AS Jamaicans, we primarily practice monogamy. So when a photo surfaced two weeks ago of a polyamorist Jamaican man with his two romantic, sexual partners — one of whom is pregnant — as expected, the image spread like wildfire across various social media platforms and gossip sites, amid a hailstorm of criticisms.
Sex therapist Dr Sydney McGill said this type of union is foreign to most Jamaicans, but that the practice has gained popularity among younger people in many western countries, including the United States of America.
“Basically, polyamory is the practice of, or the desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. This is just one type of non-monogamous relationship — polyfidelity groups span a wide range of types and levels of commitment, with the most common being open relationships. Some polyamorists live alone or with their roommates, but some — as many as five — may decide they want to live together,” Dr McGill explained.
Regardless of the combination, the sex therapist said for polyamorists to have a happy, healthy relationship, negotiation is crucial.
“Many people will look at it and get excited because they think it is a carefree business and they want to be able to mess around without feeling guilty, but these relationships are more than that. They don't make you immune to common relationship challenges such as jealousy and insecurity, and so it is important for couples/groups to iron out rules and agreements from the outset to safeguard against common relationship curve balls,” Dr McGill advised.
All Woman asked readers to share whether or not they desire or would consider a polyamorous relationship. Check out their responses:
Patricia, 36, financial advisor:
I wouldn't have a problem; it is basically what is the case for many relationships, except these are more organised and everyone benefits. When you have wifey and side chick, resources are scattered, more chance of diseases and heartbreak cause side chick still has another man, and when wifey finds out it's going to weigh on her heart. In these types of relationships, everybody knows what's up upfront.
Dameon, 31, banker:
Honestly, seeing people involved in polyamorous relationships is rare, so I haven't thought about it much. I'll say this though, it doesn't appeal to me. Maybe my younger mind would have been blown by the idea of it, but now, I am content in my relationship, and even if she would have been okay with another woman joining our relationship, I don't think I would act on it. My fiancée is all I need.
Andre, 45, contractor:
Well, once it's two women I am down for that — I don't see anything wrong with that. More woman must stop being selfish and be like the girls in the picture with the man on social media. To me, that way, less man will give bun because they will be more satisfied at home and when you have two women. They will keep you busy, so you will not have time for the road.
Andrea, 40, chef:
No judgement passed, but I am super jealous. I don't even like when my man says good morning to a woman in one of his sexy tones. I am too jealous for that kind of thing.
Shamara, 34, accountant:
No. That relationship ratio is not for me. If it's not 1:1 then I am not for it. If my partner wants this then he can find someone who is comfortable with it.
Clement, 41, taxi driver:
Oh boy, sometimes I can't even manage the woman at my yard so, to be honest, I would be wicked to myself to even consider two. Do you know how women can nag? I am quite comfortable with just my Betsy alone.
Viveen, 29, customer care agent:
Maybe because it's foreign to me, I would find it gross. Maybe my Christian background has a lot to do with it as well, but there is nothing appealing about sharing my man with another woman; and I also do not see myself being intimate with another woman, so honestly, it's not my cup of tea.
Toriann, 33, paralegal:
Firstly, to each his own, and I do see how it can be beneficial to couples who are open to those kinds of adventurous types of relationships. You know, more persons in the home to get things done, care for the kids, teamwork in business endeavours, and so on. Personally, I wouldn't want to be a part of that kind of love arrangement. Sometimes I even think two is a crowd, so, no, I can't see myself ever being polyamorous.
— Penda Honeyghan