The story of King Arthur is essentially a Shakespearian type tragedy. King Arthur , a good and virtuous monarch who sought only to do good and to make a just and peaceful society. He is married to Guinevere and they love each other deeply and together rules the Kingdom well. The land prospers in a time of peace and plenty. The great Launcelot Du Lac comes to Camelot with the sole purpose of serving the King and Queen in their great an noble mission. The tale is told by Mallory of the many feats he accomplishes in the direct service of the Queen. In the process, he falls in love with her, and she with him….and they express their love for one another sexually. All the while both Guinevere & Lancelot love and respect the King. For years, this love triangle goes on with Arthur pretending he does not know about his wife and closest friend romantic and sexual relationship. He uses self-delusion to reconcile the fact he is expected to react negatively to his wife’s amorous relationship with Lancelot but does not.
However, when it becomes public Author feels compelled to put both Guinevere & Lancelot to death. In the process of trying to do so, Camelot comes crashing down. The round table is broken, war rages, people great and small have their lives destroyed, including Arthur, Guinevere & Lancelot. It is a tragedy because all three believed in the dream of a better kingdom and none acted in out of a wicked heart, yet fate used their goodness to destroy the great good they sought to build.
What, if we changed to story to say King Arthur defies the conventional morality and publicly acknowledges that to two people he loves best also love each other. What if he gives Lancelot an adjoining chamber to the Royal bedroom so that his wife can share her life with both the men she loves? Camelot survives, the people, great and small, continue to prosper in peace. And everyone lives happily ever after.
Perhaps in the musical movie adaptation of this version of Camelot the grand finale will be a scene of the three of them in the big royal bed singing a rousing song of their love’s triumph over the forces that sought to destroy it. All three hit a high note as they all climax together. The End.
You see, the absolute demand for both emotional and sexual monogamy destroys lives. An acceptance of the core principle of polyamory (i.e. loving a second person does not reduce one the lover for the first person) would eliminate the destruction of so many marriages and families. I will say firmly that polyamory is a family value.
I am thinking on this because my wife has told me she is falling in love with her new boyfriend. She and Steve an I have had this conversation over the weekend. She has that excited “always thinking about him” kind of love that simply can’t survive in a marriage of 26 years. Saturday night we all had a great romp in our bed together and all day Sunday she glowed with that special glow or both sexual satisfaction and new love. She asked me in the early evening if I was sure I was OK with the intensity of her feelings for Steve. Although we’ve been through this many times before, this time is seems even more intense than her relationships have for a number of years so she just wanted to make sure.
I assured her that I was happy for her. I have no concern that Steve will displace me in her life. My only concern is that Steve’s wife is on board. For although he tells us they have had one poly relationship with a man, both my wife and I are adamant we will not undermine her security.
There is a brand of polyamory that simply doesn’t give a damn about existing relationships and the feelings and needs of anyone but those who are in the throes of love. We don’t buy into that narcissistic approach. Loving more doesn’t mean loving more at the expense of others. Polyamory as a family value is one in which existing relationships are highly respected and the good of all concerned is the higher value. This is especially true when there are dependent children involved. No amount of passion or love between adults justifies the undermining of a dependent child’s stability and security; however, polyamory, by providing an outlet for new and exciting emotional and sexual relationships for the husband and wife can enhance domestic stability.
The kind of relationship that builds a life together is different than the kind that provides for mind blowing emotional and sexual encounters. Not that at times the former can’t be the later, but they are different. Mortgages, bills, children, illness, parental care and the list of hard things in long term relationships goes on and on. The kind of love that sees people though these events all the way to old age is built on commitment, commitment and more commitment. These kinds of things can squeeze out passion that is built on a single focus of emotional and physical pleasure. Hence people have affaires with work mates where those “real life” problems can be forgotten for a little while. We all need a break sometimes, and some people need them more often. The monogamous model says such breaks from the pressures of life is “cheating” or being “unfaithful”; however, the polyamorous model calls such low stress relationships as positive and healthy to both the individual and the couple.
With our daughter’s upcoming marriage, my search for a college teaching job for the fall and the attendant move, the recent death of my wife’s 86 year old father and a nagging health issue, my wonderful wife needs a break. Steve might well be the break she needs. How it that anything less than pro family?
So back to Camelot.
Arthur was King, it was a very stressful job. Guinevere, as queen was under a lot a stress and Arthur was too consumed with the work of being King to meet her emotional needs. Lancelot steps up and meets Guinevere’s needs out of love for her and love for the overworked Arthur. The King is better off because his wife is happy. The Queen is happy her needs were being met and Lancelot was happy to serve the two people he loved most in the world. There were no losers. This is the promise of polyamory.