 14th, 2009

joreth: (polyamory)
I've been following this show on YouTube since it's beginning (and I've written about it several times), but I haven't been keeping up the reviews.  It's been an interesting show, with some ups and downs.  Some episodes are really fantastic (like the episode about going to a poly meeting), and some episodes are just ... strange.

Our main triad has now introduced some new characters.  They're being followed around by a documentary crew, who caught the "outing" to the parents on tape.  There's also some wierd, crazy homeless guy living in Stewart's record store (or is it a storage room?  I'm not sure) and who has now moved into the house since Stewart caught him.  We've met the neighbors, who are a mix of friendly, accepting people and priggish, uptight, assholes (who, for some reason, all came to dinner one night at the triad's house).  

And, the night of the dinner party, we met a totally drunk surgeon?

Some girl shows up at their door, drunk off her ass and covered in blood.  I'm not sure what exactly she does, but it's in the medical field, and she's notoriously flighty, she got fired, got drunk, then stopped to help a car accident on the way over to the triad's house.  She's Stewart's ex-girlfriend who quickly becomes his current girlfriend.  Meanwhile, Ben meets this hot Asian chick on the street, doesn't catch her name or phone number, but in the next episode, she's his established new girlfriend.

Which brings us to this episode.  This is one of the better ones.  Gemma comes home from work to find her boyfriend, Ben, getting his hair done by the hot Asian chick (whose name we still don't know), Stewart sitting with the ex/new girlfriend, Sarah, who announces that she still hasn't found a job yet and might still be crashing with them in 6 weeks when Gemma's performance opens, and the homeless guy all sitting at the table (plus the documentary crew blocking the stairs).  Gemma is frustrated and tired with all the unexpected houseguests and not getting enough time with her primary partners.

Here's the part I like.  Stewart comes up to say goodnight to Gemma, and they start making out.  They're interrupted by the documentary crew, who was watching, and then by Ben, who says that his new girlfriend (finally!  a name!), Miley, will be spending the night.  Gemma isn't happy, but bids him to have fun.  So Gemma and Stewart start making out again and Gemma suggests going to "bed" early.  Stewart sheepishly admits that he already promised to sleep with Sarah that night.  This means Gemma has no one to share her bed with since her other partner, Jim, isn't "allowed" to spend the night (if ya'll recall, Jim's wife doesn't actually know about Gemma, although Gemma believes that she does).

It's a very poignant episode that touches on the fact that being polyamorous doesn't mean non-stop orgies or idyllic, Heinlein-like nests of perfectly compatible extended families.  The house is full and Gemma still sleeps alone.  This episode shows us the difficulties of polyamory, like adding extra people also means adding extra personalities - some of which might not get along.  Even if they all do get along, each dyadic relationship needs its own alone-time too, and having the ability to feel love for multiple people does not increase the number of hours in a day or change the need for alone-time, or even stop people from just having bad days.

Although I do not subscribe to the Zero-Sum theory of relationships, and my relationships have, theoretically, more than 24 hours per day to spend with partners because I can share time between partners, metamours, hobbies, chores, etc., there are still times when any given person does not get the activity desired at the time he or she wants.  It's not really much different from monogamous people who have to choose between spouses and other things that take up time, like work or hobbies or friends in need.  More people means more people to share the windfalls and more people to support during downfalls, but sometimes it also means more people to not be available when one needs someone.


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