July 2, 2012

It looks like, alas, I’m going to have to cut this from my new book.  It’s simply too long a tangent—it’s pretty much completely irrelevant to the passage it’s in, and it really throws off the flow.  But I still kind of love it.  So, Michele di Pietro, thank you, and I’m sorry.

I can’t see anything wrong with polygamous marriage, especially since I’ve met exactly one person in my entire life who was interested in being in one. We arranged casual sex online and, as instructed, I showed up at his place, entered through the unlocked door, took my clothes off, and put on the blindfold he’d left for me. We had perfectly lovely sex with a bit of very tame bondage thrown in, and then when we were done he untied me and unblindfolded me and I finally saw him and he gave the impression of nothing so much as a delicate, wan Smurf. Then we went for a walk and talked about lots of things, including polygamy, and then he told me that he wanted me to be his slave. I demurred and went home; I wasn’t interested in having any master but myself, and in the alternate universe where I was, he was not going to live in a mushroom. Thus when the next week the gentleman called and asked me out on a real live date—“Do you want to have dinner on Friday?” he said—I was so taken aback that I actually said, “No,” though when he said, “What?” I backed down and started babbling about not wanting to be a slave in a polygamous relationship and then he said that he was open to all sorts of relationship options and then I pretended that the connection had gone bad and hung up on him, though I did so while I was talking so he would think that I had actually been disconnected and not just avoiding him, because who would actually hang up on himself? He e-mailed me a few months later and asked whether Cheer New York, the gay cheerleading squad I was a member of, might be able to participate in the Polyamorous Pride parade. When I mentioned this to Cheer New York’s coach, he said, “Oh, my God, that guy e-mailed me and I never answered him. I was like, what are we going to cheer? ‘Two, four, six, eight, everybody!’?” I saw some photos of the event later and there were twenty-seven people there; in a city where the annual No Pants Subway Ride regularly draws over three thousand participants, if you can’t attract thirty your cause is pretty anemic (though when I asked a statistician friend to do the calculations he said that with a set of twenty-seven people to draw from there were very approximately a thousand trillion trillion different possibilities for polygamous groupings, or about one tenth of the number of stars in the universe, so perhaps I’m thinking about this using the wrong math). My point: this guy was a nice if somewhat odd fellow, and I doubt there are more than a relative handful of people in America who want to marry polygamously anyway, so I don’t really see the point in stopping them.

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5 Responses to

  1. Nathan F says:

    Your stats friend was a little off. There are actually only 134,217,349 possible polyamorous groupings of 27 people. He was probably counting permutations instead of combinations.

    • Joel Derfner says:

      Actually, he did two versions, one that was something like that and the other the larger number I used. He explained the difference but I just liked the bigger number for effect.

  2. woollythinker says:

    I actually know a lot of polyamorous folk. Really, quite a lot. Not sure how many of them would be bothered about walking in a parade though. I suspect the chant “Two, four, six, eight, everybody!” might be just what they need to swing it.

  3. lee says:

    The polygamous marriage is not the problem; it’s the polygamous divorce. Just try to figure out the alimony when some one or other number of persons decide to separate from some other numerically small or large group or groups of persons.

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