When I was in Hungary this past summer, I interviewed a married couple who had grown up in the 1950s and 1960s. One thing they told me was that the propaganda they were all fed constantly told them that the standards they had grown up with, and the customs, were all backward and needed to be cast aside to open the door for the progressive future.
I thought of that when watching this clip from a new CBS News documentary about “consensual non-monogamy,” which us older folks call “swinging” or “wife-swapping.” Here’s an excerpt from the written version:
“One big orgy.” That’s the stereotype about the lifestyle of consensual non-monogamy — an arrangement where committed partners openly agree to have sexual relationships with other people.
But people who have practiced non-monogamy for years say it’s not all wild sex — or even all that wild. It takes a lot of work, and it carries a lot of stigma. There can be serious consequences for the family life and even careers of those involved.
“Many people are trying to create families in different kinds of ways. And a lot of people see that as dangerous,” Diana Adams, a Brooklyn-based lawyer who represents polyamorous families, says in the CBSN Originals documentary, “Non-monogamy.”
CBSN Originals spoke with two women in Durham, North Carolina, who have been in what they call a polyfidelitous closed quad for more than seven years. That means the two married couples are romantically involved with each other — each woman has sex with the other’s husband — but outside of that the couples don’t see anyone else. The women asked to remain anonymous to protect their families, and for fear of consequences in their jobs.
“It’s not just about sleeping with each other’s husbands. Our lives are meshed together,” one of the women said. “Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays are the nights we spend with our extramarital partners. And Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays we spend with our marital partners.”
Polyfidelitous Closed Quad sounds like a Polyphonic Spree cover band.
Anyway, these people are crazy, and their swinging — or, to be precise, the attempt by the media to normalize it — is an example of liquid modernity.
One more clip:
One of the hardest parts of the arrangement is the children. One couple does not have kids; the other does. The couples care for and parent them together, though there is no question about who their biological parents are. And those children had to have all of this explained to them.
“It involves a lot of trust,” the woman with children said. “I, as a mother, have to think, ‘Do I trust these people?’ This could really, really impact my children’s life for the worse.”
“What we were hoping for was that giving the children more adults in their lives that love them would counterbalance giving them a strange life, and would outweigh it,” her partner added.
A total rationalization by selfish adults who will not let the well being of children stand in the way of their orgasms.
This is not, by the way, simply a recrudescent “The Ice Storm” freakshow. Read on:
Last year, the American Psychological Association created a task force on consensual non-monogamy to promote awareness and understanding of non-traditional relationship structures.
“Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience,” the APA website says. “However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all.”
You see? This is being mainstreamed by the chief organization for psychologists in America. They’re framing it as a social justice issue — that is, removing the stigma from polyamory as a matter of expanding freedom.
And now a major news network is expanding the Overton window. This is what the networks did for same-sex marriage, and then for transgenderism. You might think it was a wonderful thing that they did it for same-sex marriage, and you might even think it was a wonderful thing that they did it for transgenderism. But you have to concede that they did it, and it worked, and that this propaganda is probably going to work too.
Two years ago, Juju Chang of ABC News did a piece of advocacy journalism that is an embarrassment to professional standards. She reported a story about a woman in Detroit and her teenage son, both of whom are going through gender transition together, to become father and daughter. Follow the link to watch the story, if only for a few minutes. This is not straight news (pardon the pun); this is pure advocacy.
We’re not going to stop this, but we can prepare our kids for a world where everything has melted down. This is the world we’re fast approaching. You can sit there and think that it’s not going to affect you and your kids, or you and your church. You’re wrong. You are very, very wrong.
Last night I got into a Twitter argument with a couple of Catholic guys who don’t understand why I write about everything as if it’s a crisis. My answer is that because we really are in a social meltdown, from a morally and theologically conservative Christian position. Things are falling apart rapidly, with the leading institutions in our society having embraced the collapse, and advocating for it as progress. Like Flannery O’Connor said, “To the hard of hearing, you shout.”
UPDATE: Reader Raskolnik found this in Salon, from 2012: