Annoying article


New member

I just ran into this on Facebook. It pissed me off. So I'm sharing it with you guys because I like it when other people can articulate my frustration better then I can. Take a look and I know there are probably some redeeming things about it ( if you can stomach getting all the way through it) and I'm really open to hearing that.

Thanks guys!
Couldn't get past the title. So I have nothing constructive to add!
I got slightly past the title, but I didn't find it to be well-written enough to even understand the main thesis without too much thinking to be worth it. What's the point of the essay?

OP, may I ask your opinion and what pissed you off about it?
In stubbornness, I gave it another attempt. I got as far as it saying that relationship styles are somehow related to spirituality.

In my opinion, spirituality is a personal thing, and no person can tell any other person how best to express their spirituality. My hunch is that this person had some negative experiences and rather than saying "well, that just doesn't work for me" they went into a "this is terrible for anyone and it's all wrong wrong wrong" mentality.

I hate it when other people tell me what's best for me. Give me options, highlight possible consequences, but at the end of the day, let me decide what's in my own best interest. I'm grown-up enough to accept responsibility for the outcomes of my choices.
It's about tantric sex. Not my thing. Doesn't really seem pertinent here, except that polyamory is one of the 4 relationship types they mention.
Saw the title, went "bwuh?" and decided not to give it a read.
IH etatents

I actually made it through the entire article, though I confess that my constant eye rolling may have inadvertently caused me to miss a few passages.

Basically, the sense I got was that the author was saying that the problem with polyamory is that it comes from a space that is essentially selfish and based merely on sexual relationships rather than long term, committed, caring relationships. And, to make that point, he couches his argument in plenty of swearing and the jargon of Eastern spirituality. Amongst other claims, he asserts that polyamorous relationships lead to bad parenting, and, bizarrely, dying alone.

Throughout it all he discusses the idea of higherogamy, which, by his definition as the joining of the sacred masculine and feminine, strikes me as a little normative as far as gender and sexuality are concerned. Perhaps he means it metaphorically - at least I can hope. In the end, he advocates sacred sexuality, but only his brand of it.

Oddly, at the end, he makes this (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek claim that the article was channeled by some disincarnate being from the star system whomp. This makes me wonder how much of the entire thing is tongue-in-cheek. Hell, I swear like a proverbial sailor and his constant, glip potty mouth grated on my nerves.

In the end, I found some (okay, most) or his arguments reductive and over-simplified. Perhaps it is just the way I practice polyamory, but I trust that my partners will be there in my old age and I don't think of myself as selfish as all. And it's certainly about love more than sex.

Again, I think the author sincerely meant well, he just made his arguments poorly. He reminds me of many people I encounter every day in Taos, deeply spiritual people who's earnestness is just a big misguided in terms of making a point. And this just guy makes it worse by his flip attitude.
The UI stopped me before I could even start reading. Tiny font (although I guess I could blow it up?), unable to read the whole article on one page, or to even scroll? Ecch. No thanks.

Forget the mono/poly thing (as a mono, sometimes I have a different POV than what you guys will take from it, so it does interest me to read these articles and see the back-and-forth), the UI alone got this software geek in a lather.
I found it frustrating to read because it reads as "rough" to me rather than a "finished." My constructive feedback?

1) I did not like UI. Tiny font, and I like to just read down, not click sideways. But the look of it was "magazine enough."

2) Title could be off putting. "Want to Play?" is better -- and taken from the last pages.

While "Lizard Brain Fuck Monkeys and the Path to Enlightenment" is eye catching, it sets a "holier than thou" tone from the starting gate in the reader. Who wants to sign up to be called a "lizard brain fuck monkey" for choosing to polyship? And then stick around to read through 15 pages of rough draft to find out how this author thinks the reader "does poly wrong and unenlightened?"

Author misses serving the reader the PIE -- (p)ersuade, (i)nform or (e)ntertain -- from the start with a title that pushes the potential readers away rather than invites them IN.

3) Length. Since this has an angle, it seems to be trying to be "magazine article: 4-8 pages." This piece is 15 pages on this UI and half needs to go.

