Sometimes one just doesn’t cut it, right? We want to have our cake and eat it and then get another cake from your other partner for your birthday and eat that too. But is throupling really the way to go, or is it just inviting disaster? Lesbian and gay polygamists may be a little more likely to be involved in a throuple as they have already, to some extent, stepped outside of the conventional relationship structure. Throupling is not, however, about promiscuity (which a whole load of people think is a key characteristic of homosexuality and bisexuality, tut tut, not every one of us is a skanky ho, alright?).
Most polygamy or polyandry is connected with promiscuity, but this is where throupling differs. In a throuple there are three partners, each with an equal role in the relationship and each loving the other two. Most polygamous relationships are skewed with a man at the center who sleeps with his two, or more, wenches in turn and creates a nasty power struggle for alpha female. See Mormons for a sparkling example of successful polygamy, hardly anyone gets divorced there for some unfathomable reason. A throuple, however, may be three ladies, three men, or a mix of the two, plus a little cross-gendered confusion for good measure. These are non-traditional relationships people, i.e. anything goes so long as all the participants are on board.
Many feminists may baulk at the idea of polygamy, viewing it as another way to subjugate and oppress women. There is some crossover here, however, as defending the right to non-‘traditional’ relationships (where everyone involved are consenting adults clearly), is a key tenet of feminist thought. What better way to prevent a skewing of power to one partner in a couple than to have the power shared by three. There are some strong examples of polygamists who have defended their right to unorthodox marriage, such as Ida Hunt in the 1880s who was hounded and harried by the law for being the first woman to defy the new ‘anti-polygamy’ law passed by the US Congress. She may not have been a lesbian (that we know of), but she passionately defended her right to marry a married man.
Apart from the obvious pitfalls, such as which anniversary do we all celebrate, and who sleeps on which side, and why are there only two seats in the front of a car (buy a truck, you’ll need it), throupling may be an ideal way to serve all your intellectual, social, and sexual needs whilst remaining faithful to the one, sorry two, you love. The Penduline Tit does it, with 31% of the female birds having more than one husband. Although, it usually only lasts a year so perhaps doesn’t provide a good example.
Seriously though, who really has all their needs met by just one other person? We all need friends to supply some of the other desires for intellectual stimulation, physical engagement and to let off steam when our partner is being bloody irritating. Perhaps the monogamous relationship has fallen into a bit of a rut, with one partner incessantly being dominant over the other. Sometimes, despite both of you knowing this is happening, it is seemingly impossible to change the dynamic. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in a throuple, I’m just saying that perhaps inviting someone else in can keep things from getting stale so easily and shake things up a little, allowing more of each participant’s character to be fostered and strengthened.
Whilst a monogamous relationship has a statistical chance of failing 50% of the time, the statistics for successful polygamous relationships are astonishing. Mainly due to their absence. But, hey, no news is good news right? I guess there isn’t a Mormon statistical bureau as yet, but surely there must be one in the pipeline.
A quick ask around of friends reveals that no-one has throupled with the full knowledge of the other throuplees (i.e. I think my friends have some issues with fidelity). I have friends in open relationships, and have been in one myself, so know that sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, it’s all about boundaries and communication. Like most relationships really.
There are, however, people who I know, who know people, who are ecstatically happy in their throuple, including a trio of lovely ladies in Vancouver who celebrate two anniversaries each year and never run out of conversation (or clothes, presumably). As always, Vancouver’s way ahead of the game here.
Whilst the racier-minded of you may have stopped reading, this throuple do not all have a threesome every night, they take turns with each other and appear to have great sex because they get some needs served by one and some by the other member of the relationship. This doesn’t discount the idea that they could have a threesome every night of course, just that everyone would have to be up for it. I can only imagine what it’s like in that relationship when everyone’s cycle is in sync though.
When throupling I imagine there needs to be a few ‘staff’ meetings every so often to check in on the dynamic of the relationship. Really this is no different from a traditional couple, just that normally we don’t bother and it all fails anyway. Clearly no-one will want to be the third wheel, with everyone in the throuple having to make a decided effort at constant inclusion, or at least know their responsibilities towards the other two. Jealousy is likely to rear its head in any relationship, but maybe throuples can stave this off to some extent by having a more open understanding of everyone’s needs and desires, and being in a better position to meet those needs without imagining your fellow throuplees having it away with the milkman or the hot new girl in the office.
It will start getting complicated if marriage, mortgages, and children enter the equation. Our wonderful legal system is hardly set up for dealing with same-sex relationships as yet, so will probably spin its head around and vomit green slime if throupling is presented to the courts. Who has power of attorney, who is the legal guardian of the children, who gets which third of the house if it all goes belly-up, and where do you get a three-seater tandem for those romantic bike rides? Key questions people, which are unlikely to be answered until some poor gits get thrown into the kangaroo court for public humiliation as they are going through a hideous break-up. As it is, the only polygamous relationships allowed in law (in some places around the world) are men marrying multiple women. Although, I’m not a strong pusher of marriage as the be all and end all of relationships, I at least want it to be a fair institution that recognizes more than simple coupledom. Once this is corrected to allow polyandry (women marrying multiple men), and homosexual polygamy and polyandry, things will be a little fairer.
So, perhaps it seems initially kinky or, for some, a little too much effort, but the pay-off from being involved in a throuple may be worth the awkward conversation with your partner about inviting someone else in, and giving up some closet space. Most relationships do not meet all the needs, both physical and mental of each partner, which often leads people to look outside of their couple to have those needs met in a much more underhand way than overt throupling. So maybe throupling is worth a try to add a little more interest and spread the love. Let’s just call it polyamorous throupling for now, and keep fighting for our right to have the relationships we want rather than being nannied by the state into what for some are tedious, unfulfilling, traditional marriages.