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Monogamy - theideathatthereshouldonlyb. onap.raonwlthwhoit yorl

havesexualrelations- iswid€lyheldto b€not onlynormrl|nd n|t!d, anideal.Andyet it'sa lifestylcf€wof ur rctorll/ llvr out,

but.ho

AlthouShmostof usattemptmonoSamy,mostof u3h.vato datl wlth htld.lxy Superficiallyit mayseemlikemonoSamyL a ief. optlon,but (latflt lor m.ry peopleiCsa denialof a vcryroalpon of ur,

Likeanothersupposedl/normalandnaturalideal,th. nucl.rr ltnlllt ol orurrrli,l

andtwo kids,iCsnot whatmostof usactuallydo,nor r

truly wantor need.AlthouShmostof uswill marry,r.c.ni cometo accepta div€rsityin familylife,and judg€mcntrl ld.

mln8lywh.t oloarol rrr

t.o.||(lorlr ol p.opl.'llvl l r,l

hrv.

sin'havinS'illegitimate'and'bas6rd'childr€nar€nowhu8h.blyr|lr(hro lrrlr

ButmonoSamy - essentiallybehavingasifyou'repractklnSto b. mrrrlad " rr r

supremeidealisintact.Thosewho liveoutsideof lt ar. i n

.! r.llLh, fid ohFli

a$ €heats'.Andyet mostof usarenot monoSamoui.at l.rrt rt

tom. tlrnt

sexyouolitychallengesnot monoSamyastherelotlonjhlp,burrr

||r ldrnl rr i

b,ueprintHavingunattainableor unsuitable Soali canonlycv.r dhtppo[rtr'rl

frustrate,andnot onlydis'?ct from honestinteracdonbutncdvalydhcoo,!16lr

So,whatif we wer€to benon"monoSamous;not s€crGtlyof lLrrdvrly,ttur.ri i wilfulchoiceakinto thosewho liveoutsideth6ld.alof rllrrfl.l.l

What DroblemswouldbesolvedlWhat Droblemswouldb. cr.

.df Ho\r .orli,

we dealwiththemlAndwouldwe hooestlybelikelyto b. rny hrppl.ri

Drawingon a w€althof diversecontemporarywritinSInc$.yr, l.t(.rr, rlrls\ andbooksfrom Britain,Europeandthe USAoverthelart30y.rrt, rnd b.y()rrl intothepoetryof KahlilGibranandre€ordof non-monoSrmourllvlnSln Victoriantimes,thispamphletraisesthesequestionsandoff.rr romr rnrwnrr

isbn0952997533

sexyouality

challenging the culture of monogamy

CONTENTS

5. A Ptoce ToStort> He ck

'lf . See howlt ott connects> Ogdn Nisorg

12.Sexgo@titu > The Oodhdven Coolectlye

14.A tetter from the Oodhoven Coolective

21.ComesThe Down

22.

Sex ls Not The ImportontThlng> MlchoelAluno

24.

Folthfut To j4on9 > Kdte Severson

25.

Sex fs For Bonding > Dr Deborch Anapol

28.The 'S' Word> lrrl

50.

MedftotionsOn ,eotousg> NlchoelAluna

53.

TowordsA NewCulture > Dr Dleter Duhm

44.CommunolSex Lib > OgonNlsorg

49. The Potitics Of Potg Love > lomes Heddle

50.SexuotCommunismA Success> gdn Abroms

54.

Sex fn Ulooio > Azo Also

56.

LoveRelotlonshlps,,eotousg,Rerectlonond Llberotion > Adam arcgmdn

57.The OntgThingThot Motters> OtufrUIm

58. Morrloge > Kohlil OJUon

{

sexyoaality

waseventuallypublishedby Godhavenlrk, 1999ce.

Cornpiledandeditedby M€rrick. The aulhorassedshis hurnanrights.

isbn0952997533

Godhav€nInk, RootedMedia, TheCardiganCentre,

145-149CardiganRoad,

L€eds,

LS6lLJ,

Ensland.

www.godhaven.org.uk

codhavenlnI prblicatiors rre p.inted oo recycled p!per. This pMphlet wd crealedat OblongResourceCenbe, ,lth Fl@r.Cd 322Medwood Road,Leeds,LS72HY,Engl&d.

Mills,

Godlaver hk

HelpyouBelfioanyor all of it. In thispanphletloadsofit\ nickeddyway.

publicalionsi.e ttrti-copyrigbt.

Bmks ffe soldro conlilid

Inc objc.!

*ho !h8ll. b! wy

ofhdc

or .rheNis.

b€lei.

Eaold

hiftd ouror

o$eRF

onblled

rilhout tno

!

nmns

Ihli n bi.dms. wirh a simnd coddnionb.ing

inpovd on 1nesublequ.n. rb@cIs dea4 i. a namer tharis mi pddy

.oincidcd.l

It

A Place To StuFt

Th€ idea fo. doing this tn€ came after a group discussion at the Earth Firsll Cathering in Scotland i. summer 97.

Although only irgged on to the biU asa last

the

larg€stdiscussiongroups of the whole

garhe.i.g.lt seemslike it wasa newidea|l) most of us 10 discuss sexLralityand monogmy issuesoulsideof

sn immediate circle of friends.It aho seemsrhat rbe ideas. problens and concemsinvolvedarebeing

facedby nost of us. at le6t

periodically. The

communirymakesapointof questioring so man] of the Lr.questioredthings that damageus. yet sexuality issu€sha!€onlybeentalked about in small groups.If we'.e all /oi,8 fth stufi,

then surely we shouldbe qrcrlrbrtra thesethingsasa culrure.

minute thing, the workshop got one of

To bavean id@ of what your rclalions *ilb someon€shouldb€beforeyou've evenmel them ca. only eler be reslricrivc and repressive.tf\e continuewith p.esel rules and roloswe deny individualibrandpush alay great partnels. We nusr get the couraSeto face our hearts,md to nake ou livesasclose1()olr realdes;es6 we can. We should be able to le1

each o1he. b€ the mos! we can be, to cel€brateone irnothe., to rvork th.ouSh goodad badtimeslogether. But it shouldalwayxbe as orl.reber. ralhef than sone prcdecidedbDtunexplained idea.hat someoneelsehas of whatthey'dlike usto be.

It is not the Pldriorrr?s of

monogamyI'm against,it\ the inttitution - th. ;d@ ri^t

the$

&r€ 'Ihe Rules for

sexualityissues haveonly been talkedaboutin smallgroups.If we're all drirg' this stuff,then surely

weshouldbe

questioningthese thingsasa culture.

Creen

sexuallore.Thaiifyou donldolhk you a.e

The prmise I put foNaid at the EFI dd Big Greengalhe.ings,andcontinueto do in this in this zins, is lhnl for most people monogamyis a damaSingard repressile lray to live.Tharalthoughit hasI Mills & Boony vercer, i! realit) il has little to do with romancedd lo!e. andfar moreto do th inse.uriryed ownership.

Mills & Boony vercer, i! realit) il has little to do with romancedd lo!e. andfar moreto
Mills & Boony vercer, i! realit) il has little to do with romancedd lo!e. andfar moreto
Mills & Boony vercer, i! realit) il has little to do with romancedd lo!e. andfar moreto
Mills & Boony vercer, i! realit) il has little to do with romancedd lo!e. andfar moreto

bad o. a failure.lf you re a man you're p.ovrng a point wirh an l-shag-loads{f-

bad o. a failure.lf you re a man you're p.ovrng a point wirh an l-shag-loads{f-

birdsne attitude,andifyouie

a {oman it\

sornelow

sclf-wo.th

self-wonhthing. Actlally. low leads to complisnce with other

self-wonhthing. Actlally. l o w leads to complisnce with other
peoplet ideasthaldonl w o r k f o . you: t h e blindacceltanceofthe monosahousnod€l

peoplet ideasthaldonl work fo. you: the blindacceltanceofthe monosahousnod€l of rclariodships can steft frorn a fcar of beingop€nandhoftst aboul feelingsandan i.abiliry !o sumnon the strengn to make

And

it isheldupasanodel, ablueprinlfor whal

all sexul rclaiionsn6r

liveoutsideofthis, you'restrangeor wrcng, andifyou doliveoutsideoflhisthenyot]'ve

more dlan thjs. the real p.oblem is thal

be.lfyou wantto

We'!e got a toial lack of cultureJlEfercnce for this, it's somethingnol dealt th in ih films andlovesonssanddmma (unless it's .eally n€gative Fatal Aflmction stuff). No *onder it feelslik€we'r€stumblingintoa

_

dark abls.

headjngtowardssomethingdore honesr and1rue.i1\whereyounustgo. Andsorhis pamphletis here10showyou'renol thellrsl

But if

)ou

1o focl like it's

eas alsoGyanNisarg',article "Communal Sex-Lib' (nom Towaftls2012 issF 3). which deals\ith non-monogamyhsues, exanples of communlties,and his own experionces.Becauseofthe big responsea1 thedhcusions.I thoLrghlI'd pui rog€lhera smallzineofthose lieces, burI gol lenl so much relevantstull o!e. rhe summerthal I'!e ext€ndedit 10this.

Somepeoplesay this is all roo rhought-out and not rcmanuc - on tne contEry hafloSahf ts t nas\et ptan.a rule book, a mould io push youBelf inlo. I'n talking

I do.\

indecdsomepieces dir€cllycontradicteach

other - bul all of it hassomefiinglalid ro say.And not just on monoSamy,or elen sexualit).butonouraltitudes

to aU human .elations.ln Diete. Duhm\ "lbwdds A New Culture he !ays. 'considcringour truewishes ud longings.our dail! lives

are prettv ridiculous,' ud this appliesnot just to the majorily who ieignmonogmy, but to all of us in man)'

a8reewith 3ll of the stuff he.e

If this is who we are,why don't we try to find waysto behappywith it?

about lhe courag€ and freedom io abandonMasler Plans, and instead1o huly follo{ }our heart,1o l€t bejngtosethcrbe bis, decp,wild, friendl),. te.de! lhateler it tumsin!o.Iti a volage of discovery - of the otherpersonandol youi own heart and of ilhar you find together.Now rrdri romance.Lovewithout

AllhoughI mightnotag.ee pith everysord inthis pamphlerit\ allstuilthafs mademe lhink, shownme $aysto look atthings.or put into *ords thingsI fecl. Thk isn't A BookOf Answers,it onl!

addresses\ha1 is clearly an rssue thal causes problemsfbr mostpeople (at leas1at some tide). and ofering differenl ways to addres whatis Boing on.lfthis is whowed/r, whydon'tre rry |o find wa)s to bc bsppl with it? Whv

should we continue to subscribeio codesofbebaviou.thatdamage us far more than the behaviour thcy prohibit?$1'y can'l we be honestfor a cbangelIfwe aretod.ithis,thispamphleth hereto suggenissucsandideasio conside. as a place to start. lt is nol he.e to rell ]'ou

To honestlylive oulsidemorcgady is ro slcp inlo the unknosn, bur 1o me it feels truerto the humanspirit.I canneverknow where it\ leading.bu1 then monogamy doesnl /eall/ otrer that eilher I'm suretha! on thcir wcddingday,rone of ihe 40% of couplessho cnd up g€ltingdivorcedde p/arrtra for it to gothatw.y.

Fo. anyone{ho h$ even an inkling that maybe monogamyisn't tbe id€al there\ some useful and trulhtul stuff in here. For those who do think monog.dy's an ideal. you'll recoSdisemany of

the problenrs idenlified in heie, and maybe ir'll

changeyourmindandheart capableotr,

a linle.

Weneedlo move beyondthe selfishness andtheneed for ttsecufiUt' andstartto

confront ow fear of just howmuchwe're

Forlhediscussionslastsunrme l'drciead

a coupleof things. 'Ihere sas the article

''scxyouality" lhatI hclp€dto writetor the

Codhav.nThcThirdzine,thena letierlhat clnrc in rcsponsc.dd thenour repl):There

hos to live. It's lere to ger ,vou to thinl abou!rt.

To blindlylollow unquestionedrulesis to reinforcelhen.In eleryrhingwe dothereis

a choice.If I am to do an)lhing,lel it b€

because I

consequences.implicariods, neanings. effeclsand possibililies.I donl tbink il\

unreasonableto expecrrhatotell adulls.

a'n

4'r,".

Aware of

its

Ratheriha.lry ro fit in witb a realityrhatis not only not of ou. choosinS.but a realiry fia1 doesnl sork. thal

makesussufie., $e should crcdteat aen. \re shotld live aswe thinkwe should live. Gile the thingsfiat repressus no ohoiceother

This is not proclaiming somesocialpanacea.l'm not adlen;ing a newrule book that $ill make the world great if only

olcryonelvould follo* ir.

I am no1 jusr s$apping

churches.l'm sayinglhal

there tre

,,

breakinga promise?llow incrediblyunfair

and wast€ful it

incomplctc vcBion of each othcr b) blockinScenain feelings.of courserhe teelinSsof those ound you nust be consid€redandcaredfor.And conipronise in rhis is inevitable; in mosi personai natterswe re pulledin diftnrentdirectiors at once.But I do seeclearlythat jealousy and insecuriry,wbiht being very deep-

sealedand !er! rcal, are both unhelpful and surmountable. With compassion and undeBtandingpeoplecan help heal erch olher of this srlfi If

is

to

sh&e a

palod,

In the sep sted, isolatedlives we're given wecling lo any intimacy allowedor given lo us. Of course there'sinsecarityand lob, self-wofih and lheir result, j ealousy. lle' vebeenbrutalised,

il's nol ow faull.

so'neoneis fiee to sayard be lho ftey are. tben there can be love. but feelinSs cannol be manufaotured for

cannct be pro'nised or

Bl analysingall this.I ge1 loid that I'ln being too ralional.thatl m tryingto be all mechanicaland ob.jectireaboutstufflhat\

way olt of ou. control.I knowrnostoflhesethjng! ee outof ourcontrol!butI m nol$eckjng10 coturol,Idonl wantto sc;enrificall)decide shoto love.ButI dothi,rkth€r€arepanerns lo observe,th€r€arelevehofundentandirg wc cm hale (ofou.selves andothert that canhelp 'rs steerour liles in waysthatare bcttcr for us There are inanf lypes of behaviourthal are denruclile aDd are diftjcuttto gelfreeo1l

ln thissubject.I thinkofjealousy,ofa non- specificleelingof incomplelenessfor being sinSle.andofinsecurit)in ilsrnanyfoms. I think n is essentialto ou. *lfbin8 ool to acceptlheseas a inevitable,irnmovable basis ftal we start from. Thesedeslructile traitsandhang-upsar; thercto be voftad ah. wo*ed thmugh. ll might not seem

universal

modelsto live up to. '|No.-monogmy! refers to an jnfrnite lariel"v of types of .elationship.The.eare,.) Finrl Ans*ers.no or.{ize-fi1vdll blueprints for human relations.I don't advocatechmgingcages, brt disnuntling rhen. Abancloni g rhe churches.AbaDdoninsmonogamyis not selfish,il\ about openinEup md bcing honeirabouryouBelfsotharit3 a liue self ihat youle sh.rin8. We need to move beyoDdthe selfishnessand tbe need for 'securiry" and slart to confront ou fcar of jusr hos muchwc'rc capablcol

The "securilr" is a marerialsecuril,,ii's making someoneto prom;e to be there wbether tbe,r warr to or not. $1ai real securiry'is b$ed o! ! fearofthe ha$le of

I

panicularlyeasyor evenpossible,but in r€ality drere is only one way to make changing somelhing pemar€ntly inpossibie, dd thais to give $p rrying.

That\ not l,osaythesethings won:t comeup tine a.d agaiq they will. But maybewe

should ty

them,diminishdtem,.,re them. rather than be ruled

to dismanll.

Jealousyis noraproblem,

it

problemiinsecurity.ln the

separated.isolatedliv€s we're given we cling to any intimlcy allowedor given 10 us. Of course ih€re'sinsecurilyaDdlow

self-worthandtheirresult,

is

a slnpton

af

^

jealousy.

vr'e've

been

bruralised,it's not our fault. Don't be ahmed.

Lett not be embanass€d about what we've com.

ftoln, let's just makethe

fttur. better. One of the thinss I really like in Gyan Nisa.g\ arricle is the way jt conaainsnot just a $eallh of study and thoughl, but also a hefiy end section of cmdid and honest pe.sonal experi€nce;there'sno point in Bloriously theorisingabout ulopian schenes if we don t put ourselves.lith all our failings and half-measures,ido the picture.

The olher thing that g€ts levelled at non- monogMy isthatil isshalloqsupe.ficial.a

selfish easyshaga.d lhen run away wher sts difiicrllt. This is actually th€basisof iot of se.ial nonoSmy (Fnich, wben you

think abouti! h etually

n's havingmany partners, just separating themwithtime).I don'tseenon-nonogany as a way of avoidins rcsponsibilit. t seeit as a rejection of ra,ttua,f togetheDessand laking pcoplefor grdted.

il

a

serial !oly8a6y:

Tlte accusationof selfishnesscomeswhen peopleimaginethemselv€sasthey are now, with all th€acquisitiveandfearimpuls€s,in a position of greate. sexMl f.eedom. But

I'm talkj.S abourlosingsuch

(ard because)we ger the increaseof 'npulses

as

Thisisn't just 'reducing everJthing to sex'- sexual relationsar€aboutrs

intimateaswe get,if wedon'tgetthatright, be really ourselves there,thenwhat hope for anythingelsewe do?But morethan this,thewholeof our seYualilyhas been reducedto just sex.

freedom. As we los€the nbsolutist'with ne/nol wiih me' roles and stan lo see lbat Just cos someon€'snot totally eeilh me il doesn't mean

they'veleftme,I canlos€

some of the fear of abandonftenl ard rh€ needto havesucha tight reign on them. Grealer sexual fre€dorn needs, means and nurtues greater respect fot

Thjs isn't just 'reducing everything to sex' - sexualrelalions are aboul as inlimateas we get,if

w€don\ getthatright,b€ really ourselvesihere, then shat hope for anlthing els€we do?Bur more thu this, the whol€ of ou r€rldlry has be€nreducedto

just sex.All thisen€rgyhasbeensqueezed

into one .cliviry.

volatile.Theenergl'ofsexualiryis not just

aboutsq{ (to prove this, seehow possessive sexual jealousy cd be provokedby non- sexul &lions like spendingtoo much time with frie.ds or oh a pastime). To get ftee of rnonogemyencouragesope in our lives. ln$€ad of having ev€lyone cldsed aseither Lover or Not Lover.$ e can explo'eall kindsof stufiin between.Wecan

lem

No wonder it:

all

so

how to be intimat€without\{oning

aboutit seemtngljkemakingpasses.Wecan gel tactile without fear or awkwardness.

Eve. in our monoganously-condirioned cultu.e,mostpeopledof,'tactualltpractice

':

nonogamy. Most People have had clandesaine bits-on'the-side. se.ial monogany (sequential Pobgamy) is the nom, and.ea.t hdf of maniagesendin

divorce.If this is what we &e actually

doing. surely we should face up to it,

surelywe could organiseit sothat ' €canbe

nore ho.esl and haPpy.Surely wo ca. do betier, surcly we dewe lo re3t ouBelves

why do we pretendthet it shouldn't be lik€

Deceit is the only interp€rsonalcrirne lo deceive,to breaktrust, to lie. to nanipulate.

I don'twet p€opletodeny* hatiscleArlya strong. sparklins. powerlul, REAL

rogn€ticthingcosit's inconvenient,cosit doesn'tfil in with someoneelse'sneuroses. I'mnotsayinsliveonimpulses.lamsaying until we are honestabou! who we are and what we feel. we tre not

truly ouBelves,$e a.e living lives of wilful

I doh'tjust wantlieedom

to be with orher lovers, I

*anl my other lovers to be wi$ me by iiee choice.lfl amto bewitb softebody for a lol of

and

I an

means I

m@hanical, disresp€clftrl

,ha8-a-many-avyotr-can

agaiust sex-as-commodiFJ, which

dislike

thal

Everybodyis loveable. It is not unlikcl! that everybodyrriu Jind morc lhan onepefson loveable,So why do we prctendthalit shouldn't be like that?

thing. But commodityisthe bas'sof monogafty:it says "This h a binding conlract promising how we will b€have.o matle. how le feel". Inst€ad I say not give or take, but rrdl

And cele,.drel I have no rule book to live by. but this do€sn'tmeanI iave no rnorality. In fact, I find being non' monogamousincresesmy respo.sibilityl find lhat I mate the €fron to undeNrandand b with soineon long aller the monoganous rules would lell me to "dump

time at an intimate level, it musl be cos we vrrr it to be so. Even

when I love soneone deeply and can only &ho when we're apari and get huf and dgry and jealous when they're with someoneeLse.I would.'t ha!€ il any other way. This isn't cos I'm sorne

masochisi,bxt cos if that\ Ihat

needs to do, if that's what rnakes ihem happiesi.nore treru?fu?r then that i3 wh lhey mustdo. lf I don't wantthen to do that. thenI don't wanl rren, I want somestunted, ampulated version of them that doesn't

xis( I'm with th€wrong person.

my 'nartyf lovor

I can still be intimstely invohed tith

teopl€

souldn't be up for a "going out wilh'

monogamousthing.Thisisn'tjtislaboutsex

wifi them,it's .boul all the inlime!

comeswith it, the depth of commuicatio.

6nd personalpeac€and lovely cuddly stuff

thar is differeni wjth dy

people. I

ervrything to m€l they could only ever disappoint-I believethat I shouldlove what sononis, mther than Esent whal they're

,or Justbecausosom€thingisn'telerytling doesn't mean it's nothing. Everybody is lovable.ll is not onl;kelylhat everybody will find more than onepenon lov€&ble.So

when eithcr or both of us really

thet

different se1of

don't expect dyone

to

be

And I find I .a, move lbrcugi tlte jealousy a.d otherdeslruclivethinSs.lt's nol withoui pain, but I'm not afraid of s/o,rra pains. It's rhe pain of my horizoru getting bigger of my love clowins. Leaming is s€ldom

Thiiling

so lhreforeit is bad and must be avoid€d" doesn't help us st all. Su.ely the real job is

'thjs makesmejealousor insecure

T

to co,y'o,r the jealousy and insecuities, to find out $hat\ causi.gth€ma.d seiabout trying to overcomeftem.

Iosleadoftcllinsmy lovertharI f€eljealous

causesof it all. Lefs actuall' JAce it. rolt about il. Wehavelo seewherc we rcally d/e betbrewe car be co!fident aboxt where we can 80. We .d, nake this work.

o. angry so they mustchmge, I askfor

h€lp.I sayI don't like whafs going on. I don'twantto denyyouyourfulfilment.but neithercar I d€n) what I feel. Can we solve this?Will)ou helpto healrne?

thir

Thetimesit h6 reauyr€allyhud is whena

lovergoesofrwith son€onewho h clearly a dickhead.Bur I know dat I've done simile thingsandtheonlyway10leamthe lessonlras to live though it- It's her life, and if she .eall]. lhinks she's happi€r spendins ajl her lih with

Since ereryore has had these feelings,your lover will know what r'.ou're talking about.You felthese thingscosyou/or" then, so why do sonething that pushes th€m away from you? lf it's worth getling hun ove., it\ worth underst3nding.So we nusl stopfliDchins from pain and hav€ thc cou.a8e to heal rather than symptoms. By neithe.

rejecting .h€m fo. their nisdeednordenyingyourtruefeelings.but d€alinswith it aspstuers in the healins and leaning prccess,you often come out of jr

stronger, siser and more together as individuals dd as a couple.And if it rcally is "all over", then dealing alsolutely honestly.Bith loveinsteadof blm€. means youdon'tlos. theniend.

If we careabout eachotherth€n we're hereto help e&chother to bethe bestwe can,the mosttrue, the most honest,mostreal, mosl outselveswe canbe.

Mr PotatoHead,well il's ihat or her beinS with me wishingshewerewirhhim

Having a lover who's otr with other peopl€ usedto do ny headin, bur thesedats I find sonetim.s therece be joy in il. It canbewonderful to seesomeoneI lovebeing sohappyandexciled,andI love the gossipytalks- i

havea love loo strongto be jeopardised so easily.And though I still get caughtout by thesethin8soccasionally,I trust myselt. ny lovers ond rn! fiinds enoughto knoF jl'llall b€OK. Ifwe care about each other ihen !ve1e bere to help each olh€r to be dre best we can, the most true, the mo$ honest,most real, most

Yes, there can be emotjonal imbalance, "they quite like me bui I'm absoluleiyin love wilh them",bul theseda happen jn nonogamyaswell.wejustptetedrhey te

more or less than lhey rcally are so il fits

Th€Rules.Theseproblemse

jusr ihepreseNeofthe 'cheats'andthenon-

ce.tainlynot

monganous. Messeslike ilh

who'severfallenfor someone.Ih€question

isd'toneofavoidingmessesata1lcosls,but

one of dealing wilh ne$ in a wa-v-.thatt based on r€alit] and p.ogression of ow

mainlaining the neurotic

spirit, rather the

affe.t anyon

Oursehesand eachother is all we have,we have to do the be.t w€ can. So we have to think, obs€re md undelstard if Be ar€to mov€foNa.ds.Chwards

10

SeeHow It AII Connects?

by GyonNbore

It isbecomingv€ryapparentthatour ebus€of theearthandour abuseof each otherarebuttwo sidesofthe samecoin.Ther€isa needfor everyoneof usto openour heansandb€com€consciousofour deepconnectionswith eachother

andt}l€DhysicalenvironmenrThecurrentmodelisserial Polygamy -

partnerssplitupbylineartime.whensomeonein a relationshiPfrllsin lovewith another,the alternativespresentedareusuallyto bedishon€standfucktiem onth€ side,or to cauleanequalamountof self-denialbychoosinton€overtheother.

lot5of

r

Therear€morechoices;asmanyasyoucanimagineandthensom€.I knowI love mortian onperson.I knowthatto besexuallyinvolYedwith morethanone personwouldonlybepossiblefor mein a comPletelyhon€statmosPh€reThisain't painfre€andnor is monoSamy- or lifefor that matter'I tnow monoSamycanb€ verypainful,notto mentjonlimitinS.andl'd Prefer myoddbit of anguish accompani€dbyfreedom,tiankyouverymuth

Seehowit allonnectslTo choos€responsiblenon-monogamynecessarilymeans tacklingatlrhose'difllcuh"issues:possessionof a p€rsonasproPertysexualand emotionaldis/bonsty,a needto uncov€randundersttndthosemotivatinSforc€s

insteadof beingsomedumbdocil€sheepto theshePherdof unquestioned Pre-

proSrammedmonlit/. Liv€yourdesir€s.R€sPonsiblyHow eh€eliminatealienation'

sadism.narrowmind€dnessanddestructionexceptthrouShlov€,ac€ePtanceanda fiercedesirefor com-passionateunderstanding?

Puftingit to th€ t€st is up to You.

Youorewo.th it youcordo it andwe arenot alone!

Somuchof the problem of thegEnerationI speakfor is:fearof

intimacy

encouragewithoutcontrollin&manipulating'hurting, pervertlng.That'sthe growthproc€ss:to underuand your

psychosesandnelrosesbyspendingenoughtme byyourself to know yourself,andlove yourself.

notknowlnghowto lov€or belovedor nurtureor

- Lvdlelrnch

T

by the godhaven coolectivo

atlrty that two

people can do, or elght people, ot one pefson. The only ditA thhg you can.loto a bodyis to hu,lit or k tft',

- Lenny Bruce

"Thef6 la nothing

it assomethingthatwetakeorgivea6

a commodity,ralherthanasthe€ne€y thatcha.gesfom ndlhroughus.

V\henwe arestillbabieswe makean unspokenagre€m€ntwth ourmotherc and fathersnot lo touchourselves "down thef6" in relurn for their conlinuedlove.Assoonasweareable

to touch our genilals, we're iold not to. lt's rude. lt's dirty. Nakednessis viewedas sexual.No matterwhat our individual upbringings, the

Christianmoralityof our society impinges upon

out

sexualitycannothelpbut be twistedand inhibatd

byit.

St OerekJarmansaid"under6landthat

sexualityis as wid6 a6 the sea".Thi6 can be magnifr€dinto our individual lves - understandthat

your ownsexualityis as wide as the sea. Think about iti almost everyoneyou knowhas enjoyed sex with a partner and alsosolitary masturbation. Think aboul how different these experienc€sare, yet how we raadily accept lhem both as pleasurablesex. lf you can enjoy two such dispa.ate sexual acts, whatelsewouldyoulike if onlyyoutriedit?

is

buried under

Weare encouragedto view sex selftshly, as a gesture of conquestor the placing of restrictions, insteadof somethingthatwe sharein mutual celebration

ves,

ancl

out

Andthisisa greattoolto beusedagainslus.lf we are frightenedto touch

even our own bodie6, how can we bear lo reachoutto olhers?lf we can be kept confusedand unsureabout our own selves then we are doprivedof the confdenceto sharethatselfwiththose aroundus.We arekeptisolaied,alone, andih6€byeasierlo contrcl.

And so we detach.As Christianit's inlluencebeginsto wane,peoplehave

Sex

mountiainsoftabooandembarrassm€nt that are e66entiallythe r6sidue of cnluries(in particularthe 19th) of Christianindoctrination.Thisburialis a

tool of contol. \ & are encouragedto view sex belfshly, as a gesture of conquestor the placingol rcstrictions, insteadof somefhiflgthat w sharIn mutualcelebration.Vve'remadeto treat

whatyou cau clecadentis the counge to expqiqce - AnaisNin

t2.

,tt ot ttte

shownthatlheywantio hearandtalk aboutsexmoreopenly,ln Gsponseto

thiswearegiv6n'\i/omens"magazines,

sexmagsandmanualstotelluswhatis "normal"and"correct".\Men, on The N6ws,we are given6ighthoursof

usual perception;scratchingor biting can changefrom b€ingpainfulinto a gloriousand intensepl€asure,a slight

tolrchor breathcan changefom being barelv noticeable to exouisite and exaltingrushesof seismicproportiqns.lt is the testimony of

magjc, :i glimpse of living perfection, a communicationwith a principalpillar of the spkit. Queston,think,

expariment.

rulesareyoul;vingby?

Whose

(caretullyvetted)Gulf War footage every day,we thinkwe know the whole story Our Need To Know is appeased.Inthesame way, our being given hundreds of surveys

on Vlhal l\ren Really

l hnt In Bedmakesus

think we are being grven our sexuai liberation.They refer lo our "sex life", isolating it as a compartment. A

hol;day. You are allowedto havea "sexlife"as longasit doesn'taffectthe rcst of your life.As

Sex is st ,, the only

time we get out of controlthat cannot be legislatedagainst.

And so, instead,we aremadeto feel inadequateabout andevenhateour own bodiesso that we police ourserves.

To inhibit your sexualityis lo inhibit your spiritualiiy. ln laking controlof your sexuality, you take controlof yourseli

lonoas it'snotpart of reallife lf it does

seep out then it

dangerous.,

drawingusdownto ourdoam

is

wild

portrayed as

passians,

the

Sex is stillthe onlylime we get out of control that cannot be legislated against.And so instead,we are made lo feelinadeqlateaboutandevenhate our own bodies so that we police

who cannot lov6 herself cannotloveanybody who ia ashamedof her body is ashamedof all life who linds dirt and filth ih her body is ,osl who cannot rcspect the gifts given even b€forebirth can never fesPect anything fully

Yoursexualenergyis ondofyour most powedulforces,Goodsexb oneoflhe iew thingsthat takeyou into realising howgoodyou caniael withifiyourself. Our pefceptionsare altered,sensual experiencesare tadicallydifferentand canevenbecomethe opposileof theh

- ancientsongof tE salishwonen

ttom GodhavenThefhitd zine publishsd byGodhavenInk,1995.

I thlnh that a soclety whtch condon$ vaginal deodonnt is a soclety In rcal tduble - JohnP@!

i3

This letteris the reply by Godhavencoolectiveto a lelter

complaining(primarily)

aboutthe ,sex/arality' articlefrom the

T

. GodhavenTheThird zine.

My dearSteve,

The po;nl the article was making (the nain one. anyway) is wider - thal

s€xualityis ,?o,'ethansex,i1is oneofthe main lbrces of our spirirual being,

aliecting far more than jusl our

behaviour.Irut becauseof all lhe taboo

and embarrassmentthal assorted

religions (in our casechdstianity) have heap€dupon sex. we have

had our sexualiry $ifled so thal it becomes stunled or mutated,like sprayingpoison on the flowers of a plant can kill it right down to its

Thanls for writing to us. Sory it's ralen

a f€w weeksto reply. but we wanted10 discussthis betweenthefour ofus befole writing back to you. Alrhough we ouNelves se€ nmerous firults in the Godhavenzine tdlog/, by and largewe feel that it worked - i. go! the

feelings and ideas OUT THERE for rl5, and we'v€

hada lot ofposiliv€response to it. Suchlhingsarenice.but

a constructive criticising

piece is always more usefi .

It's a shame,then, that your

criticisns arc endrely based on invalid presuppositions and/or mis0derstandings of

senal

The lessthat we know aral understand

aboutourselves, thelessw€can loveofourselves and theless.'e cantruly giveof ourselves.

What we're encouragingis thatpeoplerecognisethis and be€om€more in touch with what'srea14,goingon inside.

Yourmain beofis with the 'se).Toualiry' piece,and its all€gedencouragemenlof s€lf-gm.i8ing junk sexwilh no thoughl

for a partners feelings. I don't kno{

whereyou got this ideafrom, at no point

in thearticle do we advocateor condone

this. Youask "what aboutall the sexual conquestswhoselbelingsarc ignorod".I

find the use of the term "conquest" particularlydisturbing - PLPASEre-read

the secondparagraphoflh€ anicle (and,

inde€d.lherestofit whileyou'reatit),h rubbish€syour criticisms and clearly advocatescaring, joyous sx ("we ar encouraged!o view sex selfishly, as a g€stue of conquestor the placing of rcstrictions,insteadofsomethingthat we shar€in mutualceleblation").

The less that we know and understand aboutourselves,lbe lesswe can love of

ouselves and the lcss i}€ cantuly

give

ofowselv€s-rhis js ourpoint.andrhisis also &e point beingmadein ih€ancient songof the salishwomendla! we quote at the end.We are,ot being 'just like a jeho\ah's witnesspointing rabidly at the texr in his bible" asyou ufairly allege- a JW (or any other.nemberof theholy- text religions)lakeslhe book asa moml code and moulds th€ir life around it, declaring things to be the case only b€causethe book saysso. We quotethe salish women because the song eloquentlystatesa point that w€arived al indep€ndently.

So.sta(ing from yow mis€onceived(no pun intended)point of believingthat we

l4

are encouraging peopleto hurttully use othersassone kind ofrnaslurbationaid, you'vegoneon to advocateone_lo-one

exclusives€xualrelationshipsastheonly real way of having caring sex You've saidthat \l€ should"love everyone.but save sex for whai I seeas its original (natural?)purpose - cementtngthal specialbondwith onc person" I hateio say this to you, but this really bcaays your having a christjanbackgrcund. Single-partnet lifelong, exclusive, relision-approved,

ihis is the O,\ZI way it tan be, and go 1@ltrg for suchr€lationships.Thenthey try to makedfl, partnershipinro sucha rclationship,which very often doesnot work, and people end uP hurt and contused,ratherlike a toddlertryiig to ram a squarepeg in a slar shapedtol€ andwonderingDhy it won'tfit.

I think pcople should tak€ a step back

andlrirl

1() it all is HONESry.

hones!with ourselvesaboutwhat nakes us happy i'?d/t us. after

aboutit all a bit more The key

Ir'e must be

rhe bullshit and

conditioningis cutaway), what makes us fulfil1ed. We must groF to know andlove ourselves-As !\€ do so we can rrdru our love ith orhers,celer,"dte one anoth€r I'm not just lalking about sex here, I'm talkingthewholeselll As this realisation emerges,one becomes

aware thar

ali

these

sepam(edthingsarereally

and

pbysicaiity. politics,

sexualily, lo\€, mind and

onei

spirituaiiry

relationships are the doctrine(andmoreor less rheinventiono0 theholy- text religions, (allhoughI don't level all thesear you, I noie you madeno reference to sexual orienlalion or approval ftom authorir-).

As T says. sexualiiy is "worth explodng wi*tou1 rhe handed-downtbars, paranoias and hang-ups of the pasrfew millennia of palriarchal fuck-up culiure.Exclusivesingle" partnerrelatioDshipshave

spiritualityand physicality' Politics, sexuality,love,mind andbody - tbey're all ingredientsofthe same whol€,andaffectone another,We mustknot what thesethingsare and,oreit beforewe cansharethem properly - howcanyou giv€a gift if you don't knowwhat it is or if you don't think it's desirable?

beenpound€din1ous,bul

are, by all psychologicalevidencenot 'nalulal', and by all historical evidence not 'original"'. Human beings only invented such relalionships {hen they inventedo$nership of pivate proPrty. Beforc thal, people, land. water life, veryfiing was jusi.lte,'e.

body - they'reallingedientsofthesame

must

izol' what thesethings Ne zttd low il beforewe cansharethemproperly- how can you give a gif. if you don't kno$

you don't think it's

desirable?

what it

whole, and afiect one anolher.\lt

is

or

if

Th;s is not to saylhat suchrelarionships are wrong or don't woik. Clearly they work very \\€11for some PeoPle. The problemwe have;s thar peoplefeel tha!

Whenwehonesllyfaceoulsehes,we see hos muchis bullshitor condilioning, just reflecting$hat hasgoneon around us, and \re can startto separatethat oul

15

hon a deeperscnseof sell:

pe.iods of time happily and honestly embeddedin suchrelationships.But they arerct the,r/J way of peopleusings€x to expressiheirlove.

Tl€re is a whole lot betweeneveryrhing and nothing; I havemany peoplewho I call my friend, ranging from p€ople whosesumameandaddressI don'r know throughto somepeopleI wouldgladly

die for. I don't approachtiiendship with a singl€mouldof How

It

evolve at its o$n pace,

and if it seemsgood then things conlinue and deepen.I don't make any promisesof being togeth€rforevet wejust know thatwe're

Be,

Musl

I

let

it

Beca:useno two peoplearethe same,no relationshipbet\.een any rwo peopleis the sarne.Soto cometo a hugenun$er of relarionshipsand tsy to enJorceone particular behaviouralcode (such as monogamy)is ludicrous.If people ya,/

to do that with one another,fine. But ir seemsto me that a greal many pople

drrl

conditionedinto rhem,

and tlen

feelingresirictedor else

go

reiations wilh another person clandestinely (most customers of prostitules are married men).Thisis clearlynor

healthy.Ir is dishonestto the pemon who still thinlc they're the "oirly one",andtheotherpanneris being dishonest vith thensel\)es by p€rp€tuatinga relationshipwhosetemls theyclea:lydonl believein.

They'U do

ir

because it's

As longaseveryoneis being honest(including beinghonestabout misgivingsor jealousies), thenwhat happens befweedconsentingadults is up to them.

either sian

stan

sexual

and

dere becauseii's $orth iaandlookslik€it will continue1obeso

for somelime to come.

I don't set anyj€alousy fiom any lriend

becaus€I spendtime with someonelse, they understandthat it is inpossible for onepersonto b€thewholeworld for me, and know that f still love them and am rherefor therncontinuously.So ;t is the

samewith theftiends who I

havesexual

relations with. As long as everyoneis

The solutionis HONESTY llave the

courageto bercall) honestwith vou.rself and the p€oplearound you aboul who

you

that'sestablishedthen work on being together.To pretendrhat you don't feel or believein stulTwhenyoudoredly(or thal you dd when you do, r really) will only causeproblems in other patu of your life. lf you pushthe pressuredown from above,i1'll startwarpinethe sides. So,from theslan,honestyis boththekey

are and what you need, ard once

being honest (including bein' honest aboul misgivingsor jealousics). rhen $'hathappensbetEeenconsendngadulls is up to them. Therc may w€ll come a

nme agsin when someoneis in

who is so captivaringI don'l eventhink about sexualstuff with someoneelse.I may be in the early stagesof thal right now.As long asthat\ what'sbestfor me and that pe|son. all would be dandy. Sucha setupmayweli beyourpersonal pref€rence,but unde$tandthat ,o,r

my life

And

monogamousrelationships,they 'lot can be

glorious. I myself ha\,e spent long

I

say again, this is

against

16

yefercnce is not a univrsal notal la'|. AsLennyBrucesaid,theonlydirb thing you cando 10someoneis to hurt them.

we know dlat superficially "liberaled"

pomiscuous junk

repression.Tha! is why we don't condoneit. But ihere are other s€xual activitiesbesidesyour iwo optionsof single-pannerexclusiverelationships and uncaringsclf-gralifying junt sex

sex is just anodtr

Your assertionthat "people ndiler, ffi1 things, or sex" is a trifle odd. Peopledo indeed matt€r,bltt the idea of people nirr.Jr, thjngs or sex?That gives us fte ctdstian heavenvision,the disembodied sphil stuf. Mind. body. spirir - they're

all aspectsof

PERSON.As T says,"christianideasof heaveDand spnil srveto ali€natela from ourbodies,whichareinshunents of pleasure,pain,feeliDg,sexandlove Loveyourbody.Loveyourself'.

rhe sane thing. IhE

MaybeI've rakcnil all a bit tootitemlly

' I hopewhat you meanis that we have to care abolrt one another,and noi get caughl in the bullshit of ownership, moDey-status.coisumerismandthekind of notch-on-the'bedposl,fuck-as-many- people-as-you-can junk sexthing lfthat \\?s youi point-theyes,we're absolulcly widr you on it. As Harpersaidh d€r/sr pieceofthel.sr Godhavenzine. "your enemieswanl you to $ay in your hovel. drugsed and deadenedby iunl t\ & computer gamesicold music ihat says nothing, stay home afraid of crime, aliaid of anything ard €verything differenl, unknown, never talking to strangers,neversmiling at peoplein the shcet,caring only for money,& rrlrgs

& yours.lf'. So you se€.if You mean

"goddann i1,we've gorto be kind", then an almighryYES! 10 you- But your comment,comingas it did at the endof a lelter appearinglo lay into us not otly

s1R'we didn'1actuallysay.butusing

for

all kindsof nast) loadedteminology, well, we may havebeena bit halsh and lite.al at first.

You really shor dn't use such €motive nasty phrasing, (refening 1o us as "spouling about" and "going on abouf' stutr). It detractsfiom any real polnt you're making and winds peopleup. li seemsalmosl bizarle after the ncgative feNour ol your letterto have"geat mag anyhow - keep al it" at tbe end. You should kno} that Harper go1the lctter fiISt and proceededto spendar evenjng wliting back1l)you. lt degeneratedinto note fonn and didn't get properlY finished. He has a severelydebilitating illness thal is exacelbatedby slress,bul he $'as so wound up by rhe completely misconstruedstuff and wholly wrong prcsupposiaionstharhehadto \'e!itethere and then.As J saj',it didn't get properly tnished, andsomeof it is a bir lan!, bul as a last word on the "people nafier!' thing. onething Harpersaidwas"people do mattor more than things - I age€. They matier more than my rroer lbr instance - bui I think you'll find thal ihere wouldn't ,r' any people withoul sex.,^.sBill Hicks said'we're here - someone'sb€enlucking!'".

To say that \re should study quanturn physicsbefo.e"spoutingaboutenergy' is a bit sjlly. 1oo.Ir's probably a good lting forlor to havestudiedit, I havent and would like to knoE more, maYbe you could discussi1with me. But to say we shouldn'trcfer 10energl is nodsense

t7

- il implies not only that quantum physics underslandseverythingthat thereis 10know aboutali thingsthat we call energy,andthatthereisnootherway to underslandit, but atsothat until one has an academicunderstandingol the workingsof something,onecamot llave a valid opinion of its tunc1ion.I'll deal with thesetwo ihings oneat a time.

"Scienceand lechnology are the religions of lie

20thc€ntury,nomore,no

less," says Ha4er He's right. Look at the role of religion - to €xplainthe drive behind,pu.pose, function and future of things, and to engender hope,ard you'l1 se€that in 20th century wes.em cultule we look to science for this. Wtilst sciencewould appearto explaina lot of stutr, we canall agreethat the.e is still more to discover. Thereforewe do, t know it ail. And sciencehasan odd kDackof disprovins itself when it finds new

things tbat dor'i tally wiih the old underslanding.Copemicus andcalileo's Fooflhat the eanhin fact goesmund th€sun,tkough to quantm physicsits€f, thereis a long tradiiion of new understandingtotally defenestrating dle old. Don't believe scienseknows it all. Ir's just rror€knowledgeaswe seeit at the momenl. Even then, there ar€ oiheG who uDderstandit difrerentl]'. There are p€oplewho can will a glass acrossa roomto smashit on a wall, lhere aremonksin Tibetwho cadmel! a circle

of snow 16 feet round, these peoplo know ,o1' they're doiDgit, but not in a measulable-bt-wes.em-scienceway. (Seethe "HeroesAnd Villains" article in Godhavenn).

Which brings meotr to the validity of us talking about ercrgy. I can ralk about sexual energy becauseI know what it feelslike andwhati1is andwhatil does. How it doesit, I've no

idea.Weall do this, you included.I've no idea io\, my body lakes leutils and cakesand pasta aild converts it into the energy that's moving my fingerc as I write this. I've no idea llov a video recorder works,burI canuseone perf€€tlywell, I cantll the diference between one thar wo*s and one thal doesn't, and I can put a plug on one so il can g€tthe eleclricity il needs. No academic understmdinga1all, but a functional knowledge ofits purposeandusage. lt's the sarneahing.

in

lhe midst of

It's somethiDgthat bothersmea lot, our sexistvocabulary.Ther€ aredozensof wordsfor "penis", each appropriate to ditferetrt ciicumstances,but very fewfor "vagina", almost all ofwhich are childish, derogatoryor clinicrl. Little boysare taught th&ttheyhavea "willy", whereaslittle girls are givenwordslike "front bottom" and "ioilet parts", if they.re eveD givetrrdordsat all,

tt perturbed us thal

wriling aboutyour misgivings with ou! allegod infercnc€sin the "sexyomlit" piece,you r€fenedto our "usingtheterm cuntto d€m€anirylydescribea woman's vagina - speaksto me of crassnessand insensitivity - referenceto comrnodity again". The sexyoualit_article doeslrot use the word cunt anywh€ie.Ii does, ho*€ver, appearin the "Vague& Hasty ScrawlingsOn Censorship"piece, in a

t8

paraeraphcokdenni g the urderhanded sexism of rape depiction in films, in a sentencecondemningthe ideaof cunt as commodity.lt is notusedin a demeaning \ray, the conten is clearly and overlly enti-sexisl-Wllal you're really objecting to is not the a) it's used,bui its useat all. I1's somethingthat bothersme a lot, our sexistvocabularJ.Thereare dozens of wordsfor "penis",€achapprop ateto diferent circumstances,b tlery few for "vagina", almost all of which are childish derogatory or clinical. Little boysarelaughtthat th€yhavea "willy", whereasli{le girls are gi1,enwords like "front botlom" and "toilet pans", ifthel areevengivenwordsal all. Men can15lk about theil dicks or nobs or cocks,but for women ,ll the choices have demeanirg ovcrlones- qurm, twat, snatchandsoon.Ii boihersmetoo that a man who is a fool is dismisscd as a waiker or tosset a woman as a slag There are no common opposrte equivalents,andthey perpetuatethe idea of a manwho hasno sexis *rong, anda womanwho hasloadsis \!rong, this id€a of whatyou call "male sexualpredatory instinct" (thoughI disputethe useof the word instinct - this predalor & pley, victor & th vanquished idea is ,o. pandemicin hurnans).A nearequivalent of a male "slag" is $e (thanlfirlly ouf dated) word "stud", which has praise

Setagainstthis,weneededaword to lrse. Cunt is rhe woid many of my female fiends use,andwe useit too. Weneedto /e.l.rtr this word. 11wasn't originally obscene.Thesewords, including "tuck" andyour own belov€d"bollox" (actually

an&ciert

class

obscene in order 10 dralr

word lbr "priesB'l \lewnade

disiinctions. The word "crlnf' has the ssmeroot astheword "cunning"andthe Scotlish"ken" (rneaning"to know"). and alsothe namcofthe Wiltshire,Eerkshire warerway the River Kennet. The root word means "the giver/preserverof life", and "sourceofwisdom". I like that.

lfwe don't haverhevocabulary,howcan we talk aboul things? We can rcclattr thesewords.If they're rlsedby the ami- opFessors, they are stripped of their oppressivepower - goodexarnplesbeiry what's happenedin the last 10-15yeals wirn "nigger", and particularly "queer". Giventhe contextof lhe GodhavenziDe, the conlentof lhe c€nsorshiparticle,the poinl of ihe para$aph and ils bracketed suffix. we think that it is abundandy clearthal the useofthe word cuni is not demeaning.Other options were too clinicalorloo chiidish.

This is a big point, though.Th€language helps define the culture. lf we can discusstlings, we can sFead ideasand information, encouragethe things we discuss.In Englandwe baveno Bord for "zeitgeist" (meaning "the spirit of the age", morc or less).No wonderthe Germanshavea Crltur'e Minister while the Brilish counterpart is a Heritage Minister - one looking at past, prese.t and tu1ure,the olher jusr ar rhe past, r€ally.By the sametoken, the Germans have no word for "subtle". The neare( one means "very fin€ly judged", not quitethe samthing at all.

I hopeI'v clearedup yow concems.If yolr w&rt 10meet uP and discussstuff, I'm inlo it. Let mekrow.

You c€rtainly causeda cufufile

l9

round

theseparts, f'articularly with your letier's

fiIst recipientHarp€r,not becausewe've

beencriticised, but bcauseso manyof the allegdtionswereconptetelyunttue. And that bit whre you redid the "adveltis€ment"cenhesFead - either you love fucking about with your computer,or eise you were feeling inordinately cruei rhat day. What we were doing with that was expressing

what r,!€ feel every advert is

llate it when I'm

home without Da Phonque.Much love beuponyou :rlways,

Mer[ick

WV O'Phagus

T

Harper

PS: I've jllst showr my friend Kirsty your letter andshe'smadetwo points; l) Godhavenis not esp€cially"big on

conspiracytheories"- but tap marks in

that departmentgo to our old chumsdre

Catholic Chuch -

anyone?Excommunicalinghereticsuilo

said ,thal maybe the

buming witches,

eanhisn't the cenrreof

&e

centuries of the SpanishInquisition?

universe? The

I'll

saying.I

warching Nonhem

Exposureor something equallywonderirl, ody to b€ a(acked wiih SHUTUP!BUY THIS! IT'S SMART!,whichis

what Papa & Nicole, Hugh Laurie, Danny Bakerandall theothen are really saying.No wonder London

deadens people - everywhere you go you'r€ reading adverts, and you can't

choosenorao.I s?s on a busin Leicester

the

advertisingTV on it with speakersabove every altemate seat! (TV is apparendy wone in other countries - ad breaks every 5 minutes and noneloo,subtle techniques,say folks who've been to Austmlia and the USA). But anyway,I foundit oddwhatyou addedro thepi€€e; "sl€eparound", "hav more varied and ftequentsex","havegoodsex".Do I take it thatyou think havingbador dull sexis better? tlaying occarional, infrequenl andunimaginativesexis somehowgood for p€ople?lf anylhing, ihe advenisers encouragemarriageand siull - a nalion

ofthe Oxo family is €asierto marketto-

"Why is non-mologamous sexsupposedlyvacuous?If I wontedvrcuoussexI'd goatrdgetmarriedl I'm

siudiouslynon- 2)

give you her

exactDordq "Why is non-monogamoussex

supposedlyvacuous?lf

I wanted va€uoussex

I'd go andgetmaniedl

monogamousbecauseI don', want selfishor vacuoussex!tl

I'm

becauseI do,l want selfish or vacuols

studiously

non-monogamous

other week and they had an

Lovelife. Be good. "It's easy - all you

Be cool, b groort/, nnd don't leave

20

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S'X IS NO?THEIMPORTANTTHINC

.

4J MlthaetAtuno

"ft

actHty,

b

hlghly

prcbable

that

Indeaat

tha

taxuat

frcnottc

Pfeoccupatton

vlth

charrcterbes

Wettatu

many caaet

not tha

tex

th.t

culturc. b

tn

expr€E,ilon ol

lex|ral

aaarch lor the ta s'.actlon ol the neeat

lor a-on'5ct' - khlay

,rteneaf et

a

,

but hther

Montagu

a

Whllc love6

d66ply and honartly than frlonds, eenLal aex k by no /',eaa|s,€c€3tary for Eenulno communltyl lnataeitl pregontly, glvsn tho rollgloui a|td cultlr.l anll-aoxual clndRlonhg |nost of t|3 oxporLncod growlng up, gsnttal oxpre3llona of trlondshlp wlthln communlg rnaybo cour*6rprodlctlve, at l€a3t Inltlally. lhe moat lmportant

sl€rncnt In a[ Intlmato lov6 *filch lg

may naturally rolato mora

Inclualve, rathcl ihan oxclu3lv,

13

"lovhg physlcal touch" or

aftsctlon.lo plea{ro", not gonllal atlmulailon, For meny peopls In oua cultur€, thls wlll rroan glvlng a||d

rocolvlng body ma36aEos,wlthoul bolng genhally loxual o. erotlc,

,'phFlca y

lllo3t of ||3 WostonoB tond to 3eo 3ox 6a a aubdtanoe,aa aomo-thrngrvg do, Wo feyo aox or ,reka lov6. And llks other B|,bitahc63, w! ars qulto oaslty addlct6d to s€L Our 6xp6rlenca la radlcally allft€rotrl from th6 trlbal oxpedonco of !6xoal love aa a neltral

6xpr6salon of oner3rolattomtl!

and th6 cosrno3,

land, tha c!fimunlty

We n6€dto bo patlont wlth our3otvos, ard wlth 6aoh other, a3 wo look to th futuro, truttln, ln tha ongclnJ plocee3

to the

ot

dlrectlon

Intlmato

Lll€. Lol

us oach move In the

of that

form

of Inch3tv6,

lov6

whlch

ls

most

approprlal€ for ler b6lng t.u to our36lvos and talthful to tlro.6 wlth

whom we ar6 In a reladon3hlp.

Moe63, lhough hs had l€d tha lsraolll.3 toi torly yoars through tha d6!€rt, waa hlmaolt only abla to roe the proml9od land, not cntor lL So, too, glven our pel3onal lasuoa, tomp6raments, and' llfe.elturlton3, aon€ of u3 nay be abla to envblon a trlbellk panfalthfol comnunlty wlthooi belhg ablo to tllly exporlanco tho 36xr|al dlinonCona of lt ouis€lvos, Ihaf3 O(. Wo can 3tltl cnntrlbuto o{r onorgl6a to the c.u3o. lho dooD ocolo4r appro.ch to llfa 15ior th6 tong

ial|1.

Al Jln Oodge, a de6p ocologlst rnd blofoglonall3t 3ald, 'lloal ot th Peopl | talk wlth fG.l r{o hay6 a flghtlng chance to stop onvtronm. al deatructlon wlthln tifty years and to turn tlia cult[r6 aroundwhhln 800 to 1OO0 y€.rr. 'Flghtlng chance' translato! .a long oddB but good compaly, and blor€glonatbn 13 obvlou3ly dlrectd rl p€opb wtth a

llttlo gambl€ ln th6h blood. Slnce we

wont

hopod tor tramfornEtlon, w mlgft a3

wall start lt rlght, wlth th€ fln6.t oxpr.3dom of aphh and style rvo can mu3tsr, koeplng In mlnd th6re ls onty a functlonal dlft€i6nce bstwo€n the

flowEi and the root, lhat

llve to 3€e tho .63!ib

of thl!

6$6nttatty

they are paa ot ths 3amoabldlng

3un stlll se3 ev6.y

falth

lhe

mornlng;DlgIn-'

'How wlll the men of

hls sexual ufe? wlII he have won Crcatet lnnet f'eoalom?WU he have

of tlenttalIly

and rcplactal lt by e morc atlsc'eta

destroyeattha tyanry

tomo ot,, Ilve

fotm of etottclF,rt,morcwldesprca4 morecontnuntcatlre, petmeatlngall

rclaflo|lAhlp6?"

-S larareSnook

'Weate hlhly' pefiaP lrctlnctlve'

- condltlonedto er@t€6sthe enediy

CenltErv ance It becorne. 'soxual. But lrcm enother perspec've what we catl soxual energ ls icutaw a fioale of afrentlon. lf we fuee our attendon out ot the Eeoltal tmamlc anat romeln present fot enatgY, aofiel,lnr eke berlt'Eb happ?'n"

- Rlchad /ltors, 'Nurtu nE

CotumunW'

"Multlp.rtner rclatlonthlps ete lnherefitly moae compLx enal atemantlntl than monogat'|ousones' Contequenw,skength da v6 ltum ovarcomlncthe klnt,3 ol o,6tecl€5 ant ha.dahl!6 ptoneershave alweyx lacod. fhe chatlenec4'ot explo ng, nCwwatsol rclath€,ln{ma'fry a6 no lssdemantlng than tho6c tac'd by the lnuepldexplorcBwhotaltaatovar the edgeof a suppo€edlyflat wotLl"

- Dabo6hAnaDoI

Ther6ls a glreal r€od for domoBtlc ploneol3Inourday - pooplowio aae wllllng io rbk €xplorlnS'nsw models ot nairlage, famlly and commtrnlty; nw modols ot falthtul, lovlng

Inilnacy. Ths exlondgd tamlly, wlth ssvs.al gsnofatlon3 llvlng onder one roof, charact€ib€d Amorlcan 3ocl6ty untll early thl3 century, wh6n €conomlc change tolcod the cryctrllballon of iho nuclear famlly compila6d of 6 wlfG, hu3bandand tholr chlldren. lh6 nuclear famlly, gon6.ally oonBlderedth6 baslc unlt ot Amedern tamlly llfe, ha3 b6cn tho flimly a3iablbh.d no]m for tho past fltty yeal3 or 30. l{ow lt, too, !€enrs to b pasdng lftb b to be encourag€d, a3 lt3 Bldo.ffecl3 aro a nlg!*n|are to. the planet, lhe bolated nocleat famlly nay bo tho lea3t .ultalnable, moat €xpenrlve and ecologllcally deatructlve form ot human 3oclal organballon that evel oxbt€d,

We must craato sustalnabl€

communlll€3 or dle. lt la that slmplo.

li s66rB llk6ly that

wlll coon co.oxbt wlth muftl"adult

llvlng gtoup3, or Intentlonal exlended

nuclearfamllles

famllles, Such 'oxDanded ianlllos"

'Dods" wlll conslst of n6lworks of Intlmate ftl€nd3 who may oi may not llve togethel, and for who.n the gog3lblllty of .oxual Involvom€ntwlth

€ach other ls opon. MonogahouS couDle+ a3 w€ll as tho6€who choos€ to be cellbate, wlll happlly co-exlst wlthln thb codext.

ol

"If the potentlal fot oublde sexual hdmacy k ac.epbd W cllrptes w''o rcco6 tke the need ,or such lnput on ava et! of levets, then tfia prea3!rc bond beclttes tte rea, cament lor a

- RoberaFtancaeur

Fm

mg.|m

P.ntd.rlty

hl

p.n 17, m ,r4

4 by l{lch

l

Alui.i

Sorln! 1994

Gd'

E g

Faithful To Many

Althoughthercarcno accidents,I came to the pracliceof polytidelityby accident I metthiswomanunderOctoberskies. Shetoldmefromlhe startthalshehad anolherloverand that theywere non- monogamous.Myself having recently movedout of a long{em coupling,it seemedthe p€ifectplac€lo just have a littlefling beforegoingon to whoevermy nextteal' loverwouldbe.Andthenwe

re'ationshipsin a waythatis passionale

Thereis an awakeningof spiritin the decisionio loveas feely as possiblei. anygivenmomentThisis nota version of monogamywilh more than one

pe|son.lt is thepromiseto one'sselfio

be present.Theeadhmakeslovelo us

everyday.A kisswjtha slranger,holding hands with a friend,flirting,dancing, makinglove,allasthemomeniallows.

Fromthat beginning,lmoved intoa

painlul liberation. In place of my conditioned thoughts about love, inlimacy, romance and

relaljonship,I now havea new way of b€ingin the

world. The

polyfidelityhas becomefor

he a oeep ano ever expandingvalue system.

As ananyadventure,we learnaswe go. Hittingup againstfear,

leninggoolmy need'for someone otherperson to depend on, feeliflg angryatthedepthol the social condilioningto own and be owned, despairing at lhe inadequacyof language

doing,feeling

Thisis nota versionof monogamywith morethanone person.

practice of

Polyfldelity: Faithful to

many

faithfulto all ny

friends

laithfulto

myself

-J to descdbewhat lam

earlhwhichsuslainsme.

The issueof howmanypeopleonehas

sexwithisa iacelolthislfestyle,a facet that dfawsthe most attention.Ihave cometo undorstandthisquestionasonly th first layer of undoingconditioned

relationship .€sponses.Wthin questionareseveralolhers.

this

\ryhoowns my body?\ryhatdoesit mean to be sexualin diff€€nt contexts?\M]o madeuptherulesaboulhowmuchI can sh6rewith otherc?What are my own rulesandhowdo I discoverlhsmin th€ midstof so muchsocialch€ltef?And moslirnporlantly,if eroticen€rgyis the stufiof litu, ho,ncenI bepresenlto all my

frustratedbymy iflabilitiosto loveinthe

waythatI want.ThenI amcomforledby thewordsof MoniqueWltig: 'Ihercw8s

a tme when you were not a slave,

rcnember that Youwalkedalane,full ot laughler you bathell barebellied. You nay have losl all ,ecollection of it, remember.you say there arc not words

b dscnbe it, you say it doesnot exist. But remenber Make an etforl Io rcnembea or failingthat,invent.'

Andsowe mustinventthisnew"oldway of being- ll is aboul being fully ompowered,fullyablelo respondlo ,ife, fullysexlal,tullyinconnection,tullyfree.

It is fromthis plscethat revolulionsare

,1

.

Sex ls For Bondingl

lnplicathtns ol tle Unlonol saxan l splrtt to. Lota'

atieto

aN the ram /

by Deloran M An4.t,

PhD. Dlreclor ol tne lnllltcl

R@!re

C€r t€.

Sr is ibf bonding Sd h ior comnllMg

spnir dd

?la.e in the whole of.reatior' ou social lab.i. and our sPnitual udest nding dc

urayelling bccause {. hiv. tbrough 2000

)e&r

b conllned to

nonogamou\ union aU btrt de'tr,)ed $e porvennl ror.e *hosc pu.pos. is lo link us

l{,geticr. Sexual expre$ion in

will

endr,ing li.lag€

spi.itlally

rhich ldts till the cnd of |ime Blt rhat &e

rhe

$r

eare

d

$ith

ea.L othr and sensirSou

implicdtions ot such ll@tedgei

trG &.

all wouded

ii

our .alacitv

lor loiDg

rehtiorslips. w. are $oud.d

in $e

lane lvai

that ou

culture

a

pcople, Srom .liaid b lovc {hen tic sl,n it nor€s us.,\n{l

.o ve slecpwJL througl

is woudcd.

We har€, rs

thc

.elationship lbrdr such .s srial mcd.gmy rathc. than

up

io

the rcality

ol

'aLing loYi.g rvithotrt lnnirs, Serial

mon.,gam! can be r liler,

sel)mtiYe,

apprca.h

onrol

prrmcr. md tl."

eithcr/o.

sys

your

rade iun or

10 loYinq. lr

ard

po*ss

of t€a.hing thar se{ is sjntul rnd should

pro.reatit€ necessitJi!

a

Wehaoe,as a people, grown afraid to loaewhen the spirit moaesus.

Ddigflt$

cuitlr€s, sonctim€s

in ritu .ont.{t,

bolds lhc

group (nor just t&

mating Patr)

r.getie. It becones a dnisive force only wheo ue inpo"e arrili.i hnits on irs expre$ion,

particularl) tor women, and

her ih

n €xplaincdin my book

'Lore lvithoul Linits: jhe Q!es1 For