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Polyamorist and Polyamory News | The cheat sheet

The cheat sheet

On an evening out with my boyfriend and a very old friend I hadn't seen in a long time, I was shocked to hear from them both that most men cheat on their girlfriends or wives regularly, an average of once a month. I was wondering if there are any statistics on this. This has been in my head for a while now and I would really appreciate to know so I can continue to go through life not being so naive with my perspective on men. M.A.B.

You want some cold-water stats do you? No problem. We decided last week that I needed an intern, so I borrowed one of eye's. His name is Paul, and don't worry, just because he's from England doesn't mean I'll be inserting laboured Englishisms into my column like rubber and fag. I assigned him his first task, to compile what I call the Whorpers Sindex. Take it away, Paul!:

* Percentage of men who admit to cheating on their spouse in New York Times poll (2000): 45

* Percentage of women who admit to cheating on their spouse in New York Times poll (2000): 35

* The amount of times the term catch a cheating spouse appears in a Google search: 13,400

* Number of books currently published by Greenery Press for the sexually adventurous: 38

* Divorce rate in Canada (2002): 37 per 100 marriages

* Number of times swingers comes up in Google references: approximately 3,080,000

* Number of marriage counsellors listed in the Toronto Yellow Pages: 165

* Percentage of men who have fantasies involving current partner: 46

* Percentage of women who have fantasies involving current partner: 64

* Percentage of men whose fantasies involve someone who has never been the participant's partner: 78

* Percentage of women whose fantasies involve someone who has never been the participant's partner: 66

* Number of visitors on since Dec. 15, 2002: 234,280

* Percentage of mammal species that are monogamous: 3

* Percentage of bird species that are monogamous: 90

While it's true that greatly reduced promiscuity is the first definition of a monogamous species, writes Deborah Blum in Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women, it is equally true that many cheat when the opportunity arises. Including, according to a study done by Patty Gowaty of the University of Georgia, our monogamous idols, birds. And we do mean the type with wings -- right, Paul?

I am hopeful that you will respond to me, you being one of the world's great proponents of polyamory. I've been with my current girlfriend for nearly five years. She is amazing and we are very much in love. The sex is really good too; we are willing to do whatever, we have an open dialogue and are constantly working on ways to make our sex life better. However, sex with her is not the best I've ever had. I've had partners (two, in particular) who I was naturally more in sync with. It was with those women that I had mind-blowing sex. Those two incredible encounters were more than one-night stands -- they lasted several months. I had them during periods where I was technically broken up with my girlfriend while I was out of the country. I have never cheated on my girlfriend; I don't think it's fair to do that to her. Now here's the issue: I keep in contact with these two girls. I remain incredibly attracted to them and I have a fondness for both of them, which although is not love, is a strong feeling nonetheless. I also am constantly looking at other women with intense desire -- not in a nutcase way, just a breathless kind of wouldn't it be great? way. My girlfriend is crazy for me, (no more though than I am for her), and I can tell that she only has eyes for me. In fact, I think she takes it really hard that I don't only have eyes for her. She finds it distressing. So if I decide that I want to be a polyamorist, how do I broach the subject with my girlfriend? PARTNERS APLENTY

I seriously doubt I am one of the world's greatest proponents of polyamory. I do believe, that given very obvious facts (see above), it's something many of us should look into.

Polyamory strives to have one noteworthy quality across the board, however and with whomever you practise it, and that is honesty. So whether you are involved with two people on even terms and have a few lovers on the side, or you're married to someone and you have five paramours, everyone is in the know. In other words, you don't do things that benefit your naked parts and ego at the expense of other people's feelings, and you certainly don't use terms like technically broken up. Polyamory is not about self-serving euphemisms.

You don't strike me as a good candidate for this type of arrangement, not at the moment anyway. Why? Well for one thing, you're sneaky. It seems unlikely that your girlfriend knows of your technically broken up trysts, nor is she aware that you maintain contact with these two women. Because if she did, you would be experiencing some serious technical difficulties.

Why is your girlfriend crazy for you? I'm going to take a guess. Because your polymorphous appetite obviously makes you unavailable to a certain extent, and there is nothing, aside from maybe being in Aerosmith, that women love more than a man dangling just out of reach.

You also use the word I when you discuss your desire for polyamory, which reveals a certain stinginess. The open-bed and open-mind policy should extend to all involved. This can suck; for example, my girlfriend and I have totally different taste in women. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I hate the girls my girlfriend finds attractive, and I am extremely verbal about it. People who actually practise healthy polyamory would define this as manipulative behaviour. (One of my favourite things to do is say, Fine, if you want that crazy bitch in your life, that's your problem. Just don't come crying to me when she whips a frying pan through your window!)

Meanwhile, I would suggest you visit the Greenery Press website at, and check out some of the titles they offer on open relationships before you bring it up with your lady.

Full credit for this Polyamorist and Polyamory news article goes to: Toronto Eye Weekly, Canada

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