The Next Frontier

This is a dangerous game. Already, almost as soon as the news of the Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriages, stories began to appear that the next battle will be for polygamy. The new, edgy marriage is poly-amorous. To be fashionable it won’t be enough to have a single, monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. No, now the in-crowd must have a crowded house of LBGT folk who identify as some iteration of blended male/female. It is us, who have been the standard, in our mongamous, heterosexual relationships, that become the shunned, the outliers, and the fools who defy convention. Under this ethic, a butch woman dressed in biker drag with tats and piercings should be on my hot list of desired partners. Also, I the beer-bellied, middle-aged WASP should be learning what my bra size is at Victoria’s Secret and picking out something suitably sexy with matching panties to wear with a stripper school girl costume. You can thank me later for that eye-worm.

Where is the edge? What is too far? Is a poly-amorous house where children are encouraged to explore their sexuality with everyone the new frontier, the new edge of progress? Me, beer belly, middle-aged, WASP, in a push-up bra and stripper school girl outfit is the new hot trend in sexy men? Really? I seem to remember, back in the 1980’s, meeting a housing collective where the community had veterans of the free-love idea, and learning that the women, especially the mother’s, had killed the idea that every woman was to give sex to any man that wanted it any time he wanted it and in any manner. She should be excited at multiple partners with multiple gender-choices. I also remember men who were creeped out by this and sought out hetero-female partners who could be monogamous.

There was a lot of euphoria a few weeks ago as those who have wanted to be unchained now have the permission of the Supreme Court to bump whatever uglies suit their fancy. It is 8pm on a Friday night and the party is young. We have a while to go yet before it becomes 6am Sunday morning and we are sick from what we’ve been doing over the last day or so. I worry, though, about how us, the ones who had their fill, are in recovery, seeking healthy, heterosexual, monogamous relationships, will be treated by those for whom it is still early on Friday night. Will we be persecuted for failing to adhere to this new orthodoxy of poly-amorous, multiple gender identity, amorphous commitment world that is being advocated as the new, revolutionary, fashionable, modern way to live? Will we be seen as criminal under this new legalism? What then?

There is a woman I am acquainted with, who owns a house in my city. She was, in her earlier years, quite the fiery, dissonant, dissident woman. Tattoos, piercings, edgy punk rock, a pissed off attitude, professed anarchist, protest leader, known by her first name by the police, addict, general hot mess. For all her fire & passion, for all her dedication to being at the bleeding edge of protest and revolution, she has, over the last few years, given up substance abuse and alcohol, dumped her live-in, lesbian lovers for a man, and decided to sell her house. She may even have attended worship a few times.

Our youthful fire dims. We can’t party all night and day through Sunday morning without getting really sick and being out a couple days in the coming week. The sun rises relentlessly and yet again we have to slog through our post-bacchanal sickness. But we are older and the morning after is starting to hurt a lot more and for longer than it used to. The pain of Sunday morning stays in our head as our friends call us on Thursday to tell us about this week’s rave. The hippies, baby-boomers many of them, grew up. We embraced John Bradshaw. We went to meetings, learned the Big Book, made t-shirts with quotes like, “We are here for a reason, not for a season” and “When I came to recovery I realized that being a child for 28 years nearly killed me.” We bought mini-vans and drove our kids to soccer & ballet. We went to church and [shocker] liked it.

This too, this itch to muddy the definition of marriage so any flavor of gender can marry any other flavor of gender, will pass. It’s just, what damage will be done along the way? Not every addict makes it to recovery. Some addicts die. Even those that do start recovery will tell you that the first couple years are a bitch. The near term road to health hurts, hurts a lot. Not every society survives it’s decision to make the seven deadly sins a bucket list. Let’s hope ours is one that does. Bought your first bra yet?