Polysexuality and Cultural Acceptability

by Jason Stotts

I linked to an article the other day on Scientific American that said:

On Valentine’s Day, images of couples are everywhere. They’re buying each other diamond rings, making eyes over expensive restaurant meals and canoodling over chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. But two-by-two isn’t the only way to go through life. In fact, an estimated 4 to 5 percent of Americans are looking outside their relationship for love and sex — with their partner’s full permission.

Think about that for just a minute. Let’s focus on just this part: “an estimated 4 to 5 percent of Americans [are polysexual].”  Four or five percent.  The current US population (according to the US Census for July 2012) is 313,914,040 people, 313 million people.  So, that means there are 12,556,562 to 15,695,702 people who are actively polysexual in the United States!  And that number is sure to be dramatically underreported as fears about privacy and shame keep people from honestly reporting.  If you put all those polysexual people in one state it would be the 5th most populated state in the US.

You know what’s a shame?  That those 5% of the US population, those 1 in 20 people feel ashamed at their desires and feel like they will be rejected by society at large.  They feel like they need to hide their real selves and their real desires so as not to be shunned by our society.  What’s really a shame is that these 5% of people are the ones acting most naturally according to our human nature.  We are a naturally polysexual species and if it weren’t for the judeo-islamic-christian hatred of the body, then more people would feel free to be themselves and act according to their nature.

Consider a contrast case.  Most estimates put the homosexual population of the US around 3.5%.  Think about that for a minute.  What was life like in the US for the gay population in the 50’s?  What is it like now?  What’s the difference between the gay population now and the polysexual population now?  There are more polysexuals, so it’s not that.  The difference is that some brave gays stood up and fought to be recognized as real people.  They fought against the religious hatred and mysticism and fought to be recognized as a normal and natural sexual orientation (which it is).

Why not the polysexuals?  There are more polysexuals than gay people (although, admittedly  there is definitely overlap between the populations).  Why can’t the polysexual population stand up and say: “We are not ashamed of our sexuality!”  All the movement needs is a charismatic leader who is willing to be the face of the movement and who can argue clearly why polysexual is both natural and normal and nothing to be ashamed about.

Frankly, I think it’s time that polysexual people stop hiding in their closets and come out to their friends and families about their lifestyles.  If 1 in 20 people came out, there would be no stopping the movement.  Even if you don’t think you know someone who is polysexual, if you know more than 20 people, the you definitely do.  It’s time that we end this crazy puritanical fear about sex and started living our lives in whatever way works best for us without any fear or shame.

A world where people can sexually be themselves is a world I want to live in.

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See also my related essay: Sexuality and Privacy

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