Polyamory on MTV: being a credit to your kink

But I’m writing to share details about my life as a poly person and my forays into adult modeling, in the hopes of providing readers with an inside glimpse into the day to day workings of a poly person's mind. Below is an example of the sensationalist media representations I'm writing against.

(From the MTV True Life website)

True Life: I am Polyamorous

Do you spread your love around? Do you have a loving intimate relationship with more than one person? Are you in a consensual threesome or foursome? Are you a couple looking for another couple to have a relationship with? Do you want to be in a polyamorous relationship, but your current partner only reluctantly goes along with it? Is your foursome freaking your parents out? Do you have two straight boyfriends that are comfortable sharing you? Are you in a foursome of the same sex? Was it amazing at first, but now there is trouble in paradise?

If you believe that polyamory is the way of life, we want to tell your story.

If you appear between the ages of 18 and 28 and have a compelling story to tell about polyamory let us know at [email protected]. Please describe your story in detail. Also be sure to include your name, location, phone number, and a recent photo of you and your loves.

This would be a great opportunity for me to go forth and be a credit to my kink, yes?

Not so fast.

These types of shows are always tricky. On one hand, you hope that the people picked to represent your group will be credits to the community. On the other hand, you’re worried that MTV will pick the person that the community prefers to distance itself from. You know, that one person who doesn't get it but still uses your group's terms to describe their bastardized form? No one wants that person acting as the poster child of their kink. But the biggest worry is that producers simply edit the footage to make the representative look like a crazed sex fiend. Think Belladonna’s interview with Diane Sawyers or Sasha Grey’s appearance on the Tyra Banks Show.

“I’m only polyamorous and bisexual, so I guess my problems aren’t quite as bad.”

That’s how I came out to my family. It was a slip of the tongue following a family member’s announcement that they were having some issues. Most of my close friends already knew by that point because I beat around the bush about it until someone finally asked me if I was a polygamist (the answer is no). I was outed at work when a co-worker overheard a friend and I talking. They now tease that I need two boyfriends because I'd burn out one. Overall, no one really cared. The most they wanted to know was A) whether or not The Puppy, my live in boyfriend, knew and B) was he okay with it. I guess some people just stop being too shocked about a person's behavior when their hobbies include visiting adult shops (vagina shaped chocolates from Fairvilla Orlando are amazing) and hosting parties where you drink and MST3K porn. Okay, they’re shocked that the first rule at the porn parties is that no one is allowed to masturbate unless I start masturbating first. They're also shocked that I have never started masturbating during a porn party. My aunt is still waiting for me to wind up dressed in a bunny costume for no apparent reason, though.

You probably would not see any of that in show that uses the above query as their casting call. Too boring. Instead, you'd hear about how I have the sex drive of a horny teenage boy. Nothing wrong with that, per se. I do have the sex drive of a horny teenage boy. Forget that I have never had (physical) sex with Mr. Chaotic. We spend more time writing stories to each other or ranting about work. You won’t see that. You’ll see the cyber sex chat sessions and me taking naughty Valentine’s Day pics for both sweeties. Who cares if the average day for The Puppy and I includes getting up, going to work and school, coming home, and gaming/surfing the net until we go to bed. MTV would focus on the number of times my roommates tease me about the moans and screams coming out of my bedroom. You wouldn’t even know that The Puppy and I waited until we were sure that we wanted to have a committed relationship before sex even entered the equation. And all of that stuff I mentioned about family and friends being mostly okay about it all? It would be a blip on the radar. Most of what you would see on television would be footage of me rolling my eyes as extended family and acquaintances I barely give a rat’s arse about lecture me on the evils of polyamory. Then I would watch the butchered up version that makes it to broadcast, masturbate like crazy to get over the annoyance, and write a post-production “here is my side of the story” entry.

Or, I could skip all the middle man and post my side of the story here.

When you’re in any form of minority, you hope pop culture representations of your group are fair. You anxiously watch episodes of talk shows and scour newspaper articles in hopes that this one got it right. This is the show that doesn't devolve into the sensationalist, “OMG these people are so weird!” that makes you throw your remote across the room before angrily masturbating.

Okay, maybe that last part is only something I do when I’m alone and annoyed. I highly recommend it though. You won’t be angry by the time you’re done.

Let me be frank. I’m no activist. By the time I find out about most of these flubs, the actual activists have already fired off angry letters and comments to the guilty party. I still go to the polyamory LJ community for advice on my poly problems. If you’re looking for more eloquent explanations of why someone would chose polyamory, you’re better off checking out Polyamory? What Like Two Girlfriends?.

Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]