In fact, now I come to think of it, do we decide questions, at all? We decide answers, no doubt: but surely the questions decide us? It is the dog, you know, that wags the tail—not the tail that wags the dog. – Lewis Carroll
It’s time once again for me to answer questions from readers; the first such column appeared on September 21st of last year, and we’ve been doing it every month since then!
What are your views on polygamy, polygyny, polyandry and the poly lifestyle in general? I ask because I am a polyamorist with two boyfriends and am quite a happy person. They are, of course, free to pursue other women, that’s just the way our dynamic is set up at the moment. Do you believe that it is acceptable that both men and women should enter into group relationships with free consent, or do you view these relationships as too susceptible to becoming coercive and therefore abusive environments?
My view on polyamory is that whatever works for any number of people is nobody else’s business, as long as they’re honest with one another. In my view, two boyfriends means thrice as much work, but if you enjoy it nobody has the right to tell you it’s “wrong” or unhealthy. And frankly, I think all the cultural brouhaha about “coercion” is doomed to vanish before much longer; everyone coerces everyone else to one degree or another, and unless the coercion is forcible, i.e, by threat of violence or other serious consequences, I can’t see where it’s the business of the state to interfere in it. What’s worse is the astonishing hypocrisy of “authorities” pontificating about coercion while dispatching armed thugs to enforce all of their own coercive demands by use of threats against life, liberty and property.
I have a question, I hope you don’t regard it too puerile. I think a lot of us men spend some time wondering about women’s preferences in regard to men; what I mean is, how big is big for a man, what is the real average and what look or type do most women really prefer? I mean, I know what porn suggests women vastly prefer, but I wonder how realistic that is.
I don’t think it’s puerile at all; after all, I did considerable obsessing about my flat-chestedness until I got my boob job, and that’s kinda-sorta the female equivalent of men worrying about penis size. On top of that, men tend to be much more quantitative than women are, and penises aren’t the only thing about which men tend to believe that “bigger is better”. Because I do recognize that this issue is an important one for men, I tackled it less than two months into my blog in my column of September 8th, 2010, and then again more briefly in my December Q & A column.
I’m a white girl who is very attracted to Asian men, and if I happen to mention this men of other ethnicities (especially white men) get completely, irrationally unhinged; it’s even happened with male friends whom I know only from internet forums. They have no vested interest in my life, possibly live hundreds or thousands of miles from me, and are frequently in committed relationships of their own. Yet, my mere mention of my preference sends them right over the edge. Once or twice, I’ve had female friends excoriate me because I’m not open to dating other ethnicities – like the equal opportunity laws should apply to my dating life as well. This is rare though, it’s usually males who have a real problem with my interracial dating preferences. What do you think this is about?
I think there are a couple of different things going on here. First, there’s still a lot of unconscious racism in people and many are uncomfortable with those who date or marry outside their race; they often won’t say anything to people of their own sex who do it, but they’ll attack members of the opposite sex. I think that’s due to vanity; they hate being told they haven’t even got a chance because of your preference, even if they weren’t interested or available anyway. I once had a short guy jump all over me for liking tall men; like your male friends, he only knew me on the internet and was happily married. And I’ve read a number of scathing opinions from black women about black men who date white women, even if the black men in question are celebrities and/or the women commenting are in committed relationships.
Your female friends, however, are a different story; I think that’s just a case of what my friend Philippa used to call the “enlightenment police”, the people who think their ideas about proper living need to apply to everyone else’s personal preferences. In that sense, they’re something like militant vegans, escorts who criticize other escorts for having NBA policies or people who take it as a personal affront that I have no interest in watching Brokeback Mountain.
Some form of this question has been asked several times about several different columns: I enjoyed your column of (x date), but it was rather superficial and I wanted to know why you didn’t mention y?
Unlike most bloggers, I maintain a fairly tight column format; I publish every day, and with rare exceptions (higher or lower) every essay runs 750-1500 words (it was a bit higher when I started, but I eventually found this length most comfortable and, more importantly, sustainable). And even though some of my columns are only tangential to my primary subject, harlotry, I try not to wander too far afield. Because of both of these factors, length and scope, I’m often only able to give a cursory overview of a very broad and complex subject. I have faith in my readers, however, and I always encourage them to further exploration of any topic about which they’d like to know more than the mere introduction I’m able to provide herein.
One Year Ago Today
“Red Shoes Lady” tells the story of my relationship with my “little girl”, Denise; you’ll understand the title after reading it.