A Call for Readers

by Jason Stotts

I’m finishing up the second draft of my essay on Polysexuality (non-monogamy) and I need readers to read this second draft before I publish it here on Erosophia.  Anyone interesting in reading it can contact me at Jason(at)JasonStotts.com.  The essay is around 9300 words and I need it back by Thursday (10/07), so the turn around time is short.  The introduction is below if you want some idea of the nature of the essay

——————————————–

On Polysexuality

by Jason Stotts

Following my essay “Contra Peikoff on Swinging,” I wanted to write a defense of “non-monogamy.”  I couldn’t do it.  It wasn’t the subject that was the problem; instead it was the very concept, which was particularly ill suited to my endeavors.  First, it presupposes that monogamy is the standard and that non-monogamy is aberrant.  Second, words that are defined negatively only tell you about what they are not; what is more cognitively useful is when words are defined positively such that one can learn what a thing is from its definition.  Third, and the biggest problem, is an etymological problem: the word monogamy comes from Greek mono- (single) + gamos (marriage) and means having only one marriage.  Thus, the concept “non-monogamy” subsumes only three units: being single (zero marriages), bigamy (two marriages) and polygamy (multiple marriages).  The concept non-monogamy says nothing about the number of sexual partners one has, or even the number of people that one loves, but only the number of spouses one has and this wasn’t what I was interested in defending or even analyzing.

What I am interested in analyzing is the practice of having multiple sexual partners.  In order to flesh out this phenomenon completely and to investigate it, we first need to identify it conceptually.  I will begin by naming it “polysexuality” combining the Greek poly- (more, many) with the Latin sexus (sex) and meaning by it the condition of having multiple, or more than one, sexual partners during any one time period (not necessarily simultaneously).  As much as I hate to combine Greek and Latin, the standard nomenclature regarding sexuality has already been bastardized and, so, for clarity’s sake in English, I will follow suit.  The problem is that there is no sufficient word in the English language to deal with the phenomenon that we are analyzing and so I must introduce this new word to carry the cognitive weight of the following analysis.  Furthermore, in contrast to “polysexual,” I will introduce the word “monosexual,” the Greek mono- (one), as meaning sex with only one person during any time period.

Lest it be objected that the word “promiscuity” would have functioned equally well, let me point out that promiscuity means that one is not very selective about one’s sexual partners, but this does not mean that one necessarily has multiple sexual partners.  Indeed, one could only have one sexual partner and have done a poor job selecting this person and thus should be considered promiscuous.  Promiscuity is a qualitative judgment, not a quantitative one, and attempting to use it in our analysis would only muddy the waters.

I will also be using the concept “polyamorous” to mean a person that experiences romantic love for multiple people in the same time period.  While this word has been given many nebulous meanings through use, I am going to be using it strictly here to only mean experiencing romantic love for multiple people at the same time.  In contrast, I will be using the term, another neologism unfortunately, monoamorous to mean a person who experiences romantic love for only one person in the same time period.

Armed with these new concepts, we can now categorize all relationships as one of four types:

  1. monoamorous/monosexual
  2. monoamorous/polysexual
  3. polyamorous/monosexual
  4. polyamorous/polysexual

It is now time to give a more thorough analysis of polysexuality: its naturalness, the reasons why one might want to engage in it, the conditions necessary to morally engage in it, and possible values one might gain from it.

  1. No Comments