Could save 4 pages right off the bat by losing editor note and the (F-M-F) story. Then clarify and condense the pitfall list.

I can't say I disagree with any of the author's pitfalls or that doing things like that could be bad for your spiritual health. But don't make me jump through hoops to dig them out. If you promise to "enlighten" me in the title, serve me better PIE in the article.

4) I don't mind viewing it from the Tantra/Buddhist lens, but either commit to that lens and execute better all the way across the piece, or drop it entirely and go for simpler. As it stands it detracts from the readability of the piece while driving up word count in a mag article.

5) What appears to be main thesis (to me) is buried in the "Want to Play?" part of it on page 14.

I think if the article had
  • started it with "Want to Play? as the title
  • opened with the "Want to play?" chunk on page 14 as the introduction
  • gone on to list the "pitfalls" after that
  • finished with a massaged version of the existing conclusion
  • built better transitions in between to link those "blocks"

it could have been a more effective piece.

Make the point and work from the tip of the triangle and outward to support it. Rather than trying to go "funnel" style and gather all these things to narrow down to final point. That's just not working here -- reader gets lost!

(I use quote function to block it off visually here -- mostly author's words, but not perfect. I'm not retyping that monster. ;))


Want to Play?

So here's the simplest test of if you are ready -- actually truly, helpfully ready for a poly lifestyle...

You're already doing it -- incredibly well with a dedicated partner first. And everyone else connected to that relationship - kids, exes, spouses, family, are also overflowing with love light and consciousness.

Because if we're not practicing "polyamory" - loving many consciously and skillfully -- before we embark on "polyamory AND polysexuality" -- we probably haven't mastered the core capacities we'd need to make a strong showing anyway.

If I can't speak my deepest truths to an ex spouse, or prioritize time for my thankless teens or be clear and own my part in ongoing family patterns with my siblings, what are the odds of me miraculously getting better and this with relative strangers thrown into the mix?"

6) Pitfalls identified by author but in my own words... as best as I can make out? This is the area most in need of trimming/condensing/clarifying!


{"Watch out for pitfalls and learn intrapersonal and interpersonal skills so you aren't dinging your spiritual health while polyshipping!" type transition here. Then do the list of skills/pitfalls to know about that are bad for your spiritual health.}

"More evolved schtick" -- Be prepared for the "fake-evolved" who say polyshipping is for the "more evolved" who are actually selfish folks who push you beyond your limits while calling YOU selfish when you try to maintain your personal boundaries for yourself. Don't be that pusher either.

"Limitless/no boundaries" -- polyshipping people could have firmer boundaries, respect boundaries, not push other people's boundaries. It's not cool to run around with no boundaries. You get born, you will die. You come with a built in boundary! Stop pretending like "limits do not exist in our polyship" or "we don't have to obey any limits in our polyship. " Learn to work within your particular limits and the limits of your poly people so it can be a harmonious polyship. Or just don't be with these people in polyship!

"Agreements/Social contracts -- beware not making them well/not practical and just CALLING them wonderful contracts." Good planning, conflict resolution skills, clear expectations, boundaries are actually needed for it to WORK like a wonderful contract, not just have pretty paper floofy words.

"Don't rush people or make them the scapegoat of all the polyship's problems. Or if they seem to want off the polyship -- land to let them off with minimal damage!" (That section made me wonder if the author had personal experience axe to grind -- it went on a bit long.)

"Polyshipping is playing with fire -- emotional edge play." It can lead to wowing experiences or it can bite you in the ass or BOTH. (Expressed in Tantra/Kundalini snake terms for the most part.)

"Not knowing when to hang up your hat." If it won't fly any more for you? Land it. Know when to end a polyship so you can leave. Stop making waves/drama trying to get a thing to fly that just... won't. Learn to accept. (Expressed in terms of muddy waters and clams with pearls of wisdom at bottom.)

" Polyshipping is extra hard as a parent." Don't neglect your kids and fob them off on TV, babysitters, etc. Be PRESENT in your parenting if you are a parent. The kids did not sign up to polyship. They are along for the ride. So if you polyship as a parent, pay attention to your parenting. You polyshipping is not excuse to slack on your parenting.

