Responses to oft-repeated comments

Oh hey internet! A whole bunch more of you know about us now, and you have opinions! That’s cool, I read all your comments, replied to a few, ignored most. But there have been a few common themes as I look at comments on various web media coverage of our Our America appearance, and I wanted to answer some of them without flooding the boards over at Gawker and the like.

OMG, you are such a bunch of hippies! You’re probably all obsessed with reiki and shit.
If you take two seconds to look around this blog, you’ll quickly see how not true that is. We run more to the “asshole skeptic” side of things. I’ll grant that woo-loving hippies are somewhat overrepresented in the poly world, but it’s not everybody by a long shot. (Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for woo-loving hippies, although I’m not sure that’s true for the other polyskeptic contributors.)

OMG, you are such a bunch of geeks! Why do all poly people love steampunk?
This, on the other hand, I plead totally guilty to. Did you see our TARDIS door? We are huge, huge geeks. I dunno why there’s such overlap between polyamory and geekdom (also kink), except perhaps that if you’re used to being called a freak and a weirdo already, there’s less barrier to entry for doing something else that will get you called a freak and a weirdo. Also probably several of your weirdo freak friends are already doing it, so you’re more likely to give it a try. There may be more to it than that, but I don’t know.

Every poly person I’ve met is incredibly smug.
Yeah, I’ve met those people too. You have my full permission to be irritated by them. We’re also all atheists, so we’re two for two on memetic smugness. Me, I’ve met people who I find intolerably smug (even if I agree with them on whatever they’re being smug about) and I’ve also met people who are convinced they’re right about something without the smugness (also, sometimes, without the rightness). I think all of us at polyskeptic believe that it is better, all else being equal, to work past the jealousies and insecurities that make polyamory seem impossible to so many people. None of us give a shit whether, having done that, a person dates one person or four people or no people. If that’s smug to you, okay I guess.

You just want to have sex with a lot of different people.
And if we do, the problem is…? But actually, it’s a lot more complicated than that. I could definitely find a way to have sex with a lot of different people that didn’t involve also negotiating how to split the budget five ways, mass round-robin conversations about why X is mad at Y, and anxiety that one of us might get a kickass job in another state and what that would mean for everybody.

You’re such attention whores! Why should you get the spotlight and applause for your stupid “lifestyle”?
While being on the show sort of necessitates that all of us are positive or neutral to public attention — and all but one of us enjoys performing in various venues — it’s not like we petitioned documentarians until someone finally agreed to do a show on us. The Our America people reached out looking for poly families willing to be featured, and after talking it over we said we’d be up for it. We’d actually be thrilled if nobody thought our way of life was interesting or weird enough to pay attention to.

You’re so brave, I could never do that.
It came easily to some of us and with great difficulty to others. One thing all of us here believe in is personal growth, and doing shit that’s hard for you if you’ve decided it’s worth doing. That doesn’t mean that you, dear reader, need to aim your personal growth in the same direction we have, but I do hope you’re doing something in your life that challenges you, and that gets you to a place where you say, “Wow, five years ago I never would have thought I could do that!” For one reason or another, all of us were strongly motivated to work toward being comfortably, happily poly, so that’s where we’ve directed a lot of our effort.

You’re incredibly emotionally immature to need more than one lover.
I sometimes wonder about people who say stuff like this. Are relationships, to them, more take than give? Because every person who comes into my life to give me emotional support also needs as much emotional support from me. One reason I don’t mind having just one serious partner is that having a second one would be more work. I’ll do it happily if I fall in love with someone else, but it’s not all sunshine and candy.

You’re all ugly.
YOU ARE! No, seriously, I don’t give two shits whether a random internet commenter thinks I’m ugly or pretty, but if it makes you feel better to say it, knock yourself out.

7 thoughts on “Responses to oft-repeated comments

  1. Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for woo-loving hippies…

    I’m glad I’m not the only atheist with a soft spot for woo-loving hippies! I feel a real affinity for pagans and I find the whole belief system interesting, even if I don’t believe in any of it. Of course, my boyfriend is pagan, so that’s probably also part of it. My partner, on the other hand, finds it all to be total bullshit and a waste of time 😀

  2. Eh.. I understand that they don’t get it. I’m not pagan, atheist, woo loving, hippy, rabid about Firefly or Dr. Who (though I enjoy both shows), think steampunk is kinda neat, don’t have any costumes, and have never eaten a placenta. I joke all the time that “they’ll” take away my poly card.
    Good thing there isn’t one. Thanks for being a public face and getting some food for thought out there. 🙂

  3. meh, wordpress annoys me.

    but never mind that right now. i just wanted to chime in as another atheist who loves some woo-loving pagans and heathens and traditionalists. i would not be the religion-destroying militant atheist i am today, were those people the ones to spread religions.

    monotheism is a big, nasty problem. people who worship goatfish or witches or who dance naked in front of springtime fires… not so much.

    i can wax long and boring on exactly why i believe that contrast exists, but mostly “sky god penis worship.”

  4. Hey guys –

    I thought the portrayal of the W was important to the show – to depict more complex poly configurations beyond MFM – and you did an excellent job.

    I was at first concerned that they were going to sensationalize your sleeping arrangements (based on the preview trailers) but happily, they didn’t concentrate on that and moved into your relationship dynamic.

    Showing all of you happy together, then, breaking out into separate intimate dyads, I thought, was particularly useful in explaining poly under larger configs. And the geek cred was strong 🙂 – I was watching the show, pointed at the Dr. Who references, and said, “These are so our peeps.”

    Just touching base – you guys were awesome. I’ve RSS’d your blog and look forward to reading more in the future.

    (From northwest V depicted in the show)

  5. Thanks for being willing to be out and on TV. Best wishes and lots of hugs from a quiet poly triad in Silicon Valley!!!

  6. You alll are awesome, though I believe you already know this. 😉

    And I totally agree apon the, if you’re already viewed as a freak, you’re more likely to try freakish things. Me being a transsexual and all. I’m a geek as well.

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