"Level of Commitment" -- figure out what that means in your configuration and what it does not mean. Actually talk about illness and dying when you make your social contracts. Because we all get sick and we all die so... figure out how that plays in there, if it plays in your polyshipping plans and your expectations of your poly people.

"Being less than honest with yourself" -- beware of falling into that temptation because you are unwilling to deal with shit.

"Expect problems" -- just because you polyship doesn't mean LIFE isn't still happening. Shit happens sometimes in Life.

"Expect intensity to crank up" -- more people = more relating = more intensity than relating with fewer people.

"Don't get carried away" -- yeah, some of it is awesome fun. That "fun stuff" is more fun to feel that the "shit happens" stuff, but don't get all caught up in the "whee!" so much that your exuberant behavior ends up making shit for other people in your polyship. Enjoy the "whee!" while seeking to reduce shit happening in your polyship.

"Don't make it all about you, or take things personally." There's more than just YOU here in the polyship. There's more than just influences YOU are aware of that could bother the people in your polyship. Don't waste time spinning the blame game wheel. Move it forward -- here's some shit that happened. How can the shit best be cleaned up?

"One of the maturities you might be called to grow in polyshipping is "philosophical/spiritual maturity" -- be aware of that. Where "be more ___" becomes more important to you than "have more ___." Experiencing this could be rewarding in polyshipping or could throw you for a loop in polyshipping because you think something is wrong with the polyship. ( I think that's what that was trying to say... I'm not sure.)

"Beware the thrillseekers and don't be a thrillseeker yourself." This is not polyfuckery and you having more notches on the bedpost. (More of the "don't get caught up in the "Whee!" thing but couched in spiritual development/tantra vocab. Also seems to be trying to say "your polysaturation point could happen and then you have to deal with that limit" but doesn't quite make it.)

Those pitfalls could be better identified and articulated, and perhaps better grouped. I just went down in the order the author had it but in reviewing it -- editor could group similar ones together. Better outline of points for sure along with word count.

7)Leave the concluding paragraph where it is, but massage it. I'm not happy with my stab at it but something like this could be one way to end it:


Polyshipping is challenging. For most of us, it could be worth taking the time to map out WHEN in life we want to polyship and HOW we want to polyship with our partners and get through the transitional time more slowly with a plan than just jumping into it together (so that we don't damage our spiritual health in the process.)

One important exception: If all the people in your group are truly certain that your shared Dharma -- your shared life's work in this lifetime-- is indeed to pioneer the the relational path, to deliberately create karma with each other however it falls? Then don't just jump right in and get messy.

Jump in, get messy, be the trailblazing pioneers, AND SHARE what you all found! We all could benefit from your willingness to push the edge if you share what you have learned along the way. And we'd thank you for your service!"

For sure an editor that is NOT the author though. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the read though! I enjoyed reading it even if I think it could use more work.

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Thanks for the editorial work, GG. Your synopsis was way more readable than the original. :)
Thanks GG, your rewrite actually made more sense than the original, which to me seemed to be a bunch of psycho babble, on first look.
Most welcome. Glad it helped.

Like I said... I didn't mind the attempt at a Tantra/ Kundalini / Buddhist angle. Reading a well executed poly piece from that lens would be interesting to me.
But in THIS awkward length of a piece it it was "taking away" rather than "adding" to it to me.

This piece does a nice, SHORT job of explaining that kind of context. Had the author started there with a similar basic premise and then tied it to how the author thinks polyshipping people could "climb the tree" so their polyshipping experience isn't (Crazy Town with plenty of dings to spiritual health) but a (more harmonious ride that doesn't tear down their spiritual health) -- I would have found that interesting.

It seemed like the author was trying to go there by offering (pitfalls to be aware of) and (suggestions for better spiritual health while polyshipping) but missing the mark in this attempt because the author took on big concepts they couldn't quite pin down. It got away from the author and became... soup.

It was frustrating to me to read. So I could totally see why it could be frustrating for others to read too!

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I finally forced myself to read the whole article. And...well, I didn't feel it addressed anything that I was interested in. Each paragraph seemed to encompass so many assumptions and belief structures that are foreign to me that it seems the author was talking about something else.

To be fair:
I don't know shit about Tantra/Tantric Sex...
I don't view sex as being an inherently spiritual practice...(perhaps because I am not a religious/spiritual person)

It seems the focus of the article is on chasing new and stimulating sexual partners...and how that could be detrimental to one's own karma and the life experience of one's children (if present). I fail to see how a rotating panel of lovers would be more detrimental to kids than a rotating panel of "close friends" - certainly parents aren't require to never change/gain friends if they have kids?!

I may not be they "typical" polyamorist (if such a thing existed:rolleyes:) but I am not inclined to consider myself in a "serious relationship" until it is at the place where I would want it to continue for "forever" - through sickness and in health (as the author wrote). I can fully envision a future where I am changing two elderly men's diapers and catheters - why? because I love them and it has to be done. We are family now...and family takes care of their own (or, at least, the good ones do).

I was also really turned off by the admonishment that we should/must/have to keep fucking each other when we "hate each other, fear each other, be sick to fucking death of each other" - perhaps sex is the right actions for some, for others it may be the WRONG answer. Everyone has a different history, sex means different things to different people. Telling someone that they MUST fuck when they are filled with hate and fear? I think this could be very damaging.
I think the authors point is that while some sex share can be a spiritual practice or spiritual moment or spiritual exchange -- not EVERY sex share is so. Sex could also not be used as "escapism" or "medicine" from the orgasm brain high.

I also think the thing to keep in mind that a Koan can sound "backward" or "paradoxical" sometimes. It is meant to.

To me that bit was weakly linked and I lumped it with "figure out what commitment means" and "deal with your shit" as summary. But if you want to examine those chunks more closely... here's my take.

pg 10 -- Because here is the deal: If your version of "tantra" culminates with mind-blowing athletic sex with a host of available and skilled partners, possibly getting to tenderness, but always riding the freebase of high of novelty and dopamine until it begins to fade into the low tide mud flats of actual living, whereby you reboot and more or less do it again with a differerent of additional partner -- you are not really doing at all.

My translation:

"Don't be an NRE junkie hopping from person to person. Sex share is not "medicine" and it is not a substitute for tending to your spiritual health problems. "​

pg 11

You've got to have pulled an Odysseus and lashed yourself to the mast and stuffed wax in your ears not to go mad or lose your mind when the fire of Kundalini really starts to warp and burn anything that's not pure and enduring.

And that requires sacrifice. That requires commitment. That requires setting aside childish things.

My translation:

"Don't use NRE or polyshipping as as escapism from dealing with your shit. Even if solving the shit feels hard and is getting hot and heavy, commit to solving your shit."

pg 12 -- And the only way I'm aware of to get to that place and not get bored or withdraw or go and seek some other numbing diversion or new piece of ass to reboot the franchise, is to commit to sex with a partner as ironclad practice. (see the Buddhist notion of the "Freedom of No Escape.")

What that means sounds distinctly unsexy, often the opposite of the poly-go-round -- something like ok we agree to practice -- OM, sex, dialogue, whatever -- every day whether we feel like it or not. Especially when we don't feel like it. And we're also going to agree to work with whatever comes up psychodynamically and not take it personally -- which means that rather than this being "your issue" or "my stuff" we treat it simply as "stuff" and we approach it with curiosity and commitment.

My translation:

"Don't be seeking new sex partners when there's shit to deal with and conflict resolution to be doing. Commit to no sex with anyone but the partner you are having shit with with. So that you WILL deal with the shit and return to right relationship with yourself rather than avoiding it and dinging your own spiritual health. Not through literally having sex with them, but by engaging with them daily in some fashion until the shit gets solved one way or another. Do your conflict resolution.

Don't waste time spinning the blame game wheel. Move it forward -- here's some shit that happened. How can the shit best be cleaned up? "​

The author is asking the reader to commit to "There's no escape from the shit until the shit gets solved one way or another."

There's no other lover but this lover til the shit gets solved -- and since you likely are not wanting sex share with this lover? And since you committed to not have any sex share with other or new lovers but this lover til this is solved? The result is that you REALLY want to get the shit solved and off your plate so you can finally get on with the rest of your life!

The shit could be solved by BREAKING UP with this lover. So deal with the shit and stop avoiding.

That's why I think the author brought in the quote --
pg 13 The English tantric teacher Barry Long used to say "until you rather eat a shit sandwich than sleep with your partner, you are not ready to begin."

If you are an avoidy type personality... until even eating a literal poop sandwich sounds better than continuing to drag this out and having to sleep next to the person you cannot stand anymore -- you are not ready to begin doing conflict resolution to clear the shit from your life. You will be tempted to keep avoiding doing your conflict resolution.

Sometimes I see avoidy dance that way in polyshipping.

"It's great that polyamory means you don't have to get all your needs met with one person... you are free to be with others!"​

misused as escapism from having to deal with the shit of a break up and deal with the fact that with THIS lover... things are over. Instead of facing it, the people let it drag on and on and "pad the distance" between themselves with dating other people. Not facing shit? That's bad for spiritual health.

"The Freedom of No Escape" is by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold. He said, "Zazen is to sit in the midst of the entire universe with every gate open. ... to see that there is no escape is the beginning of true liberation."

For polyshipping article? I think that means to know that while you do have (the option of having other partners in polyshipping) -- to see that there is no escape from dealing with (the shit between you and THIS lover) is the beginning of true freedom from (the shit between you and this lover.) When you can finally see and accept that you cannot avoid it no matter how much you try so you may as well just solve it? THEN you starting on the path to finally being free of it.

The author is calling the reader to focus on the thing to hand. You (the reader) do not detach, run away, numb yourself from the pain, try to escape from dealing with the shit between you and this lover by flinging yourself into new relationships to "bandaid" feeling yucky about your problems with the NRE high.

The only way to actually (be free from the shit) is to (solve the shit) one way or another.

JaneQSmythe said:
Telling someone that they MUST fuck when they are filled with hate and fear?

I don't think the author is suggesting we literally share sex with people we are angry with.

The author is asking the reader to be willing to pay the short term price of "feeling yucky while doing conflict resolution" so the reader can move on to long term better spiritual health. That is the "sacrifice" the author is calling the reader to make -- "stop avoiding feeling yucky. Go ahead -- be willing to feel yucky. Do the job in front of you even if it does feel yucky to do, even if it means breaking up with the person."

I call this "know when to hang up your hat. Accept." The thing will not fly here any more.

But I can see where it could be interpreted that way. This author enjoys speaking in koan style metaphors and analogies. Odyseuss (Greek) and Kundalini (Sanskrit) in the same metaphor -- sigh. I like reading koans -- but even for me that's getting too much.

Just drives up the word count while confusing readers.

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i thought the author is quite funny
i can understand just wanting counter every point in the article but it's worth considering that some of the points he has may have some truth to them, for some people, some of the time

personally i've observed polyamory can be natural and beautiful and the fullest expression for people sometimes and other times it can be avoidant / neurotic / confused -- same with monogamy .. sometimes healthy and sometimes a mess.
Yeah... proposing that any particular relationship structure is somehow inherently related to a path to enlightenment makes my eyes roll too hard to finish reading, so, I didn't.
Yeah... proposing that any particular relationship structure is somehow inherently related to a path to enlightenment makes my eyes roll too hard to finish reading, so, I didn't.
funny i weirdly didn't even notice that aspect of the article. i must've been distracted by curiosity and entertainment value. i do also share with the author a high value on principles of tantra but not at the exclusion of other styles of connection.

On a different note I'm delighted that you replied. I've never visited this site before and it has me feel really welcomed / belonging
Hi bija, let me just add my welcome to you.

I tried to read the article but there was way too much ad clutter on the web page, and then there was a "60 days of free reading" popup which for me is the last straw. It sounds like I'm better off for having not read the article anyway.

I actually don't put much (any, in fact) stock in the idea of spirituality, it is a highly slippery, amorphous word that could mean any number of things, but implies "belief in spirits" without committing to it. I have a similar view on terms like "enlightenment," and the whole thrust of the article would have been lost on me.

Such is my take,
Kevin